Top 7 Best Motorcycle Headlights in 2018 – Review & Buying Guide
If you are shopping for the best motorcycle headlight, and you want to get a great deal, but you don’t have the time to read our entire buying guide, then this short paragraph will be the only thing you need. We ran extensive research on the most critically acclaimed products on the market and concluded that the model deserving your hard earned money is the Kuryakyn Phase 7 2249. You will love its traditional design that complements its excellent performance. This headlight can withstand a lot of wear and tear, as its polycarbonate lenses are covered by a unique finish that prevents yellowing, while its structure is resistant to shocks. Last, but not least, this model complies with all the requirements for road safety currently in effect. Should this high-performance headlamp be out of stock, you have an excellent alternative in the GE Lighting 69821 Nighthawk, a model with almost the same features.
Our Team Recommends
We looked at the various products on the market offered by reputable manufacturers and, based on the positive feedback from customers, we identified a list of models that deliver high performance, decent pricing, and excellent features. One of them must be the right motorcycle headlight for you.
Kuryakyn Phase 7 2249
At first glance, you might be surprised by the traditional design of the headlight. This, however, does not impact on its performance in any way; many bikers prefer this appearance to a more modern setup, and the good news is that you will not lose anything concerning how bright the light is.
As expected from any accessory for motorcycles, this one is made from durable components. The lenses are made from polycarbonate and are resistant to impact. The coating prevents scratching and yellowing, so you will have your headlamp looking as good as new for a long time.Buy from Amazon.com for ($174.45)
GE Lighting 69821 Nighthawk
The headlight comes with a 3-year warranty, and it is guaranteed for 15,000 hours of operation. You will get an excellent deal for your money, and the light output of 5600 Kelvin is as white as daylight, which is more than you might expect.
The design of the headlight offers multiple advantages. You will notice that the light is split horizontally so that the low beam is emitted from the upper half, while the high beam is emitted from the bottom half. Made from materials resistant to impact, it is the rugged accessory you need for your motorcycle.Buy from Amazon.com for ($250.22)
Wisamic Projection Daymaker
Compared to incandescent models, this one delivers much brighter light, and the manufacturer even says that its performance is four times better. The irradiation distance is longer than what you would typically get with a standard bulb. You will notice that the light is very white, as well.
With the help of refracting diodes, this light creates a wide angle of illumination so that you can easily find your way in the dark. Check the manufacturer’s recommendations for compatibility, although most Harley Davidson motorcycles will work with it.Click to see the price on Amazon!
It comes with a wiring adaptor, so it is easy to install. Compared to old seamed beams, it does a much better job, and for anyone still in love with halogen models, this is an excellent choice.
Another thing that must be said about this particular model is that the manufacturer engineered it so it can withstand conditions for low and high-speed traveling, so bikers with different preferences in riding their motorcycles can use it without a problem.Buy from Amazon.com for ($60.26)
TRUCKMALL Daymaker LED
The light is very bright and comes equipped with a Cree LED chip, which says something about its outstanding performance. The 6000K light will be as white as daylight, a performance that is particular only to top of the line products.
The polycarbonate lens is resistant to shocks, and also has an IP67 waterproof rating. You can rest assured that you will receive a high-quality item that will not let you down in any circumstances. The easy Plug and Play installation is another plus.Buy from Amazon.com for ($112.99)
This light is no exception, and with its 55/60 watt bulb, it delivers enough light to help a motorcycle rider find his or her way in the dark. The diamond cut design increases performance and makes sure that you will get the most powerful illumination available in this price range. The high surface helps with better irradiation for more coverage.
It must be mentioned that this is a 7-inch unit so that it will fit any casing for this type of configuration. The model is universal and can be used on a broad range of vehicles.Buy from Amazon.com for ($56.39)
Liteway Round LED
Before you hit the road, check the safety of your vehicle, from its motorcycle tires to the headlight you picked. If you go with this model, you can rest assured that you will get more than decent illumination. The 80W bulb is super bright, and it must be mentioned that the choice for this model was an Osram LED, which means that you can expect superior performance.
The casing is heavy-duty and resistant to shocks and vibration. You will also love that it is waterproof so that you can count on it on rainy days, just like during the rest of the time.Buy from Amazon.com
This Year’s Buying Guide
There are few bikers out there who are pleased with the way the headlights they get together with their motorcycles perform. They usually reach out for the various options available on the market and replace their stock headlight quickly.
If you are interested in getting the best motorcycle LED headlight or you want to hear about what other options are available, the following guide will surely help you.
One of the first things you will notice about the headlights available on the market is that they are split between three systems. One is called a reflector system and, in such products, the light is equipped with a tungsten filament bulb. The bulb is surrounded by a reflective material whose primary job is to provide adequate illumination by reflecting the light supplied by the bulb.
Projector models are quite popular nowadays. They are a bit more complicated than reflector models, and they come equipped with lenses and reflectors. The lenses have the job of transmitting the light. One good thing about this system, compared to the first reviewed earlier, is that the light flow gains direction.
This, in turn, influences overall performance. The light intensity is superior, and the directional light will not blind other people that come from the opposite direction.
The third system available comes with multi-directional LEDs. This offers high performance as the LEDs create a lighting pattern, offering better illumination. The system can even be programmable to deliver a specified light output. However, it must be mentioned that the system is entirely new and it may take a while until you can find it as a fixture for motorcycles.
One thing that we should talk about is the bulb type. Many people prefer LEDs and for all the right reasons. The best LED headlight for motorcycles will offer excellent lifespan, and these don’t dim over time as it happens with halogens. The latter used to be a common choice, but it is quickly replaced by the more powerful LEDs.
Halogen bulbs are incandescent, and even if they differ from standard incandescent bulbs through their construction and the choice of gas, they share the same problem, and that is dimming.
New systems are currently tested, but it may take a while until they are accepted for road use. Headlights must abide by specific rules and regulations, and they may not be as simple to pick as motorcycle backpacks, to offer an example.
Brightness and color temperature
While shopping around for motorcycle headlights, you may stumble upon various specs that you cannot clearly understand. As you may well know, the light output is essential for any illumination device, and you will read many reviews talking about the brightness of specific models.
One number you will notice mentioned refers to Kelvin units. But this number does not tell you how bright your light will be, although you might feel tempted to do so. To say it simply, the Kelvin value stands for how white a light can be.
The comparison value picked to understand better color temperature, as this trait is also called, is daylight. The latter is around 5400K during midday, which means that any headlight with a Kelvin value roughly equal to it can deliver light that is as white as daylight.
Light output is calculated in lumens, and it is used to establish how bright a headlight is. Color temperature does affect the quality of the perceived light, but it does not influence brightness. To give you an idea of where different products stand, here are some examples.
A halogen model will have a Kelvin value of about 3200K. Bulbs that are advertised as providing higher performance have 3500K, and those that say they can supply light whiteness as close to daylight as possible have 5400K or more.
A biker knows the importance of everything he or she buys for a motorcycle. Even if it is something as small as a pair of motorcycle gloves, bikers will always invest time and effort in picking the right merchandise. Motorcycle headlights are no exception to the rule.
One of the aspects to remember, even before picking various products for comparison, is size. Depending on the type of motorcycle you ride, some models will be a good option, while others will not. Manufacturers usually offer a complete list of compatible vehicles, so you can see quickly if yours is included.
Another thing that matters is whether the system you purchase is a Plug and Play model or not. Ease of installation is a pretty serious consideration that should not be overlooked. When you go shopping for biker shirts, you certainly don’t need to bear in mind so many aspects, but a headlight is more important than the clothing you may choose to wear.
What headlights are the best for a motorcycle?
While reading all the motorcycle headlights reviews available, we noticed that there is a clear delimitation between the various models available. If you pick some cheap motorcycle headlights, you might give up on the performance offered by others, so we show here the types of bulbs available, together with their pros and cons.
Let’s start with the cheapest. Affordability is, for sure, one aspect to bear in mind. Most motorcycles come outfitted from the factory with such lights, so you will have something to work with right from the start.
However, while they are cheap, halogen lights do not offer the highest performance available. They tend to break after only several hundreds of hours of operation, and that is the happiest case. Also, while they are bright in the beginning, they tend to dim because they are incandescent bulbs, and that is a well-known downside of such models.
Here you will find a few critical advantages that you will not want to overlook. But, to start with what’s not so great about these systems, you should know that they are not a fixture for motorcycles, and they can be a bit tricky to install.
However, they are very bright, and they do not dim over time. While you can expect halogen bulbs to work only for several hundreds of hours, multiply this number by one hundred or more, and you will get the average lifespan for LEDs.
Even if they may be a bit more expensive than halogen, they compensate by not having to be replaced on a regular basis. The LED bulbs consume less energy, and overall, they are more efficient than halogen bulbs, while offering better overall satisfaction.
Xenon HID headlights
A new technology that sounds promising for headlights is xenon. Before going any further, we need to tell you that this type of system is not road legal, and, at the moment, there is no legislation in place to regulate its use.
Regarding performance, you will get the most, even compared to LEDs. However, you will need a special conversion kit to install your headlight on your bike, which means that you will have to spend extra. Their brightness and excellent color temperature might make these systems the next best thing, but, until they become legal, it is recommended to pick something else.
How to replace your motorcycle headlight
A headlight is one of those motorcycle accessories that will need some effort and knowledge on your part. Replacing your motorcycle headlight is not rocket science, but it does require you to follow a few essential steps that are explained right away.
- Secure your bike first
While this may sound like a redundant piece of advice, it is vital to secure your bike so that you can work on it. Place it on a kickstand, on flat terrain, or enlist a friend’s help to aid you to keep it in place while you replace the headlight.
- Don’t lose any screws
Your motorcycle comes with its stock headlight, and this has all the hardware pieces in place. When you replace the bulb, you will need to loosen the screws carefully and take out all the hardware, one by one.
Place a small mat on the ground next to you and use it as a temporary storage space for all the small items you will take out. Remember that you will have to put them back as they were, so make sure that you don’t lose any of it.
- Don’t force the old bulb out
It is essential that you don’t push your old headlight out. Usually, the bulb is secured in place by some barrier, and you need to figure out what that is before you hurry to take it out and replace it.
Always loosen the screws that keep the bulb in place, and try to take it out without breaking it. This way, you will avoid accidents.
- Get all the steps backward in the correct order
All the steps you had to follow to remove the old bulb, you will now have to employ to put in the new bulb. As you place the bulb inside, make sure that you don’t leave any loose screws. Take your time when you replace your headlight because it is the surest way to avoid your headlight becoming loose and breaking later.
Place the cover in place and screw it in, as well. The new bulb should be safely secured inside, without wobble.
- Have spares
A good idea if you travel a lot would be to have some spares with you. An extra headlight is an excellent idea because you never know when you might have to replace your old one. And now, that you know all the steps, you will be able to do the replacement fast.
Motorcycle headlights – FAQs
How to convert motorcycle headlight to LED?
Any halogen headlight can be converted to LED, provided that you purchase a LED conversion kit. There are plenty of such products on the market, so make sure that you buy one that will be brighter than the bulb you already have.
First, you will have to find the bulb type you are already using. With this information at hand, you will be able to purchase a kit that is compatible. Changing your headlight to LED is simple, as you will have to remove your old bulb and replace it with the new one, by following the instructions that come with the conversion kit.
How to make motorcycle headlight brighter?
You might have heard fellow motorists complaining, or you may go through the same predicament: a weak headlight on your motorcycle. The good motorcycle headlights you can find today offer excellent light output, but you may not want to buy an entirely new headlight just for that.
One thing you should do is to rule out any problems with the electrical system. A weak dynamo and even poor wiring can create problems, so make sure that you’re not affected by these by having the setup checked by someone who knows what they’re doing. A simple solution is to replace the bulb you have now with something stronger.
How to measure motorcycle headlight?
To make sure that you’re purchasing the right motorcycle headlight for your vehicle, you will need to figure out the size correctly. Most motorcycles work with a 7-inch headlight, but this is not a rule set in stone. Also, the bulb size might be smaller, and if you want to replace only the bulb, you will have to measure it, too.
To remove the bulb from the housing, you will need a screwdriver and plenty of care not to damage the bulb or lose any parts. By taking the bulb out, you will be able to read the information on it, so you can learn what type it is and what model to purchase.
How to clean motorcycle headlight?
A motorcycle headlight is bound to suffer a lot of wear and tear, and it is supposed to be durable. However, if you are interested in enjoying your headlight for a long time, be prepared to know how to apply a little TLC. An exterior that has become too yellow, making the light dim, can be restored, by sanding its polycarbonate surface a bit.
If you don’t want to buy a specialized product, use a homemade remedy for dimmed headlights. Many motorcycle riders vouch for toothpaste as being the ideal recipe for cleaning the exterior of the headlamp.
What is the brightest motorcycle headlight?
With so many headlights available for sale, you might find yourself in a conundrum over what kind of light to purchase. There are quite a few options, but you need to learn about them first. The stock option is halogen, but you may already know that this fades over time, and it also breaks after several hundreds of hours of use.
Xenon would be a better choice, as it is brighter and more durable, but such setups are not yet road legal in the US. Your best option would be a LED headlight, but make sure to shop around for an excellent model. This way, you will know you’re not throwing money off the window.