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.

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.


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Posted in: motorcycling, review

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