Ridders
Hi, I have a '14 Chief and seem to blow standard headlight bulbs now and again. Any ideas?
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srd0060
Buy a led replacement. 
2018 Scout, Thunder black, Beach bars, DART screen.
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Matt01
Ridders wrote:
Hi, I have a '14 Chief and seem to blow standard headlight bulbs now and again. Any ideas?

I seem to be having the same issue with my 2014 Vintage.
I had started my bike up two weeks ago after sitting for a while and my driving lights came on when the motor started & the highbeam indicator started to flash. (No headlight)
So I changed it out & this morning Ive gone to start her up.
Same issue driving lights came on when the motor started & the highbeam indicator started to flash.(no headlight)
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V-Twin
Can I assume that you guys are using quality bulbs from brand names?  Cheap no-name bulbs don’t last as well sometimes.  Maybe try another brand like Phillips?

Also, is the plastic plug behind the bulb secure?  It’s a stretch, but if they wiggle a bit, maybe they could be arching/shorting briefly?  Just enough to blow the bulb but not enough to make the light flicker at night.

Just trying to see a pattern or at least think outside the box to shed some light on this unusual situation.  Especially, since most folks are running the factory bulbs for 3 years plus without blowing bulbs so there must be something happening on your bikes.

Like SRD recommended, LED bulbs could be an interesting test.  You may need to adjust the headlight after fitting them.
Melbourne, Victoria
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Matt01
I replaced mine with a $25 (cant remember the name) that claimed it lasted 5 time longer than a standard globe (provided them wrong).
I'll have to check out another brand and see how I go.
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CHF10

Haha! Great minds think alike V-Twin. I was going to recommend the Phillips Crystal Vision bulbs too. You'll pay around $100 for a pair (they're sold for cars) but they're the best halogen on the market in my opinion. Very bright and last and last and last... They come in a few different temperatures too depending on your preference. It's what I was going to upgrade to but I figured by the time I've bought the pair of headlight globes as well as the driving light globes I might as well spend the $500 or so on the LED Hoglights Then fate forced my hand when one of my lights was smashed on a long ride. They're simply fantastic! Projector lenses rather than reflector too.

More info on the Hoglights here:  http://www.indianmotorcycleforum.com.au/post/hoglights-7inch-led-headlight-and-4-5inch-led-driving-lights-review-9802548?

And here:  http://www.indianmotorcycleforum.com.au/post/hoglights-led-headlights-10-discount-offer-9803537

They're super easy to install, both main headlight and driving lights.

Live free or die!
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crash
I would have thought that despite the cost of the headlight globe, starting the bike should not cause this type of behavior regularly.  It sounds to me like a rectifier issue - when the bike starts generating power it may be pushing a higher voltage to the headlamp (and maybe other parts of the bike that are not so sensitive to power fluctuations) producing a spike that is knocking out the headlight.  It may be worth putting a multi tester on in place of the globe and see what power is being delivered to the socket.  Keeping an eye out for a spike.  Whilst the spike may not be enough to blow the globe the first time, constant spikes on a start may cause premature wear on the globe and eventually it gives up. worth a check me thinks. 
Ulysses #30673
IMRG #AU100394
Current: RoadMaster (ebony and ivory)
Highett Victoria Australia
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Matt01
Now it gets interesting (the magic of Electrickory)
So after my 1st reply to ridders post.
I rode 3ks up the road and spent an 1hr at an appointment.
Start up my bike and headlights on so off to work I go.(20ks).
End of shift rode home via two stops & headlight is still working normally.
(BTW: my original bulb that wasnt working didn't show signs of being blown just didn't work).
Thoughts?
1550133888-picsay.jpg 
original bulb
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srd0060
Are they relayed? Relay maybe dropping out.
2018 Scout, Thunder black, Beach bars, DART screen.
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V-Twin
srd0060 wrote:
Are they relayed? Relay maybe dropping out.
If you can shake the bulb and filament isn’t hanging by one side, maybe like SRD said, it might not be the bulbs themselves.

If you have intermittent relay or other circuit cutting out, that’s not good.
Melbourne, Victoria
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Matt01
I can't see any signs of damage to the bulb.
Ill have to check to see if there is a relay.
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Dr.Shifty
Did you check the bulb for continuity with a multimeter?

I'd also check the battery connections - the lowest common denominator for Indian bikes it seems. The alternator and R/R combination puts out a lot of current and if the battery doesn't soak it up properly it can load up other components. We'd like to think that the circuitry will protect itself from old fashioned failure, but we can't rely on it.
Cheers, Kim.

From Woodrising (no, nobody else has heard of it either)
Rides a Springfield Dark Horse
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Matt01
Checked wiring behind headlight and noticed that some of the main harness rubbed the back of the wiring (block) that goes on the back of the bulb.
Checked connection on regular/ rectifier not push all the home.
Doesn't appear to be an relay for the headlight.
Battery terminals look clean and tight.
Looking at the wiring diagram the headlight runs through the VCM.
Ive started the bike several times over the weekend and the headlight has worked every time.
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Matt01
Ridders wrote:
Hi, I have a '14 Chief and seem to blow standard headlight bulbs now and again. Any ideas?

Once again my headlight ceased to function and on closer inspection the connection that goes onto the back of the bulb has started to melt.
After searching this forum and others it appears to be happening to a few 2014 & 15's so Ive dropped my bike off a Sydney Dealership for them to investigate the cause
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DAVO
Bad earth on the plug connection to the bulb mine also started to melt auto elec advice me to changed out the plug  connection with a new part, fixed it with a new plug connection with brass spade fittings, seems to be an issue with 14 Chiefs cheap plug.connection.
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Matt01
DAVO wrote:
Bad earth on the plug connection to the bulb mine also started to melt auto elec advice me to changed out the plug  connection with a new part, fixed it with a new plug connection with brass spade fittings, seems to be an issue with 14 Chiefs cheap plug.connection.


Looks like your Auto Electrician was right Davo.
The mechanic at The Sydney Dealership said something very similar.
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Kit116
*Handling tip* - halogen lamps are made of quartz glass which means they are porous. When handling halogen lamps do not touch the glass with bare fingers as oil from skin will deposit on the glass resulting in short life. If you accidentally touch the glass wipe clean with alcohol or spirits.
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Silversmoke
Make sure the retaining clip is holding bulb tight into back of headlight : no movement. Mine was loose allowing bulb assembly to move this apparently creats a poor earth and heats the bulb. I bent the clip so it was tight and have not had any more trouble in 3000kms.
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