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Johnny Blue Lightnin'
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12,134 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Anyone with the naked ZR knows the headlamp sucks. I've heard the same about the "S" model too. The stock headlight wiring is very small and also passes the headlight current through the left grip dimmer switch. This leads to dropping about 1.5 volts to the headlamp in stock form. The headlamp relay harness kit uses 2 relays, one for high beam and one for low beam, which are wired directly to the battery to operate the headlamp. This gives full battery voltage to the headlamp to make it much brighter and can now supoport a higher wattage bulb if desired. The relays are controlled by the stock headlamp harness so the headlamp oprates exactly as stock, but much brighter. I installed a simlar kit on my KLR and it really made a difference. I got this kit from www.easternbeaver.com Odd name, nice product.
Here's the kit.
I got the sealed relay kit. They're shrink wrapped but I added some sealer to the shrink wrap after the pic.
 

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Johnny Blue Lightnin'
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12,134 Posts
Discussion Starter #2
Start by removing the seat and the gas tank. (Not pictured)
Then remove the gas tank bracket.
Remove the air cleaner duct and airfilter box lid so you can access the battery. Disconnect the negative battery cable now.
 

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Johnny Blue Lightnin'
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12,134 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Now remove the headlamp. there are two screws. One at 4:00 and the other at 8:00. The top has a tab. Unplug the harness from the headlamp and set aside.
Here is what you'll see.
Notice the size of the new wiring compared to the puny stock wiring.
 

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Johnny Blue Lightnin'
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12,134 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Now is a good time to install di-electric grease in the connections. Note the beginning of corrosion (green spot) These connections are sometimes the cause of electrical gremlins on the 99 & 00 ZR-7.
I chose the "bullet connector kit" so I clipped off the old headlamp connector. The other type (standard) kit plugs into the old headlamp connector but since there is not much room in the headlamp shell I went this way.
 

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Johnny Blue Lightnin'
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12,134 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Feed the harness through the opening in the back of the headlamp shell.
Install the new wires into the supplied connector body.
Connect the stock wires to the supplied harness. I used the supplied posi lock connectors and added di-electric grease. This way if I have a relay failure on the road I can bypass the new circuit and go back to stock to get home. otherwise I would have soldered them. The "standard" kit is just a plug in at this step.
 

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Johnny Blue Lightnin'
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12,134 Posts
Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
Mount the relays. I put mine under the tank. I secured them loosely to a harness instead of the frame to keep the vibration down.
I ran the battery power harness along the stock main harness.
Then connected it to the battery. The kit comes prewired with a fuse holder and even a spare fuse which I was able to fit into the fuse box under the lid.
You can also see my battery tender connector which is also connected right to the battery. I also use it to plug in my Aerostitch grip wraps or my power outlet.
 

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Johnny Blue Lightnin'
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12,134 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
Before and after...
The top pic is the before pic.
The bottom pic is the after pic.
Both of these were taken with the engine not running. The difference is noticable.
 

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Authorized Vendor
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877 Posts
Holy crap Jon, what a difference. Might have to look into it. THanks for posting.
 

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Johnny Blue Lightnin'
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12,134 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
I rode today but got home at dusk. Even though it was not dark I could tell the light on the pavement was much whiter instead of yellowish. I could have stayed out until it was dark but I was very low on gas. I wanted to run the tank down to empty because I'll be taking it back off tomorrow for a valve check. I cant wait to try it out at night.
 

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Maintenance Overlord
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5,609 Posts
Hey JonF

This is good stuff. It is a very professional job.

A couple of questions

1/ Price of the kit, maybe it's in the referred web site?
2/ Can we have before/after pics with the engine running.

Once again gg likes it.

[email protected], ava good day

PS gg needs to obtain some dielectric grease and do his connections to his '99 ZR-7
 

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Registered
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1,012 Posts
Looks good JonF
Very illuminating :killingme
You seemed to make light work of it :killingme :killingme
Pete:D
 

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Johnny Blue Lightnin'
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12,134 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
I did not take pics with the engine running because I had the heater going in the garage and did not want to open the door.
 

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Maintenance Overlord
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5,609 Posts
good enough reason JonF and DIY project.

JonF said:
I did not take pics with the engine runntheing because I had heater going in the garage and did not want to open the door.

Next time you open the door, can we have the pics with the engine running.

Now this would be a great DIY project, just a matter of two relays, two or more connections and a string of wire and a fuse, gg will look into it.

gg is not a "night rider" but he can see the merit in the headlight relays.

A couple of side benefits apart from the improved lighting

1/ as JonF stated minimum size wiring is used, so we can expect "cooler" lighting wires, therefore longer life, wiring cable become brittle with time and heating
2/ the switching in lighting and other circuits is basic to say the least, with less current making/breaking at these swithches, then their life maybe extended.

gg looked at the referred web site and was impressed

Price is roughly $US50 depending on the product selected.

[email protected], ava good day
 

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Maintenance Overlord
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5,609 Posts
Hi JonF

Been surfing an Oz auto electrical supplier hella.com.au they have suitable relays, fuse/holders, but couldn't find any plugs/sockets.

gg wouldn't cut any wiring, so that original wiring could be retroed if required.

I'll PM Dr Dirt, I think he could be interested in this project. Sometimes he is lurking in the shadows

[email protected], ava good day
 

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1,059 Posts
Thanks, Jon, for the great write-up and pics! As you know, I wanted to do this mod as well but was waiting for you to be the guinea-pig. Guess I'll give the Beav' some business soon.
 

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Johnny Blue Lightnin'
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12,134 Posts
Discussion Starter #16
GG if you want to do this, get the standard H4 kit from www.easternbeaver.com No cutting required, free shipping worldwide. Jim, the guy that makes the kits, lives in Japan. I looked into making my own kit and it would easily cost me over $35 for parts and supplies plus my time. I decided to spend the $50 and be done with it.
 

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Johnny Blue Lightnin'
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12,134 Posts
Discussion Starter #18 (Edited)
I rode in the dark for about 15 miles tonight. Wow! What a difference. The headlight puts out a nice white beam of light now. It is so much better. I dont feel like I'm overdriving the headlight at 40mph any more. And the high beam...Good golly Miss Molly! It is probably the best $50 I have ever spent on the ZR.
 

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1,059 Posts
I ordered one today -- I got the "faired" kit w/ the cannon plugs. I plan on waterproofing them very well.
 

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681 Posts
When I installed my grip heaters last week, I was pretty disgusted with the size of the headlight wires. I also didn't like powering the grip heaters off the headlight circuit. My plan for future improvements was to power the heaters from a relay, but this modification makes much more sense. I just ordered these relay kits for both bikes!

Paul in Alabama
 
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