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Check your headlight status and cause if there was a problem.

  • I had a starter switch problem.

    Votes: 80 58.8%
  • I had a problem with a large connector under a rubber cover in the left cowling.

    Votes: 22 16.2%
  • I had a problem with a connector on the radiator shroud.

    Votes: 21 15.4%
  • I had a problem with the high/low beam switch.

    Votes: 8 5.9%
  • I had a problem but don't know the specific area.

    Votes: 18 13.2%

  • Total voters
    136
21 - 40 of 116 Posts

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My 2K9 Wee developed this problem late last summer. I didn't search the forum first & took me a few days to find a bad pin socket on the connector on the radiator shroud. I had such a hard time finding the cause of the trouble because every time I'd get the tank off & start tracing & ringing out wiring it would mysteriously start working again. My quick fix was to just cut off the pins, solder the wires together, then cover with heat shrink. I probably should buy the wiring kit from Eastern Beaver though.
 

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My lights just didn't come on one day. I was so confused because I knew it wasn't any of the wiring behind the rad. and/ or the cluster behind the fairing. I cleaned out the switch too with nothing. I then found the problem to be that the nibs (in the starter assembly) on the plunger were not being pressed up to the connectors due to the the vertical spring not doing it's job.
 

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About 1980 lost the headlight at night on a 1978 Honda; pretty scary; kind of changed the lighting rules for me; Got my DL in Jan.; about the first thing I did was install HID's and put them on separate circuits; the circuits are separated to the point that each has an individual ground path to the battery; also have aux 10 watt LED's on a separate circuit;

But still, all lights require the ignition to be on; so if the main 30A blows or a connection fails between the battery and the ignition switch, NO LIGHT; Plan this week to install a separate "night running only" light switch on the Aux light circuit that switches them off the relay and straight to the battery (fused); and maybe since it will only be used at night I will flip the switch off when I get off the bike and not kill the battery.

If it sounds like overkill (guess it is) try losing all your lights on a absolutely black night!
 

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132 Posts
my story:

last night, at 33000 miles on my 07 wee strom, my headlights stop working. i cranked the bike and when i pulled out of the rstaraunt i noticed that my lights didnt seem to be on. it was getting dark out. i pulled over and sure enuf, lights werent working. luckily i was aonly a few miles form home and the flashers worked.

got on this site this morn after tearing the whole bike apart, lol. turns out, it was the starter button switch. took it apart and cleaned the contacts and presto!

thanks again to stromtrooper!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
 

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FORUM GODFATHER.....R.I.P. PAT
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38,049 Posts
Discussion Starter #26
Chances are it will happen again if you don't install relays and it can get harder to fix each time without them.
 

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How did we ever survive without forums. After dropping my taxes off in the ritual last-minute ride, I noticed a lot of people flashing me. Odd, I thought... what happened to the wave. Then when I moved the bike into the garage I noticed no lights. Bulbs were good, fuses good and wiring all seemed to be intact.

D'Oh! Why didn't I think of the starter switch. That would explain the couple of groaning starts I had earlier today. I've had to do this with my '77 Wing, so it shouldn't be a big deal. For now, clean the contacts, but I think I'll go to a relay! Thanks for the advice. I'll post the verdict when I get 'er running.

At least it's raining for a couple of days, so I don't feel so bad.
 

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"Cleaning the contacts" seems to be coming up alot latlely.

My opinion is the plunger spring is #1 cause of failure.
Snap off the post it fits on - problem solved.

#2 is contact legs bent. Straighten them out - problem solved.

The last problem is undersized wiring and harness connections.
EB relay kit will solve this.
 

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19 Posts
It just happened to me, too

I came out of the building to leave work at 9-ish last Friday (the 13TH of course!) night and started my K8 Wee-strom, only to find that I had no headlight. I checked both fuses, ok, shined flashlight into the two bulbs, filments looked intact, wiggled wires behind them and underneath the fusebox, shut it off & re-started, worked the Hi-lo and Pass switches- still no headlight.

So, having little choice, I rode with flashers on, a bit puckered, & luckily didn't get hit or ticketed, or run into anything on the pitch-dark stretches. I stayed on back streets I know well.

Not something I ever care to repeat, not ever. There was one moment of hilarity (not really) on the way, the unlighted dip into a narrow S-curve under a very old RR trestle which we as kids called dead-man's-curve because there were in fact fatal crashes there regularly.

So, as luck would have it, there I am decending into this blackness with only flashers on, nobody ahead or behind me to light the totally dark road, and as I get to the center of the S, there's a transit bus coming at me taking up one and a half lanes. I had to laugh as I grazed my right elbow on the rock wall hoping not to be crushed like a bug.:furious:

I made it to my garage much relieved and swapped for the Jeep so to get back home. Lucky I keep a spare key on me. After taking apart the left-side switch assembly to no avail, I detached the right-side, cleaned out the dirt and cobweb and got my headlights back. Whew.

Then I read about it on the forums. Ugh. I'd no idea or would've done a preventative. :headbang: Eastern Beaver got my order the next day. It should be here tomorrow and I'll install on this weekend.
 

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A headlight switch fail at 15K is pretty unusual for me. I'm used to 30 year old Goldwings with electrical gremlins, but not my new Strom! I pulled the starter switch, cleaned it and reinstalled it. Nada. I could wiggle the starter switch and get a faint glow from the lights, but nothing I'd rely on.

On the second disassembly, I pulled the switch completely apart. There's a tiny spring under the contact. I had to bend the fingers just a little bit so the contact could float freely. Before, it was stuck in a down position.

With the contact freely floating, a little bit of silicone in there for good measure, and all of the copper polished up, it went back together and everything works perfectly again.

Now that I've done this once, it's something that could realistically be done in a pinch on the side of the road. (Though I sure wouldn't want to chance losing those tiny little parts!)
 

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Is this still an issue with the 2012's? Just got mine and want to know if this is something I need to be concerned about.
Thanks,
Jerry
 

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FORUM GODFATHER.....R.I.P. PAT
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Discussion Starter #33
Is this still an issue with the 2012's? Just got mine and want to know if this is something I need to be concerned about.
Thanks,
Jerry
Nothing's changed in that regard. Still no headlight relays on the stock bike and the lights are fed through the starter button switch.
 

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Officially, I'm reporting on my previous strom (04) which had no problems in over 20000 miles. I did eventually install the EB bypass to ensure that would continue. Transferred it to my current strom (09) to avoid any chance of the problem.
 

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I not sure how to vote. I had to clean my starter switch but this didn't happen until around 100,000 miles. My DL650 currently has over 125,00 miles on it and is running the original headlight bulbs, and this is with stock connections (no relay.) Throughout most of the year I commute to work and the bike sits outside in rain even if raining all day while at work so I am sure that this has sped up the process.

So I had a starter switch "problem", but it took 6 years and 100,000 miles to surface. If I was at the 60,000+ mile mark I would vote "no problems".

..Tom
Same here, starter switch problem. Took it apart, cleaned it and gave the contacts an adjustment, been working fine the last 20,000 miles. Never was a headlight problem, though.
 

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Follow up:

Back in April, I cleaned the starter switch contacts to repair my headlight issue. It has worked until the last week or two. At first, a flick of the starter switch would bring the lights on. Now, it takes some serious fiddling. This weekend I'll source and install a relay circuit. I don't want to shell out $50+ for an EB, so I'll mod my own.
 

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**Aww, crap... I did the images wrong. I'll fix tomorrow.**

This is my second headlight fail. In April, I wrote about how I cleaned the starter contacts and was back in business. After less than half a year, it failed again, so I went all in for a repair. I'm too cheap to shell out $60 for a pre-made kit and I don't need the connectors because I want this to be as permanent as possible, so here's what I did:

1) Remove fairing. (Good grief, can they make this any more difficult?)

2) Take many pictures for reference.



3) Remove entire wiring harness and untape the whole thing. Zip-tie the pieces together to keep the same basic shape.

4) Add two relays as follows:
a) Clip yellow high beam wire where it splits from harness. Add a spade connector and attach to one switched leg of relay.
b) Repeat for blue main beam wire on other relay.
c) Find splice in ground wire. Solder on another leg to each relay at one coil leg.
d) Add a length of wire from yellow high beam wire (where you cut in a) to other leg of coil.
e) Repeat for blue main beam wire to other relay.
f) Run a fused wire from battery through frame to remaining switched leg of each relay. I left the wire intact, but you may want a detachable connector near the main harness connector.

5) Every soldered connection is shrink-tubed.

6) Spade connectors are all shrink-tubed.

7) Zip-tie it together to get the shape, then wrap completely in electrical tape, unclipping zip ties as you go.

8) Zip tie relays to the wiring harness so they don't rattle around.





Now for the REPAIR part. (That was just to make it not happen again, but we still have damage to fix.)

1) Remove starter switch and find this part:



2) Take out this part:



3) Now you have to make sure that copper piece can move freely. Mine was literally MELTED in place, keeping it from making positive contact. I finally routed a slightly wider notch with a 0.043" drill bit and then used an exacto knife to carve away the melted parts so the spring would seat again. Check the action of both sprung parts to ensure they move smoothly. (It took me a few tries to get it right.)

4) Lightly sand the copper pieces to remove corrosion and smooth out any rough parts that might catch.

5) Reassemble.

You can see the entire album here.
 

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Clarification of my vote.

I had a problem with the high/low beam switch. (3.3%)

Above is how I voted. Actually, I was close to being able to vote on the last line, because my DL-650 is six years old, and I have ridden it 72000 miles, and I have done nothing to repair any switch or part of the stock wiring. (I have fixed errors in the little bit of wiring I have added, but that's my fault.)

One rainy evening, I switched from high beam to low beam, and only one low beam light came on. When I switched FIRMLY back to high beam and FIRMLY back to low beam, both low-beam lights came on and stayed on. When I got home, I squirted some contact cleaner into the switch, and worked it back and forth a few times, and the problem has not reappeared in two years.

Thank you for gathering data on this important area.
I plan to buy a 2016 DL-650 when the time comes;
perhaps the plan or the bike will evolve in some way.
(Or I might; I don't want to think about that event.)

Keith
 

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Three years 36K

After 3 years and 36K miles I finally had an issue with the headlights. First I tried cleaning up the starter button connections. That worked for a day or two, but stopped working today. So I checked the big white connector and what do you know one of the pins has a slight brownish discoloration. So I stuck some dielectric grease in there and it works again. I'll be ordering a relay kit from eastern beaver next week.
 
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