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Thursday, 28 April 2011

Adjusting the Rear Brake Light Switch

Hello fellow Nighthawkers!
I noticed that the brake lights weren't coming on when the rear brake pedal was depressed, so for today's project, we'll be adjusting the brake light switch.

This is a simple adjustment to do that will enhance your riding saftey, so you might want to give it a try.

First, remove the seat and right side panel. Since this was already covered in detail in a previous project (Carb Sync) I won't cover it again.

This is what it looks like under the cover.

And this is the brake light switch, lying very close and below the battery.

In order to adjust when the brake light comes on when you step on the brake pedal, you want to move the switch either closer to the pedal, or further from the pedal.

To make it come on earlier, you want to move the switch AWAY from the pedal, so that it will require very little action to pull on the switch and trigger the brake light.

If you want to make it come on later, you move the switch TOWARDS the pedal, so that it will require a greater travel of your rear brake pedal before it pulls on the brake switch, and trigger the brake light to come on.

You adjust the distance by turning the plastic wheel.
But in order to get the wheel to turn, you need to push the switch up and towards the back of the bike, so the plastic knob is not resting on the holder. The holder is indicated by the blue arrow, and the plastic knob you turn is indicated by the red arrow.

To engage the brake light earlier, you turn the knob clockwise when viewing down the switch from the rear of the bike. Vice versa to engage the light later.

Here's a picture of me turning the plastic adjustment knob. I wish they just used regular lock and adjusting nuts for this, would've made our lives easier.
The knob might be really tight if it hasn't been adjusted for a long time. Some silicone lubricating fluid might help. The adjuster on mine was pretty hard to turn, but after some coaxing, it moved. The important trick here is to make sure you push the switch up so it's not resting on the holder. If it is, the knob won't turn.
After making a few turns, get an assistant to step on the brake pedal while you watch the brake light. 

The goal is to get the light to come on very slightly before the rear brake engages. 
After a few tries and some minor adjustments, it's now working properly.

It should take you no more than 20 mins to do this from start to finish. Give yours a check and see if it needs adjustment! It'll contribute to keeping us safe on the roads. Use your tools, and happy wrenching.

Till next time.