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Ask RSRBOB Your Own Question
RSRBOB, Technician
Category: Motorcycle
Satisfied Customers: 1078
Experience:  Former Factory Service Rep, Dlr Line Tech, Service Manager, General Manager, Store Owner
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My motorcycle headlight won't come on when the key is in the

Customer Question

My motorcycle headlight won't come on when the key is in the on position and the brake light is just staying on. The other lights work fine turn signals and gauges
JA: Sometimes things that you think will be really complicated end up being easy to fix with a a motorcycle. The Mechanic I'm going to connect you with knows all the tricks and shortcuts. Tell me a bit more about what's going on so he can help you best.
Customer: The bike is a 2013 yamaha stryker and the brake light is staying on wether im pushing the pedal or not it just stays on. The head light isn't coming on. I checked the fuses I had a blown tail fuse changed it still nothing
JA: Are you hoping to fix this yourself?
Customer: Yes I have a big ride in a couple hours
JA: Great! What have you tried so far?
Customer: Changing and checking fuses.
JA: Is there anything else important you think the Mechanic should know about your motorcycle?
Customer: It worked fine until I washed it yesterday
JA: OK. Got it. I'm sending you to a secure page on JustAnswer so you can place the $5 fully-refundable deposit now. While you're filling out that form, I'll tell the Mechanic about your situation and then connect you two.
Submitted: 6 months ago.
Category: Motorcycle
Expert:  RSRBOB replied 6 months ago.
Hi and thank you for your question.I'll start with the brake light. A switch is sticking on in all likelihood. Start by looking for the brake light switch at the foot brake. If is a black plastic cylindrical looking device that has 2 wires coming out of one end and a small steel rod coming out of the other with a spring wire connecting the switch to the brake pedal. These have been known to stick. The first thing to do is push the spring wire in towards the switch and see if your brake light goes off. It could either stick or be out of adjustment. If it appears to be sticking, hit it with some WD-40 or similar. If it needs to be adjusted, there is a plastic nut threaded to the body of the switch that is used for the adjuster. Turn the plastic nut so it moves the switch closer to the brake pedal. Proper adjustment would have the switch come on just after you start moving the brake pedal. If pushing in on the switch doesn't turn the brake light out, go up to the front brake lever and find the front brake light switch. Make sure the front brake lever is pushed all the way forward. if it is, disconnect one of the two wires going to the switch, and see if the brake light goes out. If it goes out, inspect the switch for any obvious problems. If there is no visible damage to it, it has shorted out internally and will need to be replaced. If the brake light stays on with the front switch unplugged, unplug the rear brake light switch and check the brake light. If it goes out with the rear switch unplugged, plug the front one back in and make sure the brake light is still out. If the light is still out and you are sure you have adjusted the rear brake light switch to have enough free play to not be pulled until the pedal is pressed, the switch has failed and will need to be replaced. If the brake light does not go out with both switches unplugged, then there is a short in the wiring harness. Most likely a pinched wire. Follow the wires from each switch all the way back to the brake light looking for damage. Repair as necessary.As far as the headlight, check the fuse with either a test light or volt meter. Please don't trust your eyes, a fuse can look fine and still be open electrically (bad). If the fuse passes the electrical test, remove the headlight from the shell, unplug it and start the bike and test for voltage at the headlight socket. Green is low beam and Yellow is high beam. If you have power to both wires at the socket, the bulb has failed. If you do not have power to the socket, we will proceed with the diagnosis. The next thing to check would be check the head light relay. First make sure you have battery voltage to the brown wire plugged into the headlight relay. If you have power to it, that is good. Now unplug it from the harness. We need to use jumper wires to power up the relay. Battery positive to the brown wire and battery negative to the yellow/black wire. Now check for DCV through the relay from the red/yellow wire (tester + lead) to the Green/blue (tester - lead). If the relay checks out, then there is an open circuit between the relay and the headlight. You are going to have to trace the wires and look for unplugged wires or broken wires between the relay and the headlight.If you have any more questions, feel free to ask.Thanks,RSRBOB

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