Headlights won't go out


Information and questions on GL1500 Goldwings (1988-2000)
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Forester
Posts: 8
Joined: Wed Jun 24, 2015 2:28 am
Location: Scotland
Motorcycle: 2000 GL1500SE

Headlights won't go out

Postby Forester » Sun Sep 18, 2016 5:46 am



Hi everyone,

Was just doing a pre ride check before what was hopefully going to be a great ride on a beautiful autumn day. I noticed that when my headlight switch is in the off position the headlights are staying on.
I have checked all the relays and the fuses (under the covers on the left hand side). I tested the fuses with a light tester, all worked fine except the 10A "Parking" fuse. This did not light the tester up but does not appear to be blown. To check I replaced it with a brand-new one but only got the same result. I also cleaned out the handlebar switch. Does this mean there is an open circuit somewhere? Are there other relays I haven't checked? If that is the case where do I start?

Cheers

Simon



User avatar
MikeB
Posts: 1223
Joined: Fri Dec 04, 2009 12:54 pm
Location: Tacoma, WA
Motorcycle: 1998 - GL1500 Aspencade.
2003 - GL1800A

Re: Headlights won't go out

Postby MikeB » Sun Sep 18, 2016 8:52 am

Maybe the GL1500 systems are different in Scotland but all the North America GL1500's do not have an OFF function for the headlights. Only HI and LO. I really do not know how to reply to your headlights that do not turn off except to say mine only turn off when the ignition is off.
MikeB
Tacoma, WA, USA

User avatar
Mh434
Posts: 939
Joined: Tue Mar 25, 2014 10:24 pm
Location: Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
Motorcycle: 1997 gl1500 SE
Previous:
1981 GL1100I
1989 Kawasaki Concours

Re: Headlights won't go out

Postby Mh434 » Sun Sep 18, 2016 9:48 am

I can confirm what MikeB said - the North American market GL1500's had no "off" switch for the headlight - they were mandated for this market as DRL's (daytime running lights).

A couple of questions: do the headlights go off momentarily while cranking the engine (they should, to allow extra current for cranking)? Do the headlights go off when the ignition is turned off?

If the answer is yes to both of those, then it is functioning precisely as the North American bikes and, as it wouldn't be drawing extra current, shouldn't actually be a problem - it's just a little extra added safety & visibility during daylight operation. I can understand your concern, though, as it appears something isn't working as you expect it to. To be honest, I wasn't aware that ANY GL1500's, in any market, were provided with an off switch for the headlights. Frankly, it's surprising, as it would incur extra costs for Honda to do so. Can you post a picture of the switch, so we can see it?

The only thing I can suggest is to try to acquire a wiring diagram for UK-only models, which might show the extra wiring. I'm afraid you have us at a bit of a loss!

Forester
Posts: 8
Joined: Wed Jun 24, 2015 2:28 am
Location: Scotland
Motorcycle: 2000 GL1500SE

Re: Headlights won't go out GL 1500 SE 2000

Postby Forester » Sun Sep 18, 2016 10:53 am

Thanks for your replies.
Having gone through all the normal procedures, fuses, relays etc I decided to take out the front light assembly in order to remove the bulb whilst I tried to work this out.
Behind the light assembly I found quite a bit of what I would call non-standard wiring. It looks like the previous owner had rigged the lights to give the three settings I has namely off, low and high. Effectively the "low" setting was stuck not allowing the lights to go off even when the ignition was turned off. I managed to disconnect this aftermarket wiring and now I am able to to use the lights normally. I'm not sure if this counts as solving the problem because I would think it would revert should I reconnect it.
I'm not sure of the difference between UK spec and USA spec bikes except to say mine was built in the USA and I always considered it US spec but I have always been able to turn the headlights off. A test run this afternoon proved everything is working fine. I'm thinking I'll do more work on this during the winter months when the bike is off the road for a while. Until then I'll keep riding!

Thanks again




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