Our tests

RiDE (UK) - - Product Test -

For our test, we de­cided to go real-life in­stead of lab­o­ra­tory based, so we set our long-term Suzuki SV650X up­right and level in a wheel chock on an un­lit farm track. We swapped H4 bulbs and pho­tographed how both dipped and main beam illuminated the track ahead. We placed cones ev­ery 15m to show how far the light trav­elled and took light read­ings, mea­sured in lux, us­ing a light me­ter at the first cone, 15m ahead of the bike. We also pho­tographed the beam pat­tern against a sheet of wood in the work­shop to show the spread and the colour and took a light read­ing here as well. We set the cam­era at the rider’s head po­si­tion with a 55mm lens (very roughly what the eye sees) and used the same man­u­ally set ISO, shut­ter speed and aper­ture for ev­ery photo, so the dif­fer­ences you see in the pho­tos are what your eye would see. As we were test­ing the bulbs, we were look­ing for cer­tain cri­te­ria:

Beam pat­tern

The light pat­tern should be crisply cut-off to pre­vent daz­zling other traf­fic while still il­lu­mi­nat­ing the road ahead and the near-side verge.

Dis­tance

The dis­tance ahead of the bike that the bulb illuminated the road, both for dipped and main beam.

Spread

How far the light trav­elled out­ward from a line di­rectly ahead of the bike, il­lu­mi­nat­ing the edges of both sides of the road.

Power

The amount of light at the two mea­sure­ment points and how it com­pares with man­u­fac­turer claims.

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