By: Hector Jamieson

This summative article is all about halogen/normal automotive headlight bulbs. But before we get into a short discussion, let’s first have a look at the technical side of things aka the specifications. This will help you understand it all a bit better plus you’ll sound super clever when you talk lights

Understanding the specifications:

Kelvin refers to the colour of the emitting light or the colour appearance of the bulb.

  • 3000K=warm white, 3500K=white, 4000K=cool white and 6500K is basically natural daylight

Lumens (lm) refers to the light output or the total amount of light emitted by the bulb.

Watt or Wattage (W) refers to how much electricity the light bulb will use. More wattage does not equate to a brighter light. In fact this is no place more evident than in LED (light emitting diode)lights where these lights sometimes use as little as 10W or 5W to produce an even brighter light than bulbs using 55W. Technology is advancing at a rapid pace and as automotive bulbs become more energy efficient we’ll see bulbs using less and less watts to emit a light.

I’m not gonna talk about Volts (V) cause we all know that’s the stuff can kicks the living daylights out of you when you touch a life wire.


X-Treme Vision H1, H4, H7 55W 12V 130% 450hrs 3500K +/- 1500lm
Vision H1, H3, H4, H7, H11 55W 12V 30% >400hrs   +/- 1500lm
Vision Plus H1, H4, H7 55W 12V 60% 400hrs   +/- 1500lm
White Vision H1,H3,H4, H7, H8, H11 65W 12.8V 60% 450hrs 3700K +/- 1860lm
Racing Vision H4, H7 55W 12V 150%      
Eco Vision H1, H4, H7, H11 55W 12V   1500hrs   +/- 1500lm
Colour Vision H4, H7 55W 12V 60% 400hrs 3350K +/- 1500lm
Crystal vision   65W 12V 30% 400hrs 4300K +/-1140lm


Night Breaker H1, H4, H7 55W 12V 110% 300hrs    
Cool Blue Intense H1, H4, H7 55W 12V 20% 450hrs 4200K +/- 1550lm
Ultra Life H1, H4, H7 55W 12V   1200hrs   +/- 1550lm
Silver Star 2.0 H1, H4, H7 55W 12V 60% 450hrs   +/- 1550lm

A bulb producing 30%-150% more light is basically just brighter and technically it should shine further than your standard halogen bulbs. Meaning, you’ll be able to see further down the road at night. Eco or energy saving bulbs generally produce close to the same light in terms of brightness than standard bulbs but they are however designed to last longer (measured in hours [hrs]) and they tend to do exactly that.

Xenon-effect bulbs usually emit a blue-ish/white-ish light is generally considered a fashion statement (it’s a fashion I like). But these bulbs generally makes it easier for you to see at night due to the ”white” light and makes you more visible to other road users due to the light contrast. A good quality blue-ish/white-ish light can get close (okay maybe) to the same performance of a xenon or HID (high intensity diode) light although it can by no means be compared to such lights

After market halogen bulbs are a relatively cheap way to upgrade your vehicle’s standard bulbs to help you see better, further, react quicker to hazards and be more visible to other road users. The aftermarket bulbs most widely used are those produced by Philips and Osram. These bulbs are available at most automotive parts retailers as well as at most motorcycle shops.

Depending on the brand and type of bulb you buy, you can expect to fork out in the region of R350 – R550 for a set of two (park lights are often included in the packaging).

Ooh!! Before I forget, specifically with vehicles it is advisable to change both bulbs simultaneously for maximum light and safety.

Have a look at these links to help you decide which bulbs to buy:





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BMW R-nineT Scrambler Review

At the start of this year I had the opportunity to ride the latest edition to BMW’s “retro” stable, the R-nineT Scrambler.

Now back in the day (way before I was born) the adventurous adrenaline seeking folk converted their street bikes to scramblers by throwing on some knobbly rubber and tweaking the suspension and handle bars to suit dirt riding. And this is exactly what those white coats at BMW did. They took the new R-nineT and fitted taller suspension (125mm travel front & rear), modified the handle bars, threw on some Metzeler Karoo 3 rubber (naturally there are other minor changes as well)and whala…the BMW Scrambler was born.

scrambler 3

This is a “bare bones”, basic machine, but as we’ve got to know from BMW “bare bones” in their terms simply means less electronics. With this air/oil cooled 1200cc motorcycle you will get heated grips, ABS, trip meter, clock and Akrapovic exhaust as standard.  So let’s talk power. In essence this bike makes use of the same DOHC 1170cc (aka 1200) boxer motor that did service in the previous range of GS, RT and R models, which kicks out 110hp (115Nmat 7750rpm in a bike that weights 220kg fully fuelled. This of course means that the scramble accelerates like something that’s been chased by all sorts of angry monsters. With those Karoo 3’s singing on the road and clinging for dear life this insanely cool bike (in my opinion) will get you to 220km/h (according to the speedometer).

scrambler 2

It is important to keep in mind that although this bike looks as if it can chew up any off-road trail, it is merely a modified road bike not purpose built to follow in the tracks of something like a GS. This bike sounds fantastically brutal and comes standard with guaranteed fun and coolness. With all the fun we had I got close to 290km of range from its 17 litre fuel tank. The seating position on the scrambler is comfortable, but I suspect that unless you are a diehard all weather biker the retro thinly cushioned leather seat will start to eat into your rear after 150-250 kilometres. This bike is not built with practicality and comfort in mind, it was built with fun and coolness in mind. The handling is confidence inspiring and the 1200 scrambler is reassuringly easy to handle in traffic. The Brembo brakes provide hands full of ABS assisted safe braking. This motorcycle is exceptionally customisable with accessories like a headlight grill, engine bash plate and many other accessories available from Roland Sands Design (RSD), Touratech and Wunderlich. And when it gets to where the rubber meets the road and you are scared of some brown moments with those Karoo 3’s in the rain….fear not. Michelin Anakee 3 and Continental Trail Attack 2 rubber can be fitted to those retro spoked rims

Locally there are two derivatives of the scrambler available with the difference being the absence of LED indicators, Traction Control (ASC) and a retro tank and an approximate R20 000 drop in price. Pricing is around R196 000 and R178 000 respectively.

scrambler 1

The Verdict

To be frank…BUY IT!!! On condition that it is not your only motorcycle and you are ready for fun. The scrambler is a versatile machine with enjoyable performance ideal for those daily commutes with its elevated seating position. So go on….grab a hand full of throttle and smile.

The Numbers

Engine 1170cc air/oil cooled DOHC horizontally opposed two cylinder
Max Power 82kW/110hp @ 7750rpm
Max Torque 115Nm @ 6000rpm
Final Drive Shaft
Front Suspension Right-way-up 43mm Showa forks with 125mm travel
Rear suspension Sachs shock with 125mm travel
Front Brakes Dual 320mm discs with 4 piston callipers
Rear Brakes Single 265mm disc with 2 piston calliper
Wheel size Front 120/70 R19
Wheel size Rear 170/60 R17
Wet weight (fully fuelled & oiled) 220kg
Fuel Capacity 17L
Service Intervals 10 000km or as indicated by an authorised BMW dealer

By: Pavlovski

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