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Beam pattern

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Beam pattern
Started at 10:22pm on the 7th August, 2018 by Davedup
Davedup Subject: Beam pattern
Hi all, the beam pattern on my Super Meteor is awful, kinda a halo effect on the road which lights up everything except the road. The headlight is a Lucas jobbie correctly marked "motorcycle". It has been converted to 12V. My question is, is the headlight giving the awful beam or is it the bulb that's been fitted? It's not the brightness but the beam pattern. Thanks Dave
Posted: 10:22pm 7th August, 2018
ric Subject: Beam pattern
If you’ve ever owned or played with a maglite torch it’s fairly obvious what effect moving the bulb around within the reflector bowl has. From a tight bright spot to a very diffused wide angled faint beam. It sounds like a mismatch between the two parts you have. Pull the bulb out slightly from its normal position while still wired in and if things improve you need a bulb with it’s filament closer to the reflector if things don’t a bulb with its filaments closer to the lens is required.
Posted: 10:34pm 7th August, 2018
Adrian Subject: Beam pattern
Is the reflector unit on the bike the original British Pre-Focus type or a more modern H4 fitting? How old is it?

Might be time for an upgrade if ric's recommendation of trying a couple of different bulbs doesn't sort it.

Posted: 11:28pm 7th August, 2018
Mark M Subject: Beam pattern
I have been experimenting with the Lucas reflector/lens on my 1968 Interceptor which is the correct original 'Motorcycle' fitment and running a standard 12v BPF bulb. This beam is centre dip, ie, no dip bias to left or right. As a result the beam is rather narrow. I tried one of our Host's Neolite/H4 units and it's an improvement but the beam pattern is rather ragged.Then I found a new Lucas fitting which takes an H4 bulb on Ebay and I have to say, it's a lot better than the Neolite. I took some night time pics against the garage door for comparison I will attempt to post them.

REgards, Mark
Posted: 09:03am 8th August, 2018
Davedup Subject: Beam pattern

Thanks guys, headlight is opriinal lucas prefocused as shown below, old photo ignore the fact that the headlight isn't quite upright.  I wasn't sure if I would get a stream of "they are all like that" messages lol.

Having looked through our hosts book, I see that they can supply a halogen bulb to fit so I'll give that a go.  If not then I'll upgrade to a modern sealed beam unit.



Posted: 09:10am 8th August, 2018
Davedup Subject: Beam pattern
oopps photo didn't quite come out right but at least it is displaying....
Posted: 09:11am 8th August, 2018
stinkwheel Subject: Beam pattern
Must be said, the standard Indian reflector on my '07 bullet 350 has a very satisfactory beam pattern and great night time visability. In fact, the MOT guy always comments on how sharp the beam pattern is on his tester thingy.
Posted: 09:21am 8th August, 2018
Adrian Subject: Beam pattern
I wouldn't fit a sealed beam unit, not on an old British bike. A modern unit to take a separate H4 bulb would be preferable as per stinkwheel's post, you can always refit the original if you put the bike in for classic bike shows.

Posted: 11:03am 8th August, 2018
Chris [Stockport] Subject: Beam pattern
Hi -Adrian- Just out of interest, why do you say you'd not fit a sealed beam unit? Is it technical, or "purist" reasons on an old bike?
Would love to know.

Thanks, Chris
Posted: 02:43pm 8th August, 2018
stinkwheel Subject: Beam pattern
One other potential consideration is the depth of the headlamp unit combined with the size of the inner rim. I have just fitted an LED H4 bulb to a 500 bullet in one of the neolite lighting units and with the standard rim, the back of the bulb-holder foules the speedo drive cable. That's having rotated the cable to face backwards and fitted the angled speedo rubber to move it all back. I landed up fitting an electra inner rim to gain enough space for it to fit.

Now this LED bulb is one of the lowest profile ones they make and is no longer than a standard H4 with connector block attached. However, the heat-sink is wider than a connector block and fouled. When I looked at it with a normal bulb in, the connector block was physically touching the speedo drive anyway.

I was using a second hand casquette which I think is off an earlier Indian bullet, the rim is quite narrow even compared to my 350 Bullet which had an H4 as standard. The reason I mention it is that rim on your bike looks narrower still so I'd check how much clearance you have behind it before attempting to fit an H4 unit.
Posted: 03:56pm 8th August, 2018
Adrian Subject: Beam pattern
There is some variation of depth between headlamp units, if things are a little tight, a Wipac Quadoptic is a little be shallower as far as poking into the back of the casquette is concerned, though I have had trouble with the locating tags for the bulb holder (mazac casting) snapping due to viration, leaving the bulb holder to flop around!

Some of the newer LED H4 replacements have reversible heatsinks, putting the wider section at the front again leaved a bit more room. I'm not a fan of the casquette, though, all my REs get proper separate headlamps.

Chris [Stockport], I would be worried about the effects of old bike vibration (compared to a car) knocking out filaments, though if the RE twin cranks were balanced at the factoey it could be a non-issue. With a separate bulb you just replace the bulb, cheaper than a new unit every time?

Posted: 07:07pm 8th August, 2018
Adrian Subject: Beam pattern
Aagh! Typos, sorry.... A.
Posted: 07:32pm 8th August, 2018
Chris [Stockport] Subject: Beam pattern
Thanks for that; just wondering. Ta.
Posted: 07:54pm 8th August, 2018

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