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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This is my third post on this problem but so far, no one's been able to help. I bought a 2009 XR last August. The owner turned it into a supermoto by swapping in a dirt bike front fender and handlebars, removing the turn signals, rear half fender, seat/tail section, and the brake/taillight. He put on a cobra style seat and a 3 in 1 LED strip. Initially the brake light on the LED strip didn't work but the taillight and turn signals did. When I tried to test the brake light with multimeter at the soldered connection, I heard a pop as soon as I touched the wire with the lead and the LED no longer worked. When I checked the fuses, all were good but I noticed they were corroded and so was the housing so I cleaned it and replaced all the fuses. I read online that sometimes a multimeter will show current but it's not enough to run a light so the author recommended using a continuity test light. I got one and also got a new brighter LED strip. I tested the new strip and all 3 functions work so I connected it to the bike with alligator clip test leads. Only the taillight works so I tested the bike wires with the test light. Neither turn signal lights, even though they both worked before, and the brake light lights without pulling or pushing either brake but it won't light the brake light on the LED. I'm not sure where to go from here.
 

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Check you've got the right polarity, sounds like you may have got the earth on the LED strip mixed up.
Unfortunately on cheap one it can mean you've 'blown' the LED's, recheck them on a battery just to be sure.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for responding. I'm not sure what you mean by "right polarity." If you mean which wire is ground, they made it easy by making it black. I checked the LED with an old battery. All the functions worked and still do if hooked directly to a battery. The taillight seems to be a master in that if it's not connected, the other functions won't work. When the LED's taillight wire is connected to the bikes taillight wire (blue), the LED's brake and turn signals will work if the respective wire is touched to the taillight wire connection, but they stay lit continuously with no control. However, they don't work when connected to the correct wire on the bike. Those are the red/yellow for brake and purple and brown for the left and right turn signals, respectively. I also found the red/white wire (HDI) must be connected for the test light to light when checking the bike's wires. However, it seems like the bike's brake wire should not light the test light unless the brake is pushed or pulled. And, since it has current, it should light the LED's brake function.
 

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If you dont understand whats Polarity means go to a Electrician.Sry for that.check

Plus,+ at the Brake switch.The switch connnect + Plus & Ground/-when using the Pedal.
If not there has a Fuse gone.so check the Fuse & if Corrodet from behind.
Fuseboxes are a common Problem on bikes allways used 10 YRS and never serviced at this Place.

A GOOD EXTRA GROUND Cable from the Engine to the reat Rail of the Frame is the first step to cure these Problems.
Replace ALL Fuses and flood the Box with WD40.

The Lighting on a Harley is the same as a Honda.There is no miracle.Really not.Good Luck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Obviously, I know what polarity is. I don't know what he meant by "Check you've got the right polarity." I have cleaned the fuse box with electrical cleaner and I replaced all the fuses. There is only one fuse for lights on this bike. When it goes out, both the headlights and taillights go out so it is easy to spot. This is something more than just fuses or everything would have worked after I replaced all the fuses. Before I tried to check the brake wire with a multimeter, the turn signals worked. All I did was check the voltage from that wire to ground. Somehow, that blew the original LED strip and now neither turn signal wire shows current and the brake wire appears to be continuously hot, without either brake being applied. However, even though it has current, it doesn't activate the brake function on the new LED strip, which makes no sense. But if I touch the LED's brake wire to the spot where the bike's and the LED's taillight wires are connected, the brake light lights up. It may be some problem related to the LED, although I don't know what that would be. However, I may try to find a 3 in 1 non-LED turn signal set or taillight/brake light to see if it functions. That is, if I can find one for a reasonable price since I would have no use for it after that.
 

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Okay.

Remove the LEd Stuff completely.Use a cheap Light,bulb,whatever to test.When a Cable geting hotthere is a SHORT somewhere.First you have to go back to the near origin Wiring.After this detect the Cables for their function.

A normal wiring on the rear is:

Brakel,Rear-Lights.
Direction Light L&R,Ground,
Extra Ground to the Light/Housing on the Rear.

Check the cables getting hot when the LED has removed.Getting hot after this the Prob will be somewhere else.
Its hard to find but sometimes its only one wrong cable.Keep on ,its a miracle but you will find it after all.
A old Direction Light works fine as a testlight.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I didn't mean hot as in temperature, I meant it has current. Sorry about that. I tried to find 3 in 1 turn signals that use standard bulbs but they just don't exist in the aftermarket. Everything is LED and I don't have any old bulb type lights, unless I pull the taillight off my XL, which I don't want to do. Harley does make bulb style 3 in 1 turn signals/tail/brake lights for various Sportsters like the Iron, Nightster, 48, etc. but they won't mount on the XR so there's no point in buying them since they are fairly expensive. Not having to wonder if the problem stems from the LED would be helpful. I will search for a cheap used light assy.
 

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IIRC the bulbs are 1157's in the tail light and the rear turn signals. You can test the system buy purchasing 1157 sockets and bulbs from Amazon for less than $30 total. You don't need an entire tail light assembly.
 

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LED lighting is usually polarity conscious, and if it's a Chinese one they sometimes use BLACK for the Pos+ and GREEN for Ground. When connected incorrectly, ie polarity reversed, they create a dead short and may have possibly melted the contacts in the indicator relay or switches and possibly melted one of your brake switches together.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks all. I hadn't thought of buying just a socket and bulb. Would I need to get four or would one work, and if one would work, is that better than the continuity test light? As far as turning it back to original, the parts are expensive. I've looked and even going used it would cost $800-$1000 to get the rear parts and a few hundred more for the front. As far as the LED's polarity, the original was already soldered in and only the brake light didn't work. I've tested the new one and it's definitely a negative ground and the ground wire is black. The main problem is why, testing the bike's wires with the test light, neither turn signal wire has current and the brake wire has continuous current, even without either brake being applied, yet it won't power the LED brake function. The last may be an LED problem but I don't know what or how connecting it differently would make it work. I believe I have the correct wire on the LED connected directly the to the correct corresponding wire on the bike. This is especially frustrating since I've had the bike since Aug 2021, I'm paying insurance and I just renewed the registration, which is high in California, but I've only ridden it once when I bought it and rode it home.
 

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The Cable to the Switch allways has Power.The Switch connetcs to the Ground..If the Pedal moves the Switch gets Pressure,close the circuit and the Light brights up.Use a socket or any lamp to test this.If not the LED is down for whatever or there is no Ground/Earth.thats it.

Cant believe the Prices for the Plastic Rubbish & Direction Lights from a Sportster or any other Harley.On E-bay some Dealers wrecking XR,s and i believe the Parts cost a Fingersnip.Second hand but grab it.Racks or Parts dont cure the Problem,just the Lighting at all.LED tricky to handle.


Here in Germany nobody wants and there is no need for.Its important to connect all the lights you need first to get Function.After this its up to you how to fit the Lights in Position.If you not shure the LED Stuff is 100% in Function dont waste more time on this parts..
All of us trying to help and if you need assistance you will find somebody close to your House.(Not me)Sorry.

One of many more parting out a HD XR 1200

 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I stopped by the local Harley dealer to try to pick the brains of the techs. The service manager suggested buying a service manual which he said is cheap at ~$150. I guess we differ on what is cheap. However, between what he said and what you guys have said, I believe my strategy should be to look for the turn signal's current at first the output, then the input at the TSM which I believe is under the battery box. For the brake light, I need to test each switch, to see if one is stuck, if I can find them. Does anyone know where the front and back brake light switches are located on the bike?
 

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I stopped by the local Harley dealer to try to pick the brains of the techs. The service manager suggested buying a service manual which he said is cheap at ~$150. I guess we differ on what is cheap. However, between what he said and what you guys have said, I believe my strategy should be to look for the turn signal's current at first the output, then the input at the TSM which I believe is under the battery box. For the brake light, I need to test each switch, to see if one is stuck, if I can find them. Does anyone know where the front and back brake light switches are located on the bike?
The front is activated by the front brake lever and the rear is in the rear brake line under the front of the swingarm.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 · (Edited)
Thanks ytman,
I figured it was buried somewhere under the battery box/oil tank area since I couldn't see it anywhere around the rear brake reservoir. I assume the front switch is inside the right handlebar housing. I'll get to it in a day or so. It was 85* today and sunny so it was too nice to do anything but take a ride on the XL. The new cover came today, which will hopefully help keep the dust off. Between the sale price and a coupon, I got a $50 BILT cover for $15 with free shipping. Couldn't pass that up. If it holds up I'll get one for the XR but maybe the next size down.
Sleeve Triangle Wood Shade Tints and shades
Tire Automotive tire Tread Paint Tints and shades
 

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Even if you have to take out a loan you should get yourself a manual. Getting the front brake switch out requires pulling the lever in and putting a spacer in, otherwise you’ll break a piece of the switch off. I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one who has done that. I’m not saying the switch has anything to do with anything but no need to add frustration to your frustration.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
All I need to do is test the switch. Do I need to take it out to test it? I know if it tests bad I'll have to replace it but I highly suspect the rear brake switch is the problem due to its more exposed location. Regardless, I still don't understand why the current coming through the bike's red/white brake wire won't light the LED but that may be a specific LED problem. My goal right now is to get the bike to light the test light when the turn signals or the brakes are applied.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Because the staff at a local Harley custom shop recommended Custom Dynamics LED turn signal mirrors, I read the thread on Custom Dynamics. In that thread, the poster mentioned that he,
"also tried to reset the TSM but was not successful - the turn signals did not respond to the reset process (key on key off key on, push the left turn signal switch etc etc)."
Does anyone know how to do that? That may be why I'm no longer getting current from the turn signal wires.
 
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