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Discussion Starter #1
I tried searching but didnt find a specific answer, so here's the dilemma...

I want to get a brighter brake bulb for my 03 vl800, i know they're the 1157 type, the stock ones are 12V 21/5w.

I saw these: Amazon.com: Sylvania 1157 ST SilverStar High Performance Halogen Miniature Lamp, (Pack of 2): Automotive
They sound like they'd be brighter BUT it says 12.8/14V and 27/6.7w.

Is this something I should be concerned with? Heat, blowouts, spontaneous combustion etc?

Any other bulb recommendation if this is a no go?
 

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A lot goes into the construction of the bulb to make it 'brighter'. The brighness of the bulb is measured in either Candle Power (CP) or Lumens. The brightest incandescent bulb you can purchase is the 2397, which is about 30% brighter than the 1157. The Silver Star is a halogen bulb that is nearly as bright as the standard 2397, but costs more. In the end, it accomplishes the same thing.
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
so the 2397 fits in the 2003 volusia?
And the whole voltage and watts difference from stock i mentioned isnt an issue?

the 2397 is even higher in watts
 

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It is brighter, because of the wattage. Larger filament, etc. the 2397 is a direct replacement for the 1175 or 21/5. The byproduct is heat and reduced service life. Since it is not running on high all the time, the heat is a non-issue. The shortened service life can be a factor to some people, but at $2.99 for a pair and it takes less than a minute to change, it isn't really worth worrying about.
 

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I went with a Radiantz LED tail light board and that thing is BRIGHT! But they aren't cheap. It depends on how much you value the 'high visibility' factor. People will spend a lot of money on chrome but it doesn't do anthing to increase your safety. A brighter rear end won't gurantee that you won't get hit but IMO it's worth a try.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I saw the LED board and i liked except the price, but at least for the time being a brighter bulb will help.
 

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The 136 LED array in the Radiantz replacement is certainly bright, but not without its drawbacks. One being the cost. The second is the light is extremely directional. Seen from an offset angle, the light is actually dimmer than with the omni-directional illumination provided by the incandescent bulb. The actual light output from the array is actually a few lumens lower than the 2397 (475 vs 503) but it lasts MUCH longer than the 1000 hours that the 2397 is rated to do.
 

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The 136 LED array in the Radiantz replacement is certainly bright, but not without its drawbacks. One being the cost. The second is the light is extremely directional. Seen from an offset angle, the light is actually dimmer than with the omni-directional illumination provided by the incandescent bulb. The actual light output from the array is actually a few lumens lower than the 2397 (475 vs 503) but it lasts MUCH longer than the 1000 hours that the 2397 is rated to do.
Excellent info.
I also use the 2397LL LongLife bulb available at Wal-Mart cost a little more but more than doubles the rated hours for the 2397. It's claimed to be a more robust filament which also provides better life under vibration conditions. There is always more vibration on a motorcycle vrs a car. :shades:
 

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Discussion Starter #9
2397LL it is, thanks for clarifying, the thought of my one single brake light burning up mid-ride terrifies me.
especially after taking my first nighttime ride with stock headlights, it felt like borderline suicide from the rear and the front.
 

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Actually, your front headlight would be a lot better if you adjusted the aim of the beam. For whatever reason, the stock aim of the lamp does a better job of illuminating the front fender than the road in front of you. Park the bike about 25 feet away from a flat wall and turn on your bike. The center of the beam should be 3 feet off the ground, on low beam. Chances are, yours hasn't been touched and is somewhere in the neighborhood of 16" or so. Use the aim adjuster and dial your beam up until it hits the center of the 3 ft mark. You'd be surprised just how much better headlamps work when they're properly aimed...
 
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