Light of the wicked – snuffed out
I think this is a bible reference – hope God doesn’t mind. 🙂
This post explains how to troubleshoot a broken brake light.
Today, as I was getting the 2007 Triumph Speed Triple ready for a potential buyer (yes, we’re selling her), I noticed that the front brake wasn’t engaging the brake light. Not sure how long that’s been an issue but I didn’t want to sell the bike with a major safety feature not working properly, so I went into troubleshooting mode.
The light itself was definitely working, because it lit right up when I engaged the rear brake. I pulled the tank and the air box to get a closer look at the wires. Multimeter in hand, I incrementally went backwards, from the rear brake light switch towards the front of the bike.
But the wires seemed fine – I had plenty of juice everywhere. So I studied the wiring diagram, making sure I wasn’t checking the wrong wires.
Nope – everything checked out. After a few minutes of head scratching it occurred to me to check the switch: It clicked happily as I pulled the brake lever.
The switch is right under the brake lever, it’s a little black piece of plastic, the size of a quarter / 1 Euro coin.
I disconnected the wires from the switch (the connectors pull right out) – lo and behold, as soon as I connected the wires (you can either use a piece of wire and connect it to both wire ends, or, even simpler, just put the wires ends together), the brake light come on. Yay!
Not sure why I didn’t start there – would have saved me 20 minutes of futile multimeter-troubleshooting and another 20 minutes of tank/airbox removal/re-installation.
View from below: I removed the switch (it’s held in place by just that one screw) and took it apart (disclaimer: don’t do this if the switch is still working properly; you’ll probably break it!) – it was pretty corroded.
I cleaned it up so I could show what it looks like on the inside. It’s an extremely simple switch: the pin (red arrow) is usually pushed all the way in by the brake lever, breaking the connection in the switch (green arrow). When you pull the brake lever, you release the pin, the contacts connect, and the brake light comes on (as shown in this photo).
I ordered a new switch for less than $18 on BikeBandit.com (#13). I love BikeBandit, they sell OEM parts for virtually any bike at very competitive prices.
Hope the switch will be delivered before the weekend, we have a few more people coming to check out the bike. Riding isn’t an option right now – after 70 F / 20 C degrees last weekend, we’re back to 9 inches/22cm of snow. The Hornet is NOT happy. Neither am I.
Oh well, I guess God DOES mind that I (ab)use bible quotes on a motorcycle blog. 🙂