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Discussion Starter #1
I had a bit of a spill the other day. Learned that alcohol and riding don't mix. I'm fine and the bike survived but I'm never doing that again.

Anyways, I just noticed tonight, thanks to a passing motorist, that my rear tail light only shines when I'm braking. I'm not sure exactly how they operate so before buying new bulbs, I figured I'd ask here first. Any ideas?
 

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Love My Baby
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I pass by a "biker bar" frequently and each time I pray that these idiots grow up and don't kill themselves going home. Who in the world would get on a motorcycle after drinking a couple beers or what-not. Good thing you learned your lesson without a major injury to yourself or others.

As for the tail light, there's two of them in the brake/tail light compartment so the odds that both the bulbs at the same time are the source of the problem are not too great. Most likely a wiring or fuse issue. Check your 10amp tail light fuse to see if it's blown. If it's good, check your 8-pin connector from the junction box to see if there's corrosion, clean it, apply some dielectric grease and reconnect to see if that solves the problem. If not, there may be a short somewhere else in the wiring between the junction box and tail light. BTW, are any other electrical components not working, like your headlight?
 

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The Professor
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Actualy the odds of both tail light filaments going at the same time are very high since you layed the bike down.

As soon as you turn on the key the tail lights come on and the filaments get very hot. Any sudden any sudden impact will easily break the hot filament, and the cold brake filaments would still be intact. Replace the bulbs.
 

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Ditto to what Lance said. And as far as the drinking and riding goes, not smart bro. I can't say that I never drink when I'm out some where and rode the bike, but if I do drink while I'm out some where with the bike, I always make sure to wait before riding. If I've had a beer, I'll wait 30mins instead of the told hour. But if I've had 2 or 3 (3 is my limit when on the bike), I always wait 2-3 hours to make sure I'm sober and level headed before I hop on the ol' Vulcan and get down the road. If I've had more than my limit, which can happen from time to time, I leave the bike, get a friend to drive me home or call the wife to pick me up and pick the bike up the next day.

Sorry you had to learn your lesson the hard way, but it could have been worse and at least you didn't hurt/kill yourself or anyone else.
 

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If you're like me, you probably have some extra 1157's in the garage already, since it had been the standard tail/brake light bulb for about 100 years. It would be the easiest test to do before having to dig too deep.

Other than that, you know we all are going to gang up on you about the alcohol thing. Don't ever forget the lesson you learned, the "easy way". Take care!
 

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Poweroflard I spent to much time working ER's cleaning up intoxicated riders. Don't do it again, ever. As for your taillight, Lance328 stated the bulbs could be out and this is very possible. However, check under the seat where the fender and frame meet also. Could be a pinched wire grounding. This happened to me last year. Had to move the wires around and take the bare spot out.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Sliding across the ground, grinding away skin and the face of my helmet, while the bike slid past was more than enough to teach me not to do that again. I was certified as an EMT a good while back, I know better. Just felt young and invincible at the time, I suppose.

I'll replace the bulbs, it does look like the tail light filaments have popped now that I've taken the cover off.

Thanks everyone!
 

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Love My Baby
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Actualy the odds of both tail light filaments going at the same time are very high since you layed the bike down.

As soon as you turn on the key the tail lights come on and the filaments get very hot. Any sudden any sudden impact will easily break the hot filament, and the cold brake filaments would still be intact. Replace the bulbs.
Didn't think about that. It is easiest to simply swap the bulbs out with a known working one. Only if that doesn't work should you have to delve deeper.
 

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I've had 1 or 2 already while riding with my friend, that's about it. We like riding more than drinking. We'll usually stop somewhere for at least one and sit and chat for awhile.

One of the 1st things I did when I got the bike is get a pack of misc. fuses and a few replacement bulbs to keep in my saddlebag (along with a piece of fuel line hose, air pressure gauge, bunge straps) and of course that wonderful tool kit that came with the bike. I 1st had an issue with blowing the main fuse and finally found where a wire rubbed through. Can't be too prepared. How many people carry fix-a-flat or something like that with them?
 
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