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PIAA 1100 X Driving Lights ( ST1300 )

Started by KoTAOW, April 09, 2012, 04:43:13 PM

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Submitted by John Herring, aka JohnnyRide
Original article can be found here:  PIAA 1100 X Driving Lights


PIAA 1100 X Driving Lights ( ST1300 )

You will want to install a dedicated power harness w/relay along with this setup to protect the factory relays and wiring of your investment. The PIAAs come with everything you need including a harness and relay with other connectors as well but if you picked up a used pair without any other parts then see this Gadget page as there isn't much point in me rewriting anything on that. Adaptable relay harnesses are always available from sources such as Pepboys®, Walmart® and, Autozone®, to name a few. Usually around $20.

These are the PIAA 1100 X PLATINUM that you hear so much about and most people rave about. Hummmp. Whatever. The the money I paid so these I really can't say they are great but, they aren't bad either. I think it is important to manage ones expectations about these and in this case, mine.  Now keep in mind these replaced my Hella FF50s which are hands down night burning monsters which I do rave about. However, a lot of light isn't a good thing. Too much light can actually cut down you night vision from the bright illumination in front of you and therefore decreasing your night time off road vision or peripheral night vision if you will.  While your pupils are growing smaller to regulate the stream of light in front of you, you will actually see less to the sides, like that deer running 30 MPH at your 9:00 towards the road.

Available In:    Super White Driving

Bulb Type:
     12V - Dichroic 55watt=85watt Super White

      Silver PPS housing and chrome plated aluminum trim ring

Kit Includes:
  Two lamps, wiring harness, relay, and switch

Now having said I wasn't knocked out about these I will try to relay what I do like.

I am not really sure what I expected but I think I equated the dollar amount with a perceived high amount of light output somehow refined into a pleasing flow of light resembling the sun at high noon. That isn't what these are about.

Since these light have a 35 degree Dichroic output pattern, (like the Silver Bullet lights that have the MR-16 bulbs), they project in a round pattern so you get a larger pool of light on the road compared with the driving light blast of the long range, down the road Hellas®. This makes the PIAAs much better suited to roads with curves and hills as the larger light pool is not reproducible with the Hellas®. On the highway they fan out to gently light a broad area to the sides. This is particularly affective in REBR, or rodent eyeball reflection, at speed. The 70/65w Osram® bulbs in the headlight assembly are the main light source on the bike and are strong in their own right. The PIAAs help to supplement those lights rather than over power them. The Osram® bulbs punch light out and are not coated with any blue tint which is marketed as being popular these days. The PIAAs are coated to an extent and that is apparent when all lights are engaged. Used in unison with the high beam, these seem to be acceptable in performance. I guess it is best to say that running the PIAAs, with the high beams, creates and even larger high beam. Not in output, so to speak, but in the size of the pattern. I have them wired to come on with the high beams only as per state law. I do not use these as day time running lights but I can see why so many people use them in that mode as well. A front view of the lights is painful head on. They would not be suited to night time driving in traffic and that's ok because I have my Whellen® TIR3 lights mounted on the sides of the front fender for that purpose. Obviously I didn't dislike these enough to return them. Once I got over the initial shock of, Hey!!! these don't emulate the sun!!! and managed my expectations they seem fine.

Hazard Flash Mode Video here.

I did not use the supplied harness or relay which comes with the kit. I cut the wires and added the crimp on connectors like I did the Hellas.

I mounted these directly to the under side of the mirror covers. They looked like warts on the bike when I used the BLM mounts and I just really don't like the under the mirror mounts from Turbo City. I drilled a hole under the mirrors and with the doubled sided tape supplied with the mounting bases for additional support, added a bolt into the equation and tightened them down. They don't have enough weight to pop the mirrors off when you hit a good sided bump in the road.

All in all they are not bad for what they are but PIAA should offer a lamp only option to reduce the cost for those of us who make their own harnesses and have extra relays sitting around. EBAY was the best price at $153 that I saw.


UPDATE: I sold the PIAAs as they just didn't perform like I wanted. It hard to explain but I think of they were more of a spot instead of a flood, I would have been happier.


Thank You again for your contribution John Herring, aka JohnnyRide