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Thread: intermittent Headlights

  1. #1

    intermittent Headlights

    While I was riding yesterday another rider pointed out that both headlights (high/low) were out. I replaced the fuse and they came back. Problem solved, I thought. Nope, the original fuse is good and I swapped it back and the headlights are still on. Sometimes. I keep testing them and they usually work but not always.

    When they work the high/low switch works fine. Either both lights work or they don't. I don't think the headlight receptacles are loose.

    I think it might be the headlight relay. Does that make sense? To access the relay the left saddlebag needs to be removed, and grab rails, possibly the Givi trunk mount, etc. Yeesh...
    His: Triumph Explorer 1200, Triumph Scrambler/DMC Sidecar, 2015 KTM Duke 390, 1982 Honda MB5. Hers: Honda CTX700, Honda Big Ruckus


  2. #2
    Motorcyclist elizilla's Avatar
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    Sounds like something is loose somewhere...
    Katherine
    2012 Yamaha Super T?n?r? with DMC Expedition sidecar

  3. #3
    Moderator RedLdr1's Avatar
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    Looking at the wiring diagram it appears that both headlights and "position light" share a common ground point. Was the position light on or off? If it was off I'd look for a loose ground connection in the nose...
    Wayne
    1987 Yamaha FJ1200
    AMA Life Member

  4. #4
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    SeattleJim's Avatar
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    Thanks for the tips.

    The Position light always works.

    I'm testing it by switching the key on and off while the bike is on the center stand. About 1 in 10 times the headlights do not come one. The bike is not moving at all. I know it "could" still be a loose wire but the last time the lights did not come on I hit the starter button. Once started the lights came on. The starter circuit switches the relay so it could be the relay. Or the vibration of starting jiggled the loose wire.

    I decided to go ahead and take the left saddlebag off. (don't forget the small screw in the RIGHT saddlebag.) I marked the headlight relay and swapped it for one of the 3 other identical relays. I repeated my testing of turning the key on and off about 20 times and the headlights always come on.

    The dealer says the closest relay is in Wisconsin so I've ordered one (<$8) and should have it Wednesday. I'll keep testing it in the mean time.

    Thank you!

  5. #5
    ARKNT's Avatar
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    You might keep in mind the function of the relay that now has the possible intermittant action. What does it do or not do when relay is malfunctioning.
    Did you see any corrosion or possible bad connections on the relay?

    Brad

  6. #6
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    SeattleJim's Avatar
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    The possibly bad relay is now operating the cooling fan. I'm not running the bike until i get a new relay so won't be able to tell what affect it has on the fan.

  7. #7
    Simba's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SeattleJim View Post
    I know it "could" still be a loose wire but the last time the lights did not come on I hit the starter button. Once started the lights came on. The starter circuit switches the relay so it could be the relay.....
    Could be a bad contact in the starter switch........lights are interrupted when actionning the starter motor.
    It's not the first time this happens to someone......

    On the other side, the low beam doesn't go through the relay, only the high beam.
    You start from the fuse, go through the starter switch an then directly to the low beam.....
    Only the normally closed contact of the starter swicth can fail and give problems.
    Last edited by Simba; 09-18-2011 at 06:45 PM.
    Guy

    Red Deauville NT650V-CBS-2002 / Red Deauville NT700VA-ABS-2009 N51 01.159 E3 59.656

  8. #8
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    SeattleJim's Avatar
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    Simba:

    Darn, if the relay doesn't activate the low beam then it must not be that.

    The power for the headlights must not go through the small starter switch on the handlebars. Another relay? I'll hunt that down on the wiring diagram.

  9. #9
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    SeattleJim's Avatar
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    I just went down and turn the key on -- no headlights. I tapped the starter switch and then the lights came on. I'll start by taking the switch apart and look for corrosion.

  10. #10
    Simba's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SeattleJim View Post
    Simba:

    Darn, if the relay doesn't activate the low beam then it must not be that.

    The power for the headlights must not go through the small starter switch on the handlebars. Another relay? I'll hunt that down on the wiring diagram.
    Yes it does.....but only for the Low beam and the control voltage for the High Beam relay.
    The High Beam itself goes through the relay.
    Last edited by Simba; 09-18-2011 at 08:05 PM.

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