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Headlight Aiming

Discussion in 'Technical and Troubleshooting Torque' started by Mr Messy, Dec 6, 2010.

  1. Hey folks...
    Just looking to adjust my headlight when the opportunity presents, as tonight (4am) was the first chance ive had to ride home when there has been no environmental light present in a good while.
    Did a search... honestly search is useless :p the "Similar Threads" that shows up AFTER you post a new thread is far better... but you need to post it first :p. (Unfortunately in this case even the similar threads is no help...)

    I already know my high beam (and since its one unit likely my low beam) is aimed a little high and to the right. I imagine it was slightly exacerbated by the approx 25kg of luggage that was being hauled home too.......
    Anyway, after being flashed by two cars and even a fellow biker (all of whom probably thought the world was ending when the high beam hit them in the face in response to show that NO im not an imbecile who leaves his high beam on in your face), i figure its time to adjust.

    Short of just sticking a screwdriver in the adjustment thingys and going for a close enough is good enough/was a bit high last time lets make it a bit lower this time method... i did a quick search on google and found this:

    Source: http://www.webmaster10.com/ldr/headlight_aiming.html

    Ok its imperial, i can handle that no problem, but i would just like to know if that is what others would recommend as a guideline so i stop getting blinded by people who think im trying to blind them... or perhaps is there even a guideline for aussie roads?

    Ta all ;).

  2. You have to be careful using US adjustment techniques, their lamps are very different to ours in their dispersion patterns. Including a steep angle up-beam to illuminate overhead signs in some car lamps.

    From the info you provided above, that would mean that the low beam would be aimed down by only about one degree, so from a theoretical 800mm headlight height it would be around 600m (top of the head maths) before the cut-off of the beam hit the road.

    Modern lamps with the cut-off and left hand flare tend to be adjusted such that the cut-off line hits the road at around 20-30 metres out.

    Cars tend to average about 650mm lamp height and bikes in the 800-900mm range which would indicate that motorcycles "should" have a steeper down tilt.

    It comes down to personal taste to some extent, and consideration for other motorists.
  3. Ta Garry, thats what i thought, which is why i thought to ask here if people thought it was a good guide or nay.

    Will just do the trial and error approach i think :).
  4. I have no idea if it's correct procedure, but I recently adjusted my headlights after replacing the globes (being flashed by the police whilst on low beam kinda told me they were too high)!

    I had my brother sitting on the bike the whole time to simulate it being under load.
    I measured vertically from the ground to the center of my low beam globe (high beam globe is pretty much the same height). Then I placed a strip of tape approximately the same height up a wall about 7-8 metres away in front of the bike.
    Using the adjuster screw I moved my low beam lamp so the top edge of the solid beam (you'll see what I mean when you point your bike at a wall) was just under the tape.
    Then I covered the low beam and turned on high beam. This time I adjusted so the middle of the high beam's light centered on the tape.
    After that I took it for a spin, and found both lined up fairly good!

    If anyone has a better method, I'd love to know it too! :)
  5. Sounds like exactly the same thing :D.
    Probably id angle mine down a little more as its not unusual for me to have a load on the bike in addition to myself.
  6. Load up the bike with something before you adjust then. I'll be doing the same when I travel to Adelaide after Xmas just to see how much all the luggage affects the beam heights.
  7. Two inches in 17 feet sounds a little high to me... I'd have thought about 6 inches, and then try it out. If you often carry a passenger it can get a bit flamin complicated, let me tell you.
  8. I've always aimed my light for the top of low beam to intersect with the bottom of a wall 30 feet (approx ten metres?) away.....
  9. ?? With you on the bike? If you don't ride much at night, and when you do it's in well lit areas, that might be fine, but I'd treat night riding in the country with that set up with ... some caution.
  10. I've covered as many kms in the dark as half the people here have ridden altogether, not meaning that as a put-down, and that's always given me a good reach for low beam and a 'just right' for high beam

    not to decry other methods or measurements, of course
  11. Well ... half the people here have probably covered less than 50k, so ... that isn't a hell of a lot. I've probably done ... guessing here, 200k (at night) on a bike and ... about 2M in a car. Not meaning that as a put down...
  12. Please then ensure it's in 1st,big handful of throttle and drop the clutch.
  13. Yeah hornet i think ill need a lil more then 30 feet... thinking more toward 30 metres if not more would be good - most of my ride home is 100kph, surface is sheit (trucks) and often theres traffic coming the other way and the high beam is off. Not to mention the roo's.
    My high beam isnt worth the battery power to run it, and unfortunately using high beam turns the low beam off, so its a definite need to fix up soon thing :p.
    edit: Might just get out the front one night and get either the old boy or the missus (if either is home for a change when i am :p) to help me out... then test it and see if i get flashed.
  14. Yeah, I'm thinking about 30 ~ 40 m is about right. If you can't pick where the cutout reaches the road at all, then there's a pretty good chance you're flashing the cars at least some of the time.

    I hesitate to suggest puting in higher wattage bulbs (technical discussion can wait for another day) but sometimes you can feed a bit more juice to the standard bulbs by adding a boost through a relay. High beams, and high beams + driving lights are pretty much always set up that way, but the low beam circuit is generally not. There's no good reason for that, they just don't bother. Might be worth talking to a bike sparky about. If it turns out he wants a grand to do it, then forget I mentioned it, but it might be a better and more effective answer than just throwing a heavier globe in there.
  15. Next bike is so going to have HID's.