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Buddy 125 headlight brightness

 
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PistolPete7390
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Joined: 03 May 2017
Posts: 15
Location: Manchester NH
Buddy 125

PostPosted: Wed Aug 07, 2019 1:09 am    Post subject: Buddy 125 headlight brightness Reply with quote

Does anyone use a different bulb that makes their headlight brighter and the road more visible?
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tenders
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Joined: 03 Dec 2018
Posts: 135

Buddy International 50 Italia

PostPosted: Wed Aug 07, 2019 11:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This LED is a tight squeeze, and would benefit from a bending-in or even removal of the plate covering the cooling fan, but it does fit and is a *huge* improvement over the stock headlight.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01M0DWJMT/

EDIT: while this is still going strong in my Buddy 50, the identical LED quickly burned out in my friend's Buddy 50 within less than an hour. As is pointed out below, this bulb is not specifically recommended for use in AC systems, so perhaps it should be no surprise that it didn't last.

The bulb suggested below *IS* recommended for both AC and DC installations. I put it into my friend's 50, and it fit better and worked perfectly. So I would suggest looking into that one instead. Instead of a fan, a component very susceptible to failure, it has the same passive braided cable heatsink that a very expensive Vespa replacement has, purchased from ScooterWest.


Last edited by tenders on Sun Sep 01, 2019 4:34 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Stanza
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Joined: 29 Jan 2018
Posts: 486
Location: Chicago
Puch Maxi, Honda C70

PostPosted: Wed Aug 07, 2019 1:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tenders, how did you get it to play along with the AC output at the headlight socket? In my youth, I burned out many an LED trying to wire them directly into an AC 12v line.
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tenders
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Joined: 03 Dec 2018
Posts: 135

Buddy International 50 Italia

PostPosted: Wed Aug 07, 2019 4:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

*I* did nothing to it - it’s installed as it arrived at my door. It’s sold as a motorcycle bulb and I believe it has a diode in it to rectify the AC. It flickers, barely perceptibly, at very low engine idling speeds, but so did the original incandescent bulb. I’ve got 250 miles on it so far so I think it’s a solid install.
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babblefish
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Joined: 04 Dec 2007
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Location: San Francisco
2006 Blur 180, 2008 Buddy St. Tropez

PostPosted: Wed Aug 07, 2019 5:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The specs says it should be powered with 12-32 volts DC, but if it's been working for you that's great. Keep us up to date on its longevity. I may get one if it survives the AC.
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tenders
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Buddy International 50 Italia

PostPosted: Wed Aug 07, 2019 9:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hmm. I see what you mean. I’ve had good luck over the past few years with several LEDs intended for DC running on AC output from small engines like snow throwers and scooters. The Buddy deadlights are also running successfully on LEDs, BTW, using Voodoo’s harness kit.
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PistolPete7390
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Joined: 03 May 2017
Posts: 15
Location: Manchester NH
Buddy 125

PostPosted: Wed Aug 07, 2019 9:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tenders what type of led bulb did you put in the dead lights? I'm getting the same adapter.
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tenders
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Joined: 03 Dec 2018
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Buddy International 50 Italia

PostPosted: Wed Aug 07, 2019 10:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Deadlight LED bulbs - inexpensive and bright. I use them in both my Buddy 50 and my Vespa 150.

They add a bit to what I can see in front of me, but add a LOT in visibility.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0721FNCWP
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buzzvert
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Joined: 28 Jul 2019
Posts: 87
Location: Longmont, CO
Buddy 125 (2), lots of other bikes no longer in the garage

PostPosted: Thu Aug 08, 2019 6:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I ordered and installed this one, taking cues from a Vespa kit I installed previously:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07KTXL7FW/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o03_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

The passive heat spreading is flexible and routes around the speedo cable nicely. I didn't have to modify the bulb holder. So far so good.

EDIT: I went with the 28W version as the 40W version, looking at the heat output spec would be borderline not only in power draw but also heat dissipation in a plastic assembly. The 28W version, lumenwise, is plenty bright enough.
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babblefish
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Joined: 04 Dec 2007
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Location: San Francisco
2006 Blur 180, 2008 Buddy St. Tropez

PostPosted: Thu Aug 08, 2019 10:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Very nice buzzvert. It says it's for AC and DC too. I just put one in my shopping cart.Smile
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buzzvert
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Location: Longmont, CO
Buddy 125 (2), lots of other bikes no longer in the garage

PostPosted: Sun Aug 18, 2019 1:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

babblefish wrote:
Very nice buzzvert. It says it's for AC and DC too. I just put one in my shopping cart.Smile


I really dig mine after a few hundred miles. Did it work out for you?
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babblefish
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Location: San Francisco
2006 Blur 180, 2008 Buddy St. Tropez

PostPosted: Sun Aug 18, 2019 2:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Haven't installed it yet. My plan is to take pictures of the install and post it here.
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KABarash
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Joined: 15 Jun 2007
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'04 Honda Met "Archie" [Had to trade it :cry: ] '08 St. Tropez 'Simon'

PostPosted: Sun Aug 18, 2019 11:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

babblefish wrote:
Haven't installed it yet. My plan is to take pictures of the install and post it here.
Looking forward to seeing that.
I’m mechanically challenged and could hope you find it plug and play.

There was talk here years ago of a direct replacement halogen bulb that was brighter than stock and I planned to try that when I *needed* to replace my bulb but I’ve forgotten what that was and I’ve not needed to replace my headlight for several years.

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PNWbuddy
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Joined: 02 May 2019
Posts: 61
Location: pnw
Buddy125

PostPosted: Sun Aug 18, 2019 3:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

babblefish wrote:
Haven't installed it yet. My plan is to take pictures of the install and post it here.


I'm looking forward to your write-up on the install. Is there a trick to getting the top handlebar cover off? I end up using long handle needle nose pliers to reach in and screw the speedometer sleeve nut off of the speedometer, it is a pain both to remove and get it back on. If I recall correctly dropping the lower handlebar cover helps a little but it is still difficult. I've had good luck with LED headlights, even the cheap ones, on other bikes and will probably replace the Halogen with an LED on the Buddy.
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VSP
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Joined: 01 May 2012
Posts: 84


PostPosted: Sun Aug 18, 2019 3:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The deadlights (and all other lights except for the headlight) run off 12v DC. The two main concerns about selecting bulbs for deadlights is proper fit (I've seen some that are to long) and voltage range. At higher RPM's, the Buddy can hit 14-15v. The bulbs you have look like a great choice.


tenders wrote:
Hmm. I see what you mean. I’ve had good luck over the past few years with several LEDs intended for DC running on AC output from small engines like snow throwers and scooters. The Buddy deadlights are also running successfully on LEDs, BTW, using Voodoo’s harness kit.

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Alzero
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Joined: 10 Apr 2019
Posts: 15
Location: East coast waters
Lance Cali Classic 125

PostPosted: Sun Aug 18, 2019 3:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Buy a “daybreaker” headlight replacement which includes the led lamps AND a reflector. The light from an led lamp comes from a different place than an incandescent lamp, this means is will not project down the road in the same manner as the original lamp. And despite being much brighter it will not really throw much more light where you want it. The “daybreaker” is a copy of the Harley led headlight and works the same way. It’s not the cheapest solution, but it is the best.
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Alzero
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Joined: 10 Apr 2019
Posts: 15
Location: East coast waters
Lance Cali Classic 125

PostPosted: Sun Aug 18, 2019 3:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Buy a “daybreaker” headlight replacement which includes the led lamps AND a reflector. The light from an led lamp comes from a different place than an incandescent lamp, this means is will not project down the road in the same manner as the original lamp. And despite being much brighter it will not really throw much more light where you want it. The “daybreaker” is a copy of the Harley led headlight and works the same way. It’s not the cheapest solution, but it is the best.
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PNWbuddy
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Joined: 02 May 2019
Posts: 61
Location: pnw
Buddy125

PostPosted: Sun Aug 18, 2019 4:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Alzero wrote:
Buy a “daybreaker” headlight replacement which includes the led lamps AND a reflector. The light from an led lamp comes from a different place than an incandescent lamp, this means is will not project down the road in the same manner as the original lamp. And despite being much brighter it will not really throw much more light where you want it. The “daybreaker” is a copy of the Harley led headlight and works the same way. It’s not the cheapest solution, but it is the best.


FWIW I haven't noticed any issues using stock reflectors with LED headlights. The LEDs that I have tried were not only brighter to look at and be seen but lit up the road far better than the stock bulbs. Of course "YMMV"
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babblefish
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Joined: 04 Dec 2007
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Location: San Francisco
2006 Blur 180, 2008 Buddy St. Tropez

PostPosted: Mon Aug 19, 2019 5:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The biggest hurtle when trying to improve a Buddy's light throwing ability is the limited amount of power (amps) available from the stock alternator. I've tried a couple of different LED setups and they kinda worked and I tried an HID conversion which also kinda worked. I say kinda because at idle the power output of the alternator is so low that both LED and HID setups would flicker and sometimes go out. When working though, the HID threw out a LOT of light. One other problem with the LED is the light pattern thrown out is not ideal because of the Buddy's reflector design. It was designed for an incandescent bulb that produces light in all directions whereas most LED conversions produce light in just one or two directions, up and/or down.
I'm expecting the same limited light pattern from the new LED conversion kit I bought but as long as I get noticed by other drivers then it's all good. I like this kit because the LED body is very small so it doesn't smoosh the wiring on the bottom of the gauge cluster.

Of course there are high power Halogen bulbs available (60 -100 watts) but in order to produce more light they have to consume more watts which means more amps required from the alternator. Also, high power Halogen bulbs are not cheap and can cost the same or more than an HID conversion.

The only way I know of to handle the power issue is to convert the stock 6-pole stator to an 11-pole. Not quite plug-n-play but I'm thinking about giving it a go since I have an 11-pole stator and matching voltage regulator laying around. I was going to convert my Blur but since her engine is kaput and needing a rebuild I may as well put that stator to use.

For those with a Buddy 170i, you already have a 11-pole stator in your engine but I don't know how much reserve power is available after the FI system consumes it's share.

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PNWbuddy
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Joined: 02 May 2019
Posts: 61
Location: pnw
Buddy125

PostPosted: Mon Aug 26, 2019 10:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

buzzvert wrote:
I ordered and installed this one, taking cues from a Vespa kit I installed previously:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07KTXL7FW/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o03_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

The passive heat spreading is flexible and routes around the speedo cable nicely. I didn't have to modify the bulb holder. So far so good.

EDIT: I went with the 28W version as the 40W version, looking at the heat output spec would be borderline not only in power draw but also heat dissipation in a plastic assembly. The 28W version, lumenwise, is plenty bright enough.


I installed this same bulb today. No flicker at idle, bright. I like it.
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scootingbiscuit
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Joined: 23 Jul 2019
Posts: 3
Location: Tulsa
Buddy 125

PostPosted: Thu Aug 29, 2019 11:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

hi, got any pictures of light output?
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PNWbuddy
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Joined: 02 May 2019
Posts: 61
Location: pnw
Buddy125

PostPosted: Fri Aug 30, 2019 12:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't have pictures but it is a "night and day" compared to the stock halogen bulb. The H4 collar on the LED is adjustable in and out and that seemed to make a big difference in how the light projects in conjunction with the headlight housing reflector. It took some time at night finding what seemed to be the optimal position of the collar on the bulb.
The part of the light apparatus that houses the electronics separate from the bulb itself seems to get pretty hot, I hope that isn't a problem.
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PNWbuddy
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Joined: 02 May 2019
Posts: 61
Location: pnw
Buddy125

PostPosted: Fri Aug 30, 2019 3:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

LED high top, low bottom
hope this helps
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tenders
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Joined: 03 Dec 2018
Posts: 135

Buddy International 50 Italia

PostPosted: Sun Sep 01, 2019 4:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Helped a friend put this LED into his Buddy 50 yesterday. Agree with other feedback - easy fitment, bright light, small enough front-to-back to allow the light to be adjusted up and down around the speedo cable, and includes a little black box which I presume is the AC/DC rectifier.

This is a superior solution to the LED link I posted above. That particular bulb is still going strong in my Buddy 50 (stock), but blew out within two days of use on his Buddy (70cc BBK upgrade). His Buddy was putting out a steady 14V AC at the headlight junction. I have no explanation for the difference in performance.

PNWbuddy wrote:
buzzvert wrote:
I ordered and installed this one, taking cues from a Vespa kit I installed previously:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07KTXL7FW/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o03_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

The passive heat spreading is flexible and routes around the speedo cable nicely. I didn't have to modify the bulb holder. So far so good.

EDIT: I went with the 28W version as the 40W version, looking at the heat output spec would be borderline not only in power draw but also heat dissipation in a plastic assembly. The 28W version, lumenwise, is plenty bright enough.


I installed this same bulb today. No flicker at idle, bright. I like it.
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DeeDee
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Joined: 26 Jul 2014
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Location: Denver
buddy 170i

PostPosted: Sun Sep 01, 2019 11:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

For those of you who have installed the 28w from the amazon link. How hot do those ribbons get? It shows almost 6" from the mounting plate back. Will they melt the plastic housing if contact is made?
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PNWbuddy
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Joined: 02 May 2019
Posts: 61
Location: pnw
Buddy125

PostPosted: Mon Sep 02, 2019 1:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

After maybe 20 minutes of testing when I was adjusting the H4 collar position the heat sink loops were only warm. The in line black plastic box got quite hot though. I hope that doesn't become an issue or that mine isn't defective in some way.
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buzzvert
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Joined: 28 Jul 2019
Posts: 87
Location: Longmont, CO
Buddy 125 (2), lots of other bikes no longer in the garage

PostPosted: Wed Sep 04, 2019 3:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

PNWbuddy wrote:
After maybe 20 minutes of testing when I was adjusting the H4 collar position the heat sink loops were only warm. The in line black plastic box got quite hot though. I hope that doesn't become an issue or that mine isn't defective in some way.


Mine got hot enough that I mixed some thermal paste with super glue and stuck a little heat sink on it. Seems to keep it pretty cool now even though it's plastic-on-metal.
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babblefish
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Location: San Francisco
2006 Blur 180, 2008 Buddy St. Tropez

PostPosted: Sun Sep 08, 2019 9:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I just posted a how-to on installing the LED conversion, if anyone is interested.
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tenders
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Joined: 03 Dec 2018
Posts: 135

Buddy International 50 Italia

PostPosted: Sun Sep 08, 2019 4:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Fantastic work, babblefish, and I can confirm the process and fitment on the ‘09 and ‘14 Buddy 50.

That meticulous how-to deserves a direct link from this thread.

http://www.modernbuddy.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=32043
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