How to Change a Motorcycle Headlight


Riding a motorcycle with a burnt-out headlight can leave you in a dangerous predicament. Since most motorcycles, cruisers in particular, operate with a single headlight to provide illumination, having a working headlight is critical to a safe ride. Replacing the bulb in the bucket-type headlights common to these motorcycles can appear difficult, since there is no apparent way to access the burnt-out bulb. Luckily, disassembling the headlight is simpler than it seems and usually requires just a screwdriver to do.

Things You'll Need

  • Screwdrivers
  • Headlight bulb
  • Remove the trim ring from the headlight, using a screwdriver to unscrew the ring's retaining screw. Pull the trim ring away from the headlight

  • Pull the lamp assembly out of the headlight bucket. Pull off the rubber dust boot, if any, from the back of the lamp. Pull the wiring harness off of the lamp's bulb. Squeeze the legs of the bulb retaining pin together and swing it outward to release the bulb. Pull the faulty bulb out of the lamp assembly.

  • Insert a new bulb into the lamp assembly and close the retaining pin over it. Connect the wiring harness to the bulb's prongs. Slip the rubber dust boot onto the lamp assembly.

  • Slide the lamp assembly into the headlight, aligning the "TOP" mark on the lamp's lens with the top of the headlight shell. Mount the trim ring over the headlight and tighten the retaining screw with a screwdriver.

Tips & Warnings

  • Do not touch the glass portion of the halogen headlight bulb. Halogen bulbs may be permanently damaged if they come into contact with the oils present on human skin.

Related Searches


  • "The Professional Motorcycle Repair Program; Professional Career Development Institute"; Prentice-Hall; 1995
  • Photo Credit phare de moto image by danimages from
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