By March 30, 2009

BAX9S LED motorcycle license plate light for a 2004 BMW R1150R review

One thing that owning two BMW motorcycles has taught me: replacement parts are ridiculously expensive. From a $20+ oil filter to $20 stainless steel gas quick disconnects, to who knows what special belts, doo-dads, and what’s-its. My license plate bulb died late last summer, and as usual I was horrified when I found out how much a single Osram BAX9S 12v6w replacement bulb would cost: $13 before shipping. For a tiny light bulb.

I turned to the Internet for help, and was not surprised that other people weren’t happy about paying that amount, either. Thanks to the R1150R forum I was able to find a pair of LED-based replacements for $10 shipped on eBay.

The worst part was the wait … I ordered the bulbs on the first of March from the seller, who was in Hong Kong. They didn’t arrive until March 22nd. I try to avoid ordering things from Hong Kong via eBay when I can because of the shipping and customs delays. However, other auctions I won during the same time period arrived much faster, even though they also originated from Hong Kong. Anyway, on to the bulb.

http://gallery.drfaulken.com/d/5912-2/IMG_8445.JPG

The bulb has five little LEDs, one on each side of a rectangle and one on the tip. Installation was super easy, I just took the old bulb out and put the other one in. The entire operation took me two or three minutes, including the removal of the over-engineered BMW light bulb cover.

The bulb is bright, but probably not any brighter than the stock bulb. That’s fine by me, as I am only concerned with meeting the legal requirement to have a bulb in the first place. I have read that some people are buying these to use as turn signal replacements. I don’t think the bulb is bright enough to serve as an adequate replacement.

Overall, I am happy with my purchase. Yes, the wait time sucked, but paying $10 for two bulbs seems like a better deal than one bulb for around $17.50 shipped.

Recommended.

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Posted in: motorcycling, review

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