After I got the Avenger coil plate and 55/60w H4 halogen fitted in my motorcycle, touring at night has been a lot safer than earlier and majority of the time, I have been able to maintain 80+kmph at night. But I finally decided to add another 55w light, in the form of a spot lamp, last night.
This is due to the fact that there have been times, especially on the single lane roads, when the lights from the oncoming traffic blinded me so much that I couldn’t see a pedestrian or a cyclist on the road.
If you can’t see them, you can’t avoid them, so I decided to do something about it.
I had three options to increase the visibility:
Get coil rewinding done and fit a 100w headlamp: I ruled this out, since it would have had a major impact on the reliability of my motorcycle and that is something I am not ready to compromise with.
Get HID: This was the most expensive option, HIDs (High Intensity Dischargers) are quite good at providing illumination and would have provided me the best lighting setup out of all the options. However with a single ballast and xenon costing a minimum of Rs. 2000 if imported and Rs.3000 if bought from Delhi, it was ruled out for the time being. In any scenario, if I were to add an HID, I would add it in a spot lamp. That way I would get to retain my current headlight, which runs off the magneto. Since HID is dependent upon battery power i.e. needs DC setup and I don’t want to be totally dependent upon the battery.
Get a spot lamp with 55w halogen: This was the most logical and cost effective option for me, spot lamps are cheaply available and can be easily fitted to the battery, without messing with the current wiring. This meant, if some thing was to go wrong with the spot lamp or its wiring, it wouldn’t cause any problem to my bike’s wiring and I would still be able to use the headlight. Add to this, I do plan to purchase HID later on and it would come in handy, even at that time.
So yesterday I went to Karol Bagh with Shamik, Manik, Eric, Deepak and Sparsh, to hunt for a spot lamp. We visited quite a few shops and checked out at least half a dozen spot lamps, before deciding on the pair which looked pretty decent and well built and got it fitted on my motorcycle.
For Rs.150 a piece, this is relatively cheap (even cheaper options are available) and provide decent illumination.
Total cost for the spot lamp setup turned out to be:
Spot lamp (including halogen) = Rs. 150
Bracket, wire and switch = Rs.45
Labor = Rs. 50
Total cost = Rs. 245 (US$ 6)
Not a bad deal at all, though its beam is a little wider than what I wanted, but with the low beam of my motorcycle, I get much better light and I can easily see the road and people/traffic even at 80+kmph. Though I am yet to test it on a single lane highway, which I would most probably do this weekend.
Oh yes, the mechanic that fitted them on my motorcycle said, they will suck all the power from the battery in 5 minutes. However on the ~20 minutes ride back home, I had the spot lamp on and I must have used the electric starter 3-4 times, plus horn numerous times and indicators to check if there was a significant load on the battery, but it didn’t looked it.
However it would be only after the continuous use of 3-4 months and a major ride that I would be able to confirm if they have any adverse effects on the battery or not.