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You already know that a motorcycle has several vital components. Some enable the vehicle to move and steer, while others enhance the overall safety of riding in different conditions.
A headlight is one of those parts that are absolutely necessary for your safety, especially in low-light conditions.
Although it can’t actually protect you during a crash or impact, it can reduce the chances of any impact happening at all. This is why it’s crucial that you have a high-quality, reliable headlight.
Take a moment to read the article below as we review some of the top motorcycle headlights. We’ll also discuss some buying factors that can make it easier for you to choose one.
Our 8 Top Rated Motorcycle Headlights Reviewed
WISAMIC – Super Bright Light
This Wisamic headlight is among the best choices if you’re looking for easy installation. It’s a plug-n-play light that’s super bright.
It’s packed with high-performance Osram LED lamps, cutting through the dark. The projector lens is built to last, resisting shock and vibration so that you can use it regardless of the terrain. Another thing adding to the durability is the aluminum housing.
The light is IP65 waterproof and has a lifespan of over 50,000 hours. It projects 2800Lms @ 30W on low beam and 4000Lms @ 45W on high beam with a color temperature of 6000K-6500K.
It’s much lighter than a standard bulb, which makes your bike more visible from a distance. Plus, it’s also bright enough to ride in foggy weather. The headlamp measures 5.75” and is completely round.
SUNPIE – Universal
This universal 7’’ round LED headlight fits many different motorcycles. It’s approved by the USA Department of Transportation and 100% legal to use on the road.
It’s a 1.5A 24V LED headlight emitting 6000K, so it’s ideal for pitch black as well as fog and low-light conditions. It has two modes, allowing you to choose between high and low beam options.
The black die-cast aluminum housing holds a clear PC lens measuring approximately 7×3-7/8’’. It’s IP67 waterproof, which means you can use it in the rain and snow just as well.
Its innovative design and projector lens makes the headlight highly visible and suitable for many different vehicles. It’s highly popular among Harley riders, but it fits many other brands as well.
The package includes a 7-inch LED headlight along with H4 to H13 adapters for easier installation.
SEALIGHT – Unique Design
Sealight is among the most unique headlights out there. It has LED bulbs, providing better visibility and brighter output than ever.
It’s important to mention that these are safe to use on the road. The light won’t blind oncoming traffic or disturb other drivers in any way.
The LED chips and patented beam pattern design eliminate dark spots, emitting high and low beam. Plus, the light is designed as plug-n-play, meaning that it requires no special tools or skills for installation.
All you have to do is install the locking ring and the rubber. This prevents moisture and dirt from entering the construction.
Finally, you install the bulbs with no extra wiring needed. The entire process should take about 20 minutes.
Kuryakyn – Increased Visibility
Kuryakyn allows you to increase your visibility regardless of the weather. It’s ideal for nighttime, although its visibility isn’t as strong during daylight.
This one has a color temperature of 5,800K, which is close to the color temperature of daylight. For this reason, it works better in low-light conditions than in broad daylight.
Still, the increased power and extended lifetime make this a smart choice. With 3.6a high beam and 1.8a low beam, the headlight allows visibility with reduced current draw.
It’s DOT approved while also meeting FMVSS and SAE requirements. It uses standard wiring but will maybe need a few changes before you can install it depending on your bike’s wiring.
It fits several different motorcycles such as Harley and Yamaha, but make sure to check its exact measures and whether they fit your vehicle.
TRUCKMALL – Additional Lighting Effect
You might want to check this one if you’re looking for durability and additional lighting effects. The product fits pretty much all vehicles, depending on the wiring, so some might need an H4 to H9 adapter.
The lights come with high-intensity LED chip, delivering 4000lms on high beam, 2600lms on low beam, and 2880lms for fog lights. As such, this headlight is much brighter than most similar products.
With its polycarbonate lens, the headlight is resistant to shock and can work in temperature from -40°C to 80°C. The new design allows better heat dissipation, ensuring longevity so that the lights can last up to 50,000 hours.
The color temperature is 6000K, providing visibility during night and foggy weather. It’s DOT approved and safe to use on the road at any time. Also, it requires no particular installation since it’s a plug-n-play product.
Z-OFFROAD – Anti-Scratch Design
These halo lights are much brighter than most stock lights, thanks to the LED chips. They cover larger areas, drawing extra attention on the road. Still, you don’t have to worry because these are safe to use and won’t disturb ongoing traffic.
The polycarbonate lenses are tough and durable. They’re easy to clean and won’t get scratched easily, even with everyday use. The lights have an anti-scratch feature that allows them to stay looking good in harsh conditions.
These create a wide spread of light, using the newest Osram LED chips. As such, the lights are ideal for nighttime and foggy weather. They emit 4200lm in the high beam and 2800lm in low beam.
Also, the high-quality aluminum housing is sealed waterproof, dustproof, resistant to shock, and corrosion. The kit includes a 7’’ headlight and two 4.5’’ fog passing lamps.
LEDUR – Easy Installation
If you want something highly efficient and still easy to install, you should check this Ledur set. It features two pieces and three modes, allowing you to use them in any weather and at any time.
You can choose between high and low beam as well as a strobe flashing mode. The projected distance of the lights is anywhere between 100m to 200m.
The lights are made with high-quality LED chips in a die-cast aluminum housing. The lens is equally as durable and resistant to scratching and shock. On top of that, this one is IP68 waterproof and requires no maintenance. Plus, there’s an environmental protection aluminum alloy casing that keeps everything well-protected.
The service life of this set is at about 50,000 hours. The kit comes with the two 7’’ lights, two brackets, four hexagonal screws, two hexagonal wrenches, and a switch.
SUPAREE – Optic Design
This 7’’ round LED headlight is somewhat universal, fitting a wide range of different motorcycles and other vehicles. It’s simple to install, although you’ll maybe have to make a few minor adjustments depending on your bike.
The light is advertised as a plug-n-play product with a built-in cambus. Installation shouldn’t take more than twenty minutes if the light fits your bike.
It’s approved by DOT and SAE, so it’s entirely safe for use on the road. It won’t disturb ongoing traffic or blind any other drivers. It includes 5pcs high-intensity LED chip that’s much brighter than stock lights.
The optic design is what makes the difference, providing high-performance directional lighting. The new technology provided safer light sources that replace old halogen and HID headlights.
Shopper's Guide for Motorbike Headlights
The size of the headlight you’re buying should match the size of the housing unit you have. Generally, the size affects how well the lights will fit and look.
Type of Motorcycle
Most lights are rather universal, but you should still check if they’ll fit your bike before purchasing. Some are only meant for more specific motorcycles.
In most cases, the manufacturers list the exact bikes that the lights fit, so make sure to check if your vehicle is on the list.
As we said, some are more universal than others. For this reason, you should check if the specific model fits your bike in terms of size, current draw, wiring, and light housing.
You’ll probably have to adjust your bike unless it’s 100% compatibility.
Easy to Install
Most headlights are plug-n-play, which means they are simple to install. The entire process usually takes about 20 minutes and doesn’t require any particular tools. You just plug the light to the socket where your old light was.
However, some are easier to install than others, which is something you’ll have to keep in mind.
Safe and Certified
One of the main reasons why people install new headlights is to make their riding safer, especially during nighttime. However, some lights can cause accidents by shining too brightly and disturbing the ongoing traffic.
For this reason, you should only consider safe and certified products. In most cases, lights will have at least a DOT certification that’s legally required, but many have SAE and E-mark approvals as well.
SAE, otherwise known as the Society of Automotive Engineers, was created to deliver technical standards in motor vehicles. These standards are often referred to by the US Traffic Safety Administration, although they don’t hold any legal credit.
On the other hand, vehicle manufacturers created E-Marks. The primary purpose was to ensure that any electrical stuff installed onto a vehicle would pass some type of testing. This kind of safety certification shows that your headlight was thoroughly tested and is safe to use.
DOT, or Department of Transportation, is the only certification that carries any legal credit. This means that all bulbs must be DOT-approved in order to be permitted to use on the road in all 50 states in the USA.
While having all the certifications does imply that the product is well-made and safe, DOT is the only one that you absolutely must have.
High & Low Beam
LED lights are rather bright, so they can often be a bit blinding the other drivers. For this reason, you should consider headlights that have a low and high beam, allowing you to switch as you ride.
Keep in mind that not all models have this option, which is why you should check beforehand. The option to switch from high to low beam allows you to turn the brightness down a bit as required, which is quite useful.
Color and Brightness
Brightness is often referred to as lumens and is the level of light your bulb emits. Since you’re probably looking for something brighter than the lights you already have, you should check lumens as well as wattage.
However, there’s a huge difference between halogen and LED bulbs. In other words, LEDs produce as many lumens as halogen lights but at a much lower wattage.
So, a halogen bulb might produce 450 lumens with 40W, and an LED bulb can deliver up to 4000 lumens. This is why checking the lumen count is a more effective way of ensuring brightness than wattage.
You probably noticed we mentioned Kelvin units. It’s a unit used to tell the color temperature, which should help you figure out how the lights perform at nighttime and daylight. For example, daylight is measured in 5400K, so a similar headlight will be as white as day.
Now, having an LED that’s as bright as day might sound great for nighttime use, it’s nearly invisible during the day.
When it comes to color itself, you’ll usually come across solid white as the most basic option. However, other options are available, as well.
Some manufacturers incorporate apps and remote controls that allow you to alter the coloring. Though this sounds fun, it’s something to be careful with. Having anything but white headlights is forbidden in many countries, so make sure to check the law.
Types of Bulb
Halogen bulbs are probably the cheapest. They’re not the most durable and tend to break rather quickly.
More Reading: 7 Top Rated Bulbs for Motorcycle Headlights
A lifespan of a halogen bulb is around a few hundreds of hours, which is definitely not enough for a motorcycle. In most cases, halogen bulbs are rather bright at first, but they dim significantly as time goes by.
LED lights are the most popular type that’s durable and rather bright. However, these are usually a bit tricky to install. Still, they’re bright and remain so for at least 50,000 hours.
LEDs are a bit more expensive than halogen, but that shouldn’t matter as much since they’re much more durable and long-lasting.
Xenon lights are a new technology that might be even more efficient than LEDs. However, at this time, Xenon isn’t road legal.
Much like all motorcycle gear and equipment, headlights are available in many sizes and styles. This affects the overall cost, so you can find some pretty affordable models as well as some more expensive ones.
Make sure to consider other things like the quality of materials and durability in relation to the price.
Types of Motorcycle Headlight
Multi-Directional LED Headlights
One of the newest systems is called the multi-directional LED. The system is known for the LEDs that create a unique lighting pattern, which in turn offers better illumination. In most cases, this system can be programmable to deliver a certain light output.
One thing that’s important to mention is that this is a rather new system. For this reason, it might take you some time and effort to find the one that fits your bike.
It’s the most expensive kind of system that requires complete replacement once it burns out. Luckily, it has a long lifespan, so it’s not something you’d have to do as often.
Another well-known system is called a reflector system, featuring a tungsten filament bulb. In this case, a reflective material surrounds the bulb, providing adequate illumination by reflecting the light.
This is among the oldest systems known in today’s market. These headlights are relatively cheap to make, which is why they don’t cost as much in retail. However, they use a lot of energy and in most cases, burn out rather quickly as well.
This is a bit more complicated than the reflector system, featuring reflectors and lenses. In this case, the lens has the job of transmitting the light.
The projector system allows the light flow to gain direction, which is something that the reflector models cannot do. In turn, you get a more intense light that won’t blind riders coming from the opposite direction.
Projector headlights are usually more compact than others while projecting wider and farther light. However, they’re more expensive than reflector lights.
Tips on How to Set-Up Your Headlight
Ways to Clean It
Cleaning the inside of the lens isn’t too difficult since it’s only residue you’re dealing with. Accessing the inside of the lens is more of an issue.
Before you can get to cleaning, you have to remove the entire headlight from the motorcycle. It’s the most time-consuming part that people usually struggle with. You should consult with your user manual since the process isn’t the same for all bikes.
Once you remove the headlight, you can remove the bulb. Pour some denatured alcohol into the body of the headlight and rinse it. It’s going to dissolve and remove the residue, but you’ll maybe have to repeat the process several times.
Do some rubbing if it still looks muddy. Use a bit of terry cloth to rub around the surface in case there’s still some residue.
Replacing a headlight might require some knowledge and skill, depending on the exact type you go for. However, the entire process is never too complicated, and everybody can do it by just following a few steps.
The first thing you should do is secure your bike so that you can work with it. Place it on flat terrain, and its kickstand. Of course, you can ask someone to help you by holding it in place as well.
Every bike comes with a stock headlight and all the hardware, so you want to be careful when handling this. Loosen the screws and take them out one by one.
Pick a small spot where you’ll put all the small items that you need to put back in place later on.
Make sure you’re gentle when removing the old bulb. It’s usually secured by some barrier which you’ll have to remove before you take it out. Loosen the screws and try to take the bulb out without breaking it.
Once you have the old bulb out, you should follow the same process in order to install the new one. Take your time with this because it’s essential that you put all the screws back in place. Plus, you don’t want the headlight to go loose at any point, so it’s important that it doesn’t wobble.
It’s recommended that you have a spare headlight with you at all times. This is to provide some security in case your headlight burns out in the middle of the road when you’re traveling across the country.
Making the Light Brighter
One of the most significant issues with headlights is that they burn out. Some bulbs are weaker than others, but there’s something you can do to help solve the problem.
The first thing you should do is ensure that the issue isn’t with the electrical system. Poor wiring can create a problem, affecting the performance of your bulb. For this reason, you should have a professional check this for you if you don’t have as much experience.
Another probably simpler solution is to get a brighter bulb. As we said, some are stronger, so you might want to try that.
Frequently Asked Questions
What's the best motorcycle headlight bucket with speedometer?
This is something you can usually find on old models, so you might want to try at vintage stores. Ducati and several other Italian manufacturers used them in the 60s and 70s.
If you were to look at old Ducati motorcycles, you could see exactly where this part used to go. Today, this isn’t as commonly used, which is why it’s trickier to find, especially the one that would fit a newer motorcycle.
Are motorcycle headlights customizable?
While there’s a way to customize nearly every motorcycle headlight, this isn’t always recommended. These lights are usually made according to road laws and regulations that any customization might mess with.
However, some models are more customizable than others. For example, any halogen bulb can be converted into LED with a bit of skill and time.
Again, make sure only to customize the parts you know won’t affect the DOT certification of your bulb.
As we mentioned, motorcycle headlight is among the most critical parts of your vehicle. It has a crucial role in your safety on the road, which is why you should pay special attention to it.
It should be bright enough to make you visible and help you see the road ahead. However, some lights can be too bright, blinding the ongoing traffic, which is something you want to avoid.
For this reason, take time when choosing one of the headlights we reviewed. Use the information from our buyer’s guide to pick one of these models, depending on your motorbike.