Replacing low beam headlight bulb

Delray

Active member
There are several threads on changing headlight bulbs in this forum. I just sifted through a lot of them. This post condenses the best information to make someone's search easier.

I was riding this morning when the yellow triangle warning light came on with the alert, "LAMP!" I was near a shopping plaza so I pulled in and rode up to a big store window where I could see my reflection. Sure enough, my headlight was out. The bright bulb worked fine and the brake lights were fine.

Overall conclusions after replacing the bulb:
-- You don't have to remove any tupperware.
-- It's a 5-minute job the SECOND time you do it. Figuring it out the first time will take 20 to 30 minutes.
-- BMW's spec for the bulb is H7 55W (watts) 12V (volts). All you need to look for is H7 Basic. Any auto parts store has them. Walmart has them. You don't need an OEM bulb.
-- There are threads on this forum that get into bulbs that are better and brighter. I went with Sylvania H7 Basic because it is rated at 270 hours, while the premium Sylvania bulbs were rated at 150 hours (which means more frequent bulb changes).

PRO TIP: You have to do this job by feel. Use your cell phone camera to reach up and take pics to see what you’re working with.

PRO TIP 2: When you get the old bulb out, practice putting it back in place like it was the new one. I got pretty good at it, so when it was time to put the new bulb in, it took minutes.

The owners manual recommends removing the upper right fairing so you can see the back of the headlight assembly. Four screws, easy enough. But you still can't see any of the parts you need to manipulate. I found removing the fairing entirely useless.

TO REMOVE LOW BEAM BULB

1. Turn the handlebars all the way to the right, like you're making a right turn.
2. Reach up behind the right (low beam) headlight and pull off the round rubber boot covering the entrance to the bulb housing. Push it to the side out of the way if it’s attached; pull it out and set aside if it's not attached to the bike.
3. Unplug the bulb assembly – just pull straight back. There are two metal prongs like you'd plug into a wall.
4. There is a vertical wire clip shaped like a horseshoe that locks both sides of the bulb assembly in place. It is open at the bottom. On each side, squeeze the wire IN at the bottom and guide it back to release it from the metal hooks on each side. The clip is attached to the bike and won’t fall to the floor.
5. Once both sides of the wire clip are loose, lift the wire up like a garage door and pull the bulb out underneath it.

TO INSTALL NEW LOW BEAM BULB

1. Wear protective gloves or be very careful you don't touch the bulb. Fat from your fingers can cause it to blow out.
2. Lift the wire horseshoe clip about halfway up, like a garage door about to receive a car.
3. Push the new bulb under the clip and through the hole into the headlight. The flat part of the new bulb base faces up, in the 12:00 position. Bring the wire clip down over the bulb assembly to hold it in place until you lock it.
4. Using your left arm, reach up and hold the bulb assembly solidly in place. Make sure it is flush in the hole. Use your other hand to lock each side of the wire clip in place – push in and forward, then release so it expands and locks into the metal hook. This is the part that may test your patience. Eventually you will feel a satisfying “click” on one side as the wire clip locks in place. The other side is much easier.
5. Plug the bike’s wiring into the bulb assembly and replace the rubber boot.

I started up the bike, the headlight was lit and the warning light was gone ... $16 for the bulb vs. what a BMW dealer would charge for the whole operation.

Here is an inadvertent self photo ("Dear in the Headlight") that I took when the bulb was out. You can see the wire horseshoe clip locked in place. I practiced locking it and unlocking it until I was proficient and then put the new bulb in. You can see the round rubber boot pushed out of the way at the 4:00 position.

EDIT: Several months later I had to replace the low beam bulb on a different GT. I made some notes in a second post below.

Behind headlight bulb socket.jpg
 
Last edited:

Ceesie76

Member
Thanks for a good how-to. Just did this this morning. What an absolute pain. You're right about not having to remove the fairing, although it did help a little bit. The rubber caps on my C650 sport are not attached to the bike so do come off. I managed to bend one of the connection prongs on the new bulb when trying to put the wiring connector back on, so had to take the bulb back out, straighten the prong and start all over again. In the end I managed.
If you get stuck by the side of the road trying to do this in the rain at night, forget it, you will be utterly miserable. Thanks BMW for making this as hard as possible. Anyway, just ordered two Osram long life bulbs to have as spares.
 

iBob

New member
My bulb went this morning.
I have fumbled the old one out and ordered a generic H7 12v on Amazon.

I have practiced on clipping the retaining springs in place and now feel confident that when the bulb arrives I will be able to do the job.

Thanks for taking the time to make this post.

Cheers,
Bob
 

iBob

New member
I got the job done!
To make life easier I marked top dead centre with a marker and applied tape to keep the bulb from falling out whilst clipping the spring clips in place. Took a little while, but soon, like a Jedi I had mastered the art.

May the Bulbs be with us...Always!

iBob
IMG_5470.JPG
 
D

Deleted member 1216

Guest
There are several threads on changing headlight bulbs in this forum. I just sifted through a lot of them. This post condenses the best information to make someone's search easier.

I was riding this morning when the yellow triangle warning light came on with the alert, "LAMP!" I was near a shopping plaza so I pulled in and rode up to a big store window where I could see my reflection. Sure enough, my headlight was out. The bright bulb worked fine and the brake lights were fine.

Overall conclusions after replacing the bulb:
-- You don't have to remove any tupperware.
-- It's a 5-minute job the SECOND time you do it. Figuring it out the first time will take 20 to 30 minutes.
-- BMW's spec for the bulb is H7 55W (watts) 12V (volts). All you need to look for is H7. Any auto parts store has them. Walmart has them. You don't need an OEM bulb.
-- There are threads on this forum that get into bulbs that are better and brighter. I went with a Sylvania "Basic" H7 because it is rated at 270 hours, while the premium Sylvania bulbs were rated at 150 hours (which means more frequent bulb changes).

PRO TIP: You have to do this job by feel. Use your cell phone camera to reach up and take pics to see what you’re working with.

PRO TIP 2: When you get the old bulb out, practice putting it back in place like it was the new one. I got pretty good at it, so when it was time to put the new bulb in, it took me minutes.

The owners manual recommends removing the upper right faring so you can see the back of the headlight assembly. Four screws, easy enough. But you still can't see any of the parts you need to manipulate. I found removing the faring entirely useless.

TO REMOVE LOW BEAM BULB

1. Turn the handlebars all the way to the right, like you're making a right turn.
2. Reach up behind the right (low beam) headlight and pull off the round rubber boot covering the entrance to the bulb housing. Push it to the side out of the way. It’s attached to the bike so it won’t fall to the floor.
3. Unplug the bulb assembly from the bike – just pull straight back. There are two metal prongs like you'd plug into a wall.
4. There is a vertical wire clip shaped like a skinny horseshoe that locks both sides of the bulb assembly in place. It is open at the bottom. On each side, squeeze the wire IN at the bottom and guide it back to release it from a metal hook. The clip is attached to the bike and won’t fall to the floor.
5. Once both sides of the wire clip are loose, you can pull the bulb out.

TO INSTALL NEW LOW BEAM BULB

1. Wear protective gloves or be very careful you don't touch the bulb. Fat from your fingers can cause it to blow out.
2. Lift the wire horseshoe clip about halfway up, like a garage door about to receive a car.
3. Push the new bulb under the clip and through the hole into the headlight. The flat part of the new bulb base faces up, in the 12:00 position. Bring the wire clip down over the bulb assembly to hold it in place until you lock it.
4. Using your left arm, reach up and hold the bulb assembly in place, then use your other hand to lock each side of the wire clip in place – push in and forward, then release so it expands and locks into the metal hook. This is the part that may test your patience. Eventually you will feel a satisfying “click” on one side as the wire clip locks in place. The other side is much easier after that.
5. Plug the bike’s wiring into the bulb assembly and replace the rubber boot.

I started up the bike, the headlight worked fine and the warning light was gone ... $12 for the bulb vs. what a BMW dealer would charge for the whole operation.

Here is an inadvertent self photo ("Dear in the Headlight") that I took when the bulb was out. You can see the wire horseshoe clip locked in place. I practiced locking it and unlocking it until I was proficient and then put the new bulb in. You can see the round rubber boot pushed out of the way at the 4:00 position.

View attachment 2679
Thank you very much for the detailed instructions! Never thought about taking a picture before starting the job. Those clips are just like what I have on my Nissan, although instead of 1 horse shoe clip on the bike the Nissan has 2 clips, royal pain in my back bending over trying to hook both clips back together. Now, off to O'Reilly's to get the bulb(s).
 

Delray

Active member
"It's a 5-minute job the SECOND time you do it."

I wrote the above in my original post. I had to install a new low beam bulb today and by George, that quote is true.

It took less than a minute to get the old bulb out. I put on a pair of powder-free gloves and it took a couple minutes to get the new bulb in.

I was slowed a little trying to lock the horseshoe-shaped wire back in place. I took the new bulb out to practice locking the wire and it was easy, which made me realize the bulb assembly hadn't been flush in the bulb socket. After I got the bulb sitting right the horsehoe clip went right into place.

One other thing I noticed was my round rubber boot was not attached to the bike (2013) like it was with my '16 and '17. No biggie. It slips on and off easily either way.

Two photos show horseshoe clip 1) unlocked and 2) in place with no bulb in the hole.

Here's a video I found with instructions and some helpful visualization ...

IMG_6021.jpgIMG_6053.JPG
 
Last edited:

Bubboon

New member
I just got the dreaded LAMP! indicator on my dash yesterday. Thanks to everyone who contributed to this thread, replacing my low beam bulb was a snap! Much appreciation and gratitude to those who blazed the trail and made the job much easier for me! Bravo!!! 👏🏼
 
Top
AdBlock Detected

We get it, advertisements are annoying!

Sure, ad-blocking software does a great job at blocking ads, but it also blocks useful features of our website. For the best site experience please disable your AdBlocker.

I've Disabled AdBlock
No Thanks