These tail bulbs and holders are a pain and just as bad on car license plates. The problem is all the water and muck gets around there and there's enough vibration to knock out the fine filaments on the small torpedo lamps they use.
There are some that might like riding with their license plate bulb blown and that I can understand.
Anyway, just before my test I had your problem. I had a box full of white leds and on a thin strip of Veroboard managed to 'emulate' the torpedo bulb as 3 white leds, an hours work, fit and forget, never to be fixed again.
Afterwards I saw sellers on Ebay selling the torpedo lamps as a led replacement which being commercial would be a lot neater than my fix. I'm planning to get some for the bike and car.
Often the spring contacts get really dirty so they stop working or flash and draw attention.
Originally Posted by voxmagna
I'll probably solder in the led replacement.
I like your thinking. I was looking at it last night and thinking the same thing....If I were to solder an LED in here it would be fixed for life basically.
As a follow up I got the bike inspected today with little to no problems, the guy was thinking I was missing a shock absorber in the back though. I think it was the first BMW he ever saw. He even asked when we were filling the paperwork out what's the name of that thang again? He never even looked at my plate light. He had a hard enough time looking at rear brake pads after I took the cover off.