SV650 headlight upgrade
The headlights on a stock SV650 are yellow and dim. They won't grab the attention of anyone on the road.
Unfortunately you can't just slap in a brighter bulb. The reason is that the bike (like 99% of bikes on the road) contains no relays. There is a 1-2 watt power drop because the power to your bulbs go through small wiring in your handlebars to the switches. A relay will bypass and give you a solid electrical connection without much power loss.
Thus upgrading your headlights is a two step process:
- Install relays
- Install brighter bulbs (optional)
You can make your own relay kit, or you can buy a premade one. Eastern Beaver makes a H4 kit that is plug and play. Visit the link and scroll down till you find "H4 Dual Headlight Relay Kit". At the time that I am writing this article, it runs $54.95.
Once you install the relay, you should expect your stock bulbs to increase power output by a noticeable amount. A 40-70% increase in light is typical.
If you find that the relay upgrade doesn't give you the light output that you desire, you can upgrade your headlights for an even larger impact. While you technically can go with a higher wattage bulb, you have to keep in mind more power means more heat, and the last thing you want is to start melting things or discoloring your headlights.
If you look around at the stock size bulbs - 9003/H4 in 55/60W, you will find that not only can you get standard bulbs, but they also make them with a +number. The + means more light output than a standard bulb of that power rating. I purchased "PHILIPS Xtreme Power XP" that has a +80% rating. All that light and it won't generate more heat than the standard oem bulb! At the time of this article, the +80 bulb ran me $39.