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Thread: Buell XB lightning SCG 2009 taillight not working

  1. #1
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    Buell XB lightning SCG 2009 taillight not working

    After getting my bike color wrapped I noticed my tail light was out. Checked the fuse for the taillight and horn and it is good. Checked the bulb for the taillight and it appears to be intact. Horn does not work either. Tried getting a hold of the guy that wrapped the bike to see if he unplugged something (I donít think it is likely) but have not been able to contact him. Iím thinking there must be a relay or something that has gone bad.
    Any Ideas? Should be something simple Iím thinking 🤔

  2. #2
    Senior Member Cooter's Avatar
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    Since the bulb "appears to be intact", never ever replace it. Never! I know, I know, a 1157 bulb has been in vehicles since my gramma was alive (miss you Stubby McWheezleteets), and only $1, and available everywhere, so it's tempting to just replace it without asking the internet for approval, but if you put in a new one, it may allow an electrical path right back to the battery causing it to get super hot and it will glow so bright you can see it for a very long ways away easily, every time you turn the bike on! Be careful!

    As for the horn, the color wrap makes the grounds into a faraday cage and the horn never gets the flow of electrons conversely through the bispherical modulator! Better not push that button anymore, its really creating a boundup pathway for the lightning wires which will get stored in the cells. Cells. Interlinked. The blood black causes nothing to spin and the horn to blow. Furthermore, the pheonixicial flow from the horn button will short to the one stem connection from the horn because of the color wrap. Definitely do NOT look at it to see if the wire is connected, and near EVER put a test light on it and push the button. You may actually find out why and the mystery will forever be broken. Leaving only distain that the reality is far from the intriguing mystery by the lack of effort unmatched in it's emptiness.

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    You have a lot of time on your hands to put such effort into pure dribble. I don’t have as much expendable time as you so I though I would ask on this forum and possibly someone had experienced this issue before and could save me the hassle of trying to diagnose this. But I was wrong and got your worthless advice instead.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Barrett's Avatar
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    Sir: All XB series are wired so that the horn...brake light....tail light....share the same circuitry. Since, by your own account, the bike has recently been fiddled with, check all your ground circuits and attachment points first. Then, with a small dedicated 12V battery in hand, do the following:
    1-remove wiring plug from horn...ground one contact...apply 12V to the other contact and see if it sounds. If so, continue.
    2-remove tail light bulb and place shell of same onto negative battery post. Now apply 12V to one contact and see if it lights. Then do same to other contact. If both light, bulb is good. Clean socket and reinstall. #1157 and I just trash old ones and replace with new.
    3-Main circuit feed plug located in bottom facing cluster of headlight housing area. It is the main wiring feed for several accessories including horn/brake/tail light circuits. Rectangular shaped containing 6 wires...2 of which are lavender/light purple color. Split it apart....inspect...clean...spray Kano Kroil or electrical cleaner/lube onto both ends and reassemble then check if all now circuits now working. Also give it a wiggle test to see if that affects any circuits.

    Good luck.

  5. #5
    Senior Member 34nineteen's Avatar
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    Did you test for VOLTAGE at the taillight socket?
    Did you test for VOLTAGE at the fuse ? An intact fuse means nothing if there is no current going across it.
    Which fuse did you test? You're probably testing the wrong one.

    I would highly recommend downloading a free copy of the service book from buellmods.com. The wiring diagram speaks volumes to what your path of testing should be.

    What is it with people refusing to use a free resource that almost always has the answer?

  6. #6
    Senior Member Cooter's Avatar
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    Pure dribble you say?! How DARE you!

    I always dilute my dribble with facetiousness AND snark!

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    Barrett and 34nineteen thanks for the advice, I now have a direction to go in now, I was hoping it was going to be something super easy and common, but that is not always the case. Cooter, sorry I was short with you-but these forums are not as helpful as I remember them 10 years ago-there are a lot of people that send replies that have nothing to do with the subject at hand and are meant only to frustrate the people that post questions and topics, that’s how I took your reply.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Cooter's Avatar
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    You know whats frustrating? Someone who can't replace a thing that's literally been on every road vehicle produced for the last century. "Super easy and common"? Yes. You could say that.

    You took the snark in stride, so I edited and pulled the knives out of this one

    Heres what you do:
    Taillight first.
    Replace the 1157 bulb. Just do it. 2 phillips screws on either side of the red lens in the back (righty tighty, lefty loosey). Those screws hold the whole thing in so support the silver housing while removing the red lens. Now gently grasp and push the bulb while rotating to the left about 45*. Now LOOK at the hole it came from. Is is gross? Clean it anyway. For gods sake don't get fancy and shove dielectric grease in it unless you clean it properly, FIRST. And splurge to get a nice bulb. The get old and dim before they even die, and they take a beating on a motorcycle. Even better, treat your girl right and get a LED unit. Late model OE ones are awesome and super bright LEDS sells nice ones too (its your life) and won't ever burn out. As usual, avoid junk.

    If that doesn't fix it,
    Take off the seat, theres a key lock under the left side bottom by the left rear turn signal. insert the key and turn slightly left. You should hear a click. Now you can remove the seat by lifting the rear a little and sliding the whole thing back.
    Next, turn the ignition key on so the lights turn on, no need to start it.
    Wiggle all three wires going into the back of the taillight (its a new one and re-assembled right?). Pull off the wires and re-install them (one at a time). They just pull off, no other clips. Sometimes they get corroded and wiggling them cleans the contacts.

    If that doesn't fix it,
    Get a test light.
    Use this:
    Screen Shot 2021-11-19 at 12.21.06 PM.png
    You're welcome. The DVOM is free but I don't want to explain how to use one.

    Put the clip of the test light on the battery. It's the biggest cube thing in the middle, under the seat, with 2 big wires on it, right in front of the black box with all the pretty colored wires coming out the top. It might even say "battery" on it.
    Put the clip of the test light on the side that has the (-) sign.
    Touch the pointy end of the test light to the side with the (+) on it and it should light up. If it doesn't, stop there and go get a beer.
    If it does light up (and with the ignition still on), touch the same pointy end to the METAL part at the end of each of the wires that go into the back of the taillight housing (just behind the seat latch).
    These are the same 3 wires you wiggled just a little. 2 in the end, one park light (Orange/white wire) and one brake light (red/yellow wire), and one on the side (ground)
    The test light should should turn on, on one of them only (orange/white). If it doesn't, open the fuse box top (the black box behind the big battery cube thing, and the box with the pretty wires, and in front of the seat latch, and goto (2).
    If it does turn on on one of the wires ends (orange/white), switch the test light clip to the (+) side of the battery and put the pointy end on the metal cylinder the bulb sits in, not the plastic housing.
    If it lights up there too. the circuit is OK. Turn the key OFF. Remove the light bulb and clean the socket and connections inside and out with a contact cleaner and emory cloth, then add a little dielectric grease, reinstall the light bulb and test.
    If it doesn't light up when you touch the metal cylinder, you have a missing ground to the taillight. That little black wire on the side needs to be grounded to the frame.
    (2)
    With the ignition still on, use the test light to touch the little metal pins on the tops of every fuse one at a time. If you find one that lights on one side and not the other side, replace that fuse. There should be spares in the box. Don't get confused if one doesn't light at all or one looks weird with the |> sign on the top, (and don't turn that one around).

    Now the horn.
    Quick check: Does the brake light work? Its powered by the same circuit the horn is.
    Take the 4 allens out of the windscreen, they turn anti-clockwise (lefty-loose, right-tight). The horn is the big disk thing on the gold bracket, not the black cube, thats the turn signal relay.
    With the ignition still on and the test light clip on the battery (-), put the pointy end of the test light on the yellow/black wire thats going to the horn.
    Press the horn button hard and wiggle the button with your thumb a little bit.
    That yellow/black wire should make the test light light up, Yes? move on. NO? See (3)
    Next put the test light clip on the battery (+) and put the pointy end on the horn bracket and the nut that hold the bracket to the horn, it should light up even without pressing the button. Test the other (Black) wire as well.
    If the Yellow/black wire lights up with the switch pressed and you have a good ground, then the horn is bad.

    (3) The connector to the horn switch is also behind the screen. It its the biggest (8 pin) connector with the yellow/black and orange wires in it. The orange should light up with the ignition on, and the yellow/black should light up when you press the switch. No orange light? thats the power supply that supplies the brake light as well. No yellow/black light (when you hold the horn switch) then the switch in the handlebar control is bad.

    It should be faster to do all that, than it took me to write it all out. So much for my expendable time

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zR9YzCBX0mY
    Last edited by Cooter; 11-19-2021 at 09:13 PM.

  9. #9
    Senior Member 34nineteen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by froggman180 View Post
    these forums are not as helpful as I remember them 10 years ago
    Thats because most people blaze on to the forum with a problem, where it is obvious they did little to no research or even dare to look in the service manual, give us little to no information of troubleshooting, or are vague and unclear about the details of what they have diagnosed, then demand everyone drop what they're doing (and basically, we need to look through a service book to figure out their problem) to find their solution.

    Then they either blast us for giving the wrong solution, or just disappear until they have another problem.

    For example, EXACTLY which fuse did you test? You said it was the FUSE that was for the TAIL LIGHT and HORN, but there is a fuse for the BRAKE LIGHT and HORN. I'm going to GUESS it was the BRAKE/HORN fuse due to your vague description of what was done. But the TAIL LIGHT is on the ACC circuit.

    How do I know this? I looked in the service book I downloaded for FREE on buellmods.com.

    Now, if you are claiming its actually the BRAKE LIGHT and HORN are the ones not functioning, then thats another story, and I just wasted a bunch of time looking through a wiring diagram due to a lack of accurate and correct information.

    Also, no mention of whether the horn was plugged in or not. Maybe you have 2 problems. Being that you said the bike was "color wrapped", it leads me to ASSUME that the installer removed the front flyscreen, and the horn connectors are less than 1" from the flyscreen. Since you didnt mention removing the flyscreen (4 bolts) and verifying the wire wasnt knocked loose by the installer, I will ASSUME you didnt bother. And if thats the issue with the horn, spending time chasing through a wiring diagram to help you is a waste of our time.

    1.JPG 2.JPG
    Last edited by 34nineteen; 11-19-2021 at 08:33 PM.

  10. #10
    Senior Member 34nineteen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cooter View Post

    It should be faster to do all that, than it took me to write it all out. So much for expendable time
    Thats the point.



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