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Headlight

My headlight went out on me. I've checked the fuses, all of them are good. I tried replacing the bulb and that wasn't the problem either. Can someone give me some advice on how the fix this problem. A shop wants $75 an hour to look at it and the same to work on it. There is no way I'm paying that much to have ANYTHING worked on.

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I had the same problem, it was only the head lights, (all three I have) who didn't work. No problem with the wires, the battery, the bulbs... It was the key. When I turned it not far enough, I could start the engine and everything worked, except for the headlights. It seemed to be a problem with my Ignition key switch (we in Holland call it "contactslot", don't know if I pronounce it the right way in English, but I think you'll understand). I'm nearly sure this can't be the only thing that can be wrong with your bike. I mean, it can be something else, but it's maybe worth to look at it.

I know there are members on the site with much more technical knowledge as I have, as I'm a nitwit! But this was what happened to my bike. I thought, maybe I can help by mentioning it.... You could give it a try to look at it....

(75,- $ a hour?! OMG... That's a lot you have to pay for one hour work. I've to pay 35,- Euro a hour, what's not even half of it!)

First, get a VOM. Then, a manual and wiring diagram. https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/41894030/VT1100C/Honda%20VT100%20Hay...
Next you get to chase the current. Isolate where the failure occurs. Checking with the volt meter.
Do all the other lights work? If yes, do you have power before and after the fuse? At the dimmer switch? At the light housing? When you find where you have no current, the trouble is between that point and the last known good point.
Check everything between those two points. If there are no components like switches etc., then you need to look at the wiring. Worn insulation will cause a short to ground but having the fuse still good makes that less likely. A broken or disconnected wire is the most likely suspect. A wire can be broken inside of it's insulation and only the meter can tell you that. All this can be tedious and frustrating but when you fix it you'll have saved serious cash and have major bragging rights. Good luck.

Why are so many people so cheap when it comes to safety? Lights are important. If you don't have the ability to fix it yourself, then get a crowbar and pry open your wallet and pay to get it fixed. Or, get used to riding in the dark. It doesn't pay to go cheap on safety items and I don't care about bragging rights. I want everything to work properly. Anything I can't fix myself (and it's a small list) I am happy to pay someone else to fix. Don't be a weenie.

The real question is Why pay $75 an hour when you can fix it yourself? Replacing a bad switch or reconnecting a wire isn't that difficult. If after giving it your best shot and you can't figure it out then, it's shop time. If you look at what a job entails and don't feel comfortable doing it yourself then by all means take it to a shop. Knowing something about what's needed can keep you from being ripped off. There are those of us who don't have very deep pockets who do our own work out of necessity.

I agree, specially with your last sentence Edwin. I'm one of those and I'm not ashamed of it. I have to safe money before I can buy something I like, or sometimes I do like it, but I have to tell myself, it's nice but not everything you like have to be bought! That's the same with repairing my bikes. Sure, I want them to be safe so that work has to be done! First I couldn't do anything, today, I'll repair the front suspensions from little red by myself as they leak some oil, so the rubbers have to be changed. I'm happy I can use some space at Ap's biker store and he's there to give some advise when needed. But doing the work by myself for as far as I can, will safe me working hours to pay. Now I only have to pay for the rubber rings and the oil, otherwise I had also to pay for the working hours. That will safe me, let's say three hours work is about 100 Euro. For me that's a lot of money, and you can always spend it only once!!!

Okay Gert, it's time for another strange but true story.
A man comes riding up to my shop on a good looking cafe' styled CB750K. He parks and walks up and begins telling me his tale of woe. It seems that he was buddies with the owner of a Honda dealership and had bought the owner's personal 750. The dealership couldn't get it running right and he bought it dirt cheap on a bet.It wouldn't do over 55 mph flat out. He took it to another dealership. No luck. Took it to a local shop, still no results. Now I am real curious. I made him a deal that if I couldn't fix there would be no charge but, if I did he would go and tell the other shops.
Now, I don't claim to be a world class mechanical genius but, I'm stubborn and persistent.
He had brought all of the bills from the other shops and I studied them looking for a clue. By rights, it should have been running right. It appeared that they had done a thorough job at each shop. Truly curious.
So, I began by checking everything they had done and it all was looking right. The points, plugs, and so on were all new. the compression was good and the carbs were balanced etc. I was getting a bit frustrated. I decided to remove and inspect all the new bits just to make sure.
Now for the miracle cure.
On a cb750k, the points plate sits in a chamber in front of the spark advance mechanism. In Florida, the humidity is really high and condensation is major. When I pulled off the point plate, ugly rust red water came running out and the mechanical advance was encrusted in rust. I pulled it out and sprayed it down with Liquid Wrench. Cleaned everything and put in new shortened return springs.
Gave it bit off throttle and pulled the front wheel off the ground on the test ride. OMG!
I called the owner and told him to come get it. I warned him go gently and feel it out. He then proceeded to scare the living c__p out of himself. I charged him for the springs, shop supply fee and $50.
I could no longer buy oem Honda parts at discount from the local shops after he got done ragging on them.
So, anyone can do a good job if they take their time and take it step by step.

What a great story and result Edwin! LOL

Edwins those are the kind of stories I have. I have never taken any thing to a shop. I like many others think $100.per hr is way out of control. Most the shops here can't fix much anything. Even change oil and install the drain plug with out cross threading it. I get to fix all kinds of so called repairs the professionals have done. I also do jobs rather inexpensive for those that got ripped. Whiskey and Mountain Dew. I do know of one shop here that is very good they fix and don't over charge folks. All the big, little repairs I do keep me out of the taverns. They keep me busy and out of trouble.
My nephew bought a new Yamaha 300 little sport bike. The dealer wanted 250.00 for the first oil change, REALLY.. He came over and I told him what to do. He has never done any thing mechanical ever.It took him 3 hrs to get all done that included checking all the bolts, steering head, chain, axles, lites,battery charge rate, air pressure. and figuring out how to reset the oil change lite. Even at $50. hr rate and $4.00 for oil and $5.00 for a filter. $159.

I know not all can or have the time or ability to do some of the repairs of maintenance but you can still do the basics and save your self 100's by doing the simple things. Checking voltage is one of them.. sorry if i stepped on any ones toes but I see guy getting ripped of all the time.

Sorry Josh

I got on my soap box there.: You may want to check the ground wires inside the headlight bucket. Some are just riveted on and get corroded or loose. Like Edwins say get a meter or test lite and schematic for your bike. Check all the connections from the head light back to the switches. Have fun Good luck..It is not rocket science it is just one wire or circuit that has an open.

Without knowing anything else, I'd first look at the starter switch. The headlight power runs through the starter switch on Hondas and turns the headlight off when depressed. These switches have a tendency to get dirty and not work. It's easy to get to and to clean.
Another thing that happens with Honda starter switches is that they have a tendency to burn out due to after market lights added improperly. Of course, when that happens the bike won't start.
If you do clean the starter switch, be sure to lubricate the contacts with a generous amount of dielectric grease. You can find that stuff at any auto parts store and they even sell it in small packets for a buck.

Just noticed this discussion. Soooo, Josh joins, asks for advice, then doesn't log back in to see if anyone is trying to help him! Hmmmmm...That's too funny!! LOL

I had the same thing to happen to me. It turned out that the fuse for the headlight had a very fine break in it. Really hard to see. Put a new fuse in and the headlight worked then. Same bike as yours, 2001 model.

I would check fuses, then I would check relay, then I would check voltage at bulb socket using a voltmeter, then I would check wires, then I would buy the right OEM bulb.

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