Headlight Trouble - Kawasaki Vulcan 750 Forum : Kawasaki VN750 Forums
Electrical
Where does this wire go?
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post #1 of 20 (permalink) Old 03-15-2010, 05:39 PM Thread Starter
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Headlight Trouble

So stupid me I left my key in the ignition a week back and killed the battery. It is a brand new sealed battery so no problem I recharge it and the bike runs fine. When I tried cranking it up I noticed that the head light didn't work, This I thought was because the battery wasn't fully charged and just needed some more time. So i lived with it for a 30 minute ride thinking while I was riding the generator would charge up the battery and get the light to come on but still no light. I then fiddled with the light thinking maybe the bulb blew since it was on for the extended time while the battery died. Then I checked the fuses as well thinking maybe a short of some sort but nothing there as well. I crank it up the next time and the head light does come on so I think i figured out the problem. This morning I try and go to work and see that the light is not on once again, I checked the connections to the light in the headlight to see if something was loose and checked the fuses but none of this seems to be the problem. I have no problems with any other lights so i am scratching my head. On the console I am not getting the light saying the headlight is on nor the light for the brights when I flip the switch. I am in no way a mechanic or electrician so I am lost with this one. Any ideas guys.

Jason Mercer
Tallahassee FL

1991 Vulcan
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post #2 of 20 (permalink) Old 03-15-2010, 07:28 PM
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sounds like a bad connection inside the Reserve Lighting Unit, or a sticking Headlight relay inside the Junction Box. Next time you don't have headlights, check that the blue wires in the JB have power. If no power present then its the JB, if there is power then its the RLU.
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post #3 of 20 (permalink) Old 03-15-2010, 07:29 PM
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Try reading the the VN 750 threads on headlights problems in the search. In the search type headlights problems and you will get alot of info on what causes the headlight to stop working and how to check it out.

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post #4 of 20 (permalink) Old 03-15-2010, 10:10 PM
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Are the rest of your electronics working right? Oil warning light with key in ON position before starting? Brake lights working?
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post #5 of 20 (permalink) Old 03-15-2010, 10:42 PM
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Unfortunately, one of the Vulcan 750s many features is a complicated headlight system. It has the reserve lighting system, which automatically switches filaments if one burns out, and activates a light on the instrument panel. It also has a relay that won't let the light come on until the engine fires. You will just have to take a multimeter and start tracing things down. If I had problems with the lighting system, I would scrap it, eliminate both the reserve lighting unit and the relay that prevents the light from coming on until the engine fires, and install a manual switch so I could turn the headlight off while starting. At least it is electrical, and not electronic, so some time with a multimeter should find the problem. I personally believe all motorcycles should have an "off" switch for the lights anyway. I see "always on" headlights the same way I see sidestand and clutch switches, just more unneeded government mandated safety bullcrap.

Oh, and BTW, even though you have a nice new sealed battery, you did do some damage to it by letting it go completely dead. It will no longer have the capacity it had to begin with, and the more times you let it go dead, the worse it will get. I have had the life of many bike batteries shortened by allowing them to go dead, so I finally gave in and got a Battery Tender Jr. for every one of my bike batteries. Jerry.

I am a motorcyclist, NOT a biker.


1997 Vulcan 750, purchased about a week ago
2006 Sportster 1200 Low
2013 Royal Enfield Bullet 500, converted to carb
2001 Yamaha XT225, heavily modified
2004 Honda Rebel 250
1979 Vespa P200E
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post #6 of 20 (permalink) Old 03-15-2010, 10:55 PM Thread Starter
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on the console the other lights seem to be fine I can see the oil light when I turn the ignition on as well as neutral if it is engaged. I am thinking I am in need of a replacement reserve lighting unit or a switch to turn the light on and off.

Jason Mercer
Tallahassee FL

1991 Vulcan
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post #7 of 20 (permalink) Old 03-15-2010, 11:03 PM
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i am leaning towards the JB
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post #8 of 20 (permalink) Old 03-15-2010, 11:15 PM
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I have to agree with slim here, the JB does seem the most likely culprit, especially if neither the high or low beam will come on, no matter which position the high/low switch is in. I have had 3 headlight bulbs burn out on my '02 with 44,000 miles (one filament only) and each time, the reserve lighting unit switched filaments, and the light came on on the panel. But, had this happened at night, I would have immediately switched from one beam to the other manually. I have had that happen to me a couple of times on other bikes. That's why I see the reserve lighting unit as unnecessary. Just be glad the Vulcan doesn't have self canceling turn signals. What a can of worms those things are, and they don't work right even when they are working as designed. Works fine on cars though, but it is about 10 times simpler. Jerry.

I am a motorcyclist, NOT a biker.


1997 Vulcan 750, purchased about a week ago
2006 Sportster 1200 Low
2013 Royal Enfield Bullet 500, converted to carb
2001 Yamaha XT225, heavily modified
2004 Honda Rebel 250
1979 Vespa P200E
2002 Vulcan 750 parts bike
1994 Yamaha XT225 parts bike
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post #9 of 20 (permalink) Old 03-15-2010, 11:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VN750Rider/Jerry View Post
IJust be glad the Vulcan doesn't have self canceling turn signals. What a can of worms those things are, and they don't work right even when they are working as designed.Jerry.
Uh, hate to break this to you, but the first few years do have self cancelling turn signals.

I'm keepin' all the left over parts. I'm gonna use 'em to build another bike!
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post #10 of 20 (permalink) Old 03-15-2010, 11:25 PM
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My 85' has self canceling signals with all the original components and is still working as it was designed to.


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