LED Conversion

I have replaced the instrument bulbs on my California 1100i (1997) with LEDs to avoid having the fiddle again - seems OK. I am considering a full LED conversion on the bike; especially as I use the headlight always on.

Has anyone done this and is it worth it?

I’ve done a rear lamp and headlamp on a V50. Not done instrument bulbs as you need the resistance of a normal bulb for the charging system.
I definitely found it worth while as I drive with my lights on all the time.

Thanks Steve.

As far as I know the bulb resistance does not affect the Charging System on mine and I am surprised that it does on your V50. My first Guzzi was a lovely little V50-ii, but my being 6ft2in not large enough for me. Remember that it is the real wattage that determines the power and resistance, so LEDs should be OK i.e. lower rather than higher current. Correct me if I am missing the blindingly obvious (a speciality of mine :wink: )

As for the Cali, I have twice had a failed Fuel Sensor (open circuit thermistor) and suspect that I fitted too high a wattage instrument bulb when doing a previous winter project. The LED’s were for the primary purpose of cutting the current flow for the same light output and thus saving the fuel sensor thermistor.

Headlamp and rear lamps seem sensible as they are the ones that suffer from my lights always on habit. Is the beam pattern OK and does the headlamp shell get hot?

I too replaced my headlight bulb, but I read, just a couple of days ago that an led retro fit bulb is an MOT failure.

Not necessarily so. It is not an item that can be readily checked - the tester cannot remove covers etc. Just be careful that the colour temperature is not outrageous and that the beam pattern and aim are correct.

The actual regulations apply to HID lamps and not specific to LED. There is official guidance at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/aftermarket-hid-headlamps/aftermarket-hid-headlamps

Be aware of changes to the MOT relating to motorcycles. If you fit an LED lamp, it must have a compatable reflector and lense. No longer can you bung any old LED lamp into any old headlight (unless the bike is 40 years aold and MOT exampt :wink: )
This is from the MOT handbook…
“Some motorcycles may be fitted with high intensity discharge (HID) or light emitting diode (LED) headlamps. Existing halogen headlamp units should not be converted to be used with HID or LED bulbs. If such a conversion has been done, you must fail the headlamp.”


Agreed, hence my concern over the beam pattern. In my experience testers do not try reading the lens on my (admittedly older) bikes. If they check the headlamp at all beyond function they put it straight onto the beam checker.

Be that as it may, I have just opened the latest Gambalunga and there is a very useful article by David Carpenter - An Illuminating Alternative.

The LED sidelight option may well be a cost-effective solution.