Adding a switch to turn headlight on/off manually? - Kawasaki Vulcan 750 Forum : Kawasaki VN750 Forums
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post #1 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-04-2007, 08:05 PM Thread Starter
 
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Adding a switch to turn headlight on/off manually?

I searched the forum for any existing threads about this issue but couldn't find anything. I'd like to add a switch to my bike that would allow me to turn the headlight on and off manually. I, of course, want to only do this is it's not going to cause me any headaches in the long run. Trying to go the simple route here, if at all possible. Has anyone here done it? How difficult is it to do? What would I need? I can work every other aspect of a bike comfortably but messing with wires really makes me nervous. I have wiring diagrams for my bike and know how to get around with them but I really need someone who's done this or knows how to do this to give me some tips, dos and don't s etc....

Thanks in advance.
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post #2 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-04-2007, 08:14 PM
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Outta curiousity... why?

You'd need to run a switch to a relay - but honestly unless there's a good reason to do so, you'd probably just be asking for trouble (it's illegal in the states to run a bike w/o a headlight - nevermind the possibility of screwing some wiring up).

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post #3 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-04-2007, 09:07 PM
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I think the headlight wiring on our bikes is a little "over-engineered" if you ask me. My cop bike had an on/off switch for the lights, probably for sneaking up on unsuspecting suspects or something. But the complexity of our headlight system makes it more difficult to mod, but also makes it more vulnerable to failing. I think it is cool that the headlight isn't drawing current while starting the bike, but it's pretty nerdy to have it automatically switch the wiring to the high beam if the low beam fails. I mean, isn't that the first thing you would do manually anyway? So, I'm not against changing it, just need some bigger brass ones to go fooling around in there... Or someone else's experience and a good writeup.

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post #4 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-04-2007, 10:06 PM
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The PO of Orleans had done exactly that - rewired the headlight and put in a switch. I am on the road, but can send you pics on Monday. I'm not fond of it, but have to look at the wiring harness before I "undo" what was done. Doesn't look hard - just a little time-consuming.

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post #5 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-05-2007, 01:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by curtis97322 View Post
Outta curiousity... why?

(it's illegal in the states to run a bike w/o a headlight - ....)
There are alot of states that don't require headlights.

And Fergy, what I think had a roll in the 'one goes out, the other comes on' headlight is when the bike was desinged.
In the 80's, there were alot more saftey issues being addressed and the industries got off the 'Gotta be faster' trend and got on the 'Gotta be safer' idea.
Sure, the average rider would probably just switch over to the other beam, but it's a selling point, just like the neutral finder.
Both are handy, but are they really needed?


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post #6 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-05-2007, 01:29 AM
 
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The simplest way to add a switch to the headlight would be to splice it into the ground wire (black with yellow stripe) going to the headlight itself. This would interrupt both the high and low beam circuit without disrupting any other circuit paths.
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post #7 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-05-2007, 05:19 AM
 
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Quote--There are alot of states that don't require headlights.


Sure --give the cages a really good reason to say "I didn't see the bike" --
not to mention the fight with the insurance companies you'll no doubt encounter!
Seriously though--I may not wear a helmet all the time, but I would never consider riding without a headlight. Mine is on " hi/bright" all day long until I have to dim it at dark. The more light the better you'll be seen!
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post #8 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-05-2007, 05:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by racohoon View Post
Quote--There are alot of states that don't require headlights.
Sure --give the cages a really good reason to say "I didn't see the bike" --
not to mention the fight with the insurance companies you'll no doubt encounter!
Seriously though--I may not wear a helmet all the time, but I would never consider riding without a headlight. Mine is on " hi/bright" all day long until I have to dim it at dark. The more light the better you'll be seen!
I'm not saying it's a good idea to ride w/o the headlight on, just that not all states require it, as with helmets. And if it's not required by the state, what kind of fight can the insurance companies expect to put up?

The way I see it, alot of people don't see a bike not because of the lack of visability of it, but more because it's something smaller than what they are driving, so it's that much less of a threat to their safety.
Because of that, their brain doesn't register the fact that if they pull out in front of the bike, or cut it off on the road, bad things will happen.


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post #9 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-05-2007, 06:15 PM Thread Starter
 
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The reason I want to do this is in case i'm idling in traffic for a long time and want to give the battery a break. Otherwise, the light will be on at all times pretty much.
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post #10 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-05-2007, 10:52 PM
 
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The thing that made a big difference for me was switching to an LED Tail/Brake light. Now when I have to hold the brake because of a slope it makes little to no difference than if I don't have to hold the brake.
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