Need help/taillights - Kawasaki Motorcycle Forums
 
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-19-2017, 04:10 PM Thread Starter
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Need help/taillights

Need help ASAP: 2000 Kawasaki Vulcan 800 Classic. I got stopped by the police a few days ago about dusk because I have NO tail lights/rear running lights. I have a brake light and the rear turn signals work fine. He would not buy the fact that I may have a blown fuse and I was headed home and would check it the next day. After he wrote the ticket and the fact that I was within 1/2 mile of home he allowed someone to come and follow me home using their car as a buffer. Now--I have checked everything on this bike, traced miles of wiring and discovered that there are NO wires leading to the rear for running lights, only for the turn signals, brake light, and tag light. I got a wiring diagram from the net and it shows two (2) wires going to the rear light bar, one "HOT" and one "GROUND". I also found a parts diagram which shows only the two (2) wires going to each side of the rear light bar. This diagram also shows that the bulb is a single filament bulb with only one contact on the bottom which is the turn signal light wiring. The wiring diagram shows that the front lamps have three (3) wires going to each side. One for turn signal, one for running lamps, one for ground. I have a July 15 court date and at this time I intend to take the wiring diagram and the parts diagram with me. One interesting note: The "brake light" on the rear lights up when the ignition is turned "ON" just as the running lamps do on the front. When the brake pedal or hand brake are used this light becomes brighter as a brake light should. So is this lower wattage filament in the brake light housing the rear running lamp? Thanks for any info. NO-I do NOT intend to use any info from this forum as legal advice.
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-19-2017, 07:05 PM
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The tail light probably has its own fuse, and the junction box & wiring diagram may be labeled for identification.
The tail light comes on when the ignition switch is turned ON. The brake light comes on when the brake is applied.
The tail light is basically a running light, but it's still called a tail light.

From the diagrams at partzilla there should be two tail-light/brake-light bulbs & each bulb has 2 filaments.

In the USA the motorcycle isn't supposed to have rear running lights & the rear turn signals should have single filament bulbs. There are only running lights at the front.

For court the wiring diagram should be sufficient, but you could also take a photo of the junction box, assuming it's embossed or labeled.


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Last edited by martin-csr; 04-19-2017 at 07:14 PM.
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-20-2017, 08:16 AM
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Of course it could be that the bulb is bad... the tail light filament may have burned out.

PS: couldn't you have ridden home with the hazards flashing? seems rather idiotic to have to use an escort car. gee.






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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-20-2017, 10:08 AM Thread Starter
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"martin-csr": Your first post is spot on. Re: Your second post, this bike did not come equipped with four-way flashers. In the shop until 11 PM last night running this problem down, I think I have it figured out: When the ignition is turned "ON" one of the bulbs in the tail light/brake light housing comes on-that is my "rear running light/tail light". The other bulb works when the brakes are applied. The rear light bar, per se, has the two amber lens lights which DO NOT come on with the ignition on or the bike running. They are strictly turn signals. These are the one's the officer showed me that "should be working" when the bike is running. The officer showed me that the front running lamps/turn signal light bar were on but not the rear light bar and this is what he based all of this on. So all is really well with my bike, the officer just does not know what he is talking about. A phone call this morning to an attorney friend of mine, who also rides, and he tells me to take the bike to the police station with the citation, wiring diagram, rear turn signal parts diagram, and the tail light/brake light parts diagram and he is confident that they will drop the charges. Personally I doubt seriously that they will even understand any of what is on those papers. IF they don't, just call him and he will handle it.
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-21-2017, 08:43 AM
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So, does the bike have an aftermarket light bar with aftermarket tail light & turn signals.
The way the tail/brake lights are usually wired is that 1 filament of each bulb is for the tail light & the other filament of each bulb is for the brake light. So when the tail light is on, both bulbs are on, and when the brake is applied both bulbs brighten. Also, when the ignition switch is put in the Park position, only the tail light should come on.

For the hazards, all 4 turn signals should flash when the hazard switch is used.
I would think a lack of rear hazards would fail a vehicle inspection.


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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-21-2017, 10:01 AM Thread Starter
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The bike does not have an aftermarket light bar. The light bar has only the lamps for the turn signals, only one filament per bulb on each side. The brake light assembly does have two bulbs with two filaments per bulb. From what I discovered one bulb is for the tail light and brake light, one bulb is for that tag light and additional brake light. I rode over to friends house yesterday to look at his '07 Yamaha 1100. It is the same way as my Kawasaki. His light bar, with the two lamps, are for rear turn signals only. His brake light/tag light housing works the same way as mine. There is no doubt in my mind now that this cop had nothing else to do so he stopped me and was trying to make his own law up on site. As of now I am going to traffic court with this one only to ask the judge to have the cop explain how he allegedly knows which lamp on a motorcycle does what.
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-21-2017, 10:13 AM
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My mistake on the tail/brake light bulbs. I found a wiring diagram for a VN800.
The other diagrams I've seen show both bulbs being for the tail/brake. doh.

Did you find the problem? Was it a fuse or the bulb? or???





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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-23-2017, 05:30 PM
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Right same for my 99 classic I do not have running lights on my turning signals just my brake light is my running light until I turn my signals on **** my back signals flash if I'm not using my signals my back turning signals are dark they are not running lights.

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