I am looking for advice in a good quality H4 lens / reflector - my correct original Lucas BPF lamp is just too pathetic and scary at night.
I keep hearing about the Cibie Z-beam as being a top-quality classic lens, but it's hard to find, and does look a little odd, especially on a very original '50s bike. Is this better than the current Cibies, which are normal convex items?
How do the Lucas, Wipac, Cibie, Hella etc compare?
I would be interested to know of experiences with full LED inserts as well.
H4-Lucas used to make a reflector/lens for this quite good light, but there was a black cap over the front of the bulb, bike vibration jumped this off-not good. Wipac made a similar H4 unit-cheaper and the black cap being smaller did not fall off-recommended. Sorry can't help with Cibie Hella.
If your bike is running 12V electrics you could try one of the Halogen BPF bulbs instead of swapping reflectors.
NOC Shop has these although showing out of stock. I have one spare. If you want to try it then message me.
I used these for while and found them fine just a bit heavy on power use as they are 60W/55W so the charge warning light came on occasionally riding in town and at low revs.
In the end I swapped to a Wipac H4 reflector (added detail: 7" Quadoptic Unit with sidelight Part. No. S4700) and an LED headlight bulb from Paul Goff which I found to be a good option. Much the same as a Lucas reflector with the halogen bulb but the Wipac reflector is shallower allowing more room for the LED bulb's heatsink as Paul Goff recommends. Also there is no sign of the charge warning light even at low revs.
Wipac H4 are good as are Hella H4.
I use a 7" Quadoptic reflector with a Philips Racing Vision H4 bulb and it's streets ahead of the standard set-up. Full beam is sensational but maybe a tad too focused for some, low beam has a good cut off for height and a nice flick up to the left to be able to see up the verge. I did try the Lucas 7" H4 reflector last year, but didn't like the beam pattern nearly as much as the Quadoptic.
I bought my Lucas H4 headlamp conversion from Paul Goff, and it is so much better than the original Lucas one on my 1970 Commando Roadster. Paul Goff was advertising this conversion, so he may still have them in stock. They are genuine Lucas parts, as the box is green and has the Lucas logo on the box.
What I am running is a standard dynamo set-up with Lucas CVC unit. It's still 6V, with two Cyclons in parallel. The headlamp is a period Lucas BPF with a halogen bulb from Paul Goff (he sells BPF halogen bulbs in 6V and 12V). It's a little better than a tungsten bulb, but not much.
Bob - can you describe how the beam pattern is better on the Wipac Quadoptic than the Lucas?
Andrew - can you comment on the amount of light, and how good the beam patterns were with the LED - I presume you mean PG's Daylighter H4.
To answer your question I found the LED beam pattern similar to the halogen one and fine for our dark Devon roads. I didn't really notice the specific patterns for dip and main but encountered no problems. The light is certainly bright enough.
Looking at Paul Goff's website there are now many 'Daylighters'. My interpretation follows but best check the website.
The bulb I am using is the 12V Daylighter H4 4K. There is now an H4 5K. Both of these are shown as requiring 9-32V.
The new H4 5K will not work with the Wipac Quadoptic reflector. The fitting 'bumps' and black shield apparently foul the bulb heatsink.
Now listed on the site are revised BPF LED headlight bulbs available in 6/12V and 12V only versions. If you are continuing to run 6V you could try the new 6/12V BPF LED.
An alternative is to switch to the H4 reflector (Lucas now looks a better bet to allow for any future H4 LED 6v bulb) and try the powerful 6V Halogen bulb 60/55W.
As the LED bulb range is continuing to change I'd contact Paul Goff and seek his advice on the best options for you now and any likely improvements,
AC above says 'these are genuine Lucas as the box is Green' ere not so, the real Lucas company failed in the mid 1980s. All we have now is under use of the name I think from the WW Wassell empire, parts made under licence. Some might be adequate BUT genuine Lucas because of a Green box not so. I sell 'Lucas' coils in Green boxes made in the far east. They seem to work well but not real LUCAS.
Pre Focus QH bulbs, these will not be as good a light/beam pattern as the real HD reflector as the latter allows better more accurate focus of the light source within the reflector.
Twittering about this LUCAS thing, it's funny how for many years we lambasted how poor the Lucas item was, and now in a lot of cases the reproduction units (rear lights) are many times worse. Some time we don't know when we are well off.
I have always used the Cibie Z beam on my Atlas and Commando, long discontinued and owners of classic BMW, Minis and others which have 7" headlights usually grab any good ones available.
There are modern Cibie H4 versions and Hella do a very good Super 7 H4 but I have no idea how they perform but with the Osram bulbs below should not be much different.
I can say the old Cibie Z beam fitted with the latest Osram Nightbreaker Laser (next generation) H4 fitted into my original Lucas 7" headlight shell is an excellent all year round headlight, easily changed and relatively cheap at around £30.00 a pair delivered. I fitted twin relays in 2007, foam wrapped and tucked into the headlight behind the relector and still working perfectly.
These Osram and Phillips bulbs supposedly have lower life due to the high output but that is mainly the high beam and my bike has the lights on all the time but has still covered over 10,000 miles in the last year alone using the same bulb with the other as an onboard spare.
A modern (far east?) Lucas charging system with Lucas High Output 3 phase RM24 alternator and matching TPR200W reg rectifier and Shorai LFX21 battery work perfectly with this lighting setup.
May not suit your bike if you need a more curved vintage look but perfect on a Commando and hard to beat if you want a good headlight without resorting to more complex and expensive systems.