Product – Vision X 7” Vortex LED Headlight XIL-7RE
Approximate Price - £300 (varies by Country)
Bike – BMW R100GS (previously equipped with Yamaha RD350LC Headlight).
Value for Money *****
Ease of Installation *****
Bikes of the era of the R100GS and before had poor headlights. Previously Touring motorcycle owners would equip Halogen spotlights, these are bulky, and draw a lot of power, which is in short supply from aged alternators, particularly if like me you run heated clothing in the winter. A more recent update has been to fit Xenon units, this technology has now been superseded by LED (Light Emitting Diode). The LED option draws less power and the modern systems give impressive light outputs for relatively low current, the 7 inch Vortex headlight gives out up to 4,210 lumens for only 33W of power. With a typical Halogen bulb, expect a 55W bulb to be giving out around 800 lumens and it will draw around 4.5 amps, so LED is far more efficient and reduces demand on the electrical system.
See the video review below to see how bright these lights really are!!!!
My R100GS is equipped with an RD350LC headlight unit, I did this for cosmetic reasons, as the stock lamp never looked right, and always looked undersize, so my bike was equipped already with a 7” headlight unit, which made fitment easy. There is a 5” version of this headlight also available, so do check this carefully before ordering, as most of these lights are designed originally for cars, however Vision X do have a range suited to Harley Davidsons, so check the dimensions in advance. The light unit comes with a H4 adapter as standard. Here is the link to the fitting instructions and technical information.
Unlike many cheaper versions of this headlight, this unit is genuinely DOT approved and carries the ‘EMark’ printed on the thick polycarbonate lens, this will be checked by an MOT inspector. Also genuine Vision X products will have the correct reflector fitted, so the light pattern is correct for your region, again required for an MOT. So my advice is, although it may be possibly to get cheaper Ebay LED lights, stay away from these and stick with branded products to be sure you don’t get any MOT or reliability issues.
The light emitted from the Vortex is strong and has great coverage as you would expect, however for a fuller high beam, equip a ‘High 4 Adapter’ this will illuminate all 5 LED’s at once (low and high beam) for a more complete high beam. As standard the low and high beam are switched separately.
Also this model is equipped with an LED Halo ring, this is a daytime running light. Not only does this make your bike stand out by enhancing appearance, this uses almost no power and is bright enough to bring you to the attention of oncoming motorists. The Halo uses the existing H4 earth, so has it’s own single live wire, so this can be connected to come on with ignition, parking, or only when the lights are on, so is configurable.
I got to hear about Vision X through the auxiliary lights offered by Adventure Spec, and purchased the triple LED 5” X-mitter bar, (see my review on this here https://www.narrowlaning.com/equipment-reviews/visionx-xmitter-led-spotlight/ )
So I still have plenty of spare alternator capacity to keep these in place. So now I keep the Xmitter bar linked to high beam as well, so in total I have a high beam that consists of, the Halo ring, 3 low Beam, 2 high beam, and the 3 Xmitter LED’s.
This Headlight is fantastic, being critical, the only downsides to this unit is that the rear of it is a little greater volume than the original light I took out, so in my case I did need to move around the wiring within the headlight casing to get the unit to fit, but fitting to the housing itself was perfect. If you have a 7” headlight already the whole changeover can be done in 10 minutes. Secondly the VisionX Vortex light is a Premium LED Product, so the price is higher than others on the market. However, this said I did receive great customer support from Vision X Europe, to help me to select the correct options, and verification of my questions. Then received such a well-engineered device, that exceeded expectations in performance and build quality, so I have still rated the ‘value’ as 5 stars. You do indeed get what you pay for, so having read some horror stories online about ebay purchased Chinese LED lights, I’d choose Vision X every time.