Multistrada 1200 / MTS1200 HID headlight / headlamps conversion

Multistrada 1200 / MTS1200 HID headlight / headlamps conversion

…take 2 🙂

Multistrada 1200 / MTS1200 HID headlight / headlamps conversion (1)
by StevePL

See also: Multistrada 1200 – Headlight, dual dip / high beam modification

See also: Multistrada 1200 – Fitting spotlights / LED Spot Lights Installation

See also: Multistrada 1200 / MTS1200 Headlight Adjustment

Fitting a pair of HID headlight units to an MTS1200
By John W ( and

My install is somewhat different to StevePL’s (link above) but the same idea. All the kit looks the same….

The following documents the method in which I fitted a pair of HID units to my Multistrada 1200.

The details are provided as is, for other owners to use for information purposes. These are not detailed instructions, and no liability will be accepted if you choose to follow them and in doing so damage your bike or equipment!

Photos are shown where required to help indicate what is being described in this document for reference.

Tools and parts needed

  • Allen keys to remove screen and panels (2 sizes needed)
  • Tie-wraps / cable ties
  • Foam packing (taken from HID shipping box)
  • The HID kit (in this case a dual H11 HID kit with slim-line ignitors purchased from

Before you start, be clear on what you are attempting to do. None of the following requires any permanent alterations to the bike, and is fully reversible.

You need to allow at least 2 hours to perform this. Exactly how long it will take you will depend on how anal you are about wiring and component placement 🙂

Before you start, lay out the HID kit and ensure you have all the parts.

Lets get on with it
The first steps are to remove the panels to gain access.

the left top fairing cover / fuse panel cover (4 Allen bolts, the one under the flap is a larger size)the right top fairing cover / cubby box (4 Allen bolts, the one under the rubber liner is a larger size)

At this stage you should be able to see the rear of all 4 lamps.

The centre lamps are the high beam, and the outside lamps are the dipped beams.

This document describes changing the dipped beam lamps for ‘CrystalVision’ lamps and the High beam lamps for HID lamps, as in my opinion those are the weaker units.

We will start by doing the Dipped Beam lamps
If you purchased a pair of dipped beam lamps to colour match the high beam HIDs, now is the time to change them.

Unplug the connectors from the rear of both of the dipped beam lamps, and remove the H11 lamps from the light units (DO NOT TOUCH THE GLASS ENVELOPES).

If you do, you will shorten the life of the lamp. Do a web search if you want to know why.

Note that these are a twist fitting, and may leave the sealing washer stuck to the lamp unit. If it does, just pull the rubber seal off and place it on the lamp, as the new lamps come with their own seals.

Insert the ‘CrystalVision’ lamps into the Lamp unit, and give it a twist to ensure it is fitted correctly. The shape of the base means it should only fit into the housing in one orientation, so you may like to take a look at the lamp you have removed for a clue as to which way around to fit it.

Now refit the connectors to them.

Turn the ignition on and give them a try to make sure they work.

Now lets deal with the left side High beam unit.
Unplug the connectors from the rear of both of the high beam lamps, and remove the H11 lamps from the light units (DO NOT TOUCH THE GLASS ENVELOPES).

Take one of the HID lamps and remove it from its protective tube. Again DO NOT TOUCH THE GLASS ENVELOPE !.

Insert the HID lamp into the lamp unit, and give it a twist to ensure it is fitted correctly. Next, connect the black two pin connector attached to the HID lamp loom to the existing bike loom. This should fit perfectly as long as you brought an H11 kit !

It is imperative that at this point you confirm the connections are the right way around on the bike loom.

The connector on the slim ignitor is marked with a ‘+’ and a ‘-‘, so it is clear to see what is the required / correct polarity.

This may sound odd, but on an incandescent lamp it doesn’t matter which side is positive, and on my bike one of the lamps was reverse polarised, so be warned.

If this is the case you will need to either swap the pins over on the bike loom, or on the small loom attached to the lamp. If in doubt, ask before you proceed any further.

Please note that the units are reverse polarity protected so you can’t blow them up, but equally they will not work if connected in reverse either.

So now you have the lamp in place you need to feed the wiring from it between the lamp unit and the gold coloured mounting frame. Take your time as this is a bid fiddly.

You may want to cut the rubber grommet off the HID lamp loom, as its not needed for these bikes.

The above picture shows the sheathed blue & black lead and the two leads from the lamp.

In this case they are already connected, but you can see where they are routed.

Now you need to connect the ignitor to the leads, and this would be a good time to turn the ignition on and try the lights to see if this lamp unit works okay. If it does your fine to proceed. If not, check all the connections, and confirm the polarity again.

Now you need to fit the ignitor securely. As you will see there isn’t a great deal of room on this bike. The ignitors are backed with some double sided tape, and I used this to mount the ignitor to the inside of the tank by the left fork leg, as shown.

Before you actually stick it here you need to ensure you can get the smaller black block on the HT cable to fit and sit in the gap shown, while still allowing the panel to be replaced without sticking up. It is a bit of a fiddle, but it does fit if you get the black block oriented correctly. Take your time to get it right. You will note I tie-wrapped one of the leads in place to help secure it prior to peeling the paper off the double sided tape.

You should now be able to refit the cover panel on this side, and confirm it all clears the bars okay, and the fork leg as you rotate the bars.

Okay, so lets tackle the right hand side High beam unit.
This one is in some ways even more fiddly. Go ahead and mount the HID lamp unit, and feed the wiring through between the lamp unit and the gold mounting frame.

Check the polarity as for the other side, plug the ignitor in, turn on, and ensure it works. Now we need to try to get the bits to fit behind this panel.

In the following picture you will see I tie-wrapped the small black lump on the HT cable to the gold mounting frame. This was the only place I could find where this would fit !

You will also note the ignitor has a tie-wrap around it. This is holding the wiring in place, and also a piece of white closed cell foam onto the back of it.

The foam is taken from the packing box the HID kit was sent in, and is cut to fit between the lamp and breather vent on the lamp unit, so the ignitor sits flat against it.

A further piece of this foam is cut to put over this side of the ignitor unit, to take up the gap between it and the cubby box, when it is refitted. This is shown in the picture holding the ignitor in place whilst taking the picture.

You can now attempt to refit this side panel and cubby box. It’s a bit fiddly, but take your time and ensure it is held in place securely, without undue strain on any of the cables.

You are now finished. Give yourself a pat on the back at a job well done !

You should immediately notice a difference in colour of the lamps, and a marked difference in the performance of the high beams.

That’s it !

Update Jan 2011
I fitted my HIDs last June so have had most of last season using them (bikes not been out so far this year). On more than one occasion turning to high beam meant I could see bugger all for a few seconds, and after that could still only see things above a couple of feet off the ground. The only way I could sensibly ride was to hold the flasher button in to get both on.

This all stems from the shape of the high beam reflectors. The top part of them is masked by the front fairing, and that throws a shadow on the road infront of the bike. trying to adjust them down didn’t really fix it either.

This is easily remedied with a minor wiring mod to have dip beam on with high beam though. All it needs is a couple of ‘1N4001’ diodes and some ‘scotcthlocks’ (or for a better job, soldering iron & heatshrink).
Doing it as a non-reversible mod is simple (requires cutting one of the loom wires).
Doing it as a fully reversible mod takes more time and money.
I will post details soon.