Parking Light ON, Normal Headlamp/Bright not working. - K-Bikes.com - Excellence in Motion
 
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old Apr 20th, 2010, 6:54 pm Thread Starter
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Parking Light ON, Normal Headlamp/Bright not working.

Frustrated, I have installed my new Piaa driving lights, which work very well. I have a 04 K1200 GT.
Started the bike the other night, and no headlamp, just the small parking light illuminated. Piaa' worked fine. I usually ride with my HIGH beam on but this is not working either. However, the HIGH beam indicator light is on. Blinkers seem to work fine along with brake light and all other indicators/lamps.

Thinking that my install of the piaa lamps may have caused an issue, I disconnected the lead and started the bike, only to see the same issue. Could the High beam/ Normal headlamp both be burn-outs? I would think this to be unlikely.

Any ideas?

Thanks
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old Apr 20th, 2010, 8:46 pm
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get a volt meter.
After you confirm you have 12V at power wire in head light bucket (and enough if you don't) solder a ground wire on to the head light buckets ground strap/bulb hold down and run it to the battery's ground stud.

You must drill a hole in the head light bucket to run the ground wire through.
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old Apr 21st, 2010, 12:47 am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DAK1200GT
<snip>

Could the High beam/ Normal headlamp both be burn-outs? I would think this to be unlikely.

Any ideas?

Thanks
The '03 and '04 bikes suffered from a bad ground strap which is common to both the low beam and high beam. Mine failed 1,000 miles from home on a trip, luckily my PIAAs got me home during the night portions of the ride. It was replaced under warranty with an entirely new headlamp assembly (about $400). Others have reported this same failure.

Flash's solution will work if you want to avoid the $400 replacement cost. You might also consider a HID replacement if you're going to be in there doing surgery.

On a GT, it's easier to remove the front tupperware and headlamp assembly than follow the manual on how to change a bulb.

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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old Apr 21st, 2010, 1:05 am Thread Starter
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Thanks guys for the input. So I removed the headlamp assembly and discovered a fried ground at the terminal on the outside of the lamp housing. Removed the connector, but about 2 inches of burned wire and replaced the connector with a new one. This fixed the problem, all good.
I had replaced ( about 1 year ago ) the stock high beam lamp with an HID. I have been riding with the high beam on the entire time. I assume the pull was too much of a strain, thus frying the ground. Not sure what else it could be. I will ride with the normal lamp + PIAA lamps from here on out and see if the issue happens again.

For now, all working fine. Thanks again.
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old Apr 21st, 2010, 11:02 am
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It will happen again, if you ride with the high beam on. That spring clip (copper plated steel) has too much resistance and heats up with both bulbs lit. The heating and cooling cycle slowly loosens the wire connections and the loose connectors then generate even more heat.

The simplest solution is to just don't routinely use the high beam, adjusting the low beam to shine out ahead as far as you can get away with. Then you can get away with just cleaning and tightening the ground terminals annually.

The next simplest solution would be a permanent fix and involves minor electrical work, either rerouting the low beam ground so the current doesn't flow through the spring clip, or installing a toggle switch so you can inturrupt the low beam current whenever you use the high beam. Neither of those require you to run a larger ground wire or drill holes in the headlight housing, although some people do that also.

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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old Apr 21st, 2010, 11:45 am
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Fix the ground then go 35 watt HID conversion on the low beam.

Ride 24/7 with the low beam HID on, you will rarely need the tungsten high. You also reduce the power in the headlamp and ground current by 20 watts and the tungsten high will last a long time.



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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old May 8th, 2010, 10:06 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sloowpoke
It will happen again, if you ride with the high beam on. That spring clip (copper plated steel) has too much resistance and heats up with both bulbs lit.
This is an old flaw with the 04 model. Problem is not the clip but the brown ground wire is designed too small for the load.

I ride with high beams on all the time. I replaced the end and terminal of the ground wire inside the lamp housing shortly after I bought the bike new in 2004 and have not had any problems since.

Jürgen
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old May 9th, 2010, 7:34 am
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BMW consistently uses wire that's too small for the job, at least for the headlight. Not only does this increase the chances of a burned out wire, but it also limits the current through the headlight bulb, which has a large impact on the amount of light it produces.

I solved this problem by rewiring the high & low headlight bulbs with much heavier gauge wire, and the lights are now considerably brighter than stock.

You can see a writeup on this mod here:

http://skene.org/K1200RS/headlight-wiring/index.htm

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