How to Install a New Motorcycle Headlight

  • 1-2 hours
  • Beginner
  • 5-10
What You'll Need
Replacement bulb

Because a motorcyclist’s best interest is safety, making sure to repair a malfunctioning motorcycle headlight right away is essential. It doesn’t take a lot of tools to replace the headlight on a motorcycle and of course, it’s a rewarding endeavor.

Step 1 – Secure Motorcycle

Be sure that your motorcycle is on level ground and is balanced well on its kickstand. Having a malfunctioning headlight will be the least of your worries if your motorcycle falls over on you while you’re working on it!

Step 2 – Remove screws

Remove the two screws that are placed on either side of the headlight lens unit with a screwdriver. You can gain access to the headlight by opening the casing it’s enclosed in.

Step 3 – Detach Headlight Coupler

Detach the headlight coupler so that you can take off the bulb cover. The headlight coupler is a piece on the back of your bulb cover where the leads connect. Detach the bulb holder to gain access to the bulb.

Step 4 – Remove Burned out Bulb

Unscrew the malfunctioning bulb. It might be hot, so be careful.

Step 5 – Put in the New Bulb

Screw in your replacement bulb and put the bulb cover back in place.

Step 6 – Reconnect

Reconnect both the headlight bulb cover and the coupler that you removed previously. Screw the headlight lens unit back into place securely.

Step 7 – Test

Test the new bulb to be sure it works.

Step 8 – Extra Tips

Some things to look out for when changing your bulb:

  • Check the manufacturer’s guide that you received with your bike to determine the bulb wattage that is appropriate for your particular bike. The wattage of the bulb will be listed on the back of the bulb or on the package it is purchased in.
  • To be sure your replacement bulb isn’t damaged, check it over. Make sure you don’t have any broken or exposed wires coming from the plug that is at the back of the headlight. Look for any fuses that are blown or any damage to the bulb; you can experience power failure if either of those two things is present.
  • If you find your headlight fuses blow often, use a voltage meter to check the battery voltage. Your reading should be in the range of 12 to 13 volts.
  • Now might be a good time to align your headlights. Because motorcycle headlights are jostled around much more than a car’s headlights are, motorcyclists need to do maintenance frequently. Like changing the headlight of the motorcycle, there are not many tools involved in aligning the headlights. A screwdriver, tape measure, blank wall and the help of a friend are needed. You’ll do some measuring and fine-tune the alignment using the motorcycle’s adjustment knobs.