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This is yet another reason why I got a PX

July 17, 2007

I had followed Plaidass and Stitch home; they had moved to the curb lane to get onto the Fremont Bridge, while I stayed in the far lane. Once stopped at the intersection of Westlake/Fremont/Nickerson/Dexter, Stitch yelled, “you don’t have a headlight!” She’s right… I don’t.

One of the nice features of the ’05 PX 150 is a plastic headlight lens that bulges out, so you can see whether the light is on from your preferred riding position. I looked, and sure enough, there was no light.

If this happens to you, try your high beam. I did, it worked… I have light again. Sorry to temporarily blind any approaching vehicles, but in Washington the law sez the light has to be on when a motorcycle/scooter is in motion. It’s only a few blocks to the basement garage at home.

No matter what you drive, if it uses an H4 lamp it’ll probably be the low beam that gives out. If neither the low nor high beam work, you may have other problems. In this case, we just need a new H4 lamp. That’s $10.99 plus tax at the local Schuck’s.

My apologies for the lack of pictures (I tore into it before realizing I should have wheeled the bike into the alley), but you can search the other entries titled “This is why I got a PX” for illustrations, if you need them.

Take the headset cover off, and disconnect the speedometer cable by squeezing the little fingers with needlenose pliers. The lamp is mounted in exactly the same way it would be in a car: pull the connector, remove the rubber boot, and turn the tan plastic thing about 1/8 inch to the left to release it. Take out the old bulb.

I can see a big gap between the attaching point and what’s left of the low-beam filament. You might be able to extend the life of the lamp by running with high beams during the day (this has the added bonus of making you more visible to the cagers), but then you might not. Let me know what works for you.

WARNING: DO NOT TOUCH the glass part of the new lamp. Should you touch it, clean the place you touched with rubbing alcohol. If you don’t, your fingerprint will absorb heat and cause the lamp to burst. Not good.

Installation is the reverse of removal. Notice the lamp has a flat spot in the flange that corresponds with the flat spot in the hole in the headlight reflector. The tan thing is a retaining ring. Insert the bulb, line up the retaining ring about where it was when you took it off (the little nubs should face out), and turn it 1/8 inch the opposite way. Uh, yes, “righty-tighty, lefty-loosey” applies here.

Next, reattach the rubber boot. You’ll notice there are three slots that exactly match the three prongs on the lamp. Push it all the way on, so the prongs stick out as far as possible.

Finally, reattach the connector. Keep in mind, the various wires, cables and hoses are packed pretty tightly, so make sure nothing is sticking out, or chafing, or blocking a screw hole. Being somewhat paranoid, I like to check my work; unfortunately, on a PX 150 you must turn the engine on to turn the headlight on, so make sure anything you’ve got on the seat is moved somewhere else, or isn’t going to break when it falls on the ground. Notice I said “when.”

Once you’re satisfied the new lamp works, reattach the speedo cable (squeeze the fingers to set it, then use your pliers to push up from below the wide part). The headset cover should fit flush with the shifter and throttle, and the screws should be nice and tight (remember, don’t lose the lock washers!)

Finally, check to make sure everything works. Low/high beams, horn, starter button, shifter. Everything’s okay? Let there be light! Favicon

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