How-To retrofit TRS MiniH1 HID projectors into your 1X98/848 - ducati.org forum | the home for ducati owners and enthusiasts

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Old April 22nd, 2014, 11:24 AM   #1
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UPDATE 11/10/14 How-To retrofit TRS MiniH1 HID projectors into your 1X98/848

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First of all, I would like to thank VFRman for all his help and support with this build. He is the original retrofitter on this board, and I would not have dared to open up my headlights without his previous work.

Disclaimer: I bear no responsibility for any damages or injuries caused while following this how-to. This is simply my way of installing HID projectors into my 2008 Ducati 1098S headlight. Please do whatever suits you and your vehicle best.

With that aside, let's begin.

Why retrofit?
The original projectors are designed for halogen bulbs. Thus, they do not direct light onto the ground effectively when HID bulbs are installed. In fact, they scatter the light so much even with stock halogen bulbs that I find the headlights barely functional at all. On top of that, I always hated the asymmetrical low/high beam and having to tell people that my light isn't burnt out. With the HID projectors, you can now have both sides project low beam and high beam simultaneously. The high beam flash function is also retained. As an added bonus, the new projectors are significantly lighter than the stock counterparts, which makes the entire headlight assembly considerably lighter for those hard core racing geeks.

The Retrofit Source (TRS) Review
This build will require the purchase of a pair of mini h1 projectors. There are ebay ones and there are ones from companies such as TRS that are quality controlled for excellent output. Although the latter option is a bit more expensive, I chose to go with TRS projectors for their excellent service and better projectors. I was able to hop onto a group buy discount, so it ended up being not too much more expensive than ebay versions. My review (still ongoing) with TRS can be found here:https://www.ducati.org/forums/other/57179-lights-retrofit-source.html


What do I need?
-Morimoto Mini H1 projector Version 6.0
Ebay affiliate link:https://goo.gl/RRyaBy


-H1 Hid bulb, ballast, and relay (optional)[/FONT]
Ebay affiliate link: https://goo.gl/kxz8il


-Adapter bracket (Carbon fiber ones available from me, PM me for info)

-Flat blade screwdrivers in assorted sizes (the more the better)

-Utility Exacto Knife

-Heat gun

-6 x M6 Bolts and lock nuts. (or whatever fits your projector)

-Nissan Butyl Sealant Part Number B6553-89915 (apparently for some people the generic kinds work too at this affiliated link here: https://goo.gl/9dLsMj


Stage 1: Opening up your headlight


A lot of members ask me where to get the parts. I would recommend:

Projectors- TRS (unless you are comfortable with "tuning" the projectors yourself)
HID bulb- TRS
HID Ballast w/ or w/o HID bulbs (preferably slim ballast)- eBay.

Reason being the HID kits from TRS is considerable money and not significantly better designed in anyway from eBay/China. For the money you save buying on eBay, you can buy almost 2 if not 3 pairs extra and eBay has an excellent policy where the seller will refund your money if you are not satisfied or if there are any problems with their products without even having to ship back the defective product.

If you’re reading this how-to, chances are you’ve already read a ton of threads and forums on how to open up your headlight and you could just proceed on to stage 2. I will also not go into too much details about this part because there is already a ton of threads on this forum describing how to open up you headlights using various methods. While most people recommend putting your headlight in the oven and pulling apart the clear lens cover from the black plastic housing by hand, I did it via a less conventional way to avoid putting unnecessary heat stress on the clear lens cover.




Here is how I did it.

-Using a heat gun, I applied heat directly onto the seam of the headlight. I chose the corner of the headlight as it is the least noticeable if I mess up and also the weakest part of the headlight seal. Use common sense, and do not hold the heat gun fixed in place for a long period of time, as this may melt the plastic if the temperature gets too hot. The older your headlight, the more stubborn the seal may be and requires longer time to soften up, so patience is very important.

-When the headlight seam is sufficiently warm (hot to touch), the sealant should be more pliable to work with. At this time, I began sticking in the smallest flathead screwdriver I had and begin prying. This step and the previous step should probably take the most of the time. After that it gets alot easier. So patience is very important to avoid damaging your headlight. At first, the headlight won’t budge alot, but you should be able to see the clear lens separating from the seal if you look closely at the seam.

-As the gap gets bigger and bigger, I used larger and larger flathead screwdrivers to pry open the headlight further. Again, use common sense. Don’t pry the headlight so much to crack or warp the plastic housing. When enough gap is achieved to slide a blade into the seam, you’re ready to start speeding things up.

-Apply heat, wedge open with screwdriver, slice rubber seal. Basically these are the three moves I took to go around the entire headlight. It will take a while, but once you’re done, come back for stage 2.


Stage 2: Uninstalling stock parts

This part is pretty self-explanatory. Unscrew everything and the projectors will basically fall out. If you have any questions, message me. I would suggest taking pictures as you go and jotting down or grouping similar screws together just in case you forget which screw goes where. Otherwise, the pictures I will be attaching here should make everything pretty straightforward.









Stage 3: Measuring and making a custom adapter bracket










For this project, I will be using the stock bracket. Reason being, it is relatively well made with rubber insulated mounting holes that effectively reduces the amount of vibration transmitted to the headlights. However, as the mounting holes on the stock bracket only fits the original projector, they do not fit the MiniH1 projector. Therefore, I had to make an adapter bracket that mounts on the new MiniH1 project and then mounts onto the original bracket. Significant amount of work is needed to center the new, smaller projector as well as spacing it back enough not to come into contact with the plastic shroud.








As carbon fiber is relatively more expensive than wood, I made the first couple of prototypes using wood that had equal thickness.

Why carbon fiber?
First - Weight. Carbon fiber is extremely light for its strength. A comparable piece of metal with the same strength would be significantly heavier. For a superbike, no corners were cut ensuring the least amount of weight for the maximum amount of strength used. It is also not significantly more expensive than metal or plastic. If you have ever held the original metal bracket in hand you will know how heavy and thick it is to hold up the weight of the projectors.

Second- Rigidity. Carbon fiber will not flex as much as metal or plastic with similar dimensions. We did not want the projectors to wobble during bumpy rides or in the case of metal brackets, deform under load requiring the owner to re-aim the headlights.

Third- Heat. We considered using plexiglass and other types of plastic. A bracket that will withstand all sorts of heat makes using plastic not a viable option. Of course if you live in the northern parts of the world where heat isn't so much of a problem, plastic might fair well. But for all other parts of the world, we had to use carbon fiber to account for any excessive heat conditions (imagine middle of a desert). Heat is probably why the original bracket is made from metal as well.

Fourth- Ease of utility. Our brackets does not piggyback onto the lens mounting holes. Doing so would displace the lens forward by a few millimeters and greatly affect optics accuracy. Instead, we developed a better mounting location that lets the mini H1 projector properly serve its purpose





Stage 4: Reinstallation and Aiming the Headlights


MH1 Carbon Fiber bracket V5.0. Weight was significantly shaved off with this final iteration without compromising rigidity.




MH1 CF bracket installed on the projector.



This picture shows heat damage to the plastic moulding that houses the parking lights.


To combat the effects of heat I have wrapped the inside of the moulding with reflective foil that doubles up as a reflector to intensify the parking light intensity.



Projectors installed. Check out that CF peaking out from behind.



The view from behind with the headlight caps off showing off the CF.



Time sure flies. It's been a long time since my last update and I truly apologize for the delay. I've been busy trying squeeze in as much riding time as I could before the snow falls and ever since I got these new headlights I can tell you my night-time riding experience has improved alot. So much that I refuse to go home from my ride even after the sun has set. It is truly as they say, a "night and day difference." I used to avoid night time riding because the stock headlights, even with HID, were absolutely garbage. It's not the fact that you can't see the road because let's be honest most of the city roads are already well lit but the feeling that you're riding an italian masterpiece with garbage headlights made by some backyard mechanic is insulting to say the very least.

However, the MH1 projectors indeed do their job and they do it very well. As other members have posted they project the light significantly further down the road and with a much greater intensity. Coming home at night, you could clearly see the distinct cutoffs of your headlights shining all the way down the block. The stock headlights in comparison illuminates just a hazy spot in front of your bike. As an added bonus, they also weigh slightly less than the stock cast metal projectors.


While pictures of the projector output has been shown already, what I noticed is a lack of good comparison photo between stock(HID) and MH1. A lot of the comparison photos here do not lock the exposure settings on their camera, thus making the MH1 look dimmer than they are in the real settings. What that essentially means is, like your eyes, when the camera detect high lighting environment they would adjust the shutter to allow less light entering the camera. This prevents the photo from being bleached out by white light. In dimmer conditions, they would adjust the shutter to allow MORE light in to capture more details in the dark. AUTOEXPOSURE LOCK prevents the shutter from auto adjusting and therefore sets a standard when you compare between two photos under two lighting conditions to tell you which one is brighter.

So here are two sets of photos.

The first two photos are AE locked to the STOCK w/ HID:

STOCK HID 35W 5000K LOW BEAM


MH1 Projector 35W HID 5000K Dual Low BEAM



The following two photos are AE locked to the MH1 Projectors:

MH1 Projector 35W HID 5000K Dual Low BEAM


STOCK HID 35W 5000K LOW BEAM


Surprisingly, when AE locked to the MH1 projector 35W, hardly any light output was captured from the STOCK HIDs. You can barely see the hinge of my garage doors!

Bear in mind this is just a very basic comparison done as objectively as possible and not intended to cause upset or stir up arguments. Two limitations to these photos are 1) Photos taken with Iphone 5 therefore quality might suck and the light outputs are not captured as well as they could have been (especially the last photo.) 2) Please feel free to replicate my findings. It could very well be my stock headlight projectors were bad from the factory or have gotten worse with age. New bikes off the showroom floor might have better headlights than what you saw here. However that was not the case on my buddy's 2011 1198. So that concludes my findings and now you can be the judge!

EDIT: March 1, 2016
A member asked me a very good question on how to save money on the project that I thought I should share on here as well:

"I suggest only buying the projectors from TRS.... and that is only if you don't know how to tune the projectors yourself for the best light output. If you have really good experience and knowledge with projectors I would just purchase the ones from eBay. Everything else ie. ballast and bulb I would just buy from eBay or where ever that you find for the least amount of money.

Here are some ways to reduce the cost of the parts:
1) Search google for any ongoing group buys on forums (That's what I did saving a good amount ~25%) They happen really frequently. There's a whole forum dedicated to projector retrofitting. (Currently that is a F150 group buy, thanks for OP)
1b) If there are no group buys, search google for coupon codes.

2) Buy ballast/bulb from another source (Bought my bulb from TRS, but ballast came from eBay. If you need help finding let me know)

3) After making your TRS purchase, they give the option of getting cashback or discount towards future purchases if you put in a few good words for them on a forum and/or their facebook.

Doing the above 3 significantly made the price of my projectors and bulb comparable to no-name ebay ones. At that point, it was absolutely a no-brainer to go with TRS!

A lot of you asked me what ballast you should get and whether you should go to 55W. To summarize my research so far, different ballast/bulbs warms up at different rates and also give out different wattage. What that means is a poorly made 55W ballast may put out less lux than a 35W ballast. The problem is only further exacerbated by a poorly made bulb.

So in most cases, you certainly get what you pay for - with one exception. I have been quite happy with the fastbright F3 ballasts. They are cheaply found on ebay but well made. Not surprisingly, at 35W they give out more than many generic branded 55W ballast.

You can find the full details of the test and my source of information here:https://www.hidplanet.com/forums/for...bulbs-shootout


Currently I am using a 35W F3 Fastbright ballast which you can find at this affiliated link here: https://goo.gl/rakmlQ
For the bulbs, I am using the Morimoto XB 5000K bulb at this affiliated link here:https://goo.gl/6HxB7K


Please be advised this modification is for off-road use only and is not DOT legal. All information provided and any products sold by VJ020 for this modification is used at your own risk and free will. VJ020 is not responsible for any damages or injuries incurred as a result of this modification or related products. Improper use or installation of the carbon fiber adapter brackets may result in injury or death. VJ020 the sole copyright holder of all material. A written consent is required to reprint or re-publish this material. VJ020 will not sell or share any personal or contact information to another company. However VJ020 is not responsible for the privacy practices of this forum. VJ020 reserve the right to change, modify, delete or shut down any part of this thread at his discretion. VJ020 is not responsible for the actions of advertisers or sponsors.
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Last edited by VJ020; October 2nd, 2017 at 10:33 AM.
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Old April 22nd, 2014, 05:41 PM   #2
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i did mine last year and the difference is night and day! i tried hid kit in the stock projectors which were better but not great! i bought all my stuff from TRS and im glad i did it!
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Old April 24th, 2014, 08:25 AM   #3
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Yeah I've had hid kit (both 35 and 55W) in the stock projectors and they are absolute garbage. Sure looks bright but hardly any useable light on the road at all. With my tinted helmet visor, I could barely see at night.
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Old April 28th, 2014, 12:46 PM   #4
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Yeah I've had hid kit (both 35 and 55W) in the stock projectors and they are absolute garbage. Sure looks bright but hardly any useable light on the road at all. With my tinted helmet visor, I could barely see at night.
You are not suppose to use your tinted visor at night....

Thank you or the write up I might take this on but for now I find the 55w HID to be a nice step up from the stock.
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Old April 29th, 2014, 04:45 AM   #5
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I was going to say the same thing. You don't wear sunglasses when you drive at night do you?
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Old April 29th, 2014, 08:52 AM   #6
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"with my tinted visor"... i lol'd.

"when i closed my eyes, i couldn't see anything with these stock projectors"...
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Old April 29th, 2014, 09:00 AM   #7
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No certainly not, but you certainly don't need sunglasses for safety either.

It's just for those few times when you're out and about on the bike from sunrise to sunset. Tinted visor or not, the stock projectors are massive and heavy compared to the miniH1, yet barely puts out any useable light at all. You also lose your high beam flash function converting to HID setup on the stock projectors.
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Old April 29th, 2014, 10:02 AM   #8
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are you going to be selling those mounts that you fabricated?
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Old April 29th, 2014, 10:06 AM   #9
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No certainly not, but you certainly don't need sunglasses for safety either.

It's just for those few times when you're out and about on the bike from sunrise to sunset. Tinted visor or not, the stock projectors are massive and heavy compared to the miniH1, yet barely puts out any useable light at all. You also lose your high beam flash function converting to HID setup on the stock projectors.
No arguement on what is better. I cummute in to work when weather is nice there isn't enough day light to wear a tinted visor regardless of how much light output I have. The headlights are not pointing in my blind spots as one example nore do they point into the tree lines where deer might be. You should carry both if you are going to be in a sunrise or sunset situation.
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Old April 29th, 2014, 10:21 AM   #10
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are you going to be selling those mounts that you fabricated?
Yes indeed I will be. Just waiting for the CF cutter and materials to arrive
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Old April 29th, 2014, 10:32 AM   #11
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No arguement on what is better. I cummute in to work when weather is nice there isn't enough day light to wear a tinted visor regardless of how much light output I have. The headlights are not pointing in my blind spots as one example nore do they point into the tree lines where deer might be. You should carry both if you are going to be in a sunrise or sunset situation.
No doubt. Ideally I would prefer not to ride the bike in any subpar situation... or even, use my headlights at all. Planning ahead sure saves a lot of headaches!

However, the fact is that the useable light on the road is still severely limited with the stock headlights, regardless of a tinted visor or not, HID or not. Hence, the upgrade

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Old April 29th, 2014, 12:21 PM   #12
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No arguement on what is better. I cummute in to work when weather is nice there isn't enough day light to wear a tinted visor regardless of how much light output I have. The headlights are not pointing in my blind spots as one example nore do they point into the tree lines where deer might be. You should carry both if you are going to be in a sunrise or sunset situation.
So then do you find the HID's to have been worth the money?

My headlights are soo bad I wont ride the damn thing at night. These are the worst lights on any bike I have ever owned...
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Old April 29th, 2014, 12:39 PM   #13
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So then do you find the HID's to have been worth the money?

My headlights are soo bad I wont ride the damn thing at night. These are the worst lights on any bike I have ever owned...
Yes for daylight they help the cars see you, for night time they work just fine for me.

I agree 100% the stock is worthless.

The projector upgrade while I have not seen in person makes sense, but for me (I live outsite the city) they HID work better than thel lights in my car...
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Old April 29th, 2014, 12:53 PM   #14
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but for me (I live outsite the city) they HID work better than the lights in my car...
As do I... there are all sorts of furry things that like to run out into the roads around me

Thanks man. I have been super hesitant to split my headlight open to do the projector swap. I will start with HID's and hope they help
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Old May 5th, 2014, 04:49 AM   #15
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Ive got HID's in my 848. I think they are DDM or from Gotham (cant remember) 4500k. I'll be out on the bike sometime tomorrow if you want to meet up you can check them out.
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