How to Change a Headlight on a Harley-Davidson Motorcycle
Changing the headlight on a Harley-Davidson is a relatively fast and simple task. This article assumes you are changing a headlight on a newer model and not a sealed bulb on an older model.
- Moderately Challenging
- Needle-nosed pliers
- Small container
- New headlight
If the bike has a fairing, you may need to remove or loosen the fairing, depending on how tightly it fits up against the headlight. Remove the chrome ring from around the headlight. This ring just snaps on and off, don't force the ring up and down.
Remove the screws that hold the light in place (generally two or three screws). You may also see adjustment screws around the light, but don't remove them. Place the screws in a small container and set aside.
Gently pull the headlight out and down. Don't force the headlight in any direction, instead gently wiggle it out.
Gently pull the three pronged plug from the end of the light once the headlight has been removed. Don't damage the plug or pull it away from the bike. If you can't get your hands around the plug because the wires are not long enough, use your needle-nosed pliers to gently work the plug from the back of the light.
Set the old bulb aside. Put on the latex gloves, remove the new headlight from the box and wipe it clean. Ensure there is no dust or oil on the bulb or the plug.
Hold the new headlight up close to the housing and plug the 3-pronged connector into the back end of the bulb. Don't force or bend the connector. Again, if the wiring is not long enough for you to use your hand to plug in the connector, use needle-nosed pliers, being careful not to damage the plug.
After the connector is squarely plugged in, gently insert the bulb into the headlight housing. Avoid getting oil or dirt on the halogen bulb. Replace the headlight/housing screws.
Carefully, yet firmly, wipe the new bulb again. When you are sure the bulb is properly secured, turn the headlight on and use the adjustment screws to ensure the beam is facing forward and slightly down.
After adjusting the beam, replace the chrome ring around the headlight housing and wipe off any dirt or fingerprints. If you had to remove or adjust the fairing, put it back in its place and secure.