What's the Difference?
by Alan Buehner
Originally printed in the 2009 issue #45 of Still….Keeping Track
Penton motorcycles were equipped with a variety of styles of head lights to convert the bikes from MX to Enduro models. The head lights being featured in this article are the most popular ones to be found but are not the only ones to be used.
A. The small bullet head light (part no. 7-1-000) is easily identified because of it's “bullet” shape and the “pull-out” exterior switch mounted on the back. It has a 3-1/2” diameter one piece glass reflector (part no. 7-6-000) and uses a 6v 15-15watt bulb (part no. 7-8-000) that twists into a socket that is attached to the back of the reflector. This head light bolts directly to the fork mounted brackets using 2 rubber bushings as spacers (as shown in photo).. This head light was commonly used on any of the 1968-71 steel tanker bikes up to the 1972 CMF bikes.
B. The large CEV head light has 2 identifiable features, the red high beam indicator on the top and the rounded front glass reflector. It uses a 6v 35/35watt bulb (part no. 31-11-038-000) that twists into a socket attached to the back of the reflector. The glass front is a separate part from the chromed metal reflector. This head light bolts directly to the fork mounted brackets. This head light was commonly used on the 1971 steel tanker bikes up to the 1972 model bikes.
C. The large ZKW head light has 2 identifiable features, the blue high beam indicator on the top and the “flat” front glass reflector. These are also commonly found with a number plate bracket bolted on the top. It uses a 6v sealed beam bulb (part no. 51-11-030-300) with 3 prongs on the back that “plugs” into a wiring socket. The head light bolts directly to the fork mounted brackets. This head light was commonly used on the 1973 to 1975 CMF bikes.
D. The Preston Petty head light – number plate became the the universal head light of choice for use on dirt bikes. They came in many different colors and were easy to mount on any type/ brand of motorcycle. They used a 6v GE Tractor bulb which were available from Auto Parts stores and Farm Suppliers, and could be used on 6v or 12v electrical systems. The original head lights were mounted using 4 plastic brackets that bolted to the front forks and were screwed to the number plate. These were later revised with slots in the number plate and used 4 zip ties to easily fasten the head light to the front forks (as shown in photo). These head lights were very durable, almost indestructible and were used to replace existing head lights when they were damaged from crashes.
The Preston Petty head lights were carried in the High Point Accessories catalog and were sold through motorcycle dealers throughout the country. The Petty Headlight and fender with built in tail light revolutionized the enduro market. It eliminated the need for individual units that were difficult to mount and wire. Penton motorcycle dealers no longer needed to order the “lighting kits” for their customers which were becoming expensive and could easily set-up a bike for enduro riding by pulling a Petty head light from their inventory.