Headlight High & Low Beams & that "City Light" - Kawasaki Vulcan Forum : Vulcan Forums
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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-11-2019, 12:32 PM Thread Starter
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Headlight High & Low Beams & that "City Light"

Today I learned about the "city light". I never knew about this!

While waiting for the bike inspection at the local AAA, I turned the bike off. Then, the inspector comes over to start. I turned the key in the ignition. He checks the signals, brake lights with hand and brake controls, license plate & tail lights. All work fine.

I guess he thought that dinky city light was the low beam, because he saw a light on. He asks me to turn on the high beam, and I flipped that switch, and NOTHING!

He was going to fail me, but as I started the engine to leave, the high beam (switch still in that direction) came on. He saw it, so we finished and my bike passed inspection. Still, I thought OH CRAP, maybe a loose wire? I'll have to get it checked out at the motorcycle shop.

When I returned home, I checked the MOM and learned about the "city light" on page 57 under general information. So, I'm actually all good! And, I did some additional checking to see what else is ON with only the key, when the engine is started, and when the engine is stopped BUT key still on, and made a chart of what I learned.

I also did some searching here and came on VulcanHead's reply back in 2018, mentioning the "city light" in a headlight thread.

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Originally Posted by VulcanHead View Post
Yes. The city light comes on once you turn the ignition key on. The headlight will come on once you hit the starter. It will remain on, with the city light also, until the ignition is turned off......
Sharing so no one else makes the same mistake I did.
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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-11-2019, 02:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chench53 View Post
Today I learned about the "city light". I never knew about this!

While waiting for the bike inspection at the local AAA, I turned the bike off. Then, the inspector comes over to start. I turned the key in the ignition. He checks the signals, brake lights with hand and brake controls, license plate & tail lights. All work fine.

I guess he thought that dinky city light was the low beam, because he saw a light on. He asks me to turn on the high beam, and I flipped that switch, and NOTHING!

He was going to fail me, but as I started the engine to leave, the high beam (switch still in that direction) came on. He saw it, so we finished and my bike passed inspection. Still, I thought OH CRAP, maybe a loose wire? I'll have to get it checked out at the motorcycle shop.

When I returned home, I checked the MOM and learned about the "city light" on page 57 under general information. So, I'm actually all good! And, I did some additional checking to see what else is ON with only the key, when the engine is started, and when the engine is stopped BUT key still on, and made a chart of what I learned.

I also did some searching here and came on VulcanHead's reply back in 2018, mentioning the "city light" in a headlight thread.



Sharing so no one else makes the same mistake I did.
Yes, that's correct chench53. And there's another bulb just like the city light, illuminating your license plate.
Any bike (Japanese) I ever had, or rode, operated the same way, the headlight does not come on until you engage the starter. Hitting the starter will actuate the headlight relay, turning on the light. As a safety feature, there's no off position on the headlight, so it runs in the daytime too. If you ever need to turn on your headlight without the engine running, say like in your enclosed garage, to check it or whatever. Just hit your starter a small amount, quickly and the headlight will come on without starting the bike. The starter will engage for a second, but don't hold it long enough to start the bike. Just a quick flick will do.
My question is; how didn't this person, who was inspecting your ride, not know how this stuff works????
He should have failed himself!
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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-11-2019, 02:38 PM Thread Starter
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@VulcanHead , I knew about the license plate light, but that 'city light' was certainly news to me! I've had my bike inspected here before, but never had to wait, they jumped right in, so the engine was never off.

And, the inspection was not at a motorcycle dedicated shop, it was at the local AAA right down the street from me. They do not do any kind of service to motorcycles there, other than performing the state inspection. I suppose they know what to inspect and how to inspect it, and the parameters for passing, but not necessarily the "how does it work" part.

I may pass by and give him the MOM page so he knows about it.

Gerry

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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-12-2019, 01:56 PM
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I never noticed the bike having a city light. Need to take a look at it. Thanks for the info!
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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-17-2019, 08:16 AM
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Originally Posted by VulcanHead View Post
My question is; how didn't this person, who was inspecting your ride, not know how this stuff works????
He should have failed himself!
It's not up to the inspector to know how it works or to advise you how it works. His job is simply to determine if the vehicle complies with the applicable regulations. It's the owner/operator responsibility to know how that stuff works so they can show the inspector the bike is compliant.
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Last edited by whoaru99; 07-17-2019 at 08:22 AM.
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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-17-2019, 10:34 AM
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WOW, so a lot of places have bike inspections!
Not here thank God.
We dont even have car inspection.
We had emissions testing for a few years in the nineties, but here it gets to -20F in the winter a lot,
and if your car isnt running right you dont get it started!
So the vast majority of cars here are all good running, no problems.
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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-17-2019, 02:51 PM
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I never noticed a "city light" on my 2007 1600 Vulcan Mean Streak. So I checked the owners manual and found no mention of it. I then checked the bike. in the ignition on and with out the engine running the tail light is on and the both the front turn signals are on but not the head light or the license plate light.

That brings me to a pet peeve my bike doesn't have a hazard light circuit.

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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-17-2019, 04:08 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1barron View Post
I never noticed a "city light" on my 2007 1600 Vulcan Mean Streak.......
......That brings me to a pet peeve my bike doesn't have a hazard light circuit.......
I think most 2007 year bikes did not have hazard lights!

Gerry

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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-18-2019, 05:14 PM
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Originally Posted by whoaru99 View Post
It's not up to the inspector to know how it works or to advise you how it works. His job is simply to determine if the vehicle complies with the applicable regulations. It's the owner/operator responsibility to know how that stuff works so they can show the inspector the bike is compliant.
Duh! “Simply” is correct. The bike does comply with regulations, if he was in the job of inspecting them, he should have known. Maybe he’ll fail your bike on a “simple” compliance next time.
People need to start reading their owners manuals.

Last edited by VulcanHead; 07-18-2019 at 05:20 PM.
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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-18-2019, 05:53 PM
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...if he was in the job of inspecting them, he should have known.
Nonsense. His job is simply to see that the high beam (or whatever) works. It's your job to show him/her it does.
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