If you're in the dark about motorcycle headlights, consider the bright ideas these builders executed with their machines. Retro or repop, bone-stock or custom to the bone, practically any bucket you find will make a great headlight if you apply some thought and elbow grease to the process.
Well, almost any bucket. Skull headlights will always be lame.
This ChopCult Focus feature may short, but we think you'll find it illuminating.
Stacked rectangular headlights were de rigueur in the '70s. I personally like them when the top light is set up as the high beam on a two-way switch. Function AND fashion never killed anyone.
Nervous Nellies will undoubtedly ask, "Is an amber lens on the front of a vehicle legal or prudent?" To them I say, "Who cares?" This headlight looks badass, and when the bike you ride has a raw springer and T-bars, its headlight better look at home in such surroundings. Mission accomplished on this package.
Another double stack, this time with a second triple tree as a combination fork brace and lower headlight bracket. An OCD OG could breathe a little more style into this set-up with some heat shrink and hardare, but you can't fault the man who secures his tool bag with a bungee cord. This bike is built for the long haul, and double headlights are there to show the way.
Wiring is every self-conscious chopper builder's nemesis. Old salts with an eye for period-correctness sometimes opt for cloth wire to add retro authenticity to their electrical beehives. This gentleman eschewed such puffery in favor of the hot rodder's old standby: split plastic robot arm. I'd probably jetison the idiot lights on the top tree to clean up the area behind the bucket, but I love the alloy ears that hold the light to the fork stanchions. A little long, perhaps, but definitely stout and elegant.
There's a lot of monkey motion going on beneath the headlight and behind the chrome horn on this rideable antique. I'm not hip to what it does, but I'll guess it's some sort of adjustable ride height and/or damping system. Experts, please feel free to weigh in.
This gentleman heeded someone's advice on the subject of detail and fasteners. There's nothing special about this headlight bucket per se, but the cleanliness that surrounds it pulls the whole package together.
A case study in repurposing that which is humble to build something that is personally extraordinary. Rebar, a forged eye hook and what looks like an old Army shovel come together to form a rock-solid if not wholely sanitary faring and headlight mounting system. Bullet dents are a nice touch. Kudos, Mad Max.
No one will convince me these Crime Scene Chopper headlights cast sufficient light between their brightwork bars to provide adequate visibility in nighttime riding, but they look cool as hell. This fellow minds his P's and Q's in the work shop, and it shows.
Tidy, tidy, God allmighty, this is a sweet cockpit. The Bates repop headlight is nondescript, and that's as it should be in surroundings that include the Joker Machine master cylinder, clip-ons and triple-tree detailing seen here. The last thing I'd throw into a mix this solid is a headlight bucket with too much flash or filigree. Well played, sir.
Steering stabilizer? Check. Bug-splattered fork stanchions with rich triple-tree patina? Check. Jeff Goldblum flyball headlight? Hell yeah. I thought this was the coolest headlight in the world until I saw the next one…
Hey Raider Nation—stop talking about your shitty football team and look at this headlight. It's awesome.
I don't know what's cooler: this elegant glass lens in an understated chrome bucket, or the Indian head nickel embedded in the gas cap. Details make the difference, and this bike's got plenty.
With a name like Electroline 54, this art deco light housing with amber glass lens has to hail from the middle of last century. A fog lamp off a pre-WWII motorcar, perhaps, or maybe a marker light off an old locomotive? Dig around long enough in grandpa's garage and the jewels you find might surprise you.