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Discussion Starter #1
Greetings,
Thank you in advance for everyones help. I have been registered and lurking for a couple of minths now since i got my 1997 1500 SE. It only has 37K, but was not very well cared for in its previous life. So, I am fixing little thing here and there and hopefully it will be "done" by June.

This site has some great information and I have been able to get all my questions answered here and/or in the manuals. However, I have a problem that I cannot find a topic by searching, so here goes.

Got the bike out this morning after not riding it for a few days (everything worked properly last ride) and as I was driving down my lane, i noticed the headlight wasnt on. So, i stopped and flicked the beam switch and couldnt get it to come on. Well, 630 in the morning and heading for work is not the time to devote too much time to the problem. I put the bike in reverse to turn around and the headlight came on. It seems like some kind of connection in the reverse lever/reverse button is malfunctioning. Has anyone had this happen before? Thanks so much. I hope that with some more experience, I will be able to contribute.

Cliffnotes: headlight only comes on with the reverse lever in the reverse position.

Eric
 

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Eric, first let me say welcome to the forum. Sorry you are having a problem and it's your first post. I don't mean to take "light" of your problem, but it seems funny that the lights go on when you are going backward!! LOL.. I know you said everything worked fine last time, but did you drive it at night last time or are you just assuming everything worked okay. Seems like the switch for reverse has a problem. I can't remember if the headlight on my GL1500 stayed on when I put the bike into reverse. (maybe someone who has a 1500 knows) Did you try taking the bike in and out of reverse a couple of times? You said the bike was not maintained well, so perhaps a switch is corroded.

I'm sure some of the other folks will chime in here shortly with some more ideas. Good luck and ride safe..
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for the wlecome. Dont worry about making fun of me, I got a good laugh out of it myself after I got on the KLR and headed for town (at least i was still on two wheels). Thats my general luck though. :)
I check all lights at the start of the day and they were for sure working (also got home after dark on last ride). I am resonably sure that the headlight has gone out during "reverse" before, but maybe I'm imagining things.
My first thought was a switch, so tonight it looks like its time to get more experience with fixing little problems! I really shouldnt complain, i got the bike for a song and there doesnt appear to be any major problems, just little ankle biters.
Thanks again for the welcome!
 

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You might try cleaning the starter button with contact cleaner first, if that doesn't work try then the problem is the reverse lever switch

Here is what happens:

1. Power (white/blue wire) goes from the "reverse lever switch" to the "reverse diode
assembly".


Power (light green/red wire) also goes to the gear position switch.

Power (light green wire) also goes to the neutral indicator light on the dash.



2. Power (blue/white wire) goes from the "reverse diode assembly" to the "starter/reverse
switch".

3. Power (blue/white wire) goes from the "starter/reverse switch" to the "dimmer
switch".

4. Power (blue high and white low) wires goes from the "dimmer switch" to the # 4 and
# 8 high and low beam relays (to trigger the relays and send power to the headlights).

You know the relays are working cause the headlights will work (when the reverse lever is pulled up).

You know the starter/reverse switch and dimmer switch is working cause they are triggering the low and high beam relays.

The only way the headlights can work is if the relays are triggered and send power to the headlights.

That tells me the problem is in the reverse lever switch.

It is obviously not sending any power to the starter/reverse switch when the reverse lever is down. If it was, the lights would be working normal.

That's my diagnosis.......!
 

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I fail to see the problem, drive in reverse!!!!!!! :D
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Joe,

Thanks. I guessed it had to do with the reverse switch, but had no idea how many other switches, diodes and relays there were at work.
The bike oeprated fine when I got home last night and it operated properly this morning too. Guess it just didnt want to get up that early on a Monday morning. The diagnosis was great and I will keep it for future use.

VTX,

I thought of that, but there is a speed limiter on the reverse and i could have walked to work faster. :) I appreciate the suggestion though!
 

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Does the headlight work on high beams? Most likely you need to clean the switches with contact cleaner. Clean all the handle bar switches while you are at it. I had to do this to my 1500 shortly after I got it.
 
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