Dreaded headlight issues - Stromtrooper Forum : Suzuki V-Strom Motorcycle Forums
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post #1 of 12 Old 12-17-2018, 08:40 AM Thread Starter
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Dreaded headlight issues

Hi,

I've spent a lot of time on this site and others reading about all the problems that can cause the headlights not to work. It seems like a common problem and maybe my long term solution is to get that relay I've read about. I'm a total incompetent when it comes to things like this so I'd like to avoid taking the whole bike apart to get to something that turns out not to be the issue. Especially as I have no garage and it's miserable weather! So looking for advice.

Since I've done the starter switch, I think the next step might involve removing the fairing to get at the connector on the left and there's apparently one behind/somewhere near the radiator (this is a DL 650 registered 2010).

I've not seen anyone with quite the same symptoms. And it's intermittent which is always a pain. I'm not sure if I'll be able to find the issue as it keeps going away while I'm looking for it.

First I noticed the headlights would not come on with the ignition. They would come on after I started the bike. Fine - that's quite cool. But after a while, they didn't come on at all.

I started to take the starter switch to bits. I'd only removed the big black bits from the handle bars and not got to the switch itself when I noticed the lights were now working. They worked for about a week or two of regular use and then the same story happened again.

This time I took the switch to bits properly and cleaned the dirt off and sanded the contacts. They did look dirty so I thought I'd cracked it but, a week later, I'm back to square one! I also had it cut out for a few seconds while riding over bumps before they failed totally again.

I tried waggling the wires going to the switch. I tried turning the ignition on and off. No luck. Took the switch apart and put a continuity checker on the light wires - it indicated that current should be going through but the lights were still off. I started and stopped the bike a few times and now they are working again.

I'm guessing the connector on the left of the fairing is easy to get to without removing anything? Could I waggle that?

What could cause these strange intermittent issues? I'd have thought a bad contact would result in a dim light at some point but they are always either fully on or fully off. As if a relay is failing but there isn't one (unless a previous owner fitted one).

Anyone got pictures of the radiator bit for my model?

Sorry if it's a bit vague. I probably just need to spend some time with the bike but I want to be prepared.

Thanks.

Peter.
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post #2 of 12 Old 12-18-2018, 01:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter Smithson View Post
....Since I've done the starter switch, I think the next step might involve removing the fairing to get at the connector on the left and there's apparently one behind/somewhere near the radiator (this is a DL 650 registered 2010).... I started to take the starter switch to bits. I'd only removed the big black bits from the handle bars and not got to the switch itself when I noticed the lights were now working. They worked for about a week or two of regular use and then the same story happened again.

This time I took the switch to bits properly and cleaned the dirt off and sanded the contacts. They did look dirty so I thought I'd cracked it but, a week later, I'm back to square one! I also had it cut out for a few seconds while riding over bumps before they failed totally again.....
I think that although you have cleaned the contacts in the start switch, it sounds as though the contacts of the starter switch may still be suspect. See https://blacklabadventures.com/2012/...h-maintenance/ Maybe a light coat of dielectric grease on those contacts that you have cleaned to ensure a good electrical connection. Warning not too heavy handed with the dielectric grease. Use a multi-meter to test for electrical connection.
It's a good idea to check the left hand big connector as well, as you intended. To get to the connectors above the radiator however, I found it was easier to remove the fuel tank plus the airbox, thereby giving me a better access to the connectors. Maybe you get lucky, in that, you are able to access these connectors after the fuel tank removal.
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post #3 of 12 Old 12-18-2018, 04:33 AM Thread Starter
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Hi - thanks for the reply. That's the link I used to do the switch - it's great for me as it has step by step instructions with photos. I'll have to get some of that dielectric grease by the sound of it.
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post #4 of 12 Old 12-18-2018, 08:47 AM
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My '07 650 has an intermittent problem with no lights and if i wiggle the starter switch a little they come back on.
I suspect its due to the switch being to far gone before I did the bypass.
Im running Aux lighting so I'm never in the dark but do notice sometimes its not light up as much as when all lights are on.
Im going to replace my whole right side housing and switches eventually and keep current as a spare/backup.
Easiest way I notice if my lights are lit is have them on bright when I start and the blue light on gauge cluster is not lit if the lights did not come on.
Mike

2007 Blue DL650 V-Strom - running out of farkle's to do so bought the VEE
2006 SILVER DL1000 - Running out of Farkles also!!!
2017 EX300 Kawasaki Ninja
Las Vegas, NV
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post #5 of 12 Old 12-18-2018, 08:58 AM
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The wiring harness for the Eastern Beaver mod is quite simple to install. That connector by the left side of the radiator makes the relay you use controlled by the key switch.
It's just easier to fiddle with things with the plastic taken off. DOn't know if the 2010 has easy access panels like the older bikes.
Must be a bother having no proper work space.
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post #6 of 12 Old 12-21-2018, 09:54 AM
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the only way to prevent damage to the circuit/switch contacts is to install relays. the relays provide a separate circuit that allows full voltage and current to reach the headlights while relieving the previous circuit and all it's weak spots from the higher current load.

once you find/fix your problem relays can prevent it from recurring. pretty easy install actually can be done without tank removal. maybe a trooper in your area can offer to help if you post your location.
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post #7 of 12 Old 02-02-2019, 06:39 AM
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Jim at Eastern Beaver has kits to fix this issue..
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post #8 of 12 Old 02-02-2019, 09:43 AM
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Yes, it sounds like the classic Suzuki failure to not install headlight relays from the factory. Damage has been done, so you have to find where the harness or switch has burned or melted. The starter switch is one place, the other is here:

With side fairings & the tank off, also check the big white wiring connector that has about a dozen wires in the bundle.....left side above radiator. Disconnect it and look at all the contacts, if you see any burned or melted that needs to be fixed.
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Last edited by Motor7; 02-02-2019 at 06:37 PM.
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post #9 of 12 Old 02-03-2019, 01:49 AM
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@Peter , access to the connectors above the radiator is limited / confined working space. Uncoupling the connectors may also be a challenge. If you remember, would you mind taking a few pix, to help / serve as a guide, to other members in identifying the connectors in question. Many of the previously loaded pix on this subject, have disappeared over time from the website.
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post #10 of 12 Old 02-03-2019, 06:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chicago View Post
the only way to prevent damage to the circuit/switch contacts is to install relays. the relays provide a separate circuit that allows full voltage and current to reach the headlights while relieving the previous circuit and all it's weak spots from the higher current load. ...
The relay mod is indeed effective, but it is not the only way to preserve the starter switch contacts which interrupt headlight current during starting. A simpler option is to install LED headlights. They draw somewhat less current during steady-state operation, but, more importantly, they do not have anywhere near the inrush current upon initial illumination that incandescent bulbs do. When an incandescent bulb filament is cold, it draws about ten times the current that it will draw once heated to incandescence. It is this current, flowing just as the sliding switch contact barely makes contact at the edge of the metal pattern, that eats the pattern away. The LED (actually, a power converter in the LED module) can draw a slightly higher current upon turn-on, but if it does, the transient is much shorter-lived and much smaller than cold-filament inrush current. So the switch can take it easily.
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