Once again the touring riding season will be upon us and some (many?) of us will begin touring where night riding is just part of a day's ride
One cannot emphasis enough the value of good aux lighting for night riding. Some of you many wonder what kind of difference can it make. I have cut and pasted a recent post from LD Rider on comparing stock FJR lights with a set of decent HID's
Soltek HID lights
Here is a beamcast comparison shot taken 22ft from my garage door, bike up on the centerstand (PHID on the left, a Soltek HID on the right):
To give a more "down the road" appreciation, here is a FJR pointing down a back road with stock low-beam lit up:
Here is that same FJR in the same position, with the Soltek HID lit up:
Pretty impressive, no question.
However, as I mentioned before, there are a few issues to overcome with these lamps, and this goes beyond their amazing $800 US+ retail price. They are considerable in heft and girth. They are substantially bigger than any aux lamp we currently run in the LD community. Many brackets that currently carry the common PIAA 910, PHIDs, Hellas, etc lamps will NOT work with these Solteks.
Also, you truly, TRULY can not run these Solteks in the presence of any prevailing traffic. With the PIAA 910s or the PHIDs, you can occasionally get away with running those lamps on lonely interstates, as long as the median between opposing lanes is fairly large. This will not the case with the Solteks.
FWIW I run the new PIAA 600HID's and they have similar night time performance. Aux HID's are the way to go if you can afford them the lense is designed for the bulb and does not result in the flaring that HID replacement bulbs and ballasts produce.
Good lighting is a result of a combination of a bulb system and a lense system designed to work together. I used to runhad no further range down the road.
As an aside in the last 200 years no motorcycle has every had a worse stock headlight than the piece of crap BMW put in the BMW 1150R. Susan was invisible to me at 50 meters in daylight when I knew she was behind me