How to Adjust a Headlight on Bikes

by Contributing Writer; Updated June 12, 2017

Headlight adjustment on a vehicle is very important, since nighttime driving visibility can be the difference between a safe trip and hitting an animal or another vehicle on the road. For a motorcycle, headlight adjustment can be the difference between life and death when riding at night, since animals and road obstacles can cause serious accidents. Fortunately, motorcycle manufacturers make it quite simple to adjust a motorcycle headlight for optimum visibility.

Under The Hood:

 How to Adjust a Headlight on a Road Glide

Set the motorcycle on a level floor space within a garage or other suitable structure. Point the motorcycle towards a wall located 25 feet away. Have a friend sit on the motorcycle with the kick-stand up and the rider's weight compressing the suspension.

Measure the distance from the floor to the center of one of the headlights with a tape measure. Draw a horizontal line on the wall at the same height from the floor as the headlight.

Turn on the motorcycle ignition switch and set the headlights to the "High-Beam" setting, directing the light towards the mark on the wall.

Locate the right and left hex adjusters for the headlights at the bottom edge of the inner fairing. Turn the adjuster nuts with a 4.5 mm hex wrench to center the light beam straight ahead, level with the line on the wall.

Items you will need

  • Tape measure

  • Pencil

  • 4.5 mm hex wrench

 How to Adjust the Headlight on a Honda VTX 1300

Place a bit of tape 17 feet away from a flat vertical surface.

Line up the VTX 1300's headlight above the tape you left on the ground or floor.

Measure the height of the headlight lens to the floor. Place a strip of tape on the wall at this same height minus 2 inches directly opposite the VTX 1300. In other words, place the tape on the wall 2 inches below the height of the headlight.

Use your screwdriver to rotate the 5 o'clock screw to adjust the headlight beam up and down. Aim the beam so that the top of the beam meets the tape on the wall.

Use your screwdriver to rotate the 7 o'clock screw to adjust the headlight beam left and right. Aim the beam so that it shines directly on the vertical axis of the tape.

Items you will need

  • Screwdriver

  • Tape measure

  • Tape

 How to Adjust the Headlight on a Yamaha V-Star

How to Adjust the Headlight on a Yamaha V Star

Park your motorcycle, using a motorcycle stand, 25 feet from your garage door or another available wall.

Measure from the ground to the center of the headlight and note the height.

Use masking tape to mark the height, notated in Step 2, on the garage door as your “level” height.

Use the masking tape to place a mark 6 inches above the level height and another mark 6 inches below the level height.

Remove the level mark. It is no longer needed.

Looking at the headlight from the front of the motorcycle, there are two adjustment screws, one at the 4 o’clock position and one at the 8 o’clock position. Turning the screw in raises the headligh; turning the screw out lowers it.

Use a screwdriver to adjust the headlight up or down by turning the adjustment screw at the 4 o’clock position. Make the adjustment so that the low beam is centered on the lower mark and the high beam is centered on the upper mark.

Items you will need

  • Phillips screwdriver

  • Masking tape

  • Tape measure

About the Author

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