Lighting problem


Information and questions on GL1500 Goldwings (1988-2000)
Zradene
Posts: 9
Joined: Sat May 08, 2021 6:26 am
Location: Essex, England.
Motorcycle: GL1500SE

Re: Lighting problem

Post by Zradene »



Hi, I also have a really odd issue regarding my rear lights on my Goldwing GL1500se (1994). The main headlight and dipped beam work as they should, but the rear lights do not light up ?. The bulbs I know are good as the parking lights are working at the rear, as well as the brake lights when the handbrake or footbrake is applied proving both filaments of the rear bulbs are not blown. I have checked all the fuses (including the two 5amp fuses below the relays) and all are good. I have swapped out each relay from my identical GL1500se trike, but still the problem is there. Has anyone any suggestions as to where I should start to look to resolve this issue ?. I purchased the bike 3 months ago from a motorcycle dealer with a brand new MOT. They delivered the bike and since that time it has sat covered up in my garage. After contacting them to ask for help, they suggested HI/LO switch or the small parking/ headlight switch could be failing..... As a matter of course, I opened up the switches and they looked just fine (no corrosion) so I sprayed some WD40 in there just in case. My thoughts are that If the main headlight was failing I would investigate or possibly replace the switches, but as the headlight works fine I would not imagine the switch is to blame for the rear lights not working.

Really hoping someone out there can help.
Thanks


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bellboy40
Posts: 861
Joined: Fri Nov 27, 2009 1:13 pm
Location: Brewton, AL
Motorcycle: 2000 GL1500SE Candy Spectra Red

Re: Lighting problem

Post by bellboy40 »

Zradene wrote: Sat Jun 05, 2021 8:24 am Hi, I also have a really odd issue regarding my rear lights on my Goldwing GL1500se (1994). The main headlight and dipped beam work as they should, but the rear lights do not light up ?. The bulbs I know are good as the parking lights are working at the rear, as well as the brake lights when the handbrake or footbrake is applied proving both filaments of the rear bulbs are not blown. I have checked all the fuses (including the two 5amp fuses below the relays) and all are good. I have swapped out each relay from my identical GL1500se trike, but still the problem is there. Has anyone any suggestions as to where I should start to look to resolve this issue ?. I purchased the bike 3 months ago from a motorcycle dealer with a brand new MOT. They delivered the bike and since that time it has sat covered up in my garage. After contacting them to ask for help, they suggested HI/LO switch or the small parking/ headlight switch could be failing..... As a matter of course, I opened up the switches and they looked just fine (no corrosion) so I sprayed some WD40 in there just in case. My thoughts are that If the main headlight was failing I would investigate or possibly replace the switches, but as the headlight works fine I would not imagine the switch is to blame for the rear lights not working.

Really hoping someone out there can help.
Thanks
Which rear lights do not work? The tail lights on the saddlebags or the trunk light assembly? Those two locations are powered in different ways.
Zradene
Posts: 9
Joined: Sat May 08, 2021 6:26 am
Location: Essex, England.
Motorcycle: GL1500SE

Re: Lighting problem

Post by Zradene »

Hi, thanks for your message. Neither of the two main rear lights will work when the headlight is switched on.
Zradene
Posts: 9
Joined: Sat May 08, 2021 6:26 am
Location: Essex, England.
Motorcycle: GL1500SE

Re: Lighting problem

Post by Zradene »

By that I mean the both the tail lights on the saddlebags and the trunk light assembly do not work when headlights are switched on.
Seems strange that power is getting to the same bulbs when brake light or parking light is on ???
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bellboy40
Posts: 861
Joined: Fri Nov 27, 2009 1:13 pm
Location: Brewton, AL
Motorcycle: 2000 GL1500SE Candy Spectra Red

Re: Lighting problem

Post by bellboy40 »

Well I assume you have a European model since you have the headlight switch. I don't have the wiring diagram for that model. What you are experiencing with the tail lights on the US models I would suspect the #3 Tail/Main relay or the wiring from it to the lights. If that relay is good it could possibly be a poor contact on the relay pins where it plugs in. That relay is a known failure point when extra lights are added to these bikes by tapping into the existing wiring.
Zradene
Posts: 9
Joined: Sat May 08, 2021 6:26 am
Location: Essex, England.
Motorcycle: GL1500SE

Re: Lighting problem

Post by Zradene »

Hi, thanks again for your reply. I will indeed investigate that No.3 relay.
Many thanks
Zradene
Posts: 9
Joined: Sat May 08, 2021 6:26 am
Location: Essex, England.
Motorcycle: GL1500SE

Re: Lighting problem

Post by Zradene »

Hi, I have swapped out the No.3 relay and cleaned the contacts. Still no joy on either of the tail lamps. I may have confused you regarding the headlamp switch... I was referring to the dot/PH switch. (OFF/PARK/HEADLIGHTS).
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Rambozo
Posts: 803
Joined: Sun Apr 01, 2018 8:36 pm
Location: Disneyland
Motorcycle: 1992 GL1500 Aspencade
Ducati Monster

Re: Lighting problem

Post by Rambozo »

US models don't have that switch, and the wiring is different, so that makes it hard to troubleshoot without a European wiring diagram.
This is just an educated guess, but since the rear lights work in the park position but not the headlight position, my first thought would be to look at the switch contacts. Most Honda switches can be taken apart and cleaned out.
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WingAdmin
Site Admin
Posts: 21983
Joined: Fri Oct 03, 2008 4:16 pm
Location: Strongsville, OH
Motorcycle: 2000 GL1500 SE
1982 GL1100A Aspencade (sold)
1989 PC800 (sold)
1998 XV250 Virago (sold)
2012 Suzuki Burgman 400 (wife's!)
2007 Aspen Sentry Trailer

Re: Lighting problem

Post by WingAdmin »

Also...check your grounds.

If the headlight and taillight share the same ground (I don't have a wiring diagram in front of me, so I can't check), and that ground is not great, when you turn the headlight on, it's going to wipe out the ground for the much lower-powered rear lights.

You can test this easily:

1. Turn on the bike
2. Turn on the headlights so that the rear lights go out
3. Connect a wire from one rear light grounds (solid green wire) to a known good ground - on the frame, or on the battery negative terminal

If the rear light turns on when you do this, you know that a bad ground is your problem.
Zradene
Posts: 9
Joined: Sat May 08, 2021 6:26 am
Location: Essex, England.
Motorcycle: GL1500SE

Re: Lighting problem

Post by Zradene »

Hi my friend. You were right... It was indeed that OFF/P/H switch that had gone faulty.
Replaced it with the one from my Trike, and now the rear lights are all working perfectly.
Thank you so much for your kind help with this, I am most grateful to you.

Fred


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