Windjammer lighting question


Technical information and Q&A applicable to all years and models of Goldwings
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OldGoldie
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Windjammer lighting question

Post by OldGoldie »



I have a Windjammer fairing. If it matters, 83 interstate. Today I mounted it and hooked up the wiring. Now, I have an led headlight bulb, led taillight bulbs, and standard turn signal bulbs. The turn signal bulbs in the fairing are whatever was in them when I bought it. So, here’s my question. With the running lights on, when I turn either turn signal on, all the front lights flash, including the headlight. You can tell the turn signal is on, but since I have no experience with fairing or running lights, I do not know if this is normal. It doesn’t seem to hurt anything, if anything seems safer because a super bright led headlight flashing is probably more likely to get a drivers attention. Anyhow, is it normal? Lol.


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Andy Cote
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Re: Windjammer lighting question

Post by Andy Cote »

Are both front and rear turn signal bulbs original? Have you checked them to make sure they don't have a short through a broken filament?

It's possible that a LED bulb is causing your problem. Never a bad idea to change back to regular bulbs for troubleshooting.

But, IMHO, the most likely cause is a bad ground.
2015 Goldwing, basic black

Previously: GL1200 standard, GL1200 Interstate, GL1500 Goldwing, GL1500 Valkyrie Standard, 2000 Valkyrie Interstate, many other Hondas
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newday777
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Re: Windjammer lighting question

Post by newday777 »

OldGoldie wrote: Tue Jan 18, 2022 12:47 am I have a Windjammer fairing. If it matters, 83 interstate. Today I mounted it and hooked up the wiring. Now, I have an led headlight bulb, led taillight bulbs, and standard turn signal bulbs. The turn signal bulbs in the fairing are whatever was in them when I bought it. So, here’s my question. With the running lights on, when I turn either turn signal on, all the front lights flash, including the headlight. You can tell the turn signal is on, but since I have no experience with fairing or running lights, I do not know if this is normal. It doesn’t seem to hurt anything, if anything seems safer because a super bright led headlight flashing is probably more likely to get a drivers attention. Anyhow, is it normal? Lol.
No it's not normal.
Most likely you have a bad ground wire to the fairing lights. Run a test ground wire from the battery.
The other possibility is a bad turn flasher. Replace the old thermal flasher with a new flasher that is electronic, (doesn't rely on the load draw of incandescent bulbs and you can run LED bulbs, electronic flasher give you the correct flash rate w/LED bulbs).

If you have the Interstate model it should have the Hondaline fairing on it from the factory, why the Vetter fairing? Did someone remove the Hondaline fairing?
Are you sure you have the Interstate model and not the Standard(naked wing)
1st picture is a 83 Standard. Notice the tank stripe and the turn signal mounts.
2nd picture is an 83 GL1100 Interstate(with Hondaline stock fairing. Vetter fairing has different shape.
3rd picture is a GL1100 Standard False tank to see the stripe goes all the way forward as compared to the Interstate stripe which has a straight line to show behind the fairing in the 4th picture.
Yes your false tank could be repainted without a stripe..... In that case on the vin plate on the steering neck it will have the model listed as GL1100I. A Standard model is just GL1100.
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1983 GL1100 Standard
1983 GL1100 Standard


1983 GL1100 Interstate
1983 GL1100 Interstate


GL1100 Standard False Tank
GL1100 Standard False Tank


GL1100 Interstate False Tank
GL1100 Interstate False Tank

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newday777
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Re: Windjammer lighting question

Post by newday777 »

If you haven't opened the turn signal lenses yet in your fairing to check the bulb sockets for corrosion, that may be part of your bad ground problem. You might need to clean or replace the sockets if badly corroded.
OldGoldie
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Re: Windjammer lighting question

Post by OldGoldie »

newday777 wrote: Tue Jan 18, 2022 6:58 am If you haven't opened the turn signal lenses yet in your fairing to check the bulb sockets for corrosion, that may be part of your bad ground problem. You might need to clean or replace the sockets if badly corroded.
It’s definitely an interstate. One of the previous owners stripped all the touring gear to save weight. I looked around on Facebook groups and found what I thought was a pretty good deal on a vetter setup. I got the vetter bags, trunk, brackets, rear crash guards, hand rail, rack, fairing, driver footboards, extra wind screen all for $400. Maybe the issue is how I have it wired. On the bike, there are two wires that I can connect the fairings running light wire to. A light blue wire, and an orange and white wire. When I connect the running light wire to either of these, one of the running lights will shut off and one will flash, depending which wire I connect it to and which turn signal I activate. So I ended up bridging the blue and orange wires, and now the headlight and running lights flash no matter which turn signal is activated. I found a wiring diagram for the bike, but I’m no electronics expert and I don’t really understand it.
OldGoldie
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Re: Windjammer lighting question

Post by OldGoldie »

Well, looking at the wiring diagram for the bike, the light blue and orange wires are used to power running lights, but on the Honda fairing there are two wires to power each running light individually, and on the vetter fairing there is only one wire to power both running lights. I am wondering if this is part of the issue. I don’t think it’s a grounding issue, I think it’s a crossed hot issue. I have an idea I will try out this evening.
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Re: Windjammer lighting question

Post by WingAdmin »

Virtually every time you get unexpected, unrelated operation in wiring, the cause is a bad ground.

And that's what's happening here. The headlight and/or running lights have a bad ground, so they are finding their own way to ground - via the filament in a different light. When you turn on the turn signals, that referenced ground suddenly has +12v instead, so without any ground to complete their circuit, the other lights turn off. When the turn signal turns off, the other lights have their (sort of) ground again and they come back on.

Fix the bad ground and your problem should go away.
OldGoldie
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Re: Windjammer lighting question

Post by OldGoldie »

WingAdmin wrote: Tue Jan 18, 2022 12:32 pm Virtually every time you get unexpected, unrelated operation in wiring, the cause is a bad ground.

And that's what's happening here. The headlight and/or running lights have a bad ground, so they are finding their own way to ground - via the filament in a different light. When you turn on the turn signals, that referenced ground suddenly has +12v instead, so without any ground to complete their circuit, the other lights turn off. When the turn signal turns off, the other lights have their (sort of) ground again and they come back on.

Fix the bad ground and your problem should go away.
I respectfully disagree in this case. A bad ground would cause intermittent or non working lights, and the problem would occur at one specific spot in the circuit. In my case, all lights work. A bad ground would not cause the headlight to flash when the turn signals are activated. That really makes no sense, because the headlights and turn signals are on different circuits. Anyhow, even though I disagree, I am taking the possibility under consideration and will investigate if appropriate. But I have another theory first. On the interstate, there are two wires which were designed to power each running light separately. One is light blue, one is orange. The matching color wires on the Honda fairing would be connected, and all the lights would operate as they should. But the standard did not have any running light wires, and the vetter fairing is clearly not “designed” for the interstate model. It is designed for standards to be converted to touring. And where on a standard would you connect a running light wire when there was no wire designated for such a purpose? One possibility is the ignition positive. I know I have another bike that I installed a tach and connected the tach power wire to the ignition positive, so it’s something that definitely has potential. I’m going to test this theory before I check for a bad ground.
OldGoldie
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Re: Windjammer lighting question

Post by OldGoldie »

I’m also not sure if everyone understands, but none of my turn signals are led. They are all standard. Only the headlight and tail light are led.
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Re: Windjammer lighting question

Post by WingAdmin »

OldGoldie wrote: Tue Jan 18, 2022 1:35 pm
WingAdmin wrote: Tue Jan 18, 2022 12:32 pm Virtually every time you get unexpected, unrelated operation in wiring, the cause is a bad ground.

And that's what's happening here. The headlight and/or running lights have a bad ground, so they are finding their own way to ground - via the filament in a different light. When you turn on the turn signals, that referenced ground suddenly has +12v instead, so without any ground to complete their circuit, the other lights turn off. When the turn signal turns off, the other lights have their (sort of) ground again and they come back on.

Fix the bad ground and your problem should go away.
I respectfully disagree in this case. A bad ground would cause intermittent or non working lights, and the problem would occur at one specific spot in the circuit. In my case, all lights work. A bad ground would not cause the headlight to flash when the turn signals are activated. That really makes no sense, because the headlights and turn signals are on different circuits. Anyhow, even though I disagree, I am taking the possibility under consideration and will investigate if appropriate. But I have another theory first. On the interstate, there are two wires which were designed to power each running light separately. One is light blue, one is orange. The matching color wires on the Honda fairing would be connected, and all the lights would operate as they should. But the standard did not have any running light wires, and the vetter fairing is clearly not “designed” for the interstate model. It is designed for standards to be converted to touring. And where on a standard would you connect a running light wire when there was no wire designated for such a purpose? One possibility is the ignition positive. I know I have another bike that I installed a tach and connected the tach power wire to the ignition positive, so it’s something that definitely has potential. I’m going to test this theory before I check for a bad ground.
I'm speaking from experience on this. :) I have seen this exact problem before, more than once, caused by a bad ground leading back from the fairing. They may be on on different circuits, but they DO share something: they share a ground, inside the fairing. That's what makes this so unintuitive - you think they aren't connected, but they are. Once you break that ground wire coming back from the fairing, all bets are off as to what is going to result.

Have a look at the schematic for your bike. Remove the ground connection leading from the fairing back to the bike. Now the headlight and running lights have no way to return current to ground - except they do.

Instead, they route their current wherever they can find a way to ground. If you examine the circuit, you'll see that they CAN find a ground: through the ground line INSIDE the fairing, to the common ground terminal of the turn signal lamp. From there it can get through the turn signal light bulb filament, through the wire for the turn signal to the REAR turn signal light bulb, and from there to ground. And that's exactly what happens.

Except - when you switch on the turn signal, you get current flowing through the filament to the ground in the turn signal lamp, and the voltage (and current!) offset is now enough that the headlight and running lights don't have enough current to function, and they shut off.

It's this bizarre "seek out a ground wherever you can find it" behavior that ends up causing head-scratching problems where things completely unrelated to the actual problem end up manifesting as symptoms. Things like "turn signals stop working when kick stand is retracted" and "brake light only works when clutch is pulled in" - I've seen both of these problems, and both were caused by a bad ground.

EVERY time I have seen a "my xxxx light flashes when my turn signals engaged" problem, it has been caused by a bad ground.
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Schematic
Schematic

OldGoldie
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Re: Windjammer lighting question

Post by OldGoldie »

WingAdmin wrote: Tue Jan 18, 2022 4:03 pm
OldGoldie wrote: Tue Jan 18, 2022 1:35 pm
WingAdmin wrote: Tue Jan 18, 2022 12:32 pm Virtually every time you get unexpected, unrelated operation in wiring, the cause is a bad ground.

And that's what's happening here. The headlight and/or running lights have a bad ground, so they are finding their own way to ground - via the filament in a different light. When you turn on the turn signals, that referenced ground suddenly has +12v instead, so without any ground to complete their circuit, the other lights turn off. When the turn signal turns off, the other lights have their (sort of) ground again and they come back on.

Fix the bad ground and your problem should go away.
I respectfully disagree in this case. A bad ground would cause intermittent or non working lights, and the problem would occur at one specific spot in the circuit. In my case, all lights work. A bad ground would not cause the headlight to flash when the turn signals are activated. That really makes no sense, because the headlights and turn signals are on different circuits. Anyhow, even though I disagree, I am taking the possibility under consideration and will investigate if appropriate. But I have another theory first. On the interstate, there are two wires which were designed to power each running light separately. One is light blue, one is orange. The matching color wires on the Honda fairing would be connected, and all the lights would operate as they should. But the standard did not have any running light wires, and the vetter fairing is clearly not “designed” for the interstate model. It is designed for standards to be converted to touring. And where on a standard would you connect a running light wire when there was no wire designated for such a purpose? One possibility is the ignition positive. I know I have another bike that I installed a tach and connected the tach power wire to the ignition positive, so it’s something that definitely has potential. I’m going to test this theory before I check for a bad ground.
I'm speaking from experience on this. :) I have seen this exact problem before, more than once, caused by a bad ground leading back from the fairing. They may be on on different circuits, but they DO share something: they share a ground, inside the fairing. That's what makes this so unintuitive - you think they aren't connected, but they are. Once you break that ground wire coming back from the fairing, all bets are off as to what is going to result.

Have a look at the schematic for your bike. Remove the ground connection leading from the fairing back to the bike. Now the headlight and running lights have no way to return current to ground - except they do.

Instead, they route their current wherever they can find a way to ground. If you examine the circuit, you'll see that they CAN find a ground: through the ground line INSIDE the fairing, to the common ground terminal of the turn signal lamp. From there it can get through the turn signal light bulb filament, through the wire for the turn signal to the REAR turn signal light bulb, and from there to ground. And that's exactly what happens.

Except - when you switch on the turn signal, you get current flowing through the filament to the ground in the turn signal lamp, and the voltage (and current!) offset is now enough that the headlight and running lights don't have enough current to function, and they shut off.

It's this bizarre "seek out a ground wherever you can find it" behavior that ends up causing head-scratching problems where things completely unrelated to the actual problem end up manifesting as symptoms. Things like "turn signals stop working when kick stand is retracted" and "brake light only works when clutch is pulled in" - I've seen both of these problems, and both were caused by a bad ground.

EVERY time I have seen a "my xxxx light flashes when my turn signals engaged" problem, it has been caused by a bad ground.
I understand what you are saying, but it doesn’t sound like what I’m saying. None of my lights shut off when my turn signals are activated. Let me explain again. On the bike, there is a light blue wire and an orange and white wire. The Honda fairing has a light blue wire for the right running light, and an orange and white wire for the left running light. The bike is obviously color coded for the Honda fairing. The fairing only has one running light wire on the 9 prong plug, and it is green although that doesn’t really matter. Now, when I connect the green wire to the bike left running light wire, and activate the left turn signal, the left running light will shut off and the left turn signal will flash, but the headlight and the right running light will also flash. When I connect the green wire to the bike right running light wire, and activate the right turn signal, the right running light will shut off and the right turn signal will flash, but the left running light and the headlight will flash. When I bridge the bikes left and right running light wires and connect the green wire to the now bridged running light circuit, no matter which turn signal is activated, the opposite side running light as well as the headlight will flash. This cannot all be caused by a bad ground. It’s not simply unintuitive, it’s “illogical”, as Spock would say.
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Re: Windjammer lighting question

Post by WingAdmin »

Actually that makes perfect sense.

There's an easy way to test it: Take a new wire, at one end connect it to the headlight ground wire. At the other end, connect it to your battery negative terminal, and see if the problem is resolved.
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Re: Windjammer lighting question

Post by OldGoldie »

Turn signals not working when kickstand retracted, or brake lights only working when clutch is pulled in, they’re not due to a bad ground, they’re due to improper grounding. There’s a difference. Also, the entire ground for the fairing runs through the headlight connector. The fairing is not grounded to the bike any other way. If I removed the ground from the fairing to the bike, I’d have no lights because the entire fairing only has one path to ground. Also, there’s no harm in me seeing what happens when I touch the green wire to ignition positive. The fairing green running light wire is a positive wire. I said I would investigate for a bad ground if appropriate. Right now I do not think it is appropriate.
OldGoldie
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Re: Windjammer lighting question

Post by OldGoldie »

WingAdmin wrote: Tue Jan 18, 2022 4:21 pm Actually that makes perfect sense.

There's an easy way to test it: Take a new wire, at one end connect it to the headlight ground wire. At the other end, connect it to your battery negative terminal, and see if the problem is resolved.
After I test out touching the green wire to ignition positive, I’m open to testing other theories with different methods. This is feeling like a battle of wills and I’m not interested in playing. I may not report back at all at this point, because if you’re right, all I’ll hear is I told you so.
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newday777
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Re: Windjammer lighting question

Post by newday777 »

OldGoldie wrote: Tue Jan 18, 2022 4:24 pm
After I test out touching the green wire to ignition positive, I’m open to testing other theories with different methods. This is feeling like a battle of wills and I’m not interested in playing. I may not report back at all at this point, because if you’re right, all I’ll hear is I told you so.
You think that is what you'll hear. If you read through the forum you will find differently.
You asked for help. What you do with it is totally up to you. You said you were a novice at best. You got replies that you could have easily tested with a simple jumper test ground as both I and wingadmin alluded to.
If you jumped the wrong wires together in the fairing then yes it is on you.
Your thinking that we would reply as you said... That's on you. Very childish bro. But you do as you will.
OldGoldie
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Re: Windjammer lighting question

Post by OldGoldie »

newday777 wrote: Tue Jan 18, 2022 4:51 pm
OldGoldie wrote: Tue Jan 18, 2022 4:24 pm
After I test out touching the green wire to ignition positive, I’m open to testing other theories with different methods. This is feeling like a battle of wills and I’m not interested in playing. I may not report back at all at this point, because if you’re right, all I’ll hear is I told you so.
You think that is what you'll hear. If you read through the forum you will find differently.
You asked for help. What you do with it is totally up to you. You said you were a novice at best. You got replies that you could have easily tested with a simple jumper test ground as both I and wingadmin alluded to.
If you jumped the wrong wires together in the fairing then yes it is on you.
Your thinking that we would reply as you said... That's on you. Very childish bro. But you do as you will.
If you want to call me childish, I think assuming that I was talking to you is also childish. Though I suppose I can see how it could be taken that I was speaking to everyone who suggested a bad ground, I was not. Yes, I did say I had no experience with running lights. But I do have some experience with electronics, having built and designed complete lighting and charging systems for motorized bicycles. The last one I built ran off a tire driven generator. I had an led headlight bulb and led tail light, both were single positives so I built resistor circuits for high/low and tail/stop, it also had a regulator/rectifier and was electrically isolated from the bike frame via a junction box. Everything was grounded directly back to battery. It also had a handlebar mounted voltimeter so I could always see how much voltage I was putting out. It did not have turn signals or wiring lights. I’m just not that familiar with three wire lighting system, but hot is hot and ground is ground, after researching the bikes wiring diagram, I still don’t think a bad ground is the issue. But I said I would take it under consideration and investigate if appropriate. Then the issue continued being pushed, and I thought that was a bit childish. Kinda felt like a measuring contest. Maybe I’m wrong. This is the internet, and things can be misread all the time. But in the spirit of fairness, whatever the problem is, only one thing can fix it. And no matter what that is, I’ll report back since you say there are no poor sports here I will take you at your word.
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Re: Windjammer lighting question

Post by WingAdmin »

OldGoldie wrote: Tue Jan 18, 2022 4:23 pm Turn signals not working when kickstand retracted, or brake lights only working when clutch is pulled in, they’re not due to a bad ground, they’re due to improper grounding. There’s a difference. Also, the entire ground for the fairing runs through the headlight connector. The fairing is not grounded to the bike any other way. If I removed the ground from the fairing to the bike, I’d have no lights because the entire fairing only has one path to ground.
You're wrong - it does have another path to ground, as I explained in the posting in which I attached the schematic. The other path to ground is THROUGH THE FILAMENT in the bulb, from there to the rear of the bike, and then to ground. This type of unexpected path to ground is a hallmark of this type of odd issue. And as I mentioned, this would not be the first time I have seen this exact problem, and this was the cause.

You can take this information and test it as I mentioned and if it solves your problem, that's great, I'm happy for you. I'm only trying to help.
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Re: Windjammer lighting question

Post by OldGoldie »

WingAdmin wrote: Tue Jan 18, 2022 4:21 pm Actually that makes perfect sense.

There's an easy way to test it: Take a new wire, at one end connect it to the headlight ground wire. At the other end, connect it to your battery negative terminal, and see if the problem is resolved.
I did actually try that, it didn’t fix the problem.
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Re: Windjammer lighting question

Post by OldGoldie »

Well, I couldn’t actually touch any wires to ignition positive, because the wires are insulated. I investigated for a bad ground. Eventually I noticed that both turn signal sockets on the fairing had weak or broken grounds, I corrected that but it did not solve my issue. I also noticed that I’ve now disconnected the running light wire, and the headlight still flashes when either turn signal is activated. I connected a wire to the headlight ground and ran it to battery, that did not correct the issue. I’ve also noticed that the brown wire inside the fairing is not connected to anything, nor is the wire with the inline glass fuse. Those two things perplex me, as I do not know what they are supposed to be connected to. I am wondering if there is a positive wire grounding out somewhere that I just cannot find.
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Re: Windjammer lighting question

Post by newday777 »

Look in the instructions for which Vetter Windjammer model you have for wiring.

http://craigvetter.com/pages/Vetter_Fai ... tions.html
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Re: Windjammer lighting question

Post by OldGoldie »

newday777 wrote: Wed Jan 19, 2022 4:29 am Look in the instructions for which Vetter Windjammer model you have for wiring.

http://craigvetter.com/pages/Vetter_Fai ... tions.html
I am not sure specifically which windjammer I have, or how to identify it, but several models seem to be the same wiring diagram, violet is one turn signal, blue is right turn signal, green is running light. But here’s a fun fact, the guy I bought it from didn’t know it was an interstate, and he made modifications to the wiring, and marked them in the repair manual under the standard model. So if I am to go by the bike wiring diagram, I’m totally **** clueless as to what is actually what lol. Not to mention that the “marks” he made of the changes barely make any **** sense to me. I’ll take a pic and post it.
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Re: Windjammer lighting question

Post by OldGoldie »







Here’s a picture of my tank to prove it’s an interstate. And here are picture of this guys BS chicken **** scratch that I bought it from. I don’t **** understand any of it.
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Re: Windjammer lighting question

Post by OldGoldie »

I’ve identified the fairing as a windjammer V. I’m fairly certain I have ruled out the possibility of a grounding issue. I think the issue is that I’ve connected the turn signals to the wrong wires. I’m going to investigate that theory tonight.
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Re: Windjammer lighting question

Post by OldGoldie »

So here is some new information. I decided to test a standard two wire (one hot, one ground) turn signal and see if the same issue occurs. When I activate a standard turn signal, the headlight does not flash. So the issue has to be somewhere within the fairing wires.
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Posts: 43
Joined: Sun Jan 09, 2022 11:43 am
Location: York, PA, USA
Motorcycle: 1983 GL1100 Interstate

Re: Windjammer lighting question

Post by OldGoldie »

So, I removed the fairing and tank to check for any bad connections. I did find a ground wire that had been cut and capped off. I did ground it back to the frame, but it had no effect on the issue. Then I took a look at the bikes headlight plug, and I found a short. I fixed that, and plugged in a halogen bulb, no pulsing when turn signal activated. Plugged in another halogen bulb, still no pulsing. Plugged in the led bulb that I had originally had plugged in when I first noticed the issue, slight pulsing. Had an led bulb in another bike, plugged that in, no pulsing. So as far as I can tell, the issue is definitely isolated to this one led bulb. So I took the led bulb from the other bike and put it in the fairing. Still have yet to put everything back together, but I do believe I’ve solved the issue. The bulb may actually have a bad internal ground or some other internal issue. I’m not bothering to try to get it apart. And it wasn’t a grounding issue.


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