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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
So my left handlebar switch - ya know, the one that controls the turn signal, horn, low/high beam...ya, that one - is failing (I think). Have to play with the rocker switch to get the HB to come on and I've had trouble with the lights (both of them) turning completely off in some cases...requiring me to hit the start button (or completely turn off my bird and back on again) to get the lights to come back on. Please correct me if the switch doesn't seem like the problem, based on my description of the symptoms.

If I am correct on my diagnosis, I need a new switch - which is $80 or something from the dealership.

Anyone know of any after-market switch units that plug-and-play? Bonus points if you know of one that includes a flash to pass button!!! Don't tell anyone you heard it from me...but I rather like the left switch of the Busa...it has light control, turn signal, flash to pass, horn, AND hazard light abilities...if my Bird was designed as a "sport tourer" where the hell are my flash to pass and hazards? I want my cake (performance) and I want to eat it too (comfortably tour)!

In a perfect world, I'd have (all in the same control unit):

1. Lights - three way rocker (off, low beam, high beam [for HID lights that are coming])
2. Horn
3. Turn signal
4. Hazard setting
5. "Flash to pass"

Maybe I'm crazy for imagining such things as a possibility...I surely can't be the first XX owner hoping for all of these in the same unit...can I?

Thanks for all of your help, in advance!

P.S. Even if the switch isn't the issue that is causing all of the lighting issues...I still want the above theoretical switch!!!
 

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I've had the "headlight (low beam) failure to come on" also. I know this,..when the low beam does not come on but the motor is running, chances are that the starter motor is also running. The interlock logic of the starter system turns the lights off until such time as the starter button is released. I found that my starter button was not fully popping out out to the full off (un-pushed) position, so the headlight did not come on,...but the starter motor continued to turn. I could not hear the starter motor running until I figured out what was going on..and then I could just hear it as a bit of background noise in the normal motor noise. A simple flick of the starter switch (using a pulling motion) would bring things to the normal run mode of lights on starter motor stopped. I purchased new switch block assembles for both left and right sides, but found that a bit of careful cleaning and a drop of lube seemed to help the starter button issue...I'm still using the original right switch assembly today. On the left side switch I find that the turn signal cancel fuction is a bit notchy...but it still works so I'll put up with it for a while longer. Replacement is the easy way,..but can be pricey to do. On line prices I've seen range around the $64.00 (rightside) and $69.00 (leftside) mark for each switch assembly. (that does not include shipping or taxes if any).

Tony
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I've had the "headlight (low beam) failure to come on" also. I know this,..when the low beam does not come on but the motor is running, chances are that the starter motor is also running. The interlock logic of the starter system turns the lights off until such time as the starter button is released. I found that my starter button was not fully popping out out to the full off (un-pushed) position, so the headlight did not come on,...but the starter motor continued to turn. I could not hear the starter motor running until I figured out what was going on..and then I could just hear it as a bit of background noise in the normal motor noise. A simple flick of the starter switch (using a pulling motion) would bring things to the normal run mode of lights on starter motor stopped. I purchased new switch block assembles for both left and right sides, but found that a bit of careful cleaning and a drop of lube seemed to help the starter button issue...I'm still using the original right switch assembly today. On the left side switch I find that the turn signal cancel function is a bit notchy...but it still works so I'll put up with it for a while longer. Replacement is the easy way,..but can be pricey to do. On line prices I've seen range around the $64.00 (right side) and $69.00 (left side) mark for each switch assembly. (that does not include shipping or taxes if any).

Tony
Hi Tony...thanks for the input. Unfortunately, I don't think my issues is as little as the starter button sticking. For example, I can start the bike and the light goes on...not moving anything...not touching anything...if I then (while the bike is still sitting motionless) turn the lights from low beam to high beam, the high beam will come on (sometimes right away, sometimes after a delay of a second or two...and every so often not at all)...then both lights will go out...

Anyone/everyone...does this sound like a switch failing? I've checked all wiring to and from...the switch is the only thing I can think of as all wiring is in tact...

I don't know why hitting the starter button seems to "reset" the lights, if it is a switch issue, outside of potentially the power surge that occurs after the starter switch is released activates the lights again...

It's a very strange issue...just started happening about three weeks ago. So long as I don't touch that high beam rocker, the low beam is solid...doesn't flicker, doesn't go out...stay on as it should...

Here's the reason for my irritation...I live out in the middle of nowhere (recently had to move here for business) and it would be nice to be able to run the HB when I'm on these roads by myself. Additionally, as I travel the 400 miles back to SoCal every week for a day or two..the interstate can be a very dark place...and when you're running it at 120+, you want as much light as you can get....

So...long story short, I need a working HB...can't find anything wrong with any wiring or connections elsewhere...so I think I've eliminated everything except the switch unit...

Thoughts???
 

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The starter button disconnects the headlights when pushed. The contacts that do this are dirty. If you tap the starter when the low beam is out you will find it comes on but not every time. Mine does exactly the same thing but its only been a bit over a year so I haven't quite found the time to fix it yet.

johnS
 

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Ascar
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this might sound daft but im sure my left hand switch has the flash to pass - headlight main low beam and the horn on the left side and on the right there is the on off switch for the lights - so you might want to try looking at a UK spec control unit as that is what i have.
no warning flashers tho but who needs them just get a kirian unit and have it sepereate
 

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this might sound daft but im sure my left hand switch has the flash to pass - headlight main low beam and the horn on the left side and on the right there is the on off switch for the lights - so you might want to try looking at a UK spec control unit as that is what i have.
no warning flashers tho but who needs them just get a kirian unit and have it sepereate
Any idea how the heck I'd go about getting a UK spec right and left AND if they would plug in and work natively with the US connectors???
 

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Any idea how the heck I'd go about getting a UK spec right and left AND if they would plug in and work natively with the US connectors???
There are others here who have used them successfully with no issues reported. I do believe (and I sure I will be corrected if I am wrong :)) that they plug directly into the harness with no modding.

Your headlamp issue definitely sounds like the starter switch contacts are dirty, but there is also a slim chance that the relay which the switch controls is failing. A little contact cleaner sprayed on the switch points will most likely cure your issue.
 

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may bey I missed something, but most off the times faulty operating switches are result of dirty connectors. Specially ground connectors.
I think before buying something check on ground and inside the left handlebar is the qiuskest (looks wrong spelling:hmm:) is the cheapest way.
Also if this is the problem a new one won't help you out.

Suc6 (good luck in Dutch)
 

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but there is also a slim chance that the relay which the switch controls is failing.
Not sure what year your BB is but on my 97 the headlight circuit does go thru the starter push button but the only uses a relay on the high beam side which is controlled by the hi/low switch on the left side...

As far as the "Flash to Pass" feature goes, I just us the start button. As stated earlier, when pressing the start button it cuts out the headlight curcuit to conserve juice to start the bike.

With that said, when going down the road, in gear and not holding down the clutch lever, pushing the start button will do nothing but kill the headlights.... Wala.. Flash to Pass.... At zero cost!:thumb:
 

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Not sure what year your BB is but on my 97 the headlight circuit does go thru the starter push button but the only uses a relay on the high beam side which is controlled by the hi/low switch on the left side...
You should find that the start switch controls a relay for the entire headlamp circuit. There is far too much amperage drawn by either the high or low (they are both 55w stock) for the teeny contacts in the starter button to handle. There will be a separate relay feeding the high beam, but it is dependant on the first relay that feeds the entire circuit.
 

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You should find that the start switch controls a relay for the entire headlamp circuit. There is far too much amperage drawn by either the high or low (they are both 55w stock) for the teeny contacts in the starter button to handle. There will be a separate relay feeding the high beam, but it is dependant on the first relay that feeds the entire circuit.

Again, I'm talking about my 97 BB which does not have a relay controlling the low beam. The later models may. I haven't checked. The manual for this info is readily available on this site and the following information can be found there. 97-98 Service manual. Page 19-25...

From the fuse bock, wire BL/R runs to the start PBs N/C contacts. From the start PB, wire Bu/W runs directly to the low beam and goes thru NO relay.

Spliced into the BL/R from the fuse block a BL/R wire also runs to the high beam relay N/O contacts. This will be the power for the high beam when the relay is energized.

Now this is were it gets kinda tricky. There is a blue wire that runs from the HI/LO switch that energizes the hi-beam relay. The power wire feeding the HI/LO switch is the same Bu/W wire that feeds the low beam from the start PB....

Its all there in BL/W... A little wiring schematic humor.... :smilebig:

Bottom line... Low beam NO relay
High beam.... Relay....

BWT 55W / 12.8v = 4.3amp.....
 

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Again, I'm talking about my 97 BB which does not have a relay controlling the low beam. The later models may.


Just got done looking at the schematics for both and you are correct. Dammit. All this time I was assuming (yeah yeah, I know what that means) that there was a relay feeding the low beam that was being energized by the switch. What a goofy way to run a railroad. I guess it was cheaper to use the switch wiring to feed the low beam than to use two relays. No wonder the contacts go south.
 

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Ascar
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Any idea how the heck I'd go about getting a UK spec right and left AND if they would plug in and work natively with the US connectors???
check out ebay UK there are a few sets of left and right switches going cheap
 

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Bottom line... Low beam NO relay
High beam.... Relay....

BWT 55W / 12.8v = 4.3amp.....
I meant to address this in my last response but somehow didn't. :idunno: Anyway, what I wanted to say was that the bulb wattage is a "hot" measurement, not a cold one. Tungsten is a funny metal in that it's resistance increases quite a lot as it heats. A tungsten bulb filament's resistance is about 15 times lower cold than it is when it's running. That means that the inrush current would be closer to 64 amps for a few fractions of a second. Enough to play hell with those little contacts.

I have no such concerns because I installed a relay between the starter switch and my headlamp circuit when I converted to HID. I'll be interested to see if and how that extends the contact life.
 

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this might sound daft but im sure my left hand switch has the flash to pass - headlight main low beam and the horn on the left side and on the right there is the on off switch for the lights - so you might want to try looking at a UK spec control unit as that is what i have.
no warning flashers tho but who needs them just get a kirian unit and have it sepereate

What is a kirian unit? Do you have any link for that?
 
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