Best Motorcycle Headlights: Top Picks for Night Riding
See better at night with these top motorcycle headlights
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Motorcycle headlights are essential as you need to safely see where you're going at night. Who knew? The best motorcycle headlights illuminate obstacles, have a broad field of view, and make you visible to drivers and other road users. While factory headlights competently do their jobs, you can further improve safety by upgrading to lights that are brighter and more efficient.
The top motorcycle headlights provide excellent visibility, are easy to install, and are designed to last. Different motorcycles require different types of headlight assemblies, and not all of them are created equally. This guide includes some of the best options so you can see clearly when you ride after dark.
HogWorkz LED 5 3/4" V2 Headlight For Harley 1988-2022
- Easy to install
- Good performance on dark, back roads
- High beam isn’t much brighter than the low beam
JFG RACING Dirt Bike Headlight
- Good value
- Fits most dirt bikes
- Available in several colors
- Wiring diagram not included
- May flicker
Baja Designs Squadron Pro M/C LED Race Light
- Easy to service and swap out
- Waterproof and submersible
- 50,000-hour lifespan
- Requires a stator rewind
- Best for Harley-Davidsons: HogWorkz LED 5 3/4" V2 Headlight For Harley 1988-2022
- Best for Dirt Bikes: JFG RACING Dirt Bike Headlight
- Best for Racing: Baja Designs Squadron Pro M/C LED Race Light
- Best for Bobbers and Cafe Racers: Emgo Side-Mount Cafe Headlight
- Best for Sport Bikes: Motodemic Adaptive LED Headlight Upgrade Kit
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I took many factors into consideration when choosing the best motorcycle headlights. First, I made sure to include lights for a variety of different bikes, such as cruisers and dirt bikes. This guide isn't designed to focus solely on, let’s say, Harley-Davidsons or solely BMWs, but it is intended to inform a wider audience of bike owners.
Next, I filtered out unknown manufacturers and focused on well-known brands with a reputation for producing high-quality motorcycle accessories. And since I was unable to test each headlight on this list (although it would be nice to own a myriad of different motorcycles in order to conduct such testing), I examined user feedback to see how these products perform in real-world conditions. For more information on The Drive’s methodology, go here.
Best Motorcycle Headlight Reviews & Recommendations
Best for Harley-DavidsonsHogWorkz LED 5 3/4" V2 Headlight For Harley 1988-2022SEE IT
- Brand: HogWorkz
- Type: 45-watt LED
- Lumens: 4,000 (high beam) and 3,400 (low beam)
- Improved visibility over factory headlights
- Good projection
- Easy to install
- High beam isn’t much brighter than low beam
- May be a snug fit on certain models
If you want to see a larger swath of road while you're riding at night and own a 1988-2022 Harley-Davidson (or other cruiser models such as an Indian Scout), consider the HogWorkz LED 5 3/4-inch Headlight. It features six vibration-resistant projector LEDs that produce bright white light with a 6500K color temperature. Users report that the light is significantly brighter than stock Harley lights and is easy to install on most models.
The headlight works well on back roads when there's very little light provided by the area in which you're traveling. The high beam is rated for 4,000 lumens, and the low beam for 3,400 lumens. Other features include a sturdy aluminum housing, a shatterproof polycarbonate lens, anti-interference electronics, and no-hum cooling. One downside is that the high beam isn't significantly brighter than the low beam. It may also be a tight fit in certain models, such as a Harley-Davidson Softail Cross Bones.
- Brand: JFG Racing
- Type: 23 watts (high beam) and 10 watts (low beam)
- Lumens: 1,800 (high beam) and 850 (low beam)
- Bright projection
- Universal fit for most dirt bikes
- Several colors available
- May require modification to fit certain models
- May flicker
If you're looking for a solidly constructed headlight for your KTM, Honda, Suzuki, Husqvarna, or other enduros, the JFG Racing headlight with turn signals is a good option. It's also compatible with certain pit bikes, enduro bikes and ATVs. While it may require some modification to fit certain models, this headlight is bright and good value overall.
It looks like a factory light and provides plenty of light for night rides. The frame is polypropylene, while the LED light is made of aluminum substrate. It can be configured to accommodate turn signals. The high beam is 23 watts and 1,800 lumens, while the low beam is 10 watts and 850 lumens. However, the light does not include a wiring diagram, so that can make installation slightly more challenging.
- Brand: Baja Designs
- Type: 42 watts
- Lumens: 4,300
- Extremely bright
- Waterproof and submersible
- High-quality construction
- Replaceable parts
- Stator rewind required
Named after the infamous Baja 1000 race, Baja Designs is an expert when it comes to lights. The Baja Designs Squadron Pro M/C LED Race Light features lenses with high-quality housings. They are sealed closed with an O-ring, which makes them easier to service or swap out. Both the lenses and optics can be replaced if the need occurs. These high-performance lights are not too difficult to install with the correct tools even if you're just learning how to do electrical work on your bike.
The lights are extremely bright and are waterproof and submersible up to nine feet, so you don't have to worry how they will perform in the rain. The Squadron Pro model has four LED lights with 4,300 lumens and a 5,000K daylight color temperature, which is designed to reduce fatigue when riding. They have a nearly 50,000-hour lifespan, an aluminum housing and bezel, and a stainless steel bracket. The lights also include over-voltage protection. One downside is that they're a little pricey. They also require a stator rewind for installation.
- Brand: Emgo
- Type: N/A
- Lumens: N/A
- Bright and functional
- Retro style
- Easy to install
- Hardware and bracket not included
- May vibrate at higher revs
If you're looking for a classic British-style headlight for your cafe racer or bobber, check out the Emgo Side-Mount Cafe Headlight. This retro-style light has a glass lens and works with everything from a Honda CB750 to an Indian Scout. The sleek-looking headlight is fairly easy to install if you have any wiring experience.
This light is durable, emits plenty of light, and is attractive on many types of bikes. Considering the quality of this headlight, it's a great value overall, and it's available in either chrome or gloss black shells. However, if you look closely at the light you can see "H4" in the bulb, which can detract from the look of the light. However, you can swap it out for a 6V bulb if you so choose. Another downside is that the screws for the mounting bracket are not part of the package. It may also vibrate at higher revs.
- Brand: Motodemic
- Type: 36 watts (high beam) and 24 watts (low beam)
- Lumens: N/A
- Lean angle sensor for turns
- Good spread and distance
- Easy to install
- No instructions included in the package
The Motodemic Adaptive LED Headlight Upgrade Kit is great for a variety of models, including Suzuki, BMW, and Triumph. What sets this headlight apart from some other options is that it's designed with what the company dubs "onboard intelligence." It features sensors that direct the LED lights into your turns, which helps when you're cornering and minimizes dead spots. The light has excellent spread and distance and does a good job of illuminating the edge of the road. While bright, it won't distract other road users.
The light has a drop-in design, is easy to install, and includes a multi-lens LED and OEM-style connectors that are compatible with factory headlight housings. The unit features a polycarbonate lens and anodized aluminum brackets. Other features include a 5,000K color temperature and a 40,000-hour lifespan.
Choosing the best motorcycle headlight overall is next to impossible because different types of motorcycles require different types of headlights. As a result, I included top picks for HD owners, sport bike riders, dirt bikers, etc. There are a range of options in each class, depending on the style of the bike, but I featured the cream of the crop for several categories in this guide.
When we start shopping for tools and products, we never overlook the secondhand market. In fact, it’s usually the first place I look. Whether you’re scrolling through Amazon’s Renewed section, eBay for car parts or tools, or flipping through the pages of Facebook Marketplace and Craigslist, you have hundreds of thousands of used tools, parts, and gear ready to be shipped to your doorstep. Refurbished to like-new status, they’ll be willing to give you many more years of faithful service all while saving you money.
If those options don’t have what you need, your local salvage yard is great for car parts, while swap meets are a great resource you should tap. Just Google either and head on down.
To make your secondhand search easier, here are two tips to finding the best deals and making sure your new-to-you stuff wasn’t destroyed by the previous owner.
- Examine the headlight thoroughly for imperfections and cracks that may prevent the item from operating efficiently.
- Verify that it’s designed for your particular make and model motorcycle because secondhand items are usually not returnable.
Things to Consider Before Buying Motorcycle Headlights
Do your research. This should go without saying, but it's vital that you choose a headlight that's going to fit on your bike. While some assemblies may require a little modification, most manufacturers list the makes and models that work with their products. Often websites feature a search option to ensure that your bike and the headlight are compatible. It's also a good idea to measure your current headlight to make sure the dimensions match the one you're thinking about purchasing.
Many riders choose to upgrade their headlights because they want them to be brighter. One way to check the brightness of a headlight is to check the specs. Lights have a set number of lumens. The higher the lumens, the brighter the light will be. Also consider the color temperature. Many people prefer 4,500K or lower and a white-colored projection that resembles daylight. This is best for visibility.
Many bikes come with halogen lights, which are affordable and easy to swap out. However, they don't last as long as some other types of headlights. Another option is Xenon or HID lights. They produce less heat than their halogen counterparts and are brighter and longer lasting. They tend to have a bluer color temperature. One downside is that they are more difficult to install and may require professional assistance. The third option is energy-efficient LEDs, which have long lifespans and are becoming increasingly more popular among bikers. However, they tend to be a bit more expensive.
Motorcycle Headlight Pricing
There is no "average" price for a motorcycle headlight because the assemblies vary from bike to bike. For example, Harley-Davidson headlights can cost as little as $50 to $100 for lesser-known brands and up to a few hundred dollars for more sophisticated options. Sometimes headlights can cost more when purchased directly from the brand's manufacturer than from an aftermarket company. Halogen headlights tend to be cheaper, but they don't last as long, so you need to decide whether you want to pay more upfront for a more durable unit or spend a smaller amount more frequently.
You’ve got questions. The Drive has answers.
Q: Are LED lights illegal on motorcycles?
A: Only if you don’t replace the entire housing. LED bulbs are illegal on their own.
Q: Are LED lights better on motorcycles?
A: They are a good choice because they provide a bright and wide beam of light. What sets them apart from halogen and HID headlights is their longevity, efficiency, and variety because there are many different styles of LED lights to choose from.
Q: Should I replace my motorcycle's stock headlight?
A: You can swap out the factory headlight when it fails or if you want one that provides a brighter projection. Headlight lifespans vary across the board, but you should purchase a new one if you notice that it's not as bright as it used to be.