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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Trying to troubleshoot my headlight issues, I keep burning out the 20a fuse for the headlight. At first it happened 6 months into owning my bike, replaced the fuse and all was well. After it being stored in my garage this winter I went to turn it on and the light went out immediately. Burnt fuse, replaced the fuse and instant burn out again.

Where on the bike could the wiring from the headlight be chafing to short out, or is it another issues? (Swapped headlights between 3 known good LED and stock lamps, no difference).
 

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It's extremely difficult to remotely troubleshoot electrical problems. The lack of experience and a wiring diagram are contributing factors. There's usually lots of guesses on things to try based on other riders experiences and lots of times that trial and error approach works. There's only so much that can go wrong.

I will say though that there's some good news on this one and that being; it blows immediately. That's a good thing because it means the problem is there permanently. Troubleshooting intermittent troubles can be a hair-pulling experience.

The bad news is your headlight is not the only thing drawing power from that fuse. For example, on my bike the output from the headlight fuse feeds the primary light relay. From there it goes to a splice which distributes the power to the headlight, tail light, both brake light switches and an auxiliary power plug. Any solid ground on those power lines before the load will blow the fuse.

The problem is most likely a short to ground. Which method you use to find the short will depend on your having a multimeter and a wiring diagram. With those you can use the meter to find the ground source. Without those and knowing how to use them will mean you're going to have to do it the difficult way. With lots of fuses.

Isolate what you can first. Easiest is disconnecting the plugs you can. On mine that's the handlebar left hand control switch and the rear fender. Move the handlebars around, tug some wires. Past that it gets more involved.

If you're familiar with electrical troubleshooting and have a wiring diagram, go for it and maybe some here can help. If not, it will be better to hand the task off to someone who does. I only say that because learning to do it yourself would take awhile and right now is the beginning of most of our riding season. Better to spend a bit of cash for a couple hours work than miss out on what could be weeks of riding time.

Good luck with this and let us know how you make out.
 

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ditto... ridin' season's upon us!

Being an Industrial 'Lectrician, the short to ground is the second most common and difficult problem to diagnose (not repair... repairin's obvious and easy). But, typically for a short there's no common cause or place on a given model or type of bike. Usually, if a short occurs (which means it wasn't blowin' fuses before ya did something--like remove a tank) then, look to yer last activity for cause of problem. I don't know how many times an operator was tryin' to help but caused a problem.

My first question is: Before the breaker/fuses tripped/blew, what was the last thing ya did? Many times the answer is the answer... I was movin' this pendent or operatin' these controls... okay, what did ya do different?... ahh, ahh I moved the console/bumped this pipe... after VERY careful inspection ya may find the cabinet sheared some exposed wires or the pipe was really conduit which cracked and exposed conductor.

Short of it... shorts are usually hard to find. If yer not experienced with solvin' this kind of problem take it to someone who is experienced with wirin' or motorcycle wirin' troubleshootin'.

G'Luck.
 

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Trying to troubleshoot my headlight issues, I keep burning out the 20a fuse for the headlight. At first it happened 6 months into owning my bike, replaced the fuse and all was well. After it being stored in my garage this winter I went to turn it on and the light went out immediately. Burnt fuse, replaced the fuse and instant burn out again.

Where on the bike could the wiring from the headlight be chafing to short out, or is it another issues? (Swapped headlights between 3 known good LED and stock lamps, no difference).
Sounds like a bare wire/corrosion problem that was intermittent but went bad over winter. Below is a wiring diagram (from 2012 manual) that I use for my '16 Vegas. The usual suspects -- wires are exposed to the elements or they rub against a surface (vibration or movement) -- is what you are looking for. The splices and color coding of wires give you hints on what wires to look for that are shorting. Use a bright light. Remove seat and possibly expose wires under the tank. Low hanging fruit first. About as much fun as looking for seg fault. Good luck.
 

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After doing some rewiring of the gunner, one day this happened, 3 times in 5 miles, wasn't just the headlight but the tail-light and some other weird things started happening. When I started looking into all of the areas I was messing with, I found that the rear wheel had rubbed through the wiring harness under the rear fender and the wires were arcing to the fender which is grounded to the frame. Something to think about... what was done recently (replaced tires, brakes, maintenance, added stuff, removed stuff) and start there then work your way back. Disconnecting plugs to various components may help you isolate the issue, unplug turn signals, headlight, brake/tail light, speedometer cluster then connect each one in turn, switch the bike on, play with brakes, hi/lo beams, turn signals, 4-ways, etc until you do or don't find the issue then it gets more complicated.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks a ton for the replies (swore I posted this in the highball forum, I blame using my phone to post it lol)

Didn’t do much of anything other than storing it in my climate controlled garage over the winter. I’ll break out my multimeter and gets to testing things using that wiring diagram as a guide.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Just to update this, my rear light harness came out of the cheesy holders in the fender and got chewed up by the tire and then shorted (melted pretty bad). Ordered a whole new wiring harness from a 2016 and swapped the rear portion in and all is well (except that now my rear brake light just stays bright and doesn't get bright when I hit the brakes). Thanks again for the help!
 
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