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Discussion Starter #1
I have a 1998 Vulcan 1500 classic and it stranded me the other night. I started it and was backing out of a spot and it just died. No power to the gauges at all or the starter switch. The headlights are the only thing that work when the ignition is on. Checked all fuses as well as the main fuse and they are all good. If the headlight wasnt working I would think it was simply the ignition switch. Any suggestions on what it could be?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
The headlight should only come on when the engine is running, so which lights are you talking about?
My headlights have always come on when the ignition is in the on position weather it's running or not. The previous owner put in a set of lights on either side of the main so he may have wired it incorrectly. Irregardless, no power anywhere else.
 

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Hmmm, I do not think so. We are getting tripped up on terminology.

From the front, you should have a right and left signal/running lights and a main headlight.
Some folks add what I call driving lights. They are smaller lights that are on each side of the main headlight and mounted on a bar.

We have to drill down to what the exact problem is here. Internet troubleshooting is difficult at best, so knowing what is going on really helps. I have to know exactly which lights are/are not working.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Using your terminology they are driving lights. Regardless all three llights work when the ignition is on. No power anywhere else though.
 

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OK, just to be clear:

1. Key on, driving lights come on, headlight comes on, no dash lights, no tail light, correct?
2. Key on, do the horn and signal lights work?
 

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OK, more questions:

1. How many miles on the bike?
2. How long have you owned?
3. Has the headlight always come on, key on, engine not running? (which it should not)
4. Do the driving lights have any kind of on/off switch?
5. Who added the driving lights?
6. Any recent electrical problems/work?
 

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I think the headlights are a red herring in that they were wired incorrectly by previous owner to be on all the time when key engaged. If fuses are ok then i suspect the ignition.
 

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The head lights come on when you turn the key to the on position on any late model bike no matter who built it. If your headlight does not come on when you turn the key on then somebody messed up your electrical system. I even owned older Harleys in the 70's and they all had the headlight working when the key is on. On the Harleys it had two steps to the ignition switch first click no lights second click headlights come on. Only bikes I seen the headlight not come on is very old ones or ones somebody screwed with the electrical for the lights not to work.
 

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Sfair is right. My 1500 is an '04 and the headlight does not come on when you turn the power on. It doesn't come on until you hit the ignition button. The other lights are on, but not the headlight.

OP, check your 10A ignition fuse in the box under your seat. If it's blown, there's your problem. Replacing it won't do much good until you find out what is causing the problem, though.
 

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I think the headlights are a red herring in that they were wired incorrectly by previous owner to be on all the time when key engaged. If fuses are ok then i suspect the ignition.
Any owner modified/non factory electrical modifications are always suspect when an electrical fault is encountered and must be investigated.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
OK, more questions:

1. How many miles on the bike?
2. How long have you owned?
3. Has the headlight always come on, key on, engine not running? (which it should not)
4. Do the driving lights have any kind of on/off switch?
5. Who added the driving lights?
6. Any recent electrical problems/work?
1. 30,000
2. 1yr
3. Yes
4. Yes
5. Previous owner
6. No
 

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I say this only because it happened to me a few weeks ago (thanks again, stair).

Have you checked that your kill switch isn't partially engaged, and that it is functioning properly?
 
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