A New "Problem" - Kawasaki KLR 650 Forum
1987 to 2007 Wrenching & Mods For maintaining, repair or modifications of Generation 1 KLR's. 2007 and earlier.

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post #1 of 12 Old 10-18-2014, 09:06 PM Thread Starter
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Question A New "Problem"

Well I noticed something today that I've don't recall ever seeing or hearing about. It actually has got me a bit baffled but then it doesn't take much. I'm going to throw this out there and hopefully it's not too embarrassing.

I seldom ride in the dark so this is the first time I noticed this "feature". For background I have the after market light/signal/flash to pass switch. Riding home I noticed as I was gearing both up or down that the high beam indicator and headlight would flash with each gear change. I was coming to a stop sign and the car coming from the opposite direction didn't move until I was through the intersection and she was looking at me quizzically. I suspect the flashes from the headlight confused her.

Is this somethig I should be looking at? Is it back feeding or whatever from the Neutral indicator? (I'm am electrically challenged - know enough to be dangerous). Anybody else experience this? Neutral light seems to work correctly.

My Kaw Barn - 2004 KLR, 2006 Concours (sold), 1997 Bayou 400.

"It's a friggen motorcycle, it's not supposed to be comfortable, quiet or safe. The wind noise is supposed to hurt your ears, the seat should be hard and riding it should make you shit your pants every now and then. "

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post #2 of 12 Old 10-18-2014, 09:25 PM
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i'll only suggest, that is a 'puzzle' for Normk!

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post #3 of 12 Old 10-19-2014, 08:25 AM Thread Starter
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Calling Dr. Normk.

I'm thinking it's a ground problem.

My Kaw Barn - 2004 KLR, 2006 Concours (sold), 1997 Bayou 400.

"It's a friggen motorcycle, it's not supposed to be comfortable, quiet or safe. The wind noise is supposed to hurt your ears, the seat should be hard and riding it should make you shit your pants every now and then. "

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post #4 of 12 Old 10-19-2014, 12:58 PM
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Thanks a bunch, Paul! (VBG)

I will have to put on my thinking cap and get back to you for further thoughts but here is a beginning. I'm going to attempt this in my usual style which is to try to provide background information and explanation/justification for what I suggest. Some people don't like this and prefer a few word answer but that seems disrespectful. One would order a dog off the sofa but would explain why a human should not sit there.

If you find the long form to be less helpful, let me know & will try to limit to simply questions and answers. The bottom line is to get your headlight working reliably. :-)

Questions:
1) Is your wiring stock? i.e. Do you have headlight relays, or any other wiring additions/modifications?

2) Are you able to duplicate the symptom now?

3) Will the flashing symptom occur while the bike is stationary?

4) Are both High Beam & Low Beam affected, or both?

5) Will they flash with the bike stationary if you tug, twist, & wiggle the wiring harness?

6) See Note* below in text: Is the headlight the only component affected? It may be necessary to hook up some indicator lights/LED to the City Light for example to see if that flashes also. Ditto Horn Brown is another fairly easy to access check point.

My first "guess-sumption" is that you have an intermittent connection which is being disturbed by the shifting because the only electrical involved in shifting is the Neutral Switch Circuit which isn't active in other than 1st to 2nd. I will outline some wiring information in hope that it will be useful to someone as I've been told that adding this information to a trouble thread often makes the information more usable.

It is usually best, IME, to identify a fault before doing other modifications/improvements because these can sometimes correct or mask the fault and so allow it to remain. It's also a peace of mind thing to correct a headlight problem for certain rather than to hope it won't happen again.

The KLR headlight wiring strategy is, IMO, an odd way to accomplish the task. I've been thinking of modifying the light strategy in order to reduce the chance of headlight function being lost due to a wiring fault but that's an other question.

As you will know, the headlight is grounded by way of the harness common ground (Black/Yellow) which exposes it to a bunch of potential connection (junction) issues within the harness. I recommend (if not using HID) adding an additional ground to the headlight ground terminal in the headlight plug.

The headlight is powered in this fashion from the battery & VRR positive White wire: White wire is fused from the battery (Main Fuse) which joins the not-fused White wire from the VRR. If the Main Fuse is blown while the bike is running, the White from the VRR will still power the bike mostly normally, until the engine stops then you will have nothing. A really "nice" feature for times such as stalling the engine at night while making a left turn in an intersection....

White wire to Main Wiring Plugs (below the instruments), to Ignition Switch, to Brown wire, back by Brown Wire to Headlight fuse (all the way back to the battery again!), then forward by the Blue/White wire to the Main Wiring Plugs under the instruments, then to the Left Handlebar Switch, back to the Main Wiring Plugs under the instruments and to High or Low Beam in the Headlight Plug, then to the common ground (Black/Yellow).

Note* you didn't state that the headlight was the only component losing power.

So, assuming it's only the Low Beam, one would limit the diagnosis to the Red/Yellow wire and High/Low Beam Switch.

Let's await the answers to the questions and then move on.

How are we doing so far?



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Originally Posted by pdwestman View Post
i'll only suggest, that is a 'puzzle' for Normk!

Last edited by Normk; 10-19-2014 at 01:00 PM.
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post #5 of 12 Old 10-19-2014, 03:12 PM
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I think he's just pulling too many wheelies when meeting oncoming traffic...

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post #6 of 12 Old 10-19-2014, 09:02 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Normk View Post

Questions:
1) Is your wiring stock? i.e. Do you have headlight relays, or any other wiring additions/modifications?

2) Are you able to duplicate the symptom now?

3) Will the flashing symptom occur while the bike is stationary?

4) Are both High Beam & Low Beam affected, or both?

5) Will they flash with the bike stationary if you tug, twist, & wiggle the wiring harness?

6) See Note* below in text: Is the headlight the only component affected? It may be necessary to hook up some indicator lights/LED to the City Light for example to see if that flashes also. Ditto Horn Brown is another fairly easy to access check point.

Thanks for the response Normk. I'll try to answer your questions but before I do .....

Just got back from a short ride to try to find out what was happening yesterday. Of course I couldn't replicate it. Yesterday I was returning from a 500 km ride when this occurred. Tonight it was just a quick 5 km around town.

So just to clarify it was the high beam indicator and the high beam headlight that would flash with a gear change.

In answer to your questions.

#1. My wiring is not entirely stock. I have a relay powered by the city light brown wire. The relay is for my grip heaters. Also as mentioned I have the after market light switch. Beside that I have a 12volt outlet and the TWC Fuse relocation Kit installed.

#2. No as described above.

#3. Not now and I didn't try last night when it happened.

#4. Only high beam

#5. Forgot to try this.

#6. Headlight and high beam seem to be only thing that is affected.


As it stands right now everything is back to normal. Weird.

My Kaw Barn - 2004 KLR, 2006 Concours (sold), 1997 Bayou 400.

"It's a friggen motorcycle, it's not supposed to be comfortable, quiet or safe. The wind noise is supposed to hurt your ears, the seat should be hard and riding it should make you shit your pants every now and then. "

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post #7 of 12 Old 10-19-2014, 09:50 PM
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If high beam only, Tom also called the most likely, which is dimmer switch. I've seen other problems so would check the Main Wiring Plug #26 D under the instrument cluster. These plugs sometimes work loose or a terminal can spread or dislodge and slide back out of the plug. Check the pin outs for the pin number.

Since both High Beam & Indicator were flashing, the problem must be before Junction #21 so Main Wiring Plug #26, wiring to the the Dimmer Switch or the switch itself.

It's handy having the diagrams out there as makes reference easier.
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post #8 of 12 Old 10-19-2014, 10:12 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks Norm I'll check it out. First I got to get this stupid snowblower out of my garage.

My Kaw Barn - 2004 KLR, 2006 Concours (sold), 1997 Bayou 400.

"It's a friggen motorcycle, it's not supposed to be comfortable, quiet or safe. The wind noise is supposed to hurt your ears, the seat should be hard and riding it should make you shit your pants every now and then. "

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post #9 of 12 Old 10-19-2014, 10:35 PM
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Snowblower? What is that and what's it used for?

No one around here has ever seen one. (Hee, hee, hee and feeling smug)





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Thanks Norm I'll check it out. First I got to get this stupid snowblower out of my garage.
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post #10 of 12 Old 10-22-2014, 06:01 PM Thread Starter
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Well I solved this problem today, actually my brother did. It just needed another set of eyes.

It's almost embarrassing. Tom deleted a post that was almost correct.

As mentioned I have this after market light switch. Turns out it must have turned slightly on the bar and when I was poulling the clutch it was rubbing on the flash to pass switch.

My Kaw Barn - 2004 KLR, 2006 Concours (sold), 1997 Bayou 400.

"It's a friggen motorcycle, it's not supposed to be comfortable, quiet or safe. The wind noise is supposed to hurt your ears, the seat should be hard and riding it should make you shit your pants every now and then. "

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