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Preacher Man
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Took my bike to work this morning ,I leave home well before day light. I was not happy with the coverage of the headlight. light didn't shine very far out in the distance and I was taking some of the curves in near guess work. Is this typical with the 1200. Is there a fix?
 

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Is there a light hieght adjustment on that bike? On mine there is a knob on the left side of the fairing below the left speaker. Turning it lowers or raises the headlight aim. I have the 1200 SE-i '86. When I first bought my bike, I had the same issue, once I got the height adjusted nice, all was well. I couldn't see for beans before hand. Actually it was sort of ok until a car came at me from the other direction, the car head lights would wash out my head light beam and I couldn't seeto the point I slowed down to 20 MPH because it scared the crap out of me.
 

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Bulb can be old
 

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the age of the reflector could be an issue. when i removed the glass off mine, i discovered that the chrome reflective part was all gone. it needed rechroming. i tried to polish but i ended up eating up the rest of it.

before this. i installed a hid xenon bulb which gives up to 400% more light than regular halogen for just 35Watts, kit is a bit expensive, but its worth its weigh in gold. since xenon runs also cooler than halogen bulbs. i was able to repair the inside of the reflector using a chromed vinyl. light improved a lot.

so my tip would be to inspect the chrome plating, if it is gone you can remove all plastic parts and send it to be chromed.
 

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Preacher Man
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I have a knob but something is wrong for no matter how much I turn it nothing happens. How do I take the headlight out to inspect?
hid xenon bulb sounds like something worth checking out, and my bulb could be old.
 

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1987 GL1200 Interstate
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Hi melp,

The knob probably is moving the light's height, but if you're veiwing from the seat the effect is minimal, especially with an old bulb, dirty glass and reflector.

When my bike was new the headlight was very effective but I guess my eyes are getting dimmer. I washed the inside of the glass and the reflector, then put a new bright white bulb in and things improved some. That reflector is very delicate chrome and the glass cleaner I used was too strong, resulting in the loss of some of the surface, so be careful.

To remove the light, all you have to do is pop up the windshield trim and remove the lower painted trim piece. That gives you access to the four bolts that hold the light.
 

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1987 GL1200 Interstate
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melp wrote:
What is holding the windshield trim?
Nothing. It pops up from the bottom.

Put a screwdriver (wrapped with a soft rag) between the headlight and trim andpry itup.
 

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the windshield trim is bolted by the same bolts that hold the mirrors, so to get started, pull the rubber off the mirrors, unbolt them, then as dennis said, just pull it up or place a flat screwdriver between it and the light and it will pop (protect the glass) then the lower trim under the glass, two philips bolts, now you will see 4 bolts holding the headlamp assembly, two 8mm at the bottom and two 10mm on the top. after unbolting pull the assembly and rotate it clockwise and the glass down. then you can change the bulb, if you want to take the assembly off , unbolt three philips screws holdwing the adjustment cable and you're done!
 

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On mine, the top mirror screws hold the chrome piece on that sits on the front. Remove the top screws only and remove it and then the trim will be left on the shield.

I would hazard a guess that maybe your gearing has come loose that controls the headlight. Remove the four bolts that hold the bucket in place and you will have to carefully turn the bucket around so you can see where the gearing screws into it.
 

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1987 GL1200 Interstate
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That windshield trim pieceshould lift up enough to get at the upperheadlight mounting bolts without messing with the mirrors. All four bolts should be the same size. 6mm X 20mm.
 

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I do most of my riding at night, the headlight is pretty poor on the 1200's.
I've tried polishing the reflector and lense, upgraded the bulb and so on. Each made a differance but still not good enough for long distance trips especally in poor weather without causing red eyed eye strain.
the best solution is to fit auxillary lights (fog lights) that give out a flat beam as far as the main headlight low beam.
 

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think your gonna find that the adj has come out of the track and/or the pivot pin has come loose from.

once you get headlight assembly off,unsnap the clips on the front of headlight and carefully remove glass,then u can access the back of headlight and fix needed area plus clean the reflector,

adding fogs or spots are a stop gap solution but if you reall want light convert to a bixenon HID headlight system,price is about $100 more or less for a single H4 bulb setup,takes some time to install but you will never want to go back to a stock system again

everybody gives high praise to the sylvania ultra silverstar bulb,which i admit is better than a stock bulb but the HID is 3 times as good as that
my 86 sei has an ultra and my 87 has a 55/60 hid installed and when it turns dark i'll ride my 87 any night

here is a pics of my 87 with hid and the 55W spots on,this winter i will install hid system on the spots too and convert the sei to hid also
 

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neoracer wrote:
think your gonna find that the adj has come out of the track and/or the pivot pin has come loose from.

once you get headlight assembly off,unsnap the clips on the front of headlight and carefully remove glass,then u can access the back of headlight and fix needed area plus clean the reflector,

adding fogs or spots are a stop gap solution but if you reall want light convert to a bixenon HID headlight system,price is about $100 more or less for a single H4 bulb setup,takes some time to install but you will never want to go back to a stock system again

everybody gives high praise to the sylvania ultra silverstar bulb,which i admit is better than a stock bulb but the HID is 3 times as good as that
my 86 sei has an ultra and my 87 has a 55/60 hid installed and when it turns dark i'll ride my 87 any night

here is a pics of my 87 with hid and the 55W spots on,this winter i will install hid system on the spots too and convert the sei to hid also
Where did you find your HID set up? Do you happen to know if one is offered for the 1100? Just curious.
 

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there are numerous companies selling HID setups,for differnt bulbs if you also use the H4 H9003

what bulb # does the 1100 use?

biggest drawback can be the mounting the the ballast if you have a space limitation
 

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Mine has a sealed beam at the moment, but I've been looking at a setup that uses the H4 I believe. It replaces the sealed beam with a 7" bucket and allows a halogen to be used. Not really a kit, because you have to buy all the pieces seperate.
 

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When I got My GL 1200 I had the same problem, and I too ride to work and early in the morning. My stock headlamp was pittifully inadequate and it looked like the inside of the lens was filthy. I took the headlamp out removed the lense and found a white film on the inside of the lense. There was no film deposits on the reflector and it appeared to be in excelent condition. I cleaned the inside of the lense with water and a soft cloth, Installed a Sylvania Silverstar Bulb at about $20 and had better light output. Regarding the adjustment knob, I thought mine didn't work either but found out that is is very small ammount of light movment for a lot of twisting of the knob.

Also do yourself a favor, get or download a manual for the particular series (years) of your bike (Hayes or Clymer either will do but here on the forum there are free one$, the best kind I think) This is a very valuable tool for your toolbox.

I'm not a fan of thing hopping out in front of me in the wee morning hours either. If you have a radio, turn it on as the sound will help, in my oppinion, scare stuff back into the woods. Also I have a set of "deer whistles" on my bike. Do they work? Put it this way, I hit 3 deer with my SUV on 3 occasions without the whistles. Since I put a set on it, no close calls.

Ride safe
Chuck
 

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Preacher Man
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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
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Well I sure do thank all of you for the great help.I have took the headlight assembly out and all seems to be in good working order. The adjustments seem to work,at least it is turning the little toothed wheel and after removing the glass the wheel moves the reflector which also looks good.So I guess I will replace the bulb and try adjustments next.
 

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William_86 wrote:
the age of the reflector could be an issue. when i removed the glass off mine, i discovered that the chrome reflective part was all gone. it needed rechroming.
chrome paint?
 

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1987 GL1200 Interstate
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The reflector and glass can look clean but still have a film on them. I think it's from the heat on cold nights. Anyway, I suggest you clean them.

Now that you know the adjuster is working, park the bike in front of a wall and make the adjustment. If the aim is too high it is not only very annoying to other drivers, but doesn't light up the road in front of you.
 
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