Brights intermittently modulate


Information and questions on GL1500 Goldwings (1988-2000)
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thornev
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Joined: Mon Oct 04, 2010 9:04 am
Location: Poughkeepsie, New York
Motorcycle: 1993 GL1500SE

Brights intermittently modulate

Postby thornev » Wed Oct 27, 2010 12:32 am



I can reproduce this problem about 90% of the time. When I move the headlight switch to turn on my brights, the headlights modulate constantly as if I had one of those modulator headlights people talk about. I don't want my brights to modulate every time I turn them on. Does anyone what could be wrong or how to fix it? Unfortunately when I took the bike in for service today, the service tech could not reproduce the problem. Of course as soon as I got home, I could. Thanks. thorne



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WingAdmin
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Location: Strongsville, OH
Motorcycle: 2000 GL1500 SE
1982 GL1100A Aspencade (sold)
1989 PC800 (wife's!)
1998 XV250 Virago (sold)
2007 Aspen Sentry Trailer

Re: Brights intermittently modulate

Postby WingAdmin » Wed Oct 27, 2010 10:40 am

It sounds like you DO have a headlight modulator - for a lot of them, that's exactly how they operate. When you switch to high beam, it modulates. If it is dark outside, or if the bike is inside a garage, the modulator (by law) must be set up to not operate - so if the tech tried it in his shop, it likely disabled the modulator - as it should.

Try turning the high beam on at night - I'll bet it doesn't modulate the beam like it does in the daytime. If that's the case, I can pretty well guarantee you've got a headlight modulator.

You might want to consider keeping it - it really does bright a lot of attention to your bike - people (i.e. clueless people in cars) notice you, which is a Good Thing.

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thornev
Posts: 18
Joined: Mon Oct 04, 2010 9:04 am
Location: Poughkeepsie, New York
Motorcycle: 1993 GL1500SE

Re: Brights intermittently modulate

Postby thornev » Wed Oct 27, 2010 10:47 am

Ah, that would indeed explain the behavior - doesn't blink in darker environments. If it only blinks in daytime lighting, that means the modulator is useful only during the day. I suppose that means that people with modulators leave the brights on during the day such that the headlight modulates all day long. I certainly understand how that can attract attention from oncoming vehicles. Thanks very much for the reply. thorne

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WingAdmin
Site Admin
Posts: 17046
Joined: Fri Oct 03, 2008 4:16 pm
Location: Strongsville, OH
Motorcycle: 2000 GL1500 SE
1982 GL1100A Aspencade (sold)
1989 PC800 (wife's!)
1998 XV250 Virago (sold)
2007 Aspen Sentry Trailer

Re: Brights intermittently modulate

Postby WingAdmin » Wed Oct 27, 2010 11:51 am

That's correct - by law, they can only operate during daylight hours, and must have an ambient daylight sensor to ensure this is the case. I think it would be pretty tough to ride at night with your headlight modulating!

User avatar
thornev
Posts: 18
Joined: Mon Oct 04, 2010 9:04 am
Location: Poughkeepsie, New York
Motorcycle: 1993 GL1500SE

Re: Brights intermittently modulate

Postby thornev » Wed Oct 27, 2010 1:09 pm

WingAdmin wrote:I think it would be pretty tough to ride at night with your headlight modulating!

That's exactly why I was asking about how to turn off the modulation. Of course now you know that I haven't ridden at night yet. Just got the bike 2 weeks ago and man is it hard not to drop what I'm doing at work and hit the road ! thorne




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