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My low beam Xenon headlight bulb burned out at around 82.000 miles. Tonight I changed it out with a new one. It took about 15 minutes to remove it and another 20 to install it. Here is the procedure I used.


The bulb is a Xenon D1S 35W which can be purchased on Amazon and other places. I chose to get one tonight at AutoZone. It was a Sylvania and cost $100.





First I removed the BMW roundel from the steering stem.





Then with a 1 1/16" or 27mm 6 point socket I removed the steering stem nut and washer.





I pulled the handle bar unit clear of the serrated stem and set it off to the right side of the padded tank.





I was now able to reach down and remove the large diameter dust cap from behind the light bulb. Pay attention to the orientation of the cap (open and close to the top) because there are some locking fingers along the edge that must engage a corresponding serration on the housing when put back into place.








Reach down and pull the plug at the end of the silver braided wire loose from the bulbs square base. Now the tricky part, fiddle with the wire bail were it goes underneath the square base until it comes free. Swing it up and the bulb will come loose and you can remove it from the bike. This picture shows the wire bail after the bulb is removed so you can see how the bail locks into the housing.





Insert the new bulb CAREFULLY so that you don't damage it or touch the glass tube with your fingers. Once the bulb is in position snap the bail into place again by fiddling with your fingers. Then plug the silver wire back into the square bulb base also by feel. This is the phase that added more time than it took to remove the old bulb.





Install the dust cap back (correctly) and put the handlebar unit back in place making sure it lines up with your front wheel. Add some blue Loctite to the nut and torque it down. I couldn't find the torque spec but I got mine pretty tight with a breaker bar. Reinstall your BMW roundel. Turn on your bike and start it up to make sure the bulb works. Put your tools away and go have that beer because you just saved at least an hours labor cost at your dealer.
 

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Wow, never knew that you can access the backside of the Xenon housing by removing the handle bars. Great info. Thanks

And you can't go wrong with Sylvania, Osram or Philips brand bulbs. Not worth to take a risk with one of the Chinese knock offs from Amazon or Ebay. The German Motorrad magazine tested H7 bulbs from cheap to top brand and no surprise, manufacturing precision is key to perfect light distribution and this is where the knock offs failed. They used a top of the art light testing system from a major producer.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Wow, never knew that you can access the backside of the Xenon housing by removing the handle bars. Great info. Thanks

And you can't go wrong with Sylvania, Osram or Philips brand bulbs. Not worth to take a risk with one of the Chinese knock offs from Amazon or Ebay. The German Motorrad magazine tested H7 bulbs from cheap to top brand and no surprise, manufacturing precision is key to perfect light distribution and this is where the knock offs failed. They used a top of the art light testing system from a major producer.
I spent a little time looking at how to do the job. I had heard that some folks could reach up under the faring and get at it but I've got big hands and could barely get up there. My brother said he removed faring panels and then the whole headlight assembly. I'm sure that way makes it easier to actually replace the bulb. I had never removed the handlebars before but figured that by removing that one nut should do it and sure enough it did. I was surprised the serrated stem came loose fairly easy.
 

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I spent a little time looking at how to do the job. I had heard that some folks could reach up under the faring and get at it but I've got big hands and could barely get up there. My brother said he removed faring panels and then the whole headlight assembly. I'm sure that way makes it easier to actually replace the bulb. I had never removed the handlebars before but figured that by removing that one nut should do it and sure enough it did. I was surprised the serrated stem came loose fairly easy.
Just make sure that you torque it to spec ( SWAG 90 Nm) and if required use the BMW prescribed Loctite
 
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And here I did the up and under; blind feely method, liking this much more however!

Great post up and pics, Jim! :)
I wonder if you didn't get Deb to do it for you...... 0:)
 

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I wonder if you didn't get Deb to do it for you...... 0:)
Shushhhhhh!

If she finds out she helped with my bike in a really tight situation.... I'll somehow owe her a Diamond! ;)
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Shushhhhhh!

If she finds out she helped with my bike in a really tight situation.... I'll somehow owe her a Diamond! ;)
If she does help you with your bike you "should" buy her a diamond. Many of us have done that without the help. >:)
 

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Just make sure that you torque it to spec ( SWAG 90 Nm) and if required use the BMW prescribed Loctite

I just got my official repair manual CD today and indeed the torque spec. on the steering head nut is 90 Nm with high strength Loctite.
 

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Thank you Jim for the tutorial again....You contribute nightly to the forum...

I just preformed this tonight and it took me forever to release the spring.

This is a quote from Jim

"Now the tricky part, fiddle with the wire bail were it goes underneath the square base until it comes free."

I would like to add a little clarity as it may save someone else time and frustration.

To release the spring...Take your index finger with your palm up and blindly stick your finger up under the base of the light....You should feel the edge of the spring. Now press upward with your index finger and the spring will release...Now take the bulb out.

Install the new bulb and close the bail to the spring.

To lock the spring....Stick your index finger up underneath the base of the light...blindly feel the edge of the spring...now center the spring and press inward and upward simultaneously and this will lock the spring...

Just adding to the woodpile here...


Paul
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Paul,
Glad you got the job done and thanks for adding the helpful tip about releasing and reattaching the wire bail.
Jim
 

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Thanks again Jim for this post. My low beam burnt out last weekend at the TTD event. New bulb from Amazon due here tomorrow. Following your post I easily removed the old bulb.

Duane
 

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Great post Jim!

I upgraded my headlights to the Top_Speed LED and removed both speakers which was a PITA. Removing the handlebars would have saved me a lot of time!
 

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Andy, Don't think Jim's procedure will help... Removing the handlebars only gives you access to the low beam bulbs. To access the high beam bulbs you still have to remove speaker boxes.

Duane
 

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Andy, Don't think Jim's procedure will help... Removing the handlebars only gives you access to the low beam bulbs. To access the high beam bulbs you still have to remove speaker boxes.

Duane
Thanks for the correction! Next time I want to change a headlight bulb, I'll probably remove the rear wheel! :surprise:
 

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Used these instructions to change out the adaptive central headlight Xenon bulb on my 2015 K1600GTS this morning.

Based on Duane's recommendation I installed an Philips 85415C1 D1S Standard Xenon HID Headlight Bulb purchased from Amazon for $49.97.

Easier than removing the entire headlight assembly but still a PITA job. Removing the handlebars was easy, but it still provides limited access to the rear of the central bulb. Everything has to be done by feel and the worse part is the wire bail clip that holds the bulb in place. PITA to remove, and PITA to reinstall!

Thanks to @Arizona Jim for this great thread, and @Gunnert and @Blackfin31 for their additional helpful comments.

I would like to make one correction. This Xenon bulb is used for both Low and High beam mode for the central adaptive headlight. The change in mode is done by the mirror adjusting the angle of the reflected beam.
 
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does proves it can be done, without the expense
 

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I just had the privilege to change out my low beam HID tonight... used the same bulb as Amorely... I saved a lot of money, but not simple getting it all back together. Took me 10 mins to get the bars off and the bulb out.. Getting the new one in was a total PITA... The bail spring is in the way, holding it up with 1 finger while trying to line up the new bulb... not easy.. the bail wire came off so I had to figure out where it went back... again not easy to see and then do it by feel... the stupid spring like inner ring fell out too... I finally tape the bail wire up out of the way, got the bulb with the spring ring in place, pushed it all together and worked to get the bail wire in place.. finally got it... I just hope it stays hooked whil I ride and hit bumps... time will tell.. the black cap took 30 secs to reinstall... worked perfectly when tested... Thanks Jim for the info and pictures... You guys input was a great help for sure and saved big money... took me about an hour or less... Just hope the bail holds while riding!!
 
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