OEM Headlight FAQ
compiled & edited by Kristian #562
Please read the Disclaimer before attempting any work in this FAQ.
updated 02/07/03 by Scott#1244
For Aftermarket Lights refer the Classic Aftermarket Lights FAQ and the Aftermarket GS Lights FAQ
For Problems with the Rear Brake Light See Brake Light
For information on "How many Lights can I run" and similar Q's see the Electrical Misc FAQs
Replacement Headlight Bulb is H4 in 55/60 watts
Q. How do I Reset the Headlight Throw Angle?
A. Check the tire pressure and correct it, if necessary. Place motorcycle on its wheels with the rider on it, on a level surface, 5 meters from a light-colored wall. The rear springs should be set for solo operation. Measure distance from ground to head light center ( H in the picture ), mark this distance on the wall with a cross and draw another cross 5 centimetres below the first one. Switch on low beam and align the head light, so that the bright-dark boundary runs from the left, from the center of the lower cross, rising to the right to the horizontal line of the upper cross and then falls off.
How do I get out the
Headlight Bulb (Classic)
A1. There are 2 bulbs. The main "center" one and a sidemounted smaller bulb which seems to serve as a reflector illuminator.
There are two lamps in the F650 classic. One is a halogen combination low/high beam; it resides in the center hole.
The other is a parking lamp (of mysterious use, some would say), which is an ordinary bulb of low-wattage; it resides in the side hole.
They are separately wired and separately operated.
The halogen has two filaments; it is possible for one to break and the other still work. Sometimes a filament dies and does not appear to be broken.
There's no need to remove the fairing, though people with big hands might find the replacement awkward, and if you don't know what the wire fasteners look like for the halogen, you might be confused about how to bend them to lock the bulb back in place.
It's not easy to describe, just feel around, or last ditch, remove the headlamp assembly and look at it.
Replace your bulb and test. If the problem persists, it's time to fool with wiring. Don't touch the glass of halogen bulbs!. Aleksander in Dubai 98ST
A2. If you have full control of the lights (rather than the silly lights on at ignition), the separate "parking"/side lamp is a real bonus. You replace the 5W lamp with a 20W and use this for daylight running. This saves power and allows you to fit a 80/90 or 100/130 main lamp for use at night of in bad weather. Andy Leeds UK #982
Q. Low Lighting on my Classic?
Went out for an evening ride on the Y2K Classic and noticed that my low beam was hardly emitting any light. When I got to a stop sign I put my hand in front of the headlight, and it illuminated my hand, but there is not enough light coming out to do much else. High beam is working fine. Are there two separate bulbs in there that are replaceable separately? The bike only has 7200mi on it too; maybe there is something loose?
There is a parking light bulb inside the headlight reflector area (that's probably the dim light you see).. The headlight bulb's low beam is gone, and a new bulb (combines high & low) will be required (at least on a Classic). Marty #436
The other day I had to replace my headlight bulb for the first time and when I did, the parking light fell out and I rode around for a couple of days with the little light hanging below the fairing and lit up like a Christmas tree light. I finally noticed it and pushed it back into its socket at the right side of the headlight housing. Richard #230, Pacifica, CA
High Beam Light Stays On?
It was a busted connector just behind the headlight. It seems it had corroded and the wires had popped out. A new connector and I was back on the road! Rick Smith -- '99 F650ST --
Q. Weak (OEM) GS/Dakar Headlight Assembly?
2001 F650 Weak Spot. Anybody that has worked around or has owned plastic parts (styrene) they get brittle/weak with age & heat/cold. Well, in knowing this and in attempting to change out the headlight bulb I went to spin off the black plastic bulb keeper ring, and the one flange clip that is part of the reflector housing broke off. I looked at it under a magnifying glass and it was very dirty like the other areas which have a lot of dust on them. This leads me to believe that it has been broke for a time. And maybe this is why both beams burned out in less than 6 months? Maybe because it was vibrating due to the broken keeper flange. Beware. Mike Galmukoff, Advrider.
I did the same thing trying to get my bulb out. It was two days old. I think the part is poorly engineered -- read: Junk -- to begin with. I'm suspicious that the fatherland is, perhaps, shipping them this way (already broken) to discredit the riders.
This is indeed my biggest complaint with my Dakar. That dammed headlight has popped out on me three times now, and basically I can't believe how that collection keeps itself together. The way the indicator covers screw up to hold everything together is just absurd. I took the Kiwi approach to stop the headlight popping out. This involved making two holes with my Leatherman on the plastic cowling under the screen, and lassoing a plastic cable tie around the screw, pulling it tight. No way that dammed light is falling out again. Still probably end up spending more money with Touratech though. Jaz #1126.
Q. Low Lighting on my GS/Dakar?
I had the same problem a little while ago except it was my high beam. I replaced the bulb and it still didn't work. Upon further inspection I found a broken wire right at the plastic three way plug that plugs on to the head light. I ended up cutting the old one off and splicing a "new" plastic plug on from an old Honda, rather than inserting a new connector into the plastic piece. Stumby (DC) '01GS.
Q. How do I get out the Headlight Bulb (GS)
The bulb on the G/S is very easy to change if your not a monster. I have good sized hands and arms and am able to get my fingers on the bulb holder enough to work it. It works quite easily really. If you can't manage that, pull the panels, windshield, then the two plastic clip on the outer dash and it all comes off in your hands. I put a bulb in my oil light last week and it didn't take 10 minutes. F650GS Dakar, Oregon. Steve 1130
Q. My headlight flasher switch failed (GS/Dakar)
By Scott ID, #1244
Ever notice how bright the road gets when you hold your flasher switch down, thus activating both hi and lo beams? Well, one night last summer I was doing that, and after about 20 seconds the switch failed. Months later, I pulled the switch out, and I took it completely apart. Turns out that there are two little copper/brass contacts and when you press the trigger switch, they come together. When I held it too long, they got hot, so hot that one of the contacts melted into the plastic housing. So, after sinking into oblivion, the two contacts could no longer touch each other.
I pulled the sunken contact out of its hole, and placed a drop of epoxy in the hole, then placed a tiny washer or two that just fit, to build up the melted area . . . I tested the result (good), and re-installed the switch. So, if you ever hold that switch down too long, you might try this fix (took about 20 minutes). If you do, keep track of the spring that goes in-between the contacts, and the spring-loaded ball bearing that makes that nice little "clicking" feeling when you pull the trigger. It fits just above and to the left of the copper contact as shown in the below picture:
by Bird on Advrider
Dakar High beam Trigger: I was putting the Bavarian Sh*theap back together after doing the valve shims and decided to "improve" the aux. light wiring . Somehow, while I was putting the plug back together, the high beam trigger stopped working. The rocker switch still works, and it will activate the high beam as well as the aux. lights.
Is there a relay or fuse I'm missing? I'm thinking that I burned something and this wasn't just an act of god, since it worked part way through the "improvements".
Fixed. First what I found. I disassembled the switch and whipped out my 'tronics kit to have a look. Fluke'd the switch and saw juice Hmmm this could be really good (dirty/burnt contacts) or really bad (something amiss deep in the bowels of wiring land). Fortunately Billy was watching over me as I lucked out with burnt contacts:
So I cleaned the contacts, birded the roundel, and tested. Ooohhh, lights! Yay, it wor...OW THAT'S HOT! Hmm, shouldn't be getting hot like that. What's making it hot and why were the contacts burnt? Back to the Evil Relay:
After I put the wiring back together the other day, I changed out the relay as they get a little sticky after being in the weather -- especially the unsealed ones like Hella makes. I didn't figure this as a culprit because the trigger worked after I changed the relay. But last night when I checked the pinout against my handy-dandy wiring diagram, it was all wrong. That would explain the burned contacts and hot wiring insulation.
I re-arranged the plug wires, everything is bomber now. But, was I really so hungover that I totally re-arranged the wires in some seemingly random order?
To the Oracle, Robin. Must have been the hangover because every relay I looked at on the net had the same pinout - 3 horizontal with the vertical 30 (hot). Still not convinced, I persisted and eventually found seemingly the only picture of the pin-out of 'my' Hella relay. Sonomobeyotch. The 30 pin is on the side. Why the f*** would would they do that? It seems to be the only 12v relay on earth that is pinned that way.
So, when I changed out the relay I assumed the pins were the same, they were not, my bad. Thus the burned contacts and hot wires.