ADV Pulse

Get ADV Pulse delivered by email
Sign up for ADV Pulse Weekly


Get ADV Pulse delivered by email
Sign up for ADV Pulse Weekly

Connect With Us

Follow On Facebook:

ADV ProductsADV Bike AccessoriesCyclops LED Headlight Bulbs Let You Conquer the Night

Cyclops LED Headlight Bulbs Let You Conquer the Night

Ride more confidently at night when you upgrade to an LED headlight bulb.

Published on 08.12.2014

The stock lighting on most Adventure Bikes just doesn’t cut it for off-road night riding. The weak halogen bulbs create too many shadows, hiding roots and rocks that can jump out and surprise you in the night. A good lighting system allows you to see the details of the terrain more clearly and gives you the confidence to ride at a faster pace.

One of the easiest ways to upgrade your stock lighting is with an LED replacement bulb. LED bulbs offer better power efficiency, lower operating temperatures and superior durability to HID bulbs. On a mission to find the brightest LED headlight bulb on the market, we came across a new product from Cyclops Adventure Sports.

LED headlight bulb - 3600 lumen

Cyclops 3600 Lumen High/Low Beam LED Headlight Bulb.

Cyclops is one of the top names in LED motorcycle lights with a strong reputation for quality products and customer satisfaction. Before releasing their new LED headlight bulbs to the public, they went through months of extensive testing in the mud, dust and rain. The bulbs are designed for the rigors of off-road riding and use a cooling fan and electronic thermal management system to ensure durability. An 18 month warranty on the product is one of the best in the business.


We decided to install their H4 LED headlight bulb in our KTM 990 Adventure test bike. At 3600 lumen, the LED bulb has 3x the light output of the stock H4 halogen bulb and runs on half the wattage. This efficiency allows us to run more accessories like a GPS, heated grips, heated gear and auxiliary lights, without worrying about draining the battery.

Installing the LED Headlight Bulb
The LED replacement bulb was strictly plug-n-play and required no wire splicing or attaching of ballasts. Four bolts removed the headlight assembly and the old bulb was pulled from its housing. We were able to install the new LED bulb without much trouble following the bike specific instructions provided by Cyclops. The only tricky part was getting the bulb retaining ring back in place with the larger bulb, but we were able to get the installation completed in about 20 minutes.

Nighttime Off-Road Testing
Recently, we rode our KTM 990 Adventure test bike to the San Bernardino Mountains near Los Angeles. The rocky jeep roads and wooded single-track trails in the area offered the perfect terrain to put the durability of the light to the test. Normally a bone dry region in the summer, we were hit with a freak storm that created torrential rains and flash floods. We passed through several thigh deep water crossings, which allowed us to test the water resistance of the light. The Cyclops LED headlight bulb stood up to all of our torture testing throughout the weekend and continued working without flaw.

Rocky Trail LED Headlight Beam
The Cyclops LED headlight bulb provided a dramatic improvement in nighttime visibility and made it much easier to read the terrain.

Nighttime performance of the headlight beam was exceptional and we enjoyed riding with an abundance of light. The LED bulb puts out a controlled and focused beam pattern with minimal light scatter. The white light it emits is in the color range of mid-day sunlight (5600K color temp), making it easy to pick out rocks and read traction levels. While these LED headlight bulbs are designated for off-road use (just like all LED and HID replacement bulbs), the well-focused beam pattern did not cause a problem for other motorists when we traveled on the road.

Before riding back to camp, we re-installed the stock halogen bulb to compare the two lights under the same trail conditions. The dingy yellow light emitted from the stock bulb slowed our pace considerably and made the cliff-lined trails all the more precarious.

LED headlight Bulbs beam in Woods
The usable range of the LED headlight bulb was approximately 200 feet in the KTM 990 Adventure.

Powerful Light, Great Value
We like that with a simple replacement of a headlight bulb you can get a dramatic improvement in brightness. The Cyclops LED headlight bulb focuses the light in a tight beam pattern and doesn’t throw light everywhere like some of the cheaper LED replacement bulbs on the market.

If you want the farthest beam distance possible, a good set of LED auxiliary lights are still your best choice. But the Cyclops LED headlight bulb is more than adequate for most off-road riding situations. It’s also more streamlined, less susceptible to damage and the installation is less involved than with a set of auxiliary lights. At $75 it’s a great value as well.

The Cyclops LED headlight bulbs are specifically designed to withstand the harsh environment of off-road riding. With a lifespan of 30,000 hours (3.5 years of continuous usage), they will probably last longer than your bike. Like all Cyclops LED motorcycle lights, you can return it for a full refund if you are not 100% satisfied.

News Update:
The Cyclops H4 LED headlight just got better! The newest version of bulb is more compact and easier to install, and with new electronics, it’s even more robust and durable. Performance has also improved with a more focused beam spread, better high/low beam contrast and increased power output (now with 3800 lumen).

Bulb Compatibility
Cyclops LED headlight bulbs have been installed successfully in the following Adventure Bike models:

3800 Lumen H4 LED Bulb
KTM 990/950 Adventure, KTM 950 Super Enduro, KTM 690 Enduro, BMW G650GS Sertao, BMW X-Challenge, Pre-2008 Kawasaki KLR650, Moto Guzzi Stelvio, Suzuki DR650, Suzuki V-Strom 650, Triumph Tiger 800, Triumph Tiger Explorer, KTM 250/450/530 XC & EXC, Honda CRF450X, Yamaha XT 225/250, BMW F650GS (Single), BMW G650GS

3000 Lumen H7 LED Bulb
BMW F650GS (Twin), BMW F700GS, BMW F800GS, BMW R1200GS

6400 Lumen (Dual 3200 lumen) H11 LED Bulb Kit
KTM 1090 Adventure, KTM 1190 Adventure, KTM 1290 Adventure

Photos by Bill Lieras

Author: Rob Dabney

Rob Dabney started a lifelong obsession with motorcycles at the age of 15 when he purchased his first bike – a 1982 Honda MB5. Through his 20’s and 30’s he competed in off-road desert races, including the Baja 250, 500 and 1000. Eventually, his proclivity for exploration led him to dual sport and adventure riding. Rob’s never-ending quest to discover what’s around the next bend has taken him on Adventures in Mexico, Africa, Europe, and throughout the American West. As a moto journalist, he enjoys inspiring others to seek adventure across horizons both near and far.

Author: Rob Dabney

Related Stories

Related Stories

 37

Leave a Reply

37 thoughts on “Cyclops LED Headlight Bulbs Let You Conquer the Night

  1. You need a better test. You need two bikes side by side in the same image first of all. The different quality of the light will change how the computer in the camera filters teh light. And more. C’mon guys. Do this right.

      • Pat is spot on (forgive the pun). Comparing brightness with two separate photo images in no way provides an accurate representation of real world light output. You’ll have to do better than that, and if you don’t understand why, well then, that speaks volumes.

          • Hey Peter W – I couldn’t agree more. More relevant and important to a rider is to see the difference of the same terrain details between one bulb and the other, as they show in the article. Showing 2 bikes at the same time in the same shot is useless for this purpose. I purchased the light recently and the improvement in how much of the terrain detail I can see is as dramatic as they show – I couldn’t be happier!

  2. Great article guys. Purchased one for my BMW recently and I couldn’t be happier. The improvement is way more than I expected. Thanks for the tip!

    • Use just a little common sense,,,,know which bulb yours takes (H4, h7, whatever), then order that direct replacement. C’mon, be a man!

  3. Pingback: Replacing the headlight bulb with an LED? - KTM Duke 390 Forum

  4. Pingback: Can an LED Headlight Bulb Make Auxiliary Lights Redundant?

  5. In regards to the Tiger 800 install, are any modifications to the rear of the headlight housing to make the bulbs fit? Seems like there’s not a lot of room in there for the larger footprint of te LED lamp.


    • Hi Mark. The Cyclops LED bulbs should work with your Tiger 800. If you talk to Cyclops, they may be able to provide some additional bike-specific advice on installing the bulbs.

  6. I can’t believe anyone would EVER recommend a LED bulb with a FAN in it…how long before that fan fails or gets junked up with muck and stops working. Especially on an adventure bike. Seriously, get one WITHOUT a fan in it and never think about it again.

    • Hi Wizau. The fan is protected in the headlight housing and is resilient enough to handle being submerged in water. Sure it’s possible that mud and gunk could get in there and foul it up but you’d have to go through some serious muddy terrain for that to happen. There are LED bulbs that don’t have a fan, but those are the cheaper kind that won’t last as long. Even though the LED bulbs don’t get as hot as halogen, they like to have a constant temperature. The fan is just there to help regulate temperature and increase the longevity of the bulb. If the fan is disabled temporarily it should not immediately cause the light to fail.

  7. Pingback: Cyclops Long Range: Best Value in High-Output Aux Lights?

    • Looks like your 2006 KTM 950 Adventure uses the same headlight as our 2012 990 ADVR we used for this installation/test. So you shouldn’t have any problem. And yes it’s plug-n-play. Contact Cyclops ( for specific tips on installing the bulb on your bike and it should help save you some time in the garage. Enjoy!

  8. Pingback: Headlight mods? - Page 4 - Stromtrooper Forum : Suzuki V-Strom Motorcycle Forums


New Film: Extreme Adventure In Mongolia On Norden 901 Expedition

In recent years we’ve been gifted with a slew of exciting, inspirational vi...

Baja Bound: First Ride On Our Rescued KTM 990 Adventure

I’m supposed to be writing an adventure story and bike review, but all I can ...

BDCW's Husqvarna Norden 901 Build: Ready For The Back of Beyond

With the release of the Husqvarna Norden 901 roughly a year ago, the mi...