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Discussion Starter #1
This one ought to be answered pretty quickly:

2010 K13GT, new to me, has lost one side light, the little ones that are item "1" on the Owner's Manual, page 22. I can't see how to get at the thing although I can reach up under the fairing and just barely touch the housing.

The fascia around the instrument pod and larger fascia around that would have to be removed to come in from the back, which I'm reluctant to to. It might be best if I not do that.

Anyone got a quick way to get that bulb in and out?

TIA

Charlie
 

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No. Furthermore, there are no instructions in the official BMW repair manual (the "RepROM") for replacing light bulbs. BMW considers bulb replacement to be so basic that any competent mechanic can do it without instructions. I am not sure I would agree with that assumption.

What you must do is squeeze your hand into the unbelievably tight space under the dash panel. These days, I would use a cellphone camera to view the area or take a few shots so that you know what your target looks like as well as the shape of things around it.

Rotate the "bayonet" mount a quarter turn to loosen it, then pull it out. You will use the tippy tips of your fingers to reach it. You will lose some skin as it scrapes on parts and plastic edges when you cram your hand in. If you have a skinny pre-teen or teenager and can withstand the humiliation, you might ask them to help.

The first time I tried, I couldn't do it, and I had been very persistent. I thought I must be missing some important "trick" to get it out. Finally, in exasperation, I took it to the local BMW dealer and asked the service technician for a hint to learn whatever trick I didn't know. The answer is that there is no trick. The technician gave me that "incompetent customer" scowl, and went to do it himself. I could tell that he first thought it would take only a few seconds, but soon there was a growing awareness of the true situation on his face. Eventually, he got his hand in the tiny space and could touch the back of the mount. It took time, but he managed to get it out and replaced the bulb for me.

Having seen what the service technician had gone through to get it out, I was able to do it myself the next time, but it was not easy. The space is very very tight.

If I recall, it helps to remove or raise the windscreen, so you can lean over and observe the bulb protruding from the hole in the reflector at the front of the bike while your hand is under the dash, especially when you are trying to reinsert the bulb. When the bulb moves, you know your fingertips are in the right place, moving the right part.

I make it a habit to never touch new automotive/motorcycle bulbs, to avoid getting skin oils on them. According to my father, skin oils reduce the lifetime of the bulb. I use a paper towel or plain toilet paper to protect the bulb from my fingertips. Once the bulb is in its holder, the next trick is to avoid touching the bulb on any grimy parts under the dash. I have yet to succeed with that. Oh well. :-(

I hope this helps.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks, guess I'll just have a go at it. I've touched the bulb holder, and the owner's manual makes the point of a quarter turn release. My arms are long enough, but the trick will lie in getting small hands in there to do the job. But it's rainy today, and there are other things to do.
 

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Actually, it took less than five minutes.

The trick is not to go in from the front, between the front fender and .... everything else. I could only just feel the bulb holder with my fingertips from that approach.

Instead, by turning the bars full left, there was space at 10 oclock relative the steering stem to get my hand in from above, then forward and a little left where a good grip on the bulb holder could be had. The owner's manual tells you to turn the holder 1/4 turn left. In perhaps typical BMW fascshion, there's an oring between the holder and inner bodywork that makes it a tight fit, but once rotated there is just enough slack to bring the holder out next to the steering stem and change the bulb.

To reinstall I smeared the oring with a bit of silicone dielectric grease, then fumbled around to get the bulb into the hole in the reflector, and a firm 1/4 turn clockwise... and it's done. No other disassembly required.

The bulb is an W5W wedge base rated 5 watts, $1.29 at the FLAP. Others could be used but I saw no reason to.

The dealer tech that went in from front and under had the wrong idea for sure, considering how easily it was done from above.
 

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Honolulu said:
Actually, it took less than five minutes.

The trick is not to go in from the front, between the front fender and .... everything else. I could only just feel the bulb holder with my fingertips from that approach.

Instead, by turning the bars full left, there was space at 10 oclock relative the steering stem to get my hand in from above, then forward and a little left where a good grip on the bulb holder could be had. The owner's manual tells you to turn the holder 1/4 turn left. In perhaps typical BMW fascshion, there's an oring between the holder and inner bodywork that makes it a tight fit, but once rotated there is just enough slack to bring the holder out next to the steering stem and change the bulb.

To reinstall I smeared the oring with a bit of silicone dielectric grease, then fumbled around to get the bulb into the hole in the reflector, and a firm 1/4 turn clockwise... and it's done. No other disassembly required.

The bulb is an W5W wedge base rated 5 watts, $1.29 at the FLAP. Others could be used but I saw no reason to.

The dealer tech that went in from front and under had the wrong idea for sure, considering how easily it was done from above.
Very helpful, but you misunderstood me. Both the dealer mechanic and I went in from above, behind the handlebars, with our arms between the tank and under the dash, just as you described. While my hand was on the bayonet mount between the tank and under the dash, I leaned over enough to see the bulb from above the front side, but I was still standing behind the handlebars. I hope that helps others.

I'm sorry if my description was not clear enough.
 
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