Reverse light not coming on


Information and questions on GL1500 Goldwings (1988-2000)
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cowboy450
Posts: 20
Joined: Sat Jan 29, 2011 8:28 pm
Location: Lyman, SC
Motorcycle: 1990 1500, 1983 Aspencade

Reverse light not coming on

Post by cowboy450 » Sat Dec 30, 2017 3:52 pm



Everything works as it is supposed to, neutral light comes on, reverse bulb lights when first turning key, reverse works. When I engage reverse I have no dash light and if I pull the reverse lever a little further than normal the neutral light goes out. Switch behind lever?
Edit: Just came in from piddling with it. The neutral light stays on even though it is in reverse. I have the side panels off so I can reach up under the reverse lever and hit a push button that turns the neutral light off. I can't remember if the light is off when in reverse or not. There doesn't seem to be anything in the area to push the button.


The Goldwing is not an old mans bike, it is a wise mans bike. Sometimes that wisdom comes with age.

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Erdeniz Umman
Posts: 693
Joined: Tue Oct 27, 2015 12:33 am
Location: Ankara Turkey
Motorcycle: 2000 GL1500SE

Re: Reverse light not coming on

Post by Erdeniz Umman » Sun Dec 31, 2017 1:34 am

There is a switch under the reverse lever. Remove the inner cover (the plastic piece where the lever is mounted) to reach the switch.

The switch provides positive voltage to the N light and Reverse system.

The N light should go off when the lever is up and R light should come on normally.

When you said the reverse works, do you mean the R light comes on when you turn the ignition key on?

If so, it is just a bulb test performed by the LCD, it does not test the system.

Also, just to clarify, the engine should be running when you want to use the reverse.

User avatar
cowboy450
Posts: 20
Joined: Sat Jan 29, 2011 8:28 pm
Location: Lyman, SC
Motorcycle: 1990 1500, 1983 Aspencade

Re: Reverse light not coming on

Post by cowboy450 » Sun Dec 31, 2017 5:13 am

Light comes on when the key is first turned so the bulb is good. Reverse does work when the motor is running like it is supposed to . When I engage it the R light doesn't come on and the N light doesn't go out. I was fairly sure it was the switch but appreciate another opinion. It feels like something is supposed to push the button on the switch to turn off the N light which probably also lights the R light but mine isn't there.
The Goldwing is not an old mans bike, it is a wise mans bike. Sometimes that wisdom comes with age.

User avatar
Erdeniz Umman
Posts: 693
Joined: Tue Oct 27, 2015 12:33 am
Location: Ankara Turkey
Motorcycle: 2000 GL1500SE

Re: Reverse light not coming on

Post by Erdeniz Umman » Sun Dec 31, 2017 5:39 am

cowboy450 wrote:
Sun Dec 31, 2017 5:13 am
Light comes on when the key is first turned so the bulb is good. Reverse does work when the motor is running like it is supposed to . When I engage it the R light doesn't come on and the N light doesn't go out. I was fairly sure it was the switch but appreciate another opinion. It feels like something is supposed to push the button on the switch to turn off the N light which probably also lights the R light but mine isn't there.
The switch and its mechanism is shown below. If it is not on your bike, probably the wires may be shorted or bypassed. If you can add a picture it would be easy to understand what is there or not.

Also sometimes the metal bracket there needs to be adjusted.
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User avatar
cowboy450
Posts: 20
Joined: Sat Jan 29, 2011 8:28 pm
Location: Lyman, SC
Motorcycle: 1990 1500, 1983 Aspencade

Re: Reverse light not coming on

Post by cowboy450 » Sun Dec 31, 2017 6:41 am

Probably wait for warmer weather before I tear it down. Thanks.
PS, thanks for the picture, much better than the factory manual.


The Goldwing is not an old mans bike, it is a wise mans bike. Sometimes that wisdom comes with age.

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