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Headlight gremlins

Discussion in 'Technical and Troubleshooting Torque' started by veom, Feb 21, 2014.

  1. I've got a KLR 650 made in 2004. In the 4 months I've owned the bike it has gone through 2 head light globes, which I think is a few too many. Anyway here are the symptoms of whats happening:

    1. Sometimes when the bike is switched to the on position the headlight doesn't come on, however, once the indicator is flicked on and off the headlight will turn on. This also happened when I replaced the blub.

    2. High beam is really weak it seems much worse than the normal low beam.

    3. When the bike is on high beam and it is idling it seems to light up the road just fine, but when the bike is revved it starts to pulse between dim and very dim. I think this may be a vibration thing and not a charging issue because this doesn't happen to any of the other lights on the bike.

    I have checked the head light connectors and they seem clean, there is no corrosion on them. When I replaced the bulbs I was very careful not to touch the glass on the bulb.

    What can I check to get to the bottom of this issue?
  2. Wiring. I'd imagine it's a crook earth somewhere.

    Unfortunately I don't know anything about the wiring on those bikes, sorry.

  3. Thanks for your reply, I can look through wiring diagrams and stuff that's not a problem, but what do you mean by a crook earth?
  4. I thought 1. was normal my headlight doesn't turn on when the key is on but the engine isn't running.
  5. Could just be dirty contacts in the switch block on the handlbar.

    Open it up and clean it with contact cleaner.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  6. Crook earth means that the earth (negative) side of the wiring is not contacting properly. Can be anywhere in the wiring loom from the headlight to the battery.

    Reading Hawklords reply makes sense though. Jaycar have a good pressure pack product called electrical contact cleaner and lubricant. Cleans crud out of the switchgears, cleans the contacts, and leaves an electrically conductive lubricant film behind so you don't wear out the copper contacts.
  7. Another symptom I forgot to mention is that sometimes the bike will go on high beam even if the switch is on low beam, I would then flip the switch to high beam and back to low beam and this would resolve the issue.

    My plan of attack for tonight will be to clean out the switch block with contact cleaner, clean the ground connections on the engine and frame.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  8. It sounds like the contactor in the switch might not be placing / contacting properly.
    I'm not sure what type of actuator and spring they use in the headlight switch but it sounds like it might have broken a spring.
    You'll see soon enough if you can open the switch.
  9. I opened the switch tonight, it was a pain in the ass to get back together. I got in there and cleaned it with contact cleaner, there was a lot of dust and crap in the switch block I also cleaned out. All the switches seem to be clicking and functioning how they should.

    I put a new bulb in and its working now, hopefully that will be the end of it!
    • Winner Winner x 1
  10. Just an update here on saturday I crashed my bike in some loose dirt. The headlight blew and I replaced it today and I'm getting nothing! no power at the connector. I pulled the switch block connector (the connector which connects the switch block to the main harness) and tested the different head light connections (low and high beam). The multimeter shows nothing for these connections. So I am no suspecting that it is a big wiring issue, I'm considering tearing the wiring harness apart to see whats going on in there.
  11. After taking the switch block apart again, and taking a few connectors out and running a few tests on the multimeter, it was the fuse -_-. Lesson learnt!
    • Like Like x 1