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FORUM GODFATHER.....R.I.P. PAT
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Discussion Starter #1
This seems to constantly foster misconceptions so I thought this may help explain how the start switch works. Here's a picture of the inside of the start switch on a 2007 DL650 thanks to Black Lab's nice article on start switch maintenance. https://blacklabadventures.com/2012/02/19/start-switch-maintenance/
Other models beginning in 2005 have the same or similar construction.



You can see the dual contact wiper piece W on the bottom and imagine how in travels across the piece above with the four electrical contacts, two normally open and two normally closed, when the switch is assembled with the bottom part flipped back over to contact the top part. The wiper connects the two normally closed contacts when the start button is in its normal position. Those contacts carry current to the headlights.

When the start button is pressed the wiper moves from the normally closed contacts to the normally open contacts. The NC contacts are no longer connected so the headlights go out. The NO contacts are then connected so the starter relay receives power and closes to send power to the starter motor. When the start button is released, the wiper moves back to the NC contacts so the lights go back on and the starter relay opens to cut off power to the starter motor.

The start button NC contacts are probably the weakest link in the stock headlight circuit. The little pieces of metal get hot from carrying a large amount of current and burn, corrode or recede into the insulation block, no longer making proper contact. If they are used to power relays instead like the NO contacts, their service life will be greatly improved.
 

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AWESOME Pat..........you read my mind in wanting a sticky on this "very popular" issue as of late, and in particular as these bikes age.
 

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This is very helpful! So if the headlights are powered off when the starter triggers is there any point in getting the switch that allows you to turn off the headlight while still having power on?


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FORUM GODFATHER.....R.I.P. PAT
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Discussion Starter #4
The only reason to have a headlight switch would be if you need to have the ignition on with the headlights off. One interesting thing about the stock switch combination is the clutch lever has to be squeezed for the starter motor to run. That means you can turn the headlights off while the clutch lever is out, even while riding, by pushing the start button.
 

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The only reason to have a headlight switch would be if you need to have the ignition on with the headlights off. One interesting thing about the stock switch combination is the clutch lever has to be squeezed for the starter motor to run. That means you can turn the headlights off while the clutch lever is out, even while riding, by pushing the start button.
That's an interesting side effect. I'm curious about the use case where one would want the engine on but the lights off. When I was much, much younger we used to ride Kuranda Range without lights on full moon nights. I'm not sure how I survived my early 20's - the same as many here I guess, barely :)

I can easily imagine where you want some electronics on, for example to charge or maintain a GPS or phone, without the headlights. There's easier ways to do that than tamper with the headlights though...
 

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SO my problem is today when I started the bike no lights, even if I just turned the key. Bike started and still no low beams but high beams did. I rode to work like that and when I got to work I shut the high off and the low worked. On my wa home same thing, no low but rode home on high. When I got home I tried shutting the high off and no low. Its not the fuse because the low worked, any help would be appreciated. Thanks
 

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I'm a newbie to Stroms but from what I've read it's going to be in the headlight plug where the harness plugs into the main harness.
IF I'm wrong, I'm sure I will be corrected!
 

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There is a gang connector under the fairing, left front. You should be able to reach it with out taking anything off. Get a flashlight & look for discoloration from heat in that connector.
What year, 650 or 1000?
 

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That is a great place to start looking. On the left side of the steering head is a large white multi-plug at the end of the main harness.

Look there first for any corroded contacts. Then check any other connections you can find. Your problem is most likely a corroded connection or switch. This is more likely if the bike is stored outside or sees the rain more often.

BTW this is a guess as we do not know which bike you have, or how old it is. PLEASE update your UserCP to show 650/1000 and age in your signature or profile.
 
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