I was searching for a replacement lightbulb for the G650GS. Now that I’ve been spoilt by the superb LED headlamps of my R1200GS, the stock bulb that came with the bike was a little too dim for my liking. And so I went on to do some research for some replacement lightbulb.
The G650GS use a single H4 55/60W bulb for both dipped and high beams. I wanted something brighter, and I wanted something street legal. And so I immediately dismissed all the high-powered “off-road only” bulbs. And since the road regulations in Singapore are pretty strict with headlamp modifications, I dismissed the HID and LED conversion units too.
I have previously used a set of Ring Automotive’s Xenon Ultima in one of my car which I have since sold. Ring Automotive promises a whopping 120% more light. I recalled that while it was appreciably brighter than the stock headlamp bulb, the longevity of the bulb wasn’t great. It blew way faster than I expected it to.
Philips – a renowned automotive bulb manufacturer, markets it’s Philips X-tremeVision that promises a whopping 130% more light as compared to a standard halogen bulb. Wow! That’s A LOT of light! All these while still maintaining street legal. In fact, based on the marketing numbers alone, I was almost on the verge of purchasing a set of these.
After a little bit of online research, I came across BulbFacts.com’s pretty comprehensive test on some of the brightest headlamp bulbs available. Here’s basically a summary of the (street legal) halogen bulbs they’ve tested:
The clear winner here was Osram’s Nightbreaker Unlimited! And although Osram claims 110% more light vs Philips’s X-tremeVision 130%, in BulbFacts.com’s test, Osram’s bulb was significantly brighter. And that the Osram was S$45 a pair vs Philips $58 a pair from where I purchased it, it was a double win for me!
Replacing the H4 headlamp bulb on I don’t have pictures comparing the old stock bulb vs the Osram’s Nightbreaker Unlimited, but I could immediately tell that it was SIGNIFICANTLY brighter after the replacement. Though not as bright as the LED headlamps on my R1200GS, but the new halogen replacement on the G650GS now gives me added confidence riding in the dark.
Just about 2 weeks back, while riding at night, a riding buddy of mine commented to me over the bluetooth comms:
“Did you change you headlight bulb?”
“Yeah I did! Why did you ask?”
“Ooh. I thought it looked quite a bit brighter than I remembered it to be.”
Yup! The additional brightness IS noticeable! I highly recommend the Osram Nightbreaker Unlimited as a street-legal replacement bulb for the standard stock halogen!