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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
What you'll need:
  • Ducati 1199S LED headlight
  • Metric hex set (specifically sizes 3,4,5,6), shorter sets recommended for tight spaces
  • Flathead micro screwdriver
  • Soldering iron and solder
  • Electrical tape
  • Wire snips for cutting cable ties
  • Black cable ties
  • Wire strippers (I'd recommend a wire stripper that doesn't cut, but stretches the insulation off, such as this: Amazon.com: Irwin Industrial Tools 2078300 8-Inch Self-Adjusting Wire Stripper with ProTouch Grips: Power & Hand Tools )
  • 3 feet or more of 16 gauge insulated copper wire
  • about 3 hours of time with a friend - could be less if you are incredibly proficient with removing and installing the fairings, or could be more if you don't have a friend to help
I sourced my 1199S headlight for about $700 USD from ebay: DucatiParts-Online (ducatiparts-online on eBay). I've ordered some other components through them and found them to be very trustworthy and ridiculously expedient with shipping. I ordered mine on a Monday afternoon and it arrived on Friday - that's Netherlands to Indiana, USA in 4 shipping days. :eek: Anyway, the important thing to know is that it came with the proper air conveyors (air scoops that go under the headlight) already mounted to the headlight upon arrival.

I took the bike to a friend's house, figuring I'd need an extra set of hands, but could be done with a single person if you're unable to scrounge any friends to help do this epic upgrade.

Step 1 - Remove Fairings

The first thing to do is to remove the fairings so we can uninstall the base headlight. I kept three separate bolt trays so that I didn't have to go crazy trying to figure out which bolts go where when we put it back together. One for bolts, screws, and plastic washers from the fairings, another for the plastic covers underneath the fairings, and another for the headlight itself. If you've not done this before, it really isn't so hard, you just have to know the order they come off. First, off comes the key ignition switch cover with 4 screws. After the key cover, the side protectors that were connected to the key cover come off (part #17 and #18 on page 114 of the 899 Panigale spare parts catalog - ISSUU - 2014 899panigale ducatiomaha by Ducati Omaha)



These covers remove via plastic tabs that will slide forward and pop out. This piece is fairly flexible, but be careful as the small tabs that hold it in place aren't so flexible. Just work your way from the tank towards the headlight and remove each side.

Next you need to remove the upper side fairings, which are secured in place by several hex screws with plastic washers, as well as a few plastic tabs that hold the topmost section (the little cut back area near the tank) in place. The side fairings are REALLY flexible, so there's not much fear of breaking something here. There is a single screw on each side that points forward and isn't visible when you see the side of the bike. Part #1 on page 130 of the 899 Panigale spare parts catalog (ISSUU - 2014 899panigale ducatiomaha by Ducati Omaha). There's also a plastic rivet behind the front wheel that needs popped and removed (just insert a flathead micro screwdriver tip into the slot and it should pop the head, allowing you to remove the rivet). I've circled the tab that gets pinned by this rivet in the picture below



Place the fairings on some towels or a blanket to ensure they aren't scratched. After removing the upper side fairings, you can begin to remove the headlight fairing, but in order to do that, you need to remove the mirrors. This is easy enough, as the mirrors are held in place by two screws under the windscreen. Hold the mirrors before you take out the last screw, as there is a wire that needs to be disconnected that powers the turn signals. To disconnect these, just pop open the rubber pad at the bottom and disconnect the connectors using a flathead micro screwdriver to depress the tab.

Once the mirrors are off, you can remove the plastic mud guard below the headlight. First remove the 2 remaining plastic rivets, then the bolt that goes up through the bottom of the mud guard. Push the mud guard up and towards the back of the bike to get the plastic clips that are towards the front to unseat, then just remove the mud guard.

There are a few screws that need to come out from each side of the headlight fairing, as well as 2 longer chrome bolts that need to come out to release the headlight and headlight support from the headlight fairing. Part 18 on page 80 of the 899 Panigale parts catalog (ISSUU - 2014 899panigale ducatiomaha by Ducati Omaha).



The only remaining step to remove the headlight fairing, the front post on the headlight fairing under the nose that goes into a rubber grommet (part 20 in the above picture). This is by far the part that had me the most worried. Be very careful with this part- if it breaks, you need to replace your headlight fairing...that being said, continue carefully by applying even pressure to lift the post out forward from the headlight. Once freed, the headlight fairing can come completely off. There are two rubber pads around the mirror mount points that will likely fall off as you take off the headlight fairing. Just remember to keep those with the mirrors.

Once the headlight fairing is off, you'll see there's a plastic cover (part 9 in the picture above) over the back of the instrument panel and the top of the headlight. Remove the plastic caps (part 23 and 24) in the picture above) from on top of the headlights, and then remove the plastic cover, keeping in mind to snip any cable ties on the left hand side of the bike that would prevent removing this piece.

Step 2 - Remove 899 Base Headlight

There are only a few bolts that hold in the headlight unit at this point, so remove those and then unclip and remove all connectors to the headlight, as well as from the back of the instrument panel. I didn't happen to take any pictures of how to undo the connectors, but it should be pretty apparent.

At this point, your bike should look like this:



Step 3 - Prep 1199S Headlight

Thank the lord, the wiring on the 1199S headlight is much more simple than the 899 headlight. We've only got the single connector on the headlight, but unfortunately, the wire leading from the headlight is very short, so splicing the wire with the connector still on was more difficult than I was willing to take on. I cut back the wrap to give me more wire to work with



Used wire snips to cut the connector off completely, then strip the ends off of each of the 5 wires. Create 5 six inch lengths of 16 gauge insulated copper wire and strip both ends of the extensions you just made. Twist the ends of the wire extensions together with each of the wires from the 1199S headlight.



Then solder the wires together then wrap them with electric tape or wire shrink wraps.



...doing a quick test fit of the light




Step 4 - Prep 899 Wiring Harness and Soldering

Thanks to Evo-L over at 1199ducati.net for making the original wiring diagram. (How To: Swap Base Headlight for "S" LED Headlight | Ducati 1199 Panigale Forum for Ducati 1199 and 899 Panigale) Follow the wiring diagram to isolate the wires you need from the relay.



If you did a test fit like I did, take the headlight back off the bike so that you aren't soldering so close to the headlight. Cut back the wiring harness wrap to expose more of the wires (careful not to cut any wires!) heading into the relay, then isolate and "split strip" each wire, connect the extensions to the headlight, solder the wire, then wrap the soldering with electrical tape. Be sure to do this one wire at a time, as your battery is still connected, and it wouldn't be good for any wires to touch. Doing it this way will allow the harness to plug back into a base 899 headlight, if so desired.



The order I soldered the wires:

1] Yellow/Gray (relay) to Yellow (headlight)
2] Yellow/White (relay) to Green (headlight)
3] White (relay - same side as the Yellow/White) to Red (headlight)
4] Yellow (connector to 899 headlight with the rectangular clip) to Blue (headlight)
5] Black (connector to 899 headlight with the rectangular clip) to Black (headlight)



Step 5 - Testing

Once all the wires are done, mount the headlight back on the bike with the two top bolts. Plug in the instrument panel back in, and then plug in the round connector to the 1199S headlight. Turn the bike to ON position, just to ensure the lights are getting power, and that the instrument panel isn't throwing any errors. If done correctly, you won't have any errors and you'll see very dull light coming from the headlights. To see the headlights in full operation, you need to actually need to start the motorcycle. DO NOT look directly into the headlights after starting the bike. These are several times brighter than the stock headlights and despite my warnings, my buddy peered over the top into the headlight and was seeing spots for like 15 minutes. Don't forget to test your high beams in both modes, actuated and triggered.



Step 6 - Bask in the glory of your awesome lights



Step 7 - Tidy up the wires and button up

The 1199S headlight has quite a bit of room above it for wires, but you will still want to pack them as tight as you can. Use cable ties and electrical tape to make the end of the harness as tight as you can and drape it across the top of the headlight. Reattach the instrument panel cover and do your best to tuck the cables in.



You now are free to put all the fairings and covers back on in reverse order. The only difficult part again is the post on the headlight fairing into the rubber grommet on the 1199S headlight. The grommet on my 1199S headlight was pretty dry and not very pliable...so I first attempted to lubricate the grommet with WD-40, but it kinda just ran off and didn't soak into the grommet. My friend's wife had a pretty brilliant suggestion:



Heh, say what you will, but it worked really well to allow me to ease the headlight post into the grommet without fear of it breaking. If you find yourself short of some bedroom lubricant, vasoline or something similar should work comparably.

Low beams are significantly brighter than stock and have much better range than the 899 headlight



High beams are staggeringly bright and give impressive range.



The headlights project a much bluer hue than my crappy iphone can pick up. I'll do my best to break out the DSLR and grab some color accurate pictures. This is my favorite modification so far, and makes the bike look amazing. If you've made it this far, you'll feel just as giddy as I did about it

Extra pictures from the rest of the install:







 

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Looks wayy better, meaner and brighter for sure! and thanks for the detailed writeup and graphic illustration! Definitely bookmarking this for future upgrade! Cheers !
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Instead of soldering could you use a waterproof plastic connector of some sort?
No, at some point during this you'd have to solder. But soldering is NOT difficult. If you haven't soldered before, just practice on lengths of 16 gauge insulated copper wire. There are tons of YouTube tutorials on how much solder to use and which iron to get.
 

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cyphon68 the how-to thread is great - thanks for taking the time to post everything.

The stock headlights (from a number of reviews) was definitely a hang-up for me on the 899 as the street lighting where I live is definitely poor coupled with not so great roads in some area's. Definitely takes care of that!

Did you purchase the headlights new or used?
 

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I gotta say, this is THE BEST "how-to" I've seen in a long time on any motorcycle forum. Awesome job—can't wait to do this.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Did you purchase the headlights new or used?
I bought the headlight used from eBay for about $700. After seeing the results, if there weren't any available, I probably would have ordered it from Ducati directly. It really does make a huge difference.

Ryan
 

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Thanks a lot now I just spent $700 :D Ducatiparts-online had another for sale on eBay so I had to buy it. Without your write up I would never known how to do this.
 

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I bought the headlight used from eBay for about $700. After seeing the results, if there weren't any available, I probably would have ordered it from Ducati directly. It really does make a huge difference.

Ryan
Sounds good. I spent a little time searching the net this morning and found a handful of places.

All being equal, I'll probably shoot for new ones if I could ever get the approval to get one of these down here
 

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Thanks a lot now I just spent $700 :D Ducatiparts-online had another for sale on eBay so I had to buy it. Without your write up I would never known how to do this.
Bahaha! That's the one I was watching that they just relisted! :)

THANK YOU FOR THIS WRITE UP!

Oh, edit: you can turn the headlights on without starting the bike. Just key on and hit the high beam switch. You can alternate between high and low that way without the bike running :)
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Better get learnt in soldering then...

Still a bit unsure of the connection between the harness & headlight.
Anything I can help clarify? You'll be splicing into wires from two different ends of the wiring harness from the 899.

1) 3 from the large relay at the end of the harness (also shown in my pictures)
2) 2 from the rectangular connector that has a metal clip that secures it to the 899's headlight.

on the other end, there's only 5 wires coming out of the 1199S headlight, so you just have to match up the colors as indicated in the first post.

I'll be sticking around these forums for quite a while, so if you are doing this and have questions, don't hesitate to ask! I'd like to make the instructions as clear as I can.
 
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