HOW TO: Installing HIDs in an MP3 500
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MP3 500
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Mon Aug 31, 2009 9:02 pm quote
Hi Everyone;

Since I havenít seen much in terms of how-to for the MP3 500, I thought I would provide one on upgrading to HID lights.

I opted to go with a 35W (each) HID kit from DDM Tuning. I read many positive reviews, and found that their price was very competitive with many units on e-Bay that had less "backing".

I decided to purchase the 35W kit, as many folks indicated it was plenty for most purposes; in addition, it matched the same wattage draw as the original halogen lights. The kit can be found here: http://www.ddmtuning.com/index.php?p=product&id=101&parent=60 Specifically, I ordered the H8 bulbs at the 5000K color temperature.



The set above shows 1/2 of the two-light kit. Please note that wiring adapter harness on the right was already ďcut upĒ by me in preparation for shortening it. This is the result:



To make everything hold together, I opted to use a piece of 1Ē shrink tubing over the shortened adapter harness:



With that done the kit is essentially plug-and-play. Begin by taking out the old bulb and inserting the new HID bulb (that has a two-wire pigtail). The pigtails plug into the ballast unit, which I tied up to the vertical supports behind the front side panels. Note that I used a stainless steel cable tie for the bottom. Just in case the plastic ones were to crack or break, the unit wouldnít fall to the ground. In retrospect I could have very easily just used a piece of steel or copper wire to tie it up.




On the driverís side, for example, I tucked the extra wiring up above the overflow tank and tied it off to prevent movement. All in all the installation was very simple.

Now for the results. DO NOT buy the 55w units! These 35W units are like the noon sun Ė the 55W units would be like a couple of arc welders.

These first two show a single low-beam HID vs. a single stock low-beam halogen:



These next two show a single high-beam HID vs. a single stock high-beam halogen:



This last one shows what both low-beam HIDs look like (my choice):


I had gone back and forth on whether or not to put the HIDs in either the high or low beams. Hereís my pros and cons analysis:

Low Beams: they provide great bright, wide coverage, but you run the risk of being occasionally flashed for others thinking you have your brights on. While I have not, I think this could be partially mitigated by adjusting your low beams to point a little lower towards the ground.

High Beams: they provide bright lights on the alternative light setting, but the beams are still pretty narrow, and I like the wider coverage so I can see the animals on the sides of the roads where I live.

In all honest thereís still plenty of room if you actually wanted to install ALL FOUR as HIDs, but I donít think itís necessary. Like many before me, I have a feeling I will probably never use the brights again.

Anyway, thatís my quick write-up. Iíll be glad to answer any questions as they come up.

Zang

Last edited by zangort on Tue Sep 01, 2009 7:58 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Tue Sep 01, 2009 1:44 am quote
I was wondering what all the discussion was about regarding HID lights. Now I understand. This looks like it could be my next mod after I put in the Stebel horn.

Great pictures and a step by step direction. The pictures comparing the lights were great. Thanks!
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Tue Sep 01, 2009 2:51 am quote
Pefect timing! I was about to start a topic asking which HIDs to get for the 500 and any installation suggestions. Great write up!
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Tue Sep 01, 2009 4:59 am quote
I could be wrong, but in Va. it use to be illegal to have HIDs on the low beams. Has anyone checked on this? Need to call my buddy who is a State Inspector today.

Wayne B
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Tue Sep 01, 2009 1:45 pm quote
nice write up and pics of the new lights installed. Thumbs up.
Wow what a difference. This will be on my shopping list shortly, even though I don't do much night riding it will be nice to have it when needed.
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Tue Sep 01, 2009 2:51 pm quote
My two-pennorth - if installing HIDs on both low and high beams, do the 'bothlamps on' mod. This ensures there is no 'dark time' before the high-beams strike. Personally I'd only install on the low beams, so the 'passing' (flash) function is instantaneous in lighting up the high-beams.
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Tue Sep 01, 2009 3:37 pm quote
So, what bulb types are the high and low beams on the MP3 500?

Wayne B
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Tue Sep 01, 2009 3:44 pm quote
All four are H1 H8 35W

Last edited by jimc on Wed Sep 02, 2009 6:01 am; edited 1 time in total
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Tue Sep 01, 2009 3:58 pm quote
Thanks Jim

Wayne B
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Tue Sep 01, 2009 4:03 pm quote
Zangort,

What is the bulb color mean on the site you ordered from? Also good find on price,Congrats.Awesome light!
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Tue Sep 01, 2009 4:09 pm quote
Google 'colour temperature' (or perhaps 'color temperature').

Tungsten lighting is around 3,500K (Kelvin). The 'North light' (cloudy day looking North at noon in the UK) is 6,500K - what TV systems are set to (if set properly). 8,000K - obscene 'blue' HID lights in chav cars.

4,500K is probably a good compromise. 6,000K should be the legal limit IMHO.
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Tue Sep 01, 2009 4:50 pm quote
zangort,

What color did you go with? I am torn between 5,000 nice pure white and 6,000 that has just a little blue, to show off I have HIDs

Wayne B
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Tue Sep 01, 2009 4:57 pm quote
Get the 5000. They'll know. 5000 seams brighter. Definitely whiter.
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MP3 500
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Location: Four Corners
Tue Sep 01, 2009 7:41 pm quote
jimc wrote:
All four are H1 35W
Hi Jim;

A correction on that - the best bulbs for the MP3 500 are H8 bulbs, which is also what the manual specifies.

Zang
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MP3 500
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Tue Sep 01, 2009 7:43 pm quote
Scootover wrote:
What is the bulb color mean on the site you ordered from? Also good find on price,Congrats.Awesome light!
I opted for the 5000K bulbs, which are about as close to true white as you'll typically find (without getting any bluish tinge).

Also consider that if you have any cranky cops who want to pull you over for being "too bright", blue-tinged HID bulbs are a dead giveaway that it's an aftermarket mod.

Since our scooters are already a bit odd, the true white bulbs almost look as if they're from the factory. (Besides, what officer is going to know for sure?)

Zang
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MP3 500
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Tue Sep 01, 2009 7:52 pm quote
kevink wrote:
I was wondering what all the discussion was about regarding HID lights. Now I understand. This looks like it could be my next mod after I put in the Stebel horn.
If you're going to do it, I'd personally suggest doing it all at once, while you already have all of the front plastic panels off.

The only reason to delay would be if it's a money issue and you need to wait.

Zang
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MP3 500
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Tue Sep 01, 2009 9:09 pm quote
PLEASE TAKE NOTE:

On page two of the techtips for installing your H-8/ H.I.D. www.ddmtuning.com make sure you read the (Tech Note). Polarity is not important with a standard bulb but is for the HID. They are flipped on the MP3 500, you will need to extract the pins from the supplied harness. Using a "Pin Extractor", small jeweler screw driver or a stout paper clip. In their connector it is a plastic nub you will have to move. Reversal of polarity will not harm the unit but it will not work either. Also note they also sell "Raptor Brand 35w HID Kit" for $39.95.

20408.GIF
SNAP-ON Pin Extractor

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Tue Sep 01, 2009 9:23 pm quote
Maynard Schweigert wrote:
They are flipped on the MP3 500, you will need to extract the pins from the supplied harness.
I can tell you that this was NOT the case for my 500. The wiring harness I received was perfectly fine as-is when I first tested it, and the polarity was not a problem. Then again, maybe mine was just a fluke.

The only reason why I took apart and shortened the adapter for the H8 kit was so that I didn't have 18" of extra wiring floating around under the cowling. The kit should work fine right out of the box; shortening the harness is up to the individual.

I suppose that, if for some reason you receive a harness with the wires backwards, you'l probably need a small screwdriver to push back the plastic clip that retains the pin inside the connector - there's no need for a special tool (I don't think a paper clip would've been strong enough, though). When shortening it that's all I did, while I had someone else pull out the wires.

I too looked at the Raptor kits, but since on our scooters they're a bit more exposed to the elements (being right under the front wheels) and get rattled a bit more than in a car, I opted for the regular DDM kits with the lifetime warranty, over the cheaper units with the one year warranty. Personal preference, I suppose.

EDIT: If you note in my pictures vs. the pictures on pg. 2 of the tech tips, my harness was in fact wired differently. I have a sneaking suspicion that DDM has changed the harness polarity since that particular tech document was created.

Zang
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Wed Sep 02, 2009 1:45 am quote
Re: HOW TO: Installing HIDs in an MP3 500
zangort wrote:
Hi Everyone;

Since I havenít seen much in terms of how-to for the MP3 500, I thought I would provide one on upgrading to HID lights.
[]
Specifically, I ordered the H8 bulbs at the 5000K color temperature.
JimC mentioned H1 35 watts and Zang ordered the H8 5000 35 watt bulbs, which should I get?
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Wed Sep 02, 2009 4:00 am quote
alex4747

Next time just do a "PostReply" instead of a "Quote" and you won't double the size of the thread with one post. Quote is used when you are asking a question regarding a specific post. You should have done a "Quote" in the post that answered the question about the correct lights being H8's, not to the original post.

Thank You
Wayne B
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Wed Sep 02, 2009 6:06 am quote
H8 is the right type - sorry folks, my brain-fart - posts amended above as necessary and thumps-up given to those who got it right!
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Gilera Fuoco
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Wed Sep 02, 2009 3:33 pm quote
Hi peeps I fitted the same kit and have been using it whilst over the isle of Wight which has dark narrow country roads which has proved It weight in gold plus if you order two sets as needed for the fuoco/ mp3 500 through acuman alarms you get £35 discount by using code HIDx2 in the promo box
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Wed Sep 02, 2009 3:36 pm quote
Scootover wrote:
Zangort,

What is the bulb color mean on the site you ordered from? Also good find on price,Congrats.Awesome light!
they should be 60000k which equites to platinum White which is ideal and does not look like a boy racer
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Wed Sep 02, 2009 3:53 pm quote
nik2003black wrote:
Hi peeps I fitted the same kit and have been using it whilst over the isle of Wight which has dark narrow country roads which has proved It weight in gold plus if you order two sets as needed for the fuoco/ mp3 500 through acuman alarms you get £35 discount by using code HIDx2 in the promo box
The set he has listed isn't bad. It comes with two lights, so perfect for the Fuoco at $65 or 105.8 pounds.
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Wed Sep 02, 2009 4:03 pm quote
nik2003black wrote:
Scootover wrote:
Zangort,

What is the bulb color mean on the site you ordered from? Also good find on price,Congrats.Awesome light!
they should be 60000k which equites to platinum White which is ideal and does not look like a boy racer
ITYM 6000K - and that will be 'just OK' - but still rather 'blue' at night where everyone else has 3500K tungsten. At least 6000K isn't outrageously offensive. I'd buy 6000K if that was the lowest available, but would prefer a slightly lower colour temperature.
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Wed Sep 02, 2009 4:20 pm quote
jimc wrote:
nik2003black wrote:
Scootover wrote:
Zangort,

What is the bulb color mean on the site you ordered from? Also good find on price,Congrats.Awesome light!
they should be 60000k which equites to platinum White which is ideal and does not look like a boy racer
ITYM 6000K - and that will be 'just OK' - but still rather 'blue' at night where everyone else has 3500K tungsten. At least 6000K isn't outrageously offensive. I'd buy 6000K if that was the lowest available, but would prefer a slightly lower colour temperature.
hi yep sorry got bit carried away with my 000 like I said had very good customer service with acuman for Uk petps who are doing an upgrade and they helped me greatly whilst in isle of Wight for the scooter festival and using dark unlit narrow counrty roads
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Wed Sep 02, 2009 5:50 pm quote
I have reread the thread again to find the reason why one wouldn't replace both the high and low beams with HID. JimC noted the delay, which can be dealt with by the "both beams" mod.

But are there any other reasons other than cost?
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Wed Sep 02, 2009 7:02 pm quote
No.

I haven't yet personally witnessed HID lamps in the high-beams but as the OEM tungsten ones are frankly awesome when tweaked to coincide, I'd expect the HID ones to be - well more so.
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Wed Sep 02, 2009 8:46 pm quote
jimc wrote:
...the OEM tungsten ones are frankly awesome when tweaked to coincide...
Maybe this a dumb question jimc but what do you mean by "tweak"?

Thanks in advance,
Raven
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Wed Sep 02, 2009 9:45 pm quote
kevink wrote:
I have reread the thread again to find the reason why one wouldn't replace both the high and low beams with HID. JimC noted the delay, which can be dealt with by the "both beams" mod.
But are there any other reasons other than cost?
I would probably say that - from my perspective - it would be cost, but not because I can't afford it. Instead it just doesn't seem necessary to spend the money because, with the low beams set up with the HIDs, I can't really see any reason I would need to use the high beams, HID or otherwise.

Throwing in another set of HIDs isn't hard... knowing what I know now I could probably install another set in for the high beams in under 30 minutes (including shortening the harness). I just don't see that I would actually use them.

If you want to upgrade all four, I see no mechanical reason not to... but don't be surprised if you upgrade the low beams and say to yourself - "heck, that's plenty right there!"

LET ME ADD TWO ADDITIONAL CONSIDERATIONS:

1.) I never liked the high beams using stock bulbs anyway. The coverage to me was too narrow and I felt I gained very little extra light "at a distance". That said, that is why I decided to experiment in both lenses when installing these HIDs, just to see what I would get. (BTW, the distance from the wall is about 60ft/18m, for reference).

2.) If you will look at pictures #8 and #10 in my original post (the HID in the high beam lense vs. the all-low beam HIDs), you'll note that with these HIDs the beam height of the high beams is about the same as the low beams, but the low beams cast a much wider light pattern. This is the reason why I stayed with just the low beams... I get all of the advantages of the high beams, but with a broad coverage. I'm not saying you can't also upgrade the high beams, but why?

Zang
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Thu Sep 03, 2009 1:54 am quote
zangort wrote:
This is the reason why I stayed with just the low beams... I get all of the advantages of the high beams, but with a broad coverage. I'm not saying you can't also upgrade the high beams, but why?

Zang
I live in a area that has long roads through wooded areas with lots of deer. The farther and wider I can throw light will help provide better visibility for those unpredictable creatures. (The MP3 is not my hunting weapon of choice.)

At a minimum, I need to do the all lights mod, because the high beams are useless by themselves where I ride. I don't want to aim the lights higher; that would cause other problems and wouldn't help anyway. Since I have to open up the scoot for the stebel horn install, I was thinking why not upgrade all lights.

If I lived in an area with lots of traffic, upgrading the high beams wouldn't make sense. However, the responses answer my question ... it is not a limitation of the MP3 electrical system (may be the installer, though ), but more of a personal choice.

Thanks.
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Thu Sep 03, 2009 5:31 am quote
I have to say I'm surprised by the comments on the stock high-beams. Mine thrown a circular cone of light straight ahead, and light up the road as far as I could want even at high speed. The beam doesn't throw much out to the side, so best used in conjunction with the dipped beam - and many dealers here now do that mod as a matter of course at PDI.
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Thu Sep 03, 2009 7:15 am quote
jimc wrote:
I have to say I'm surprised by the comments on the stock high-beams. Mine thrown a circular cone of light straight ahead, and light up the road as far as I could want even at high speed. The beam doesn't throw much out to the side, so best used in conjunction with the dipped beam - and many dealers here now do that mod as a matter of course at PDI.
I agree. I don't go faster than I can stop within my visibility and the high beams go far enough for the speed I go. But they don't light the side of the road so the mod is required IMHO. My questions on the HID are so I don't do something beyond what is necessary. If the HID in the dipped beams meet the majority of my driving needs, then it would be best to leave the high beams alone. (I don't want to cause more issues with oncoming cars for example.)

All this discussion is helpful in sorting out needs versus desire. The photos were most useful.
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Thu Sep 03, 2009 8:24 am quote
Deer at night are my biggest fear when riding. The main reason for the headlight mod (both on) on my 400 is the high beam on the left side of the bike does not light up the right shoulder and I want some light there to see a deer beside the road so I can take defensive measures.
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Thu Sep 03, 2009 5:38 pm quote
Agreed, that and cars with their lights off.
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Thu Sep 03, 2009 6:03 pm quote
Fuzzy wrote:
Deer at night are my biggest fear when riding. The main reason for the headlight mod (both on) on my 400 is the high beam on the left side of the bike does not light up the right shoulder and I want some light there to see a deer beside the road so I can take defensive measures.
Ever tried a deer whistle on your vehicle?
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Thu Sep 03, 2009 6:47 pm quote
If there is more than one I make a path with the gun. Muzzle flash and fur.
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Thu Sep 03, 2009 9:02 pm quote
Nice write up and follow ups, Zang. Thanks.
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Fri Sep 04, 2009 1:53 am quote
luthorhuss wrote:
Ever tried a deer whistle on your vehicle?
I have one on my scoot, but don't know if it does any good. I figured for $6 it was worth a try, but I don't depend on it.
Veni, Vidi, Posti
. . 2008 Blue MP3 400. . di Peluria Orso .... 1993 Kawasaki Vulcan 500 ....... 2013 Honda NC700XD; 2017 Versys X300
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Fri Sep 04, 2009 2:33 am quote
luthorhuss wrote:
Fuzzy wrote:
Deer at night are my biggest fear when riding. The main reason for the headlight mod (both on) on my 400 is the high beam on the left side of the bike does not light up the right shoulder and I want some light there to see a deer beside the road so I can take defensive measures.
Ever tried a deer whistle on your vehicle?
When I bought my MP3 I did an internet search on deer whistles. There are people out there who think they help, but all the legitimate studies say they are worthless. One good comment I remember is how do you even know it is workng if you can't hear it? Perhaps it has swallowed a June bug and the air isn't even passing through.

I have noticed with my Leo Vince the deer hear me coming and pay attention. You can never predict how they will act but my impression is they tend to go back into the woods. Even if it just makes them raise their heads there is more for me to see and know to slow down. My belief is they are less likely to jump in front of you if they hear you coming and start watching from a distance than if a quiet stealth vehicle surprises them when already close.
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