Does anyone know what this is? Is it a headlight modulator?


Information and questions on GL1500 Goldwings (1988-2000)
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Waterfreak66
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Does anyone know what this is? Is it a headlight modulator?

Postby Waterfreak66 » Sat Mar 31, 2012 3:08 pm



I'm trying to find the headlight modulator that the PO put on my 1988 GL1500 so I can remove it. Can anyone tell me if this silver piece is it?

It is tied into the two green wires coming off the headlight and two blue wires heading back towards the battery.

If this is it, how should these blue and green wires be connected upon its removal? When I just unplug it, I have no high beams (the modulator worked upon activation of the high beam switch). Thanks guys :)



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skier
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Re: Does anyone know what this is? Is it a headlight modulat

Postby skier » Sun Apr 01, 2012 7:52 am

I believe that the 552 Wagner can is used to activate the 4-way emergency flashers. They have been around for a long, long time.

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skier
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Re: Does anyone know what this is? Is it a headlight modulat

Postby skier » Sun Apr 01, 2012 11:04 am

But I don't see why a 552 flasher couldn't be used as a homemade headlight modulator. It would simply flash the high beam on/off.

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Re: Does anyone know what this is? Is it a headlight modulat

Postby cbx4evr » Sun Apr 01, 2012 11:28 am

My headlight modulator looks like this:




Don't know what you have got going on there. Have you tried unplugging it?
"It´s a friggen motorcycle, it´s not supposed to be comfortable, quiet or safe. The wind noise is supposed to hurt your ears, the seat should be hard and riding it should make you s**t your pants every now and then. "

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WingAdmin
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Re: Does anyone know what this is? Is it a headlight modulat

Postby WingAdmin » Sun Apr 01, 2012 11:57 am

The device itself is a standard turn signal flasher. No idea what it's doing in there - what color wires is it connected to?

However, the fact that it's wired in using WIRE NUTS to me says "incompetent previous owner who had no business touching wiring" and indicates that it should be ripped out.

Waterfreak66
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Re: Does anyone know what this is? Is it a headlight modulat

Postby Waterfreak66 » Sun Apr 01, 2012 2:31 pm

It's definitely some sort of "old school" poor-man's headlight modulator. It is wired between the right headlight (as seated on the bike) and the headlight harness plug, with two wires going back to the bike somewhere. I tried un-plugging it and I don't have high beams when I do. Here are some more pictures of the wiring.

The two blue wires are the ones that go back into the bike. The two green wires go to the headlights and split off, one going to the plug and one going to the right light bulb connector.

Here is a wide view of the entire set-up

The questions are 1) how is the headlight harness plug supposed to connect to the right light bulb connector, and 2) what could be going on with the two blue wires going back to the bike? I guess another question is, what relays, etc. have been removed to make this work, if any? It works by flashing the headlights when you flip on the high beam switch. So, if someone knows how the flashers are wired, they should know how this is wired, and how to undo it in order to make the high beams work again. I just recently purchased the bike and I want to get rid of this and make my high beams work again, but I don't know what connects to what, etc. I also don't know how, or particularly want, to remove all the plastics necessary to follow these wires all the way back to God knows where. Can I just connect the wires where the flasher was in order to restore my high beams? I'm thinking the two blues going back into the bike are for some other after market lights maybe.

P.S. When activated (high beam switch on) it flashes both bulbs.

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Re: Does anyone know what this is? Is it a headlight modulat

Postby WingAdmin » Sun Apr 01, 2012 3:17 pm

Here's what I would do: Cut out everything that obviously is not OEM.

There should be four wires at that plug on the right side of the bike:

Green - ground
Brown with white stripe - position lights
White with black stripe - low beams
Blue with black stripe - high beams

Normally the four position plug with those four wires in it splits into four, one for each light (2xposition, 2xheadlights). Reconnect the wires as they should be, and cut out the crap that was put in there. I would follow those blue wires into the fairing as well, figure out what they are connected to and remove it as well. I suspect the blue wires go into the fairing somewhere to a switch that bypasses (shorts across) the flasher, so that the "modulator" can be turned off at night.

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Re: Does anyone know what this is? Is it a headlight modulat

Postby Waterfreak66 » Sun Apr 01, 2012 7:00 pm

WingAdmin, you're right. The two blues go to a switch. Looks like I'll be pulling the whole mess out and then I guess I have to rewire the headlight loom. I wonder if those things are available on eBay.

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Re: Does anyone know what this is? Is it a headlight modulat

Postby ka4yqi » Sun Apr 01, 2012 8:54 pm

I dont think I could have got away with that long here,

Waterfreak66
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Re: Does anyone know what this is? Is it a headlight modulat

Postby Waterfreak66 » Mon Apr 02, 2012 5:09 am

I'm ordering a replacement harness. Now, what is the best set of bulbs to buy that will give the most light out of this headlight set-up?

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Re: Does anyone know what this is? Is it a headlight modulat

Postby WingAdmin » Mon Apr 02, 2012 9:26 am

Waterfreak66 wrote:I'm ordering a replacement harness. Now, what is the best set of bulbs to buy that will give the most light out of this headlight set-up?


I know when I put a Sylvania Silverstar bulb in my 1100, it made a huge difference in the amount of light being put out. I put the same bulbs in my wife's car, because the lights in it were just dismal. There are specific motorcycle Silverstar bulbs, that are more resistant to the increased vibration.

Waterfreak66
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Re: Does anyone know what this is? Is it a headlight modulat

Postby Waterfreak66 » Mon Apr 02, 2012 9:45 am

Any problems going to one of the higher wattage bulbs (60/55 watt)?

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Re: Does anyone know what this is? Is it a headlight modulat

Postby WingAdmin » Mon Apr 02, 2012 10:37 am

That's what's in my 1500 now, and no apparent problems, heat or otherwise.

Waterfreak66
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Re: Does anyone know what this is? Is it a headlight modulat

Postby Waterfreak66 » Mon Apr 02, 2012 11:22 am

Cool. Thanks! That's what I think I'll get.

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Re: Does anyone know what this is? Is it a headlight modulat

Postby cbx4evr » Mon Apr 02, 2012 11:31 am

Definitely sounds like a poor (cheap) mans headlight modulator set up. Did it have any type of daylight sensor? Likely not. So even at night when you went to use the high beams they would modulate. You don't want that. Sometimes being cheap bites you in the arse.
"It´s a friggen motorcycle, it´s not supposed to be comfortable, quiet or safe. The wind noise is supposed to hurt your ears, the seat should be hard and riding it should make you s**t your pants every now and then. "

Waterfreak66
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Re: Does anyone know what this is? Is it a headlight modulat

Postby Waterfreak66 » Mon Apr 02, 2012 11:40 am

I think it was wired to a switch for night use, but one of the wires was disconnected at the switch so yeah, when I tried to use my high beams I couldn't. That's what prompted my digging around in the first place. I HATE poor lighting. I want to SEE the deer and bears lurking on the side of the road at night.

Waterfreak66
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Re: Does anyone know what this is? Is it a headlight modulat

Postby Waterfreak66 » Mon Apr 02, 2012 10:01 pm

Okay, I pulled all the extra wires and whatnot out of there and rewired the headlight loom back to stock configuration. All good to go there. Nice having high beams again. Now, how can I tell if any of these other accessory wires that go to do nothing switches or hidden elsewhere on the bike are draining my battery when parked? Can I put my multimeter on it somewhere, on some setting that will detect more draw than one would find from just the clock, etc.?

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Re: Does anyone know what this is? Is it a headlight modulat

Postby WingAdmin » Mon Apr 02, 2012 11:12 pm

Waterfreak66 wrote:Okay, I pulled all the extra wires and whatnot out of there and rewired the headlight loom back to stock configuration. All good to go there. Nice having high beams again. Now, how can I tell if any of these other accessory wires that go to do nothing switches or hidden elsewhere on the bike are draining my battery when parked? Can I put my multimeter on it somewhere, on some setting that will detect more draw than one would find from just the clock, etc.?


You can put an ammeter in between the positive terminal of the battery and the positive lead (disconnect it first, obviously). Do this only when the bike is OFF, or you stand a good chance of letting the smoke out of your ammeter.

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Re: Does anyone know what this is? Is it a headlight modulat

Postby Waterfreak66 » Tue Apr 03, 2012 4:42 am

What amount of draw would be more than expected?

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Re: Does anyone know what this is? Is it a headlight modulat

Postby WingAdmin » Tue Apr 03, 2012 2:34 pm

I don't know what the radio memory draw is, but I wouldn't expect it to be more than 10-20 mA. Anything more than that and I would start looking at what is drawing power on my bike.

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Re: Does anyone know what this is? Is it a headlight modulat

Postby Waterfreak66 » Tue Apr 03, 2012 2:42 pm

Hanks for the help. I'll check it and see what my draw is.




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