How to Replace a Headlight on Bikes

by Contributing WriterUpdated June 12, 2017

As part of regular scooter maintenance, scooter owners should always include checking and replacing the headlight bulb regularly. Doing so helps ensure your scooter will have a reliable light source, especially when traveling at night. The process is easy but one fatal mistake can occur if a rider is not careful: touching the bulb with your bare fingers. Using the steps below will avoid this mistake and its consequences.

Under The Hood:

 How to Replace the Headlight on a Honda Rebel

Loosen the headlight trim ring by unscrewing the pair of bolts on the lower portion of the ring, with a screwdriver. Lift the trim ring and headlight assembly upward until the ring releases from the tab on the headlight shell.

Disconnect the headlight from the wiring harness. Squeeze the legs of the retaining latch together and flip the latch open. Pull the bulb out of the headlight and discard it.

Place a new bulb in the headlight assembly and lower the retaining latch. Squeeze the latch legs together and lock the latch into place. Reconnect the wiring harness to the headlight.

Slip the upper portion of the headlight assembly and trim ring onto the headlight shell's tab. Lower the assembly into the headlight shell. Secure the trim ring and headlight assembly by inserting and tightening the pair of screws in the bottom of the trim ring.

Items you will need

  • Screwdrivers

  • H4 bulb

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Plastic Headlight Protector With Screws

Unscrew the screws anchoring the plastic headlight protector onto the body of the scooter. There will be two to six screws, and they will be located around the perimeter of the scooter's headlight.

Remove the outer plastic headlight protector by carefully popping it out of its plastic moorings.

Unscrew the old bulb and replace it with your new bulb.

Reattach the outer plastic headlight protector and rescrew the anchoring screws.

Plastic Headlight Protector With Clips

Remove the outer plastic headlight protector by unlatching the plastic clips that hold it into place.

Unscrew the old bulb and replace it with your new bulb.

Reattach the outer plastic headlight protector by latching the plastic clips that hold it into place.

Replacing the Bulb Compartment

Unscrew the anchoring screws holding the entire headlight compartment using a hex or standard screwdriver.

Remove the entire headlight compartment by gently pulling it free from the body of the scooter. The back of the compartment will be connected to the electrical systems of the scooter through either a plug or a series of wires which you will need to disconnect.

Insert the replacement headlight compartment and anchor it to the body by rescrewing the anchoring screws.

Items you will need

  • Screwdriver

  • Hex screwdriver

  • Replacement bulb

  • Replacement bulb compartment

 How to Change a Headlight in a Suzuki Katana

Park the motorcycle on a smooth, level surface and turn the ignition switch to the "OFF" position.

Reach under the front fairing and grasp the rubber boot on the back of the headlamp assembly. Twist the boot from side to side, until it can be pulled from the headlamp assembly. Pull the boot and headlight bulb away from the headlight.

Remove the old headlight bulb from the wiring harness connector and rubber boot. Insert the prongs of a new headlight bulb into the wiring harness connector. Slide the rubber boot to the base of the headlight bulb.

Place the headlight bulb and rubber boot onto the headlamp assembly. Press firmly on the rubber boot to seat it onto the headlamp.

Turn the ignition switch on and check that the headlight is illuminated. Check the bulb's connection with the wiring harness if the headlight does not illuminate.

Items you will need

  • H14 headlight bulb, 12V60/55W

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Sealed Beam Replacement

Use a screwdriver to loosen and release the scooter headset screws from underneath. Gently lift the headset upward to give yourself clearance to work. Reach in and pull the wiring connector off the rear of bulb to disconnect it. Use an appropriate screwdriver (flathead or Phillips) to loosen the headlight bracket that holds the bulb in place.

Reach in and loosen the sealed beam bulb from the its bracket. Loosen it the rest of the way with the screwdriver. Pull the bracket off and remove the old bulb. Discard the old bulb or recycle it if facilities are available in your area.

Unpack the new sealed beam and insert it into the holder in the headset. Use a shop towel to prevent touching the bulb with your hand as much as possible. Keep the bulb in place and apply the holding bracket previously removed. Re-insert the holding screws and tighten with a screwdriver. Reconnect the wiring to the back of the bulb and re-tighten the headset top.

Replacing a Removable Bulb

Follow the same procedure as the sealed beam steps, using a screwdriver to remove the headset top and provide clearance. Reach into the headset cavity and place a thumb on the retaining clip of the internal headlight bulb holder. Flip the clip to release the holder.

Pull the holder backwards without disconnecting anything. Provide enough clearance, pulling the holder away from the bulb cavity until you can see the bulb. Grab the bulb itself, twist, and release it from the holder. Discard or recycle the old bulb as needed. Unpack the new bulb.

Hold the new bulb with a shop towel to avoid touching the glass directly with skin (fingerprint oil causes hot spots and premature bulb failure). Push the bulb into the holder, twist, and make it lock into place into the holder. Re-insert the holder with the bulb back into the bulb cavity. Re-attach the holder securing clip to keep the holder in place. Lower the headset cover and re-secure it with a screwdriver.

Items you will need

  • Screwdriver

  • Shop towel

  • New headlight bulb

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