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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey folks,

Turned on the bike today and couldn't switch between hi and lo beam, indicator remained on hi. Later when it got dark I realized I had no headlight, hi or lo! The parking light stays on and all other lights seem to function. I washed the bike earlier that AM. No excessive flooding I think, but perhaps that had something to do with it. Any sequence of fixes to try, easier to harder would be greatly appreciated. Cheers.
 

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Search this forum and the Community Archive Forum for "grounding" or "ground" issues. There is apparently a ground wire that is common to both the high and low beams that has been know to corrode from heavy rain/washing. It also will burn up when higher wattage bulbs are used (as a side note).

Randy
 

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What year, model, of the bike??? Give us something to go on. Was your handelbar stop switch in the OFF position??
Bruce C
 

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Randy is right. Open the dust cover and look for the two brown wires connected to the high beam bulb holder just below the bulb. One of them is loose or got hot enough that it melted the wire. Known issue with the K1200LT bikes as well. Tell tale sign is the high beam indicator being on.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I ride a 2004 K1200GT still under warranty. Not sure what you mean about the stop switch. Lights are out wether stop switch is on or off. Thanks for those tips. Will check them out first thing in the AM. Mucho Appreciation.
 

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Checking the ground wire on a warranty bike is a pain as you have to take the front plastics off. Then it's not so simple as I found out removing the instruments - the plastics on my older 'K' are interlocked with the sides, so they have to come off first.

If you're actually riding or running the motor and the main/dip are not on when the blue tell tall tail is on for main I'd let the dealer sort on warranty. You could be unlucky and both bulb filaments have gone but unlikely and probable cause is the ground wire as others posted.

I found just getting the lamp holder out from the rear without removing any plastic quite difficult.



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fastjohnny said:
I ride a 2004 K1200GT still under warranty. Not sure what you mean about the stop switch. Lights are out wether stop switch is on or off. Thanks for those tips. Will check them out first thing in the AM. Mucho Appreciation.
Take it back to the dealer. It is a warranty problem if the beam is not burned out(very unlikly.
Bruce C
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
wires and bulbs are okay...

I checked the wires and bulbs today. They seem fine. Fuses are good.I forgot to mention that I have a Kisan modulator installed (put it in when I got the bike and was so used to it I forgot it was there). Maybe that is the problem or perhaps the switch? Fuses seem fine. Don't mind taking it to the dealer but was hoping to fix it myself and not go through the hassle. Thanks again for your insights. -John
 

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My $$'s are on the series electronics you introduced. Perhaps it has its own internal fuse. If your problem was a common ground fault you should tell that easy by metering or connecting a spare bulb between battery positive and the headlamp ground wire.

Unless I could be convinced that something in series with my headlights would always fail safe to bypass, I'd be nervous. Switch your lights off for a second on an unlit road with your visor down and you'll get the idea.



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fastjohnny said:
Hey folks,

Turned on the bike today and couldn't switch between hi and lo beam, indicator remained on hi. Later when it got dark I realized I had no headlight, hi or lo! The parking light stays on and all other lights seem to function. I washed the bike earlier that AM. No excessive flooding I think, but perhaps that had something to do with it. Any sequence of fixes to try, easier to harder would be greatly appreciated. Cheers.
Umm, seems to me that we covered this sort of thing in my grade 7 class "How Electricity Works".

As someone else already may have said, when you have 2 different things not working properly at the same time, look for the common connection between them. After all, the problem MUST be something common between both the high and low beam circuits. The thing that is most obviously common, is the single (common) ground connection. So it would make pretty good sense to start with that.

Take a voltmeter (or even an ordinary 12 V light bulb) and connect one terminal to the metal chassis of the bike or the motor itself. Unplug the headlight bulb, then connect the other voltmeter terminal (or other terminal of the test lamp) to the low beam (or the high beam ....it makes no difference) connector that came off the bike's lamp. Turn on the ignition switch. Switch between high and low beam. If your test lamp (or voltmeter) indicates normal activity, then the problem is obviously the headlight's ground connection.

You can verify that by checking continuity from the headlight's ground terminal to the chassis or engine of the bike.

If the test above does not result in the test light working (or the voltmeter indicating power) when it should, then it is just a simply matter of tracing back the wiring until you find the problem. Referring to the bike's wiring diagram that came in the owners maual would seem to be useful as well. As they say, this really ain't rocket science.

Bob.
 

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Ah but fastjohny said said he had a headlamp modulator in series, and that's common so I'd add to your fault finding procedure: after first checking the ground wire by running a second wire in parallel back to battery negative or the bikes frame, 'try removing or bypassing the aftermarket dongle'

Who knows what things can happen in the wiring when bike electrics are changed from stock and more electronics are planted in. It's hard enough working through BMW electrics!



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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Hey Wilson,
I'm glad Canada finally got electricity! Just kidding pal, thanks for your input. My knowledge is rudimentary and I just wanted to gain any new info I could. I appreciate everyone's help. As it turned out, I was baffled because I couldn't find the source of the problem (which it seemed shoud be the mutual ground). Didn't see it at first, but on a second exam (yes, removed and replaced tupperware TWICE!) I found the burnt part of the wire. At this point, I have left the modulator disconnected as I go in for my 6000 soon and I think I want to have fatter ground wires put in before re-installing. Any advice on upgrading this part of the wiring? Is it advisable to put in a direct line to the battery and a relay of some sort? Sorry if I am not clear on this....just don't know. Cheers.
 

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Larger wire from the battery and relays are always a good thing for lights. Just depends on how or who installs it. Larger wire has less resistance, there for less voltage drop. That means there's more voltage for the bulb (we're talking tenths of volts, but it makes a differentce) which in turn provides more light. This applies to the ground wire as well, which is obvious to some as your problem cause was a burned ground wire (too much heat, not really large enough in wire size for the job). Could have been a bad crimp too, but in the end, it was too much resistance creating too much heat...

Relay only because the control circuit is required as part of the operation. It will help the load on the contacts of the highbeam switch for switching the high beam on, and the contacts for the load-shed relay.



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Take it to dealer, its a common problem.

Same thing happened to me in June. Take it to the dealer for warranty repair. It's the ground wire, and they will replace the entire headlamp assembly with a new one (I think it's of a different design).
 
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