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Prospective Superhawk owner with questions

Old 08-29-2015, 04:08 PM
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Question Prospective Superhawk owner with questions

I saw my first Superhawk at the San Mateo motorcycle show in 1997. I was struck by the minimalist appearance and how much it reminded me of a hunting wasp. I had a poster of one on my office corkboard for several years. Now I'm finally considering buying one. (Well, actually, there's two I'm looking at, a black '99 and a red '01.) But ... I have a few questions I'd like to pose to people with plenty of Superhawk experience.

To start with, I have artificial knees (I got left-turned 16 years ago, totalling my customized '91 VFR750F3 under me), and I've never regained full range of motion. I can sit on a Superhawk with stock pegs, but it's not entirely comfortable. It's a strain on my knees. I've found a thread from a couple of years back that mentioned Superhawk adjustable rearsets, in particular the Danmoto or the Cycle Pirates 360s. Has anyone used these or any different rearsets to move the Superhawk's footpegs down and forward, instead of up and back, to open up the knee angle a bit? Is there a specific set folks recommend? I've also seen the Gilles Tooling, but I'd prefer not to be spending that kind of money just on footpegs.

Do the rear brake lever and shifter also need to be moved in this case?

Speaking of shifting ... I have between ten and fifteen degrees range of motion in my left ankle. Shifting on the last bike I had, a CBR929RR, was possible but very tiring, because I basically had to shift from the hip. (And after my damaged knees gave out and had to be replaced, I couldn't ride it at all any more.) So I'm giving really, really serious thought to a power shifter in the long term. Does anyone have any recommendation for power shifters that work well on the Superhawk? When I was considering one for my CBR929RR, I was looking at Translogic, but I don't know what else is out there and honestly, I'd prefer not to spend almost $900 on one if I can find a less expensive one that still works well. Any advice here?

Finally, what is the wisdom of the knowledgeable when it comes to maximizing the light output of the headlight? I'm a big believer in lots of bright white light on the road at night, but I don't want to blind oncoming traffic. I'm also a big believer in LEDs, but I'm not sure they're quite there yet when it comes to replacing halogen headlamp bulbs.
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Old 08-30-2015, 01:29 PM
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Expanding a little on my last question, I seem to have basically four headlight options:
  1. Keep running a stock 60/55W H4 bulb;
  2. Try a PIAA Platinum series 60/55W, which PIAA claims to be equivalent light output to 110/100W;
  3. Install a 80/60W, 100/55W or 100/80W H4 halogen bulb;
  4. Try a LED bulb like the Philips LXR7-SW57 (claimed output 3300LM) or the Cyclops CIL-LEDMD-H4 (claimed output 3800LM).
  • Option 1 gives me a nominal 1100LM. I'm used to four headlights on my Volvo XC70 and, honestly, often wish I got more light out of them. Half as much light as my car's low beams when I'd already prefer those to be brighter just doesn't seem like a happy-making thing on a motorcycle. My CBR929RR had dual headlights, and I often considered putting 80/60W bulbs in them.
  • Option 2 ... well, I have PIAA Platinum Ultra Whites in my Volvo's high beams now. And truth is they don't seem to put out noticeably more light than the Sylvania Silverstars I had installed before them, though they do seem a little whiter. (And the Silverstars didn't seem dramatically brighter than a generic bulb, either, though again they were visibly whiter.) This option would probably get me whiter light than a generic off-the-shelf H4, but I'm not very convinced it would give me usefully-more light.
  • Option 3 would definitely get me more light. 100W H4s seem to be rated around 2200LM on high beam. It should put me roughly on illumination par with the Volvo's low beams. It would also give me nearly twice the current draw and three to four times the heat load — heat dissipation is IR, remember — and I don't know the long-term impact on the headlight wiring. I used to have 100W Hella 162 driving lights on my '70 Camaro SS350, but I had them connected to individual Hella 20A relays fed off their own 12ga circuit directly off the battery. I've never tried running 100W bulbs on a stock headlamp relay and circuit, but I can't see it working out well in the long term. I've had GM headlight switches fail with stock sealed-beams because they tried to make the same circuit breaker, built into the headlight switch, both protect a two-lamp low-beam circuit and supply enough current for a four-lamp high beam circuit. Startlingly, this trying to pull a quart out of a pint pot didn't work out well. Can anyone weigh in on this with respect to the Superhawk's headlight circuit?
  • Option 4 sounds attractive for a number of reasons. I've switched over almost entirely to LED home lighting for the same set of reasons and am extremely happy with it, and I love my LED flashlights (I may never use my 6D MagLite again). An LED emitter should outlast the motorcycle, will draw as much as 50% LESS current than a stock bulb, and should give very good light quality. The few comparison photos/videos I've found that show the Cyclops and a stock H4 side by side in the same shot show very clearly that the Cyclops is obviously throwing much more and whiter light than the stock bulb. Where the doubt comes in is the light pattern resulting from a LED emitter in a reflector and lens designed for a tungsten-halogen filament bulb. They have very different light emission patterns. Does anyone here have first-hand experience using an LED bulb replacement in a Superhawk? How well does it work?

(Yes, I try to do as much as possible of my research before I jump. Why do you ask...? )

Last edited by Mystic Zen Biker; 08-30-2015 at 01:43 PM.
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Old 08-30-2015, 03:55 PM
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#1 is to get the Eastern Beaver headlight harness to get a feed directly from the battery. That will make your stock light SUPER BRIGHT.

I personally would try that first before doing anything else, because it's such a drastic difference.

James
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Old 08-30-2015, 05:56 PM
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You could always spend the money on a HID retrofit from The Retrofit Source Inc (an actual retrofit, not just the "HID" light in the wrong headlight housing)

Do a search here. A lot of info here. I just did a retrofit myself and couldn't believe how easy it was!

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Old 08-30-2015, 06:48 PM
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Originally Posted by thedeatons View Post
#1 is to get the Eastern Beaver headlight harness to get a feed directly from the battery. That will make your stock light SUPER BRIGHT.

I personally would try that first before doing anything else, because it's such a drastic difference.

James
Thanks James, I would never have thought of switching out the headlight harness. Definitely making a note of that.
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Old 08-30-2015, 06:51 PM
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Originally Posted by CruxGNZ View Post
You could always spend the money on a HID retrofit from The Retrofit Source Inc (an actual retrofit, not just the "HID" light in the wrong headlight housing)

Do a search here. A lot of info here. I just did a retrofit myself and couldn't believe how easy it was!
I just got back from looking at the '01 Superhawk, and discovered the owner actually has a HID conversion in it,though he normally keeps a stock bulb in it for registration purposes. I hasn't considered HID because I knew that just putting a HID lamp in the stock housing doesn't work well. But I will definitely check that option out too, particularly if part of the work is already done.
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Old 08-30-2015, 07:08 PM
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So, your headlight has a projector inside the housing, like this? If not, you just have a HID bulb in a housing that is not made for that type, like you mentioned.

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Old 08-30-2015, 09:04 PM
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Originally Posted by CruxGNZ View Post
So, your headlight has a projector inside the housing, like this? If not, you just have a HID bulb in a housing that is not made for that type, like you mentioned.
Oh, sorry if that was unclear. Yeah, his conversion is not a full retrofit, it's a bulb conversion, but the ballast is already installed, so maybe that might save me some work if I decided to go that route... Or, it might not.

I honestly don't really know where to start with a full retrofit conversion like this one. I'd need to do a lot more research before taking that leap. Is it street legal?

(...on further thought, I realize the answer to that question may vary state by state.)
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Old 08-30-2015, 09:08 PM
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Oh, and by the way.Consider that "prospective Superhawk owner" changed to "impending Superhawk owner". I'm buying the '01.
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Old 08-31-2015, 10:08 AM
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Crux, what are the specs on the stage 1 did you end up using ?
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Old 08-31-2015, 12:47 PM
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Jury is still out on LED conversions. I have given up for the time being.
Too bad you're ending up with a red SH. You know they are the second fastest color?
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