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Discussion Starter #1
one of my headlamps blew (on Low Beam)... There's only 3,800 miles on my 2004 400. Isn't it a little soon to need to replace a headlight bulb? :? I seem to remember seeing postings on this before, but I can't seem to find them. Can anybody give a newb some step-by-step in replacing the bulb, including where to get a less expensive alternative to OEM? ? (or tell me if I should just have the dealer do it, like I did my windscreen?) I have the service manual on order, and am totally clueless about how to get to the bulb - don't want to break any plastic connectors or anything... Is this a potentially chronic problem that I should consider buying a "spare" bulb, for the "next time"?
 

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By all means learn how to change the bulb, and find an better place to buy them.
BUT your talking about a new scooter, take it to the dealer and let him do it.
The bulb should not have failed but there are many reasons why it could. Just let the dealer replace it under warranty --it has to be either a -defect -elect.-vibration - problem..
If it happens again then it's time to worry. :wink:
 

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Randy said:
By all means learn how to change the bulb, and find an better place to buy them.
BUT your talking about a new scooter, take it to the dealer and let him do it.
The bulb should not have failed but there are many reasons why it could. Just let the dealer replace it under warranty --it has to be either a -defect -elect.-vibration - problem..
If it happens again then it's time to worry. :wink:
Exellent point.

I will be interested to hear if the Dealer honours this 'obligation' most dealers here would wriggle like hell over a bulb!

Bryna - have you not got your service manual yet? If not never mind, it is covered in the Owners Manual.

If one of you kind people could send me a photocopy of the latest 400 one - I could pop up here and even tell you the page number :lol: In mine it s page 51 but that willl be as much use to you as a chocolate fireguard! :lol: :wink:
 

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bikinbiddy said:
one of my headlamps blew (on Low Beam)... There's only 3,800 miles on my 2004 400. Isn't it a little soon to need to replace a headlight bulb? :? I seem to remember seeing postings on this before, but I can't seem to find them. Can anybody give a newb some step-by-step in replacing the bulb, including where to get a less expensive alternative to OEM? ? (or tell me if I should just have the dealer do it, like I did my windscreen?) I have the service manual on order, and am totally clueless about how to get to the bulb - don't want to break any plastic connectors or anything... Is this a potentially chronic problem that I should consider buying a "spare" bulb, for the "next time"?
Diana,

This does seem to be a chronic problem with the 400s - there have been other reports of pre-mature headlight bulb failure. Someone recently reported that their dealer told them that it was due to running with their high beams all the time during the day. Now, you should be able to do that - it is often recommended as a safety measure. But apparently the heat from the high beams does not dissipate properly on the 400 when left on constantly. It does not seem to be a problem with the 650s.

Just passing along what I have seen reported.
 

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My 04 left highbeam burn out after 7 weeks. I was reading the warranty
manual and bulbs are not cover under warranty. I am sure they'll give me another one if I really bitch about it. But it's going to burn out again in another 8 to 10 weeks. Suzuki Dealer quoted me $112.(cdn)
Lucky I found some H4 35/35w at a Yamaha dealer for $19.(cdn)

I found that putting some armour all on the black rubber covers,
makes it easier to pop it back into place after.
 

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Diana, a buddy of mine with a 400 has had at least a half dozen bulbs burn out, both sides, both hi and lo beams. Dealer has replaced them every time and is talking about replacing the voltage regulator. They don't seem to really have much idea of what is causing it. When we ride togather, theres 3 of us, and he's behind you know instantly which bike is his as his bulbs are burning twice as brightly as ours. Someone has suggested it may be a bad ground...but at this point he's still waiting for dealer to come up with some ideas before we tear in to it.

As to bulbs, I would think they are readily available at any auto store, or maybe Wal Mart. Anyone know for sure?

You reach up under the headlight to get at the bulb. I've not done it, but it accessable without taking anything apart.
 

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ted clement said:
Diana, a buddy of mine with a 400 has had at least a half dozen bulbs burn out, both sides, both hi and lo beams. Dealer has replaced them every time and is talking about replacing the voltage regulator. They don't seem to really have much idea of what is causing it. When we ride togather, theres 3 of us, and he's behind you know instantly which bike is his as his bulbs are burning twice as brightly as ours. Someone has suggested it may be a bad ground...but at this point he's still waiting for dealer to come up with some ideas before we tear in to it.

As to bulbs, I would think they are readily available at any auto store, or maybe Wal Mart. Anyone know for sure?

You reach up under the headlight to get at the bulb. I've not done it, but it accessable without taking anything apart.

Auto stores only carries the reg H4 65/55W. (No HS1 in stock, special order maybe)

And yes, you can change the bulbes without taking off any bodywork.
 

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A bad ground, Ted, should decrease the available headlamp voltage and current, thus
brightness.
With loose grounds, the headlamps might vary in brightness over bumps
and vibrations.

If the owner would attach a voltmeter to the headlamp circuit, they would
see excessive voltage perhaps when above 2,500 rpm with the bike on
its centerstand.
Above 13.8 volts and headlamp bulb filaments can break more easily while riding.
A bad regulator may show voltage close to normal at idle, but at cruise
speed rpm's the voltage can swing way high (unregulated).
 

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Discussion Starter #10
The dealer (Seymour's Motorized Sports in Latham, NY) will replace the bulb for me free of charge (I only had the scoot for 3 month!)...
I will share with the tech some of the feedback regarding the headlamp reliability.... I ALWAYS ride with highbeams on except when at night with oncoming traffic... Maybe I should stick to lowbeams during the day?
 

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Diane,

I always run with my low beams on during the day. I like using the 'pass' button to get peoples attention if I think they didn't notice me. If you have the high beams on, the pass button has no effect. It may be more visable, but I know how annoyed I get when someone comes at me with their lightts on bright. The other reason I stick to low beams is I don't want a ticket for having the high beams on. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #12
billmeek said:
Diane,

I always run with my low beams on during the day. I like using the 'pass' button to get peoples attention if I think they didn't notice me. If you have the high beams on, the pass button has no effect. It may be more visable, but I know how annoyed I get when someone comes at me with their lightts on bright. The other reason I stick to low beams is I don't want a ticket for having the high beams on. :)
During daylight, I think it's hard to tell if the headlights are on highbeam or not, and I don't think that they are terribly annoying to other drivers during the day... (compared to the sun during dawn and dusk hours, when I frequently commute)... So, I don't really worry about getting a ticket for highbeams... I doubt that it would ever happen...
However, if running highbeams burn out the headlamps prematurely, that would seem to negate the benefit of higher visability, IMO...
 

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billmeek said:
Diane,

I always run with my low beams on during the day. I like using the 'pass' button to get peoples attention if I think they didn't notice me. If you have the high beams on, the pass button has no effect. It may be more visable, but I know how annoyed I get when someone comes at me with their lightts on bright. The other reason I stick to low beams is I don't want a ticket for having the high beams on. :)
Hi Bill
I came accross this Quote while reading the threads that you have suggested for the headlight issue. I just wanted to add that in this state (okla) it is not only legal to run with the headlights on in the daytime it is recomemded that you do so in the motorcycle driver's manual "It wasn't one of the questions on the test but it was in the manual". I have been running with mine on high beam in the daytime and I have seen other motorcycles coming at me with the brights on and in the daytime and it doesn't seem like a big deal, it's make them more visable (just like the book says ) and since the sun (even on an overcast day) is much brighter than the headlights it doesn't seem to matter. I've never had anyone to flash thier lights at me or anything like that in the daytime.

Stephen
 

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Just a quickie personal observation here... I too read up on the headlight usage thing. Went away thinking that I'd be a bit more visible with the high beams on during daylight hours. Thought other motorists would not mind, or be able to figure out the difference due to me being a two wheeler and all. However, I have found, in my shortish 1200 plus miles of riding that, well, around here anyway, and with the 650's headlights, people DO notice.. :oops: and I've had about 8 cars flash at me. I had one guy to go so far as to pull over and yell at me as I passed him to turn off my high beams (I was NOT tailgating) Now, almost all these times were either when it was relatively early or relatively late in the day, and the sun had not reached its maximum daylight brightness. Who knows - maybe it was just my lack of discretion and or wisdom. So, my suggestion is, (if you ride a 650 anyway...) is to don't go to high beams until daylight has fully come on...say about 8AM? - and - go back to low when daylight is about to go away...say about 5/6PM? (Of course times and conditions vary...
 

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This poses a question.
I'm seriously considering adding a headlight modulator to my new burg.

From what I read the normal use is to have it kick in (it only works during daylight hours, not at night), when you turn on your high beams.

I plan to use it only in high traffic/risk urban riding, (lots of driveways and intersections), or when passing on the highway, so as not to annoy people unneccessarily.

I think there is an option to have it work the opposite way, i.e. run normally on high beam, kicks in when you turn on your low beams.


Would it be better to ride normally with low beams on, no modulator, 90% of the time, or better to ride with high beams on normally and have the modulator kick in when the low beams are switched on?
 

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Steven,

It's a personal choice of mine not to run bright lights during the day. I've read where the 400 doesn't dissipate heat as well as it should and may be the cause of early bulb failures. I've got 4k miles on mine and both bulbs are fine so far. If I am unsure that I am seen by another vehicle, I use the 'flash to pass' button to flash the brights a couple of times. The pass button turns on both low and high beams and is very noticable. If you have the high beams on, the pass button has no effect and switching from bright to low beam is not as noticable.
 

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flash to pass

billmeek said:
Steven,

If you have the high beams on, the pass button has no effect and switching from bright to low beam is not as noticable.
This is very true Bill
I kinda wish that when on high beam the flash to pass button would alternate from high to low and then back to high when you pressed and released it. That way we could have the best of both. Be able to have the high beams on in the daytime and be able to "flash" if we needed to.
I also wish that we didn't have to have the handle bars locked to have the emergency flashers on without the headlights being on.

Stephen
 

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Re: flash to pass

swstiles said:
I also wish that we didn't have to have the handle bars locked to have the emergency flashers on without the headlights being on.
You don't have to lock the handlebars for the emergency flashers. They're controlled by a button on the right handlebar. You do have to lock the handlebar for the parking lights.
 

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Re: flash to pass

billmeek said:
swstiles said:
I also wish that we didn't have to have the handle bars locked to have the emergency flashers on without the headlights being on.
You don't have to lock the handlebars for the emergency flashers. They're controlled by a button on the right handlebar. You do have to lock the handlebar for the parking lights.
I know the switch is on the right handlebar to turn the emergency flashers on, I'm talking about having them on with the headlights off.
You have to turn the handle bars to the left, lock them and then turn the key further left to turn the parking lights on and then you can turn the emergency flashers on "with the switch on the right handle bar" without the headlights being on. It would be nice if we didn't have to lock the handle bars first before getting to the parking lights part of the switch so that we could have the parking lights and or emergency flashers on without the headlights draining the battery. :idea: Sometimes when I pull off to the side of the road I would like to be able to turn the flashers on, turn the engine off, and the emergency flashers stay on "without the head lights or engine running" while I do whatever it is that I need to do.

Has anyone else wanted to be able to do that?
Maybe this would be something for Suzuki feedback.

Stephen
 

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Hey Rick!
I ride with my High beams on during the day and the low beams on during the night. I just purchased one of those orange reflective safety vests worn by work crews over the winter. I plan on using it when ever I'm riding in darker hours. I think motorcycle tail lights have a tendency to blend into traffic in the early morning and evening hours.

As far as the modulator goes I don't even know if they can be used legally here in Canada. I would defenitely check into this before purchasing.
 
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