Headlight split and main beam improvement.

Thanks to a fellow Ducati rider I obtained a spare headlight to start modifying. I paid him by paypal and he sent the headlight well packaged to me here in France. It did take rather a long time to arrive but that was the fault of the French parcel system, Chronopost, I won’t go into that apart from to say that third world countries have a better system! Anyway Thanks to the seller and to www.ducatiforum.co.uk where I put out the plea for a headlight.

onewholeltThe dip beam is on the left as you look from the front and the main beam on the right, in this post I will be working on the main beam.

rearwholeThis is looking at the back of the headlight unit. Connector number 1 is the three wire connector for dip, main and earth wires. Numbers two are the sidelights, these will be changed from small halogen bulbs to LED bulbs.

dipwblbIf you remove the cover numbered three you will see the back of the dip beam with the Halogen H11 bulb fitted.

dipshieldAfter taking the bulb out you will see the shield that gives the dip beam cut off. It is at the bottom because the light that comes out of the headlight light is turned upside down at the focal point so this only allows light to shine downward from the dip beam.

mainshldIf we now look into the main beam projector on the left side of the bike we see that there is also a shield! This one is fitted at the top so only allows light to shine upwards. It is crazy to have a shield in the main beam in the first place, but the reason is that Ducati were cheap when buying projectors and only bought one sort – the one with a shield and fitted an upside down dip to the main beam side! The thing is that this shield is so easy to remove and cost nothing to do.
grazebeforeThis is the graze on the main beam side. The cover is not cracked and the damage is not near the focal point of the main beam projector. I pulled out my Micromesh kit and set about it as if it was a Harrier aircraft canopy. My Micromesh kit was probably last used by me on a Harrier or Jaguar! Anyway, after about a hour it looked like this:

grazeafterI am happy with that for now, I will give it another going over at a later date.

Next the heat gun came out and a selection of flat bladed screwdrivers were assembled to split the two halves of the headlight. It is not a difficult job just fiddly. If you use too much heat then the black part of the headlight will distort, not a problem as you can heat it again afterwards and reshape it.


The main beam projector is removed by unscrewing the three adjustment screws from the back of the headlight, I have marked them in red here. Put a small amount of oil on the thread before unscrewing as it makes life easier.mainoffThe bracket must then be removed from the projector:

projout1This is just a case of removing three nuts and bolts. You can see that I have put F in pencil on mine to show which is front. I also wrote “bottom” on the projector although there is a large hole at the bottom.

projscrewThese two screws are then removed to reveal the inside of the projector.

shldscrewAnd there is the offending shield inside the projector. It is held on with one screw, why Ducati could not have removed this at the factory I’ll never know.

shldgoneHere the shield is removed and is laying on the pencil, being a perfectionist that I am I did not see the point in the bracket that held the shield either!

brktgoneSo I removed that too. It is only made of cast alloy so a couple of holes drilled allows it to be snapped off, and then a rotary file makes it all smooth.

After this I polished the inside of the projector lens as it looked milky and put it back together.

lensesThis is it reassembled. Note the difference in the cleaned lens on the right and the uncleaned dip beam on the left!

At this stage I could put the whole headlight unit back together and for no cost have a headlight that will give a huge improvement in light when main beam is selected. Therefore this is a free modification that just needs a bit of time and patience to do.

I will not reassemble yet as I have a dip beam modification to do will not only improve the dip, but will further improve the main. I also have to play with some LEDs, well what did you expect!




One thought on “Headlight split and main beam improvement.

  1. Jeremy Lees September 13, 2015 / 7:44 am

    Checked out my 999’s main beam pattern after reading this and found that there is no shield on the main beam projector. The pattern is almost circular with just a section at the very bottom missing. Not sure if this is from a bracket or not.


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