CB600F (599) headlight on a Hawk GT

I finally got all the bits I need (almost) to use a Honda CB600F (599) headlight on My Hawk.

The one thing I need to do properly is replace my half assed headlight brakcets with ones that are fully assed, or don't look like ass, depending on which way you use those metaphors.

The 599 headlight bucket is deeper than the Hawk's. This makes it easier to get all the wires in there, but makes it require replacement brackets.

The ones I made are simply 1.5" x 1/8" alluminum stock from Home Despot drilled and cut to fit. The stock is about half the thickness of the stock bracket so in the front I could double them up, and in the rear I used some washers I had lying around to make up the difference. When I do it right the brakcets will be a single piece of aluminum, either milled to be the right shape/thickness, or with different screws.

For this I just wanted it to work at all, so I didn't fuss with cosmetics.

The 599 headlight uses two H11 bulbs, so you absolutely must have auxiliary wiring or it just won't work. I think the 599's light is designed to keep the low beam on when you turn on the high beam, so that's the way mine's wired and I'm happy with the result.

The bulb sockets I had were for H9s, not H11s, but the sockets can be modified to fit both the H9 or H11 pretty easily with a dremel and a cut-off wheel.

It turns out that the mounting base for the H11 and H9 are different, but not so much that it prevents you from using them interchangably. The major differences between them are that the H9 is higher wattage and brighter (a lot) and it doesn't have the anti-glare tip on the bulb. This anti-glare tip is important because it prevents harsh glare in oncoming drivers' eyes, and it prevents backscatter in bad weather. For the high beam this doesn't matter much, (and I'll be putting in an H9 for the high) but for the low it kinda does. In the photos below I'm using only the H11's that came with the headlight.

Here are some comparitive numbers:
H4 lowH11 lowH4 highH9 high

You can see why it'd be appealling to put H9s into everything, but after my test ride tonight I don't see the need for the low beam, it's really, quite good. I might like to have the extra light on the high beam though, and since glare isn't an issue with the high beam (you do dip your lights for oncoming traffic, right?) the unshielded bulb shouldn't matter.

These pictures show the bogus brackets I made, and should give you a general feel for what it'll look like on the bike.

My brackets are about 2" longer, and lower the light by about 10mm.

I'm surprised at how well it fits.

addendum: When I got to see it in better light (daylight), from better angles (outside, more space) I think the headlight should be mounted about 1 inch higher. Here are some more pictures that show what I mean.









These photos were all taken at the same setting on my Canon A-80 digital camera. I let the camera decide how to expose things. It picked 1 second at F/2.8 for all of them. The bike was not running for any of the photos because the tripod was sitting on the tank and the long exposure would have been un-fun with the engine vibration. When the engine is running the lights are slightly brighter.

I went to three locations with different sorts of roads for what seems like a "reasonable" test. The aim of the headlight changes when you put the bike on its centerstand, so I had to re-aim between sites and riding between them. It's not clear to me yet what the "right" aim is. It's really good enough that even if it's wrong it's still pretty darn good.

site 1, low beam only

site 1, high beam only

site 1, both

site 2, low beam only

site 2, high beam only

site 2, both

site 3, low beam only

site 3, high beam only

site 3, both

Index created: Tue Sep 13 03:15:05 2005.