To follow up with what "etuke" mentioned, I am interested in what people are saying about this as well. I have a '13 636 and want to upgrade the headlights. Just don't know if I should go HID or LED, and of those two, what is a really good brand to get? I've looked into DDM tuning and they look pretty flemsy. I've heard of yanashiki but don't know much about it either. So my question is a two part, HID or LED which is better, and second what is a really good brand to get?
I am still running the halogen bulbs on my '09 for a number of reasons -- personally I would love to go to LED.
The issue with LED is the amount of heat the CREE LEDs generate. The amount of light for the power used is phenomenal; and it should be standard on every bike sold IMHO. The problem is that heat. There is enough of it concentrated in a small enough space that the standard solution involves a fan assembly on the back of the bulb. I keep checking the dimensions in the drawings offered on each of the bulbs I have seen for sale -- seems like all of them add at least 3/4" to the 'back' of the bulb..... I've gone and measured the gap between my bulbs and the fork. Less than 3/4".
The clearance between the end of that fan and the fork legs when you go to full steering lock may not exist. If you steer full lock, you could either damage that fan, or knock the 'bulb' out of alignment, or simply not be able to steer as far over as you should be able to.
LED would definitely be my preferred solution; but it doesn't look to me like there is a 'good' answer there for my application as of yet.
That leaves HID. Short answer is only install one, and make it a 'smart' 35 W unit. You will get more than adequate additional light.
The biggest issue with HID, is the amount of power they draw as they come up to full operation. When they are at full temp, they draw less power than the halogens would...... that's a good thing. Motorcycle electrical systems are very weak. Just strong enough, to deal with the loads designed in. Adding more power demands causes accelerated wear, particularly to the alternator. HIDs do NOT always use that same low power consumption.
The current draw at start up can be 3-5 times what is used during 'normal' operation. That spike in demand is outside what the EE at Kawasaki designed for. When you are talking about one 35W HID, the issue is not extreme. Steady state draw 35W/12 = ~3 Amps. ..... the EE at Kawasaki had to account for two 55W halogens, 110W/12 = ~9.2A If you decide to go with 55W HID, 55W/12 = ~4.6A steady state..... still well below the budget for STEADY STATE.
During start up, when the draw is 3-5 times steady state, the 35W HID will draw between 15 and 9 A -- slightly over the budget (if you want to call 140% 'slight'), for a short period of time.
If you do the 55W single HID, during start up it will draw between 23 and 14 A..... rough.
Doing two 55W HID, starting up together...... as much as 46 A is a problem..... nearly 500% of the designed load. 28 A is still significantly beyond the designer's expectations.