LED headlamp conversion

3 minute read

Upgrading a worn incandescent headlamp to LED

Most owners of the KTM 950 or 990 Adventure opt to upgrade their lighting with either a LED bulb or converting to a commonly found European market headlamp which allows for dual beams. In stock form the headlight is inadequate for riding at night in desolate areas, much less in the city. This problem compounds when you take the motorcycle where the pavement ends.

Here’s the stock beam which looks okay against my garage door. In actuality the pattern is terrible at best. *Side note that lowbeam is powered when the highbeam is on. This is a modification done early in the ownership and not the normal operation for this motorcycle.

With Fusion360 and a 3D printer, a new drop in housing was designed for the headlamp. This bracket retains the factory aiming system and the streamlined enclosure. The LEDs utilized in this conversion are a combo spot/driving beam from BajaDesigns

Remove the old headlight and disassemble it, place it into an oven at around 130C/265F for 7-10 minutes to soften the sealant. Do not be afraid to put it back in for another 7 minutes if the lens won’t pry off. Use of caution and gloves is a must! The stock reflector on these lights are painted on and will rub off with your fingers, so use caution here as well if you ever wish to return it to stock. When the lens is removed, unscrew the vertical adjuster on the front, however do not touch the horizontal adjuster on the back of the housing.

The 3D printed retrofit bracket was populated with Bajadesign’s sport model on the bottom and the Pro version on top as a high beam. The stock mounts will need to be removed from the old incandescent housing and transferred to the new.

Push the bracket into the housing, the ball mounts will take some force, apply it directly over the nylon holder to ensure that the print isn’t cracked. Replacement adhesive really isn’t needed with the lense but can be used if wished. This also allows for future access in the field.

Wire the respective LEDs to the original molex pigtail, install the housing into the windshield tower and reinstall it on the motorcycle:

To get both lights to work on high-beam a simple modification is required at the stock headlight switch. I’m also converting from a Kawasaki zx-6 switch with integrated hazard lamp function to a zx-14 switch that allows me to control the factory instrument cluster through the handlebar switch.

To add the low and low + high function disassemble the bar switch and move the low-beam(Yellow,950) wire to the center post(Grn-BL) on the bar switch. To add hazards, the 3 wires from the hazard switch are soldered to the turn indicator switch terminals, all three wires float with the hazard switch open, so the order isn’t critical.

the multiple individual switches are repackaged into the housing:

A second harness is constructed for the factory tripmaster functions as there is not enough room to pass 3 wires through the stock loom. The stock zx-14 came with a spare 4 pin connector that plugged into the sumitomo connector designated for the tripmaster.

Tripmaster cluster color code: 
(Brn: common, Grn/Rd:Up, Ye/Brn: MOde, Ye:Down)

The switch installs and looks like the factory switchgear:

Lastly here’s the new lamp in operation:

STL File