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Discussion Starter #1
I turn the key to the on position, the running signal lights come one, no problem but no headlight. I start the bike, the headlight comes on. I shut off the bike with the kill switch, but the key is still in the on position and the headlight stays on. I turn the key to the off position, headlight of course goes out but then I turn the key back on to the on position, the headlight does NOT come on. I start the bike, the headlight comes on. Then, I ride the bike for a while and the headlight goes out. Turn off the bike with ignition key, turn to on position, no headlight, start the bike, headlight is back on. Any thoughts?
Curver, 1500 Vulcan FI 2001
 

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Mine does the same thing except mine dont go off after riding a while. I think it's supposed to wait till after you start it to keep the battery from dying. As far as it going out while riding I'm not sure man

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The headlight doesn't come on until the engine is running. That part is normal. Its also normal for the headlight to stay on once you've turned the engine off via the "kill switch". Once you turn the key to off the headlight will go off. All of this so far is normal operation.

It is NOT, however, supposed to go off when riding.
 

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Well thanks, yeah, I just noticed that it went out after riding a while. But for some reason I thought the light was supposed to come on immediately when turning the key on. My Kawasaki sport tourer zzr1200, the light comes on right away when turning the key on. That's why I thought it was strange.
 

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Normal. A lot of kawasaki bikes are set up with a latching relay on the headlight circuit. Output voltage from the charging circuit triggers the relay, and the output to the headlight is also spliced to the trigger so once it's on it stays on.
 

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I actually like that feature. If you've ever been away from home with a nearly dead battery, you'll come to appreciate it as well.
 

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I actually like that feature. If you've ever been away from home with a nearly dead battery, you'll come to appreciate it as well.
Yessir. I took a trip once and woke up in Eastern Oregon at 6 AM to hit the road and my bike was covered in frost. I still had the factory battery in it and because of the cold, it barely cranked over. It almost completely died, but then it fired and caught and started up. After I got home I bought a new battery with higher cold cranking capacity, since we live in the foothills of the Rockies. But I was glad my headlight didn't come on or I probably wouldn't have gotten it started until it warmed up outside.
 

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All is normal. I would check the wires from headlight to ignition switch. Make sure no pinch points. Then check and clean connections with wd40. Check grounds while at it. Sounds like intermediate short. I also wonder about the switch. Is it sloppy?
 

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If it is wired anything like my VN2K, I think I would start by checking power and ground to the headlight relay. I don't think it's the alternator signal because it seems that does not really matter after the relay first closes/latches. But, maybe the supply that keeps it latched or the ground.

Of course, if it only happens occasionally and while driving you may have to resort to hooking up a meter to monitor on the fly.
 

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Bad headlight if it goes off while riding.

Bad headlight if it goes off while riding. Replace the headlight.

Everything else is normal / correct. Do not like turning off bike with kill switch leaves ignition and headlight on.


:nerd::grin2::nerd:
 

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Seems rare a lamp would be intermittent like that, but cannot discount the possibility. It's easy and inexpensive enough to give it a shot if not already done.

As well, firmly rapping on the headlight housing might reveal a defective lamp, etc.

Ran into a shorted car headlight once, but that was not intermittent. Of course, have seen any number of open lamps but none of those were intermittent either.
 
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