No High Beams


Information and questions on GL1800 Goldwings (2001-2017)
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mrbreeze
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No High Beams

Post by mrbreeze » Tue Mar 27, 2018 8:42 pm



I was riding tonight and switched the high beams on. Darkness! The high beams did not work! Low beams were fine. I tried 4 times, same result every time. When I got home and put the bike in the garage, the high beams worked fine.

It’s a 2012. No accessories to speak of, but I did install a Sena Freewire last week. This was the first ride since then. The bike has just over 10,000 miles.

Any ideas about the high beams would be appreciated.



DaveO430
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Re: No High Beams

Post by DaveO430 » Tue Mar 27, 2018 10:01 pm

mrbreeze wrote:
Tue Mar 27, 2018 8:42 pm
I was riding tonight and switched the high beams on. Darkness!
Does that mean all of the headlights went out when switched to high beam? Seems almost impossible the way the system works. The low beams should be on all the time, there is no switch contact for the low beams, they are just on. The high beams work on 2 circuits, 1 direct from the switch and 1 through a relay.

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mrbreeze
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Re: No High Beams

Post by mrbreeze » Wed Mar 28, 2018 8:40 am

Yes, all the headlights went out when I switched to high. When I switched back to low, the low beams came back on.

DaveO430
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Re: No High Beams

Post by DaveO430 » Wed Mar 28, 2018 9:55 am

The only thing that makes any sense is a bad ground or the headlight contact in the start switch is dirty.

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WingAdmin
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Re: No High Beams

Post by WingAdmin » Wed Mar 28, 2018 11:00 am

The high beams and low beams run off separate relays. Chances are your high beam relay is failing. If you can get it to fail again, give the high beam relay a tap and see if it comes back to life.

Or better yet, just replace it. GL1800 relays are cheap.

Check out this posting for more: viewtopic.php?t=26754

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mrbreeze
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Re: No High Beams

Post by mrbreeze » Wed Mar 28, 2018 11:14 am

Very cool! Thanks

I hate to ask a dumb noob question, but how do you get the seat off?

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WingAdmin
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Re: No High Beams

Post by WingAdmin » Wed Mar 28, 2018 12:02 pm

mrbreeze wrote:
Wed Mar 28, 2018 11:14 am
Very cool! Thanks

I hate to ask a dumb noob question, but how do you get the seat off?
This shows the GL1500, but the GL1800 is almost identical: How to remove and replace your seat

You might want to remove the passenger backrest first, which makes the job a bit easier - that's done by removing two philips screws inside the trunk that screw into the seatback.

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mrbreeze
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Re: No High Beams

Post by mrbreeze » Wed Mar 28, 2018 2:44 pm

Learning something new is such a good feeling!

Thanks a million!

DaveO430
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Re: No High Beams

Post by DaveO430 » Wed Mar 28, 2018 3:06 pm

WingAdmin wrote:
Wed Mar 28, 2018 11:00 am
The high beams and low beams run off separate relays. Chances are your high beam relay is failing. If you can get it to fail again, give the high beam relay a tap and see if it comes back to life.

Or better yet, just replace it. GL1800 relays are cheap.

Check out this posting for more: viewtopic.php?t=26754
To repeat myself. Only 1 high beam runs off a relay, the other is direct from the switch & the low beams are not on a switch and should not go off when the high beams are switched on. The problem has to be either in the power feed or the ground for all of them.

DaveO430
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Re: No High Beams

Post by DaveO430 » Wed Mar 28, 2018 3:08 pm

WingAdmin wrote:
Wed Mar 28, 2018 12:02 pm


You might want to remove the passenger backrest first, which makes the job a bit easier - that's done by removing two philips screws inside the trunk that screw into the seatback.
Totally unnecessary, just pull the bolster on the back of the seat out from under the backrest and it slips right out.

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Re: No High Beams

Post by WingAdmin » Thu Mar 29, 2018 10:25 am

DaveO430 wrote:
Wed Mar 28, 2018 3:08 pm
WingAdmin wrote:
Wed Mar 28, 2018 12:02 pm


You might want to remove the passenger backrest first, which makes the job a bit easier - that's done by removing two philips screws inside the trunk that screw into the seatback.
Totally unnecessary, just pull the bolster on the back of the seat out from under the backrest and it slips right out.
I will typically open the trunk and tip it forward just a little bit, which gives you lots of clearance, then pull the seat right out. You don't need to remove the backrest for that.

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mrbreeze
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Re: No High Beams

Post by mrbreeze » Thu Mar 29, 2018 10:58 am

Thanks for all the great input. It sounds like it may be a bit more involved than just changing a relay. The bike is also having a problem with reverse not working. It has a warranty on it, so I guess I will take it to the shop next week and see if that warranty is worth what I paid for it.

I don't usually buy warranties, but I have had a run of bad luck with the last few bikes that I bought used.

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PastoT
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Re: No High Beams

Post by PastoT » Tue Apr 03, 2018 5:00 pm

With a light's issue and reverse issue, I would suspect some grimey or stuck switches. Both the Start and Reverse switches impact headlight ops, turning them off during high demand electrical use aka start up and reverse. Usually one notices they have no headlights (low beams) after reversing or starting, I'm not sure how or if high beams are impacted but with you saying you tested everything once you got home and it seemed good, I would suspect one of the two contacts in either switch is stuck or gummed up. I use CRC electrical contact cleaner and spray through the edges of the switch buttons and work them repeatedly and re-spray them again. have a rag to cradle the bottom of the switch pod so you don't drip it all over your bike. This doesn't clean the inside of the actual switch that much but does seem to get enough of the juice where it needs to be. I live in a desert area and ride year round and all my switches collect humidity, dust, dirt and of course the stock switch lube dries and turns all gunky; CRC is the best (any auto parts store). Just my 2 cents but the coincidental issues often do have a connection.


Tom, in Mountain Home, Idaho
2002 GL1800 (Illusion Red) Non-ABS, 122k miles
Retired Air Force

"Audentes Fortuna Juvat"

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