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Headlight dim, burning plastic?

Jerry in Monument

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Jerry in Monument

Weird things.


This weekend I pulled the tupperware on my new-to-me '96RT and removed the mystery communications unit. Don't have the headsets and no one has been able to identify it, so, goodbye.


I also connected the SAE cable to the battery, ran it under the fuel tank so I can coonect to my electrified tank bag. (Have to get the bag back from LindaT at CustomTankBags.com and install the PTB-004).


I did not have a chance to ride it after I reassembled but did start it and all seemed well.


This morning I went out to go to work, started it and since it was dark outside, I noticed that there is virtually no light coming from the headlight shining on the driveway outside the garage. I moved around front and the light is on, it seems right for low beam. High beam works. Turned on the PIAA lights and rode to work.


Is there some sort of 'reset' that needs to be performed after disconnecting/reconnecting the battery?


Burning plastic smell - So I'm riding to work this morning up I-25 then E-470 to Quincy. When I exit Quincy and stop at the sign, I smell what seems to be a burning plastic or rubber smell. I pulled over to the side, got off, looked for smoke, nothing. Got back on, rode the final 6 miles. A couple of miles before getting to work I turned off the heated grips. When I got to work and stopped, the smell was still there but not as strong.


Could this be something with the grips?


Anyone ever notice anything like this?


This afternoon I won't need the heated grips so I'll see if the smell is there when I get home.



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There is no "reset" for the 1100RT system. It's the 1150 that started learning throttle positions.


Are you sure your Low Beam was on? Could you have seen the parking lamp - it illuminates the reflector and looks like a dim headlight.

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Your problem could be related to the work you did or maybe just a coincidence. I would retrace your SAE cable installation anyway.


Another possibility is the wire and connector on the headlight. I had problems with mine. The wire size is too small IMHO, if you run high beam a lot. I used to run high beam all the time to be seen better. The wire and plastic connector at the head light base melted. Got a new connector at NAPA that fit my headlamp and added a much heavier wire. No problems after that. Relays are another option to keep high current drain away from the Hi/Lo switch on the handle bar.




I got flamed some time back for saying that I ran Hi beam. I don't do that no mo, so don't bother to flame me again ;)

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...so don't bother to flame me again ;)


OK...no flaming...spoilsport:-)

I agree that adding a relay and heavier wire is no bad thing. The standard wire is OK but does measurable give voltage drop, so any help is good.

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Jerry in Monument

Ok, what am I missing?


Evidently the headlight is in 'parking light' mode. How do i get it back to headlight or low beam?

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Verify your main bulb is plugged in and that the bulb is not burned out.

Parking lamps are on whenever the bike is on.



Also, when checking the main bulb connection, check and clean any corrosion from the bulb contacts. Corrosion will increase resistance in the connector which could result in the melting of the connector plastic...

Also, I no longer have the electrical diagram for the 1100s and I do not recall if there is either a relay or a fuse in the headlamp circuit, Either of which could cause a headlight out issue.

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Jerry in Monument

Ok, I hate electrical issues.


It is working fine now. Plus the modulator now works on high.


Did nothing except shine a flashlight under the dash just to look at connections.


Turned the key on and viola!

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Interesting... A modulator has been added to the equation!


Understand the high beam was working (and now all is functional).

I would still do a bulb and connection/connector check.


Obviously, a modulator connection check is also in order.


If problem returns, I would remove the modulator first and check the wiring where it was connected.



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Jerry in Monument

Will do. Thanks.


So I surmise from what I'm seeing that the modulator only works when the high beam is on? (During daylight of course)

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