Author Topic: What's my Headlamp  (Read 714 times)

Offline Laverda Dave

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What's my Headlamp
« on: January 13, 2024, 09:21:36 PM »
I have a Cibie headlight on the rat bike and surprisingly unlike the rest of the bike this is in very good condition apart from the adapter ring that is rusty and needs a re-chrome.
My question is on the CB400/4 I had back in the early 80’s the Cibie headlight on that had a convex glass whereas this one has a concave glass. Is this one for a motorcycle or is it for a car?
1976 Honda 400/4
1977 Rickman Honda CR750
1999 Honda VFR 800FX
1955 750 Dresda Triton
1978 Moto Morini 350 Sport
1978 Honda CB400/4 'Rat' bike
1982 Laverda 120 Jota

Offline K2-K6

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Re: What's my Headlamp
« Reply #1 on: January 13, 2024, 09:35:35 PM »
That's how I recall them Dave, with concave lens and always thought they were neat design.

Car type were convex, definitely.

These came from auxiliary Cibiè light units originally, many of which are concave design too, often seen on rally car lights of the period.

Is it H4 fitment  ?



Offline Nurse Julie

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Re: What's my Headlamp
« Reply #2 on: January 13, 2024, 09:44:43 PM »
My 1st 400/4 back in late 1970's had a concave Cibie, don't know if it was original or not as it was a 2nd hand bike. 🤔🤔
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Offline McCabe-Thiele (Ted)

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Re: What's my Headlamp
« Reply #3 on: January 13, 2024, 09:53:02 PM »
Cibie made both but the Cibie Oscar & Super Oscars driving lights  were Concave. They capitalized on the Concave design with making headlamps to this design. I was a fan of the Carello Pajod as fitted to later E-types with the bulging convex design with their parabolic reflectors. To make these fit a standard headlamp bowl the convex shape made them bulge outwards.
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Offline Laverda Dave

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Re: What's my Headlamp
« Reply #4 on: January 13, 2024, 10:04:15 PM »
Thanks all. Yes Nigel it has an H4 fitting. So I guess I have what they called at the time the Z beam? Anyway I've now decided because I have an immaculate headlamp I'll restore the bike around it🙂
« Last Edit: January 13, 2024, 10:05:56 PM by Laverda Dave »
1976 Honda 400/4
1977 Rickman Honda CR750
1999 Honda VFR 800FX
1955 750 Dresda Triton
1978 Moto Morini 350 Sport
1978 Honda CB400/4 'Rat' bike
1982 Laverda 120 Jota

Offline AshimotoK0

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Re: What's my Headlamp
« Reply #5 on: January 13, 2024, 10:33:17 PM »
Those concave Cibie's are spot on Dave  ;D. I would definitely keep it despite being non-standard... I had one on the second 400/4 I had and far superior to the standard Stanley item. Did it have Fiamm Horns /K&N pod filters and Mars Chocky (Marzocchi ) rear shocks/Piper exhaust... all very common back in the day and all fitted to mine. For the life of me I can't remember the reg of that bike it was KJV ??? P
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Offline Oddjob

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Re: What's my Headlamp
« Reply #6 on: January 13, 2024, 10:52:31 PM »
Cibie did do 2 versions of the Z beam, the concave one was the 6.25" ? one for the 400 with the 7" being convex for the 500/550/750 etc. Oddly they are not marked on the glass to show they are the Z beam, I still have my 7" Z beam headlight and fully intend to refit it on the 500 when (or IF) the bike gets back on the road.

I used the Z beam headlight as my testing bed for testing LED H4 replacement bulbs, you can see the results in the thread https://www.sohc.co.uk/index.php/topic,25595.msg234547.html#msg234547
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Offline Laverda Dave

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Re: What's my Headlamp
« Reply #7 on: January 13, 2024, 11:13:24 PM »
Those concave Cibie's are spot on Dave  ;D. I would definitely keep it despite being non-standard... I had one on the second 400/4 I had and far superior to the standard Stanley item. Did it have Fiamm Horns /K&N pod filters and Mars Chocky (Marzocchi ) rear shocks/Piper exhaust... all very common back in the day and all fitted to mine. For the life of me I can't remember the reg of that bike it was KJV ??? P

Unbelievable Ash, it had all those parts fitted apart from the silencer, it wasn't a piper but a Marshall deep tone. It sounded lovely at the time but unfortunately it fell off in the Hanger Lane underpass (now known as the gyratory system) a long time ago. It was replaced by a Motad and that's still on it now but it won't be staying!   If I can get a Marshall that would be great but I think it will be a replica Honda item that gets fitted. The subsequent fitting of ape hangers, coffin rear light, front spot lights, stepped seat and chrome fittings unfortunately ruined the look of the 80’s mods.

That's a really good thread you posted Ken, I'll be going the LED route👍
1976 Honda 400/4
1977 Rickman Honda CR750
1999 Honda VFR 800FX
1955 750 Dresda Triton
1978 Moto Morini 350 Sport
1978 Honda CB400/4 'Rat' bike
1982 Laverda 120 Jota

Offline TrickyMicky

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Re: What's my Headlamp
« Reply #8 on: January 13, 2024, 11:20:10 PM »
I replaced every bulb on my 400 with LED's from Clasiccarleds. They even do a nice little digital flasher unit so you can run led's in the indicators, or even a mix. The flash rate stays the same. The digital flasher unit is about the same size as a normal relay and slips into the original rubber mounting quite nicely. Just as a matter of interest, the blue main beam warning light I put back to a filament bulb, as when riding along an unlit country road  in the dark on main beam it's a bit on the bright side and shining straight up at your face. As I think you mentioned elsewhere, do NOT use white led's behind coloured lenses, only use coloured bulbs. I think the icing on the cake was using the green led's in the speedo/rev counter, NICE!!

Offline Oddjob

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Re: What's my Headlamp
« Reply #9 on: January 14, 2024, 07:26:52 AM »
If you find the LED in the repeater lights is too bright, just paint the upper surface with some white nail varnish, missus may have some  ;D That tones it down quite a lot.
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Offline K2-K6

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Re: What's my Headlamp
« Reply #10 on: January 14, 2024, 08:50:58 AM »
Cibie did do 2 versions of the Z beam, the concave one was the 6.25" ? one for the 400 with the 7" being convex for the 500/550/750 etc. Oddly they are not marked on the glass to show they are the Z beam, I still have my 7" Z beam headlight and fully intend to refit it on the 500 when (or IF) the bike gets back on the road.

I used the Z beam headlight as my testing bed for testing LED H4 replacement bulbs, you can see the results in the thread https://www.sohc.co.uk/index.php/topic,25595.msg234547.html#msg234547

All Cibiè aren't Z beam though. They only made one of that designation as I understand it......the Z-180... all of them are good as they used good quality glass in comparison to cheaper alternatives, specifically a better performance in refraction (lower light scatter as it passed through the lens) to give better light pattern and focus.

The Z was unique in having, literally, a Z shape just off axis and to the side of vertical on dip beam only. This gave extended dip performance along the left edge of road and more height there as you banked the bike left, to then offer enhanced visibility of road edge.

Many are Cibiè H type that doesn't do this.

The concave type was never Z in my experience of them.  They do all perform well, with notable  clarity and defined beam patterns that, even today, offer very good illumination.

The concave type would usually have a straight cut dip beam (can be used here and in Europe without modification) with "spot" type main  beam for longe range.

Offline Oddjob

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Re: What's my Headlamp
« Reply #11 on: January 14, 2024, 09:28:34 AM »
My recollections are slightly different Nigel, I distinctly remember reading an article in one of the bike magazines, it was all about headlights, like a multiple test of different brands etc. It showed diagrams of beam patterns etc by using light meters to show where the light was being thrown. The Cibie Z beam won hands down, in fact the exact wording for their description of the main beam pattern was “Like a laser beam, with all the light almost on the floor”

They did say in the article that Cibie were making 2 versions of the Z beam, the 7” for the larger bikes and a smaller one with concave glass for the smaller bikes, both were described as being Z beams.

I immediately went out to my local Honda dealer to order one for my 500, it’s one of my purchases I’ve never regretted. On country roads the beam pattern is awesome, like a laser beam is a VERY good description of it.
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Offline McCabe-Thiele (Ted)

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Re: What's my Headlamp
« Reply #12 on: January 14, 2024, 01:11:58 PM »
The main difference back in the late 1960's between my mates Mini that had concave Cibie Headlamps & my Carello Parabolic Pajods was negligable on main beam but the Pajods had a cleaner brighter dip cut off with the left side angled edge ideal for lighting up the left side gutter & hedgerows. That said the Pajods were almost twice the price of the Cibie units retail. I was fortunate that for a short period I could buy the Carello Pajods with a whopping 55% discount.

My Carello units were swopped from car to car over 15 years until manufacturers stopped fitting cars with the standard type headlamps. Wish I had kept them - I let them go when I sold my last BMC Cooper S.
« Last Edit: January 14, 2024, 01:17:34 PM by McCabe-Thiele (Ted) »
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Offline K2-K6

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Re: What's my Headlamp
« Reply #13 on: January 14, 2024, 02:04:22 PM »
The topic of lamp, concave type, was related to the mini Cooper Ted.

Remember that 1966 Motecarlo rally had some of them barred from the finishing order, making Citroën the winner ! was about the lights and bulbs used.

There being various restrictions on how many etc the car could have fitted.

These concave type originated in response to those regulations, with a fog (straight cut, lower beam pattern) and a long range "spot" light incorporated into the single lamp to give the driver a choice without fitting two additional lamps.

I saw, and still have somewhere, contemporary testing of these era Cibiè Ken. Also bought and fitted many in cars and bikes, including both sizes and different beam patterns. Z type was only available in 180 in all those times when that kit was current.  H avaliable in both big and small though.

The Cibiè lens always are good though, whichever beam, their glass and prizm pattern moulding in manufacture was verifiable in it's ability over and above many other makers.

Offline TrickyMicky

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Re: What's my Headlamp
« Reply #14 on: January 14, 2024, 07:03:36 PM »
If my memory serves me correctly, the French Citroen team just did not like being beaten, especially in their own back yard by a group of humble{sic) British Minis.  The amazing part being, that all French registered vehicles at that time had to be equipped with yellow headlights. I leave you to guess what colour lights the Citroens were fitted with!!!! 

 

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