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garcenw

Using H4 headlight bulbs in 1998 - 2001 VFR800: any issues?

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I’m contemplating using H4 headlight bulbs in my 1998 VFR800. I see from reading the forums that some have fitted H4 bulbs by trimming the tabs of the standard H4 bulb to fit Honda’s oddball headlight bulb socket. My concern is for the wires, connectors, and switches in the headlight circuit. A standard H4 is rated at 60W/55W, while Honda’s VFR bulb is rated at 45W/45W. A standard H4 will pull 33% or 22% more current, depending on whether it’s in high beam or low beam. For those that fitted standard H4 bulbs, especially in hot climates, have you had any issue with melting harnesses?

 

Thanks.

 

-        Walt

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Welcome to the asylum garcenw from the land of Low Weather Expectations. Seems to me I bought a few H4 bulbs before I put in LEDs and never had any issues. Never even knew to consider it. I think the R/Rs are sheading so much extra power, the H-4 bulbs may lighten the load on the R/R. But that is a guess on my part. Someone may come along and straighten me out.

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I doubt you would have any issue with 55/60W bulbs as these are very common in other headlights so it seems likely that the standard H4 plug would be specified to be used with these. I have had past experience of a plug melting issue with a single 80/100W H4 bulb however.

 

The headlight fuse is 20A so that will be enough for 240W total at 12V; as you switch from low to high I guess it is possible you could have both sets of filaments live instantaneously so 230W max, just below the fused rating.

 

Like Maxswell I happily used 55/60W bulbs in my bike without any consideration for its electrical health. 

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Been running standard H4s for years with no issues. You don't trim the lower tabs just bend 'em back slightly so the base fits tight in the mount. If you want the full potential of the lights you'll need to upgrade the wiring. Eastern Beaver sells a good kit for this with options for accessory wiring.

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I've always used standard H4 bulbs. I've only changed a couple, but I trimmed the tabs and had no issues with fit. I also went to the higher wattage bulb, and have had no

problems with melted connectors or anything of that ilk.

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On my 4th Gen. swapped out my 45/45 's with H4 55/60 's about 4 years ago. 

 

Reason I did was I could not find an oem bulb anywhere near me. Nearest Hondas dealer is a 100 mile RT.

 

No wiring problems, but a few months before that I had the fairings off, so I went and cleaned and dielectriced every connector I could reach as a preventive measure.

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No problems here over the years with several sets.

Don't trim / bend the wrong tab and mount them upside down.

:goofy:

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Had them in my 99 for well over a decade. 

 

Zero problems. 

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The 5th gens in the rest of the world use 55/60w bulbs, so unless Honda downgraded the wiring harness just for the US bikes (to save weight?!), there should be no issue whatsoever.  

 

But if you're the kind of person who worries about that kind of thing, you may not like the usual "bodge" mentioned above re bending the tabs.  H4 bulb tabs are positioned to precisely locate the bulb, and therefore the bulb filaments, relative to the reflector, so bending them or removing them is likely to have an effect on the filament position.  Probably not noticeably, however, as reflector headlight systems do not appear to be all that precise to begin with.  There are "H4 shims" available, but this is also not exactly an ideal solution because they force the entire bulb to be located several mm rearwards from the OEM position.  You might be able to modify the headlight reflectors instead, but this would require splitting the headlight unit (using an oven) to allow the reflectors to be removed and worked on.

 

Which is why most people just bend the tabs!

 

Ciao,

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Regarding those locating tabs, I had initial concerns that removing the 6 o'clock-position tab would allow the light to vibrate, shake, wobble. However there is a powerful spring to hold them in place and I've never seen and indication of this. So, No. Big. Deal.

 

But for the best lighting and conspicuity, for fifth gens, install LED (H4 replacement) bulbs. Fabulous, with no oncoming-vehicle annoyance. 

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I installed regular H4 bulbs. The harness doesn't even get warm to the touch (on an 80 degree F day).

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