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XRV750 RD04
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1,549 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Apologies in advance if this is the mother of all dumb questions. I did a search and found some pointers about aiming headlights but after trying to do it last night I'm still a bit lost.

The way I did it was to place the bike about 20 feet (also tried about 15 feet, and 10 feet - everywhere I look they seem to recommend a different distance) away from a garage door. Measured to the center of my headlights (with me on the bike), marked a line on the garage door with a spirit level to the height measured, marked another line 2 inches below it.

I was expecting that I'd simply aim main beam at the first line (seeing easily distinguishable circle(s) of light, then when I dip the headlights I'd see them pointing at the second line.

Instead what I got was a big spread of light from main beam. Kind of rings of light rather than circles (darker in the middle, with brighter rings around the side).

Then I dipped them and instead of appearing on the second line they appeared to be higher (quite a bit higher than 2").

Have I got the bulbs in the wrong way around or something (is that even possible).

I'm a bit lost and fear that I'm going to end up having to take off the nose fairing YET AGAIN to sort it out, or worse still limp to a garage to have them done (which could be costly as I think the fairings are going to have to come off and the light unit taken out to sort them).

In my stupidity I decided to dismantle the whole headlight assembly and repaint it, replace all the screws with allen head stainless screws, thinking it'd be an easy job to set it back up again. I bent the bracket on one of the lights a little trying to get a screw out (someone had threadlocked them in!)
but figured there'd be enough adjustment still to account for that. Wondering now if I've got my estimates of how they should be screwed in way off.

I'm a bit lost. I've had a look in the haines manual, but it hasn't been much help unfortunately.

I'm also a bit confused what the screws are for on the front of the headlights (it's an rd04). I feel like a bit of an idiot, because surely aiming your headlight should be one of the most simple things to do, but I'm lost.

When you're aiming main beam and you get the rings of light (with a darker bit in the middle) do you aim the center of the ring (i.e. center of the darker bit) at the line you've marked, or the top of the rings of light?

Do you think I've got the bulbs in upside down or could this be explained by something else (maybe I'm just not aiming main beam properly)?

I'm sure once I've done this once and know how to judge what I'm looking at it should be easy enough, but I'm a bit lost. Had someone with a car try to help me who had aimed his lights in the past (albeit on a car), but they were about as clueless as I was.
 

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Premium Member
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7,170 Posts
Z

The "dark bit in the middle" don't sound right, so I'd suggest maybe the bulbs aren't in right, or seated correctly.

I think you may have opened up a can of worms there!

Check out page 26 on the fiche here to make sure you've put all the bit's back where they should be http://www.xrv.org.uk/media/XRV750N.pdf


Bob
 

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Nexus 6
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1,320 Posts
You cant really aim lamps on main-beam - the bulb is shorouded so that on dip it comes through the relector in a way that gives the defined 'break' in the beam (the shroud on the element works in conjunction with the lines on the lense to produce the pattern) - you'll see a definate line that kicks up at about 30 deg. The point you are aiming is roughly, the bit of the horizontal 'break' in the beam (i.e. the change between light and no light) that the 'kick' upwards starts at.

On main beam the light is just scattered all over the lense and there is no set aim mark for it - hence on MoT its only the dip that gets checked for aim, not the main as you cant really check a 'splodge'.
 

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Like BobA I'm not sure about the dark bits in the middle, certainly on main beam the centre should be painfully bright, you are checking main and dip, not dip and sidelights? the bulbs are dual filament, are both filaments working in each bulb?

The two screws should have springs round them and these are what you use to adjust the "tilt" of the headlamps and therefore the height of the beam, there are two more screws that you access from behind (just about with the fairing on) and these control the side to side swing.

Beam going up instead of down, not sure if you can put the bulbs in upside down, I suspect you can't, however in your enthusiasm to strip the headlamp frame did you put the headlamps and their sub-frame back the wrong way up?
 

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XRV750 RD04
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1,549 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Z
The "dark bit in the middle" don't sound right, so I'd suggest maybe the bulbs aren't in right, or seated correctly.
I wasn't expecting that either. I just went and double checked and even with the bike close up to the shed wall so the light is being cast closer you can still see dark areas in the middle (light is in a donut shape).

I think you may have opened up a can of worms there!
:D Oh man. don't say that. This (and a little thing with the sprocket cover) are the only things left I need to get sorted before I can ride it again. I got a little taster riding it around to the garage last night to check the lights and it's going to kill me if I have to spend even more time off the bike after riding it last night (time is limited to sort it out as well due to work sadly so it's a case of grabbing the odd hour here and there when I can).

Check out page 26 on the fiche here to make sure you've put all the bit's back where they should be http://www.xrv.org.uk/media/XRV750N.pdf
Thanks. I must have missed that acrobat file when looking in the fiches. Saved it for future reference. My models the 'L' but should be similar enough I think (only got one butterfly screw on the back).

It looks like I'm going to have to take it off and check it over again carefully. I'm obviously way off somewhere. Thanks for your help and the pointers :)
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XRV750 RD04
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1,549 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
You cant really aim lamps on main-beam - the bulb is shorouded so that on dip it comes through the relector in a way that gives the defined 'break' in the beam (the shroud on the element works in conjunction with the lines on the lense to produce the pattern) - you'll see a definate line that kicks up at about 30 deg. The point you are aiming is roughly, the bit of the horizontal 'break' in the beam (i.e. the change between light and no light) that the 'kick' upwards starts at.
Thanks. I think I get what you're saying (though not completely sure as something's obviously not right the way I have them at the moment so having to use my imagination a bit). It makes sense to adjust them on dipped because that gives me two more clear lines (one from each lense) that's easier to judge.

Am I right in thinking that once you've set it to 2inches below the center point of the headlights for dipped, then you can assume that main beam is OK (once I sort out the issue of these odd dark patches in the middle ofcourse)?

On main beam the light is just scattered all over the lense and there is no set aim mark for it - hence on MoT its only the dip that gets checked for aim, not the main as you cant really check a 'splodge'.
Thanks. I didn't know that. I thought they'd be testing both on the MoT using some sort of machine (heard they have a machine for it somewhere). Never had a bike MoT'd before as my first one was less than three years old, and the guy I bought this one from had it MoTd just before I got it.
 

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XRV750 RD04
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1,549 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
Like BobA I'm not sure about the dark bits in the middle, certainly on main beam the centre should be painfully bright, you are checking main and dip, not dip and sidelights? the bulbs are dual filament, are both filaments working in each bulb?
Yeah, it's main beam I'm testing, and both elements of the bulbs are working from what I can tell (when you hit the main beam switch the lights get brighter). Even with the bike up close to a wall where you'd expect for sure it'd be bright in the center I'm getting donut shapes.

It's an italian import so perhaps that might be something to do with it? (read something here about that recently that the reflectors are different). Still, I'd expect even on a foreign bike it'd just be the sideways reflection that would differ in the lenses and not this weird donut shape so more likely I've mounted them wrong or something).

The two screws should have springs round them and these are what you use to adjust the "tilt" of the headlamps and therefore the height of the beam, there are two more screws that you access from behind (just about with the fairing on) and these control the side to side swing.
On mine, I've got two sprung screws in the front (that you can access without the fairing getting in the way - just above the lenses in the middle), two sprung screws on the back either side (which I think is for side to side as you say), but also one long butterfly screw on the back (also sprung If my memory is correct which is the one I thought needed to be adjusted to move the aim up and down).

I've been looking at photos and it seems that some of them have two butterfly screws on the back (the single one on mine seems to control both lights as they're joined together in the mounting where the butterfly screw goes).

I think I should perhaps take it off and have another propper look to double check. Dreading it though as it means taking the nose cone off yet again and it's a bit fiddly to get back on again.

Beam going up instead of down, not sure if you can put the bulbs in upside down, I suspect you can't, however in your enthusiasm to strip the headlamp frame did you put the headlamps and their sub-frame back the wrong way up?
It only seemed to go back together one way from what I can tell, but it might be a possibility. The lenses themselves I think are the right way up though as the adjuster scews on the front were definitely at the top in the middle and that's where they are now (and from what I remember there was only one way to put the lights back together again in the mounting so that was the case).

Hmm..I think I need to take the fairing off so I can get a proper look. Wish I hadn't bothered with this now as they weren't that bad to start with and a little touch up without dismantling them completely would have been fine (you can't really see any of what's going on behind anyway as it's behind the fairing and obscured by clocks etc. - think I got a bit carried away and obsessive about things in retrospect :D).

Thanks again for your help everyone. I feel like such a numpty asking silly questions like this :( Even more of a numpty for messing with them in the first place :)
 

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Easy enough to tell if the lenses are upside down, do you need to stand on your head to read the writing on them :D

Just thinking about the donuts, take the bulbs out and have a good look, are the ends all smokey? this is the filament getting "burned up" and depositing on the inside of the bulb glass - possibility?
 

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XRV750 RD04
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1,549 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
Easy enough to tell if the lenses are upside down, do you need to stand on your head to read the writing on them :D
:D :D I'm pretty sure they're the right way up (or the sidelight bulbs would be at the top rather than the bottom). At this stage it's about the only thing I've got any degree of confidence that I've got right about them :D

Just thinking about the donuts, take the bulbs out and have a good look, are the ends all smokey? this is the filament getting "burned up" and depositing on the inside of the bulb glass - possibility?
That might explain it. It's a bit hard to tell looking through the glass, but I'm going to try to make time to get the fairing off again and tomorrow and dismount the assembly and have a closer check over everything so I'll have a closer look then. Hopefully it'll be something simple like that.

Thanks again for your help mate :)
 
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