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Thread: Brake light always on - 1979 GS850

  1. #1
    natejelovich Guest

    Default Brake light always on - 1979 GS850

    Any insights on why my brake light would always be on?

    I've tried disconnecting both front and rear brake connections and it's still glowing like the brakes are on...

    I've been working on my front brakes (long story in another post) and in the process, I broke the connector wires off the contact plate where the front brake light switch hit the little plate (does that make sense?).

    I cut and stripped the wires to re-solder them back on to the plate but now my brake light is always on... so I'm holding off on doing that until I figure out why the light is on.

    Again, even with no contacts (both brakes unplugged) it's always on.

    I haven't done anything to the back brakes... so I'm guessing it must be something the front...

    Any help, as ALWAYS, is very appreciated!!


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Near South Park


    Something must be shorted somewhere, do you have a multimeter?

    Life is too short to ride an L.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    southwest oHIo


    Check the wiring to the tail light. The tail light wire (brown) might have been inadvertently connected to the brake wire (white).

    That would light the brake filament when the tail light is supposed to be on.


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  4. #4
    terrylee Guest


    It's possible you may have gotten too much solder and it's making contact all the time. Go on ebay and you can get a new one for $10. terrylee

  5. #5
    barnbiketom Guest


    Quote Originally Posted by natejelovich View Post
    Any insights on why my brake light would always be on?

    I haven't done anything to the back brakes..
    . so I'm guessing it must be something the front...


    do not guess.. unhook the back brake switch and see what happens..

  6. #6
    natejelovich Guest


    Thanks all! I'm going to see what I can find... Maybe take some pictures as well.

    I'm wondering, could it be that something got too hot when I was trying to solder the wires and messed it up?

    barnbiketom: I've tried disconnecting both front and back connections (see original post) and light is still on. Unless you mean something else?

    old_skool: very strange! I hadn't changed (or touched) anything in the wiring except cutting and stripping the front brake wires when this problem started happening. It was working fine, until this... can't figure why the wires would be swapped now.

    terrylee: the wires are currently cut and are not making contact with each other. Is there somewhere else I should be checking?

    Steve: I'll check the wiring here. Thanks for the specifics (color)! Should it be though that the brake light is off and the tail light is on in this scenario and not both like what I am seeing?

    tkent02: I don't... and that's what I'm afraid of. Might need to take in somewhere to have them take a look at the thing. The wiring system is not something I really want to mess with... it's kind of rat's nest...

  7. #7
    barnbiketom Guest


    hmm.. i see now you had them both unhooked...oops sorry.. if you have the front and back brake switches UNHOOKED from the harness, it wouldn't matter if the solder job is faulty or not. they are unhooked and not even in the circuit now.

    look at the bulb itself and make sure the filaments aren't bad/touching/broken inside the bulb. then take it out and make sure it's in correctly.. I've seen bulbs put in 180 degrees out, even when they have the bayonet pegs that supposedly index them only one way.

    it seems a coincidence that this has occurred since your front brake problem?

    also make sure the unhooked wires aren't touching anything of course.

  8. #8
    natejelovich Guest


    Thanks barnbiketom!

    I have no idea where to even start... I took a few pictures just to show what I'm looking at...

    Disconnected (cut) front brake wires

    Front brake connector

    Rear brake connector

    Brake light and tail light on though both front and back are disconnected

    Kind of dark, sorry... running out of battery.

  9. #9
    cowboyup3371's Avatar
    cowboyup3371 is offline Forum LongTimer Past Site Supporter
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    Apr 2010
    In Ohio Now


    Unwrap your harness and make sure you don't have any bare wires touching someplace else. Your taillight and the main brake light wire runs through the harness from front to back. The rear just plugs into it.

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  10. #10
    terrylee Guest


    Large bulb has only one filament lit, which should be tailight, other filament should light up with brakes. Smaller bulb is for lic. plate. terrylee

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