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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey Gang,

I have a 2008 Sprint ST that I keep losing headlights. I'd purchased the bike New & picked up it on Wed. Nov. 26th, 2008. Since then, I have gone through 3 set's of Headlights. I do not lose the High beam, only the two outside Driving Lights. I've only put 17.5K Miles on it since taking it off of the showroom floor. I have not added any Electrical items to the bike.

I have called my dealer to see if this would be covered under Triumphs 2 Year Unlimited Mileage Warranty. Their response was they would have to check with Triumph to see.

I had a 2006 Sprint ST that I rode for 2.5 years/ 36K Miles that I did not have these issues with... This should not be happening on the new bike...

So for all of the Electrical Guru's out there... Any idea what might be causing this?

In addition to responding to this thread, if you would be so kind, please also send an email to [email protected].

Thanks Everyone!
 

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Well, as evidenced by some of the smoke in my garage, I'm not an electrical guru.

But I'm going to guess, based on the number of failures, and since it is both dips, you have a short in the system that is allowing enough current to burn out the bulbs but not the fuse.

I'm guessing everybody knows not to touch the bulb glass with bare hands?

Now that I've stuck my neck out, maybe one of the real sparky types will join in :D
 

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I don't know what the qualifications are for R.S.T. status but I have a couple guesses:
The low beams would fail most often in all scenarios as they are always operating.

1) Loose hardware somewhere in the front fairing mount or headlight assy mount causing the hot filaments to see higher shock loads than expected.
Cheap and easy to check.

2) A defective R/R.
The most likely fault would be an internal small signal intermittent in the voltage sense or shunt drive circuitry. This isn't unheard of in potted surface mount circuits. The potting compound expands as temperature increases and tries with varying degrees of success to lift components and fracture solder joints. Most on board electronics are designed to survive substantial load dump and inductive transients. An incandescent lamp isn't quite as sophisticated and will quickly open.

The intermittent fault in #2 would be difficult to proove. It would most likely happen when hot. A dealer would be unlikely to swap in another R/R to see if your lamps last longer than 5000 miles.

3) Loose or intermittent connection in the following locations:
Ground lug on top of transmission.
Ground lug at battery.
Positive lug at battery.
Positive battery connection to starter solenoid.
Flakey 30Amp fuse at solenoid.
Poorly seated 4 pin connector at solenoid.

The reasoning here is that the R/R sources current not voltage when out of shunt mode. The battery stabilizes the system voltage through the current path described above in #3. Any open or intermittent in the above path will result in high transient voltages. The duration would be the response time of the regulator. The response should be short enough to prevent filament damage but it's cheap and easy stuff to check.

Then again...
You aren't touching the replacement lamps with your fingers are you?
Don't buy replacements in anything other than sealed packaging either.
The oil from your fingers will burn and form a dark coating over the glass. The dark coating will absorb visible and IR spectrum and cause the lamp to run hotter. The higher temperatures will shorten lamp life. I would guess life divides by 2 for every 10~12C increase like most everything else on Earth.
 

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One other point to check:

Are you using replacement bulbs that are of the "super bright" or "ultra white" variety? The type that are coated with a white-to-bluish coating for supposedly better night vision? From what I've read, these type of bulbs pull a somewhat higher wattage in order to get the "better visibility" part of their marketing claim. Apparently the coating on the bulb that gives it the whiter or bluish color also blocks light, and in order to compensate, the bulbs are need to pull a somewhat higher draw just to get to same light output as a non-coated bulb. And then to cast more light output, an even higher draw. And this higher draw can create problems like very short bulb life.

My experience with my cage with these kind of bulbs: the same as what you describe. About 3 years ago, I was doing a lot of night driving in areas known to have wildlife (pretty much all of BC & Alberta!), and I would have killed for 10 more metres of visibility. So I tried these kind of bulbs. After 2 weeks, one went dead. Replaced it with same. 2 weeks later, other headlight went dead. Replaced with same. A week later, an LEO pulled me over ("Honest officer, I wasn't speeding"; "I know.") and wrote me a fix-it ticket for - you guessed it - a dead headlight. So I figured I had a short or surge problem in my electricals and went over just about every wire on the car to no avail. Eventually guessed that my change in bulbs just might have had something to do with it, and went back to the garden-variety $3.99-a-pair type. 3 years later, that pair of bulbs is still working just fine.

You didn't mention if you were using these type of bulbs, but if you are, try the regular kind (I'm guessing you're going to need to buy new ones pretty soon anyways) and see how long they last. Much cheaper and easier diagnostic than replacing the R/R : -)

Of course, if you're using standard bulbs and having these problems - good luck!
 

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Sounds like an intermittent earth.
Do your lights ever seem to flicker?
An intermittent conection may be switching the lights off and on continually (faster than you can see) but it will stress the element with a corresponding reduction in bulb life.
 

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I have called my dealer to see if this would be covered under Triumphs 2 Year Unlimited Mileage Warranty. Their response was they would have to check with Triumph to see.

EH!
Bollocks to asking if its covered, of course it is. Stamp your feet and insist on a warranty fix. If your inside the 2yr period then its warranty valid. Dont f**k about trying to fix it yourself, theres obviously an underlying issue if you've gone through several headlamp units. Why on earth would that not be a valid warrant claim? Assert your rights.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for all of the responses...

No, I do not touch any of the glass when replacing the bulb...

Yes, I do use SilverStar Bulbs... I used the same bulbs in my 06 Sprint for 30K+ miles without losing one...

Yes, the Bulbs are in a Sealed Package...

I have spoken with my Dealer. Triumph sent them a list of items to check, which All would be covered by the warranty including the Labor. I've scheduled an appointment to drop the bike of to have it checked out as well as having the 18K Maintenance done.

A fellow rider that also has on 08' Sprint had a Regulator issue with his bike. It took a week for the part to arrive... I really hope that I am not without my bike for a week... I may go Crazy suffering through Withdraws... :rolleyes:

I will post up the details of what the issue turns out to be...
 
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