First I have to preface this whole project by stating that not all of the components I used for this mod are "readily available" to the general public. Most items can be purchased, but it won't be cheap. Almost everything you need can be purchased at your local Victory Dealer (that's right boys... Victory). For the new Victory Vegas, there is an accessory HID headlight upgrade that I think lists for around $400. This kit will get you some very critical components, like the primary reflector, the bulb, and the ballast. What I believe will be missing is the proper connectors to plug into the bulb and the ballast, as these are built into the main wire harness of the Vegas to make this a "true plug and play" accessory.
Now I only built an HID setup for the right hand headlight, for one specific reason. Since it is nearly impossible to have Hi/Lo functions on and HID setup, the left light would retain it's standard setup to allow Hi/Lo functions.
If you look in the center of the left light below, that metal reflector is needed to reflect the light back into the optics such that you get an evenly distributed beam of light. It also shields the direct light from oncoming traffic. The HID bulb is kind of like a mini arc welder in a glass tube. If you were to look directly at the bulb, it would blind you. This reflector is why I did not opt to buy one of those "H4 plug and play" kits that are listed for off-road use only. Most of these kits just include a bulb that just fits right into your headlight housing, and a ballast. These kits are listed as "off-road only" because they will blind oncoming traffic. If you've ever accidentally looked at a welding arc before, you would know what I mean.
With that said, you need to first remove the primary reflector and bulb mounting surface from the Victory headlight. Using a rotary cutter, or similar device, cut out the mounting surface/reflector mount/reflector all as one piece. You will end up cutting out a shape that follows the yellow outline in the picture below. Once you have this, you need to go to work on the FZ1 headlight.
I'm not going to go through all the detail of removing the headlight from the bike. That should be rather intuitive, and only involves unplugging some wires and taking out some screws. Since I did not know if this would be a successful project at first, I purchased a second used headlight assembly from a board member (thanks Cullen). The difficult part was figuring out how to separate the headlight housing to modify and install the new reflector. That baby is glued together with some wicked stuff. The only way I found to get the housing apart was to throw it in the oven and warm it up to 180 degrees. Then with some careful prying, I was able to get to the reflector. Looking at the picture below, I show the parting line for the housing, and the location where I found it to be most effective to pry it apart.
Now that you have the housing apart, you need to remove the reflector by unscrewing the two adjustment screws all the way. The third point is held on by a socket type snap feature, and can just be pryed off to finish removing the reflector. Be careful not to scratch the surface of the reflector. You will need to remove some material from the FZ1 reflector to make room for the HID primary reflector mount. If you refer to the picture below, the cross hatched red area is what you will need to remove. The reflector is made of a soft and very brittle material, so proceed with caution. I used a small hand file to remove the material.
Now we start glueing things back together. The position of that primary reflector is absolutely crucial. If it's even slightly out of focus, the headlight is useless. Using a high temperature epoxy, you need to bond the bulb mount and primary reflector assembly to the modified FZ1 reflector. I used some stuff called "Pig Putty", which was recommended by an electrical engineer I work with. Pay special attention to keeping the inner surface of the two reflectors flush (refer to picture below).
This is what the bulb looks like:
Another consideration was where to put the ballast. The only place I found was under the seat right behind the battery on the left hand side. Then of course you need to wire it in. I ran a separate circuit, running the power off a solenoid that runs my V1 and grip warmers as well. The solenoid is powered by the right front running light circuit, much the same as has been described for wiring in grip warmers many times.
Results: This is like having a little piece of moving daylight stuck right in front of your bike. That, and the fact that it's drawing 25 valuable watts less power. This might just be the best mod I've done to my bike yet.
Looking from the front, HID on the left, stock light on the right.
Last Updated: 04-08-2003
Copyright © 2003-2005, FZ1 Owners Association, All Rights Reserved.
The marks YAMAHA® and FZ1® are used under license from Yamaha Motor Corporation, U.S.A.
The information on this web site is NOT approved or endorsed by Yamaha Motor Corporation in any way.
The information contained here is for entertainment purposes only. No information presented here is to be relied upon for issues of rider safety nor to replace the services of a qualified service technician. Any attempts to follow or duplicate any of these procedures are done so completely at your own risk. By reading the information on this site, you agree to assume complete responsibility for any and all actual or consequential damages that may arise from any information presented herein.