How to Change the Headlights on a GL1800by Chris Gilliland
The thought of replacing a burnt-out headlight on one of Honda's GL1800 Goldwing touring motorcycles can drive many owners to their local Honda dealership for help. With the motorcycle's protective fairings arranged in a complex manner, the job can appear difficult. The truth is that the headlight bulbs are very easily accessible and can be changed without a single tool. Just be sure that you handle your new bulbs very carefully, as the oils from your skin can damage halogen bulbs.
Low Beam Bulb Replacement
Park the motorcycle on its center stand and turn the handlebars away from the faulty headlight bulb. Locate the low beam headlight bulb directly below the handlebars.
Pull the electrical connector off of the headlight bulb and pull the rubber dust boot away from the headlight. Unlatch the bulb retaining clip and pull the damaged bulb out of the headlight.
Install a new H7 bulb into the headlight and latch the retaining clip over the bulb. Place the rubber dust boot over the bulb. Align the arrow marks on the headlight and rubber dust boot before pressing the it into place. Reconnect the motorcycle's electrical connector to the bulb.
Turn the motorcycle's ignition switch on to test the low beam for proper operation. Check the bulb's connection if the low beam is not working. Repeat on opposite side low beam if necessary.
High Beam Bulb Replacement
Remove the fairing compartment from the affected side of the motorcycle. Open the compartment lid and locate the four plastic pop rivets that secure the compartment to the fairing. Remove the rivets by depressing the center of the rivet and pulling it out of the compartment. Pull the compartment free from the fairing.
Locate the high beam bulb behind the fairing compartment's mounting position on the fairing. Pull the wiring connector off of the bulb and remove the rubber dust boot. Unlatch the bulb's retaining clip and pull the damaged bulb out of the headlight.
Insert a new H7 bulb into the headlight's high beam position and latch the retaining clip over it. Place the rubber dust boot over the bulb and align the arrow marks on the headlight and boot. Press the boot into position. Plug the wiring connector onto the bulb.
Re-insert the fairing compartment into the fairing. Prepare the pop rivets by pressing the rivet's tip upwards until the center portion protrudes from the top of the rivet. Insert the rivet into the appropriate mounting positions on the corners of the compartment. Lock the rivet into place by pressing the center of the rivet downwards until it is flush with the top of the rivet. Close the compartment lid.
Turn the motorcycle's ignition switch on and test the high beam for proper operation. Check the bulb's connection if the high beam is not working. Repeat on opposite side high beam if necessary.
- "The Professional Motorcycle Repair Program"; Professional Career Development Institute; 1995
- "2001 Honda GL1800/GL1800A Service Manual"; Honda Motor Co.; 2002
- Wear gloves to prevent the risk of touching the glass portion of the headlight bulb with your bare skin.
Things You'll Need
- 55w H7 headlight bulbs
- Headlight bulbs generate a great deal of heat. Don't replace your bulbs immediately after riding the motorcycle. Allow the headlight to cool for at least thirty minutes before replacing any of the bulbs.
An avid motorcyclist, Chris Gilliland has immersed himself into the two-wheeled world while balancing work life and raising three daughters. When he is not managing the parts department of a local, multi-line motorcycle dealership, Gilliland can often be found riding, writing or working on his motorcycle blog, Wingman's Garage.