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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Okay, so, I thought I had a problem with running lights and headlights. Sad to say I just discovered I've got no power to any lights. Brake light, turn signals also not lighting. Checked fuses and headlight relay, all good with those, every bulb is good. There's no power at the plug for the headlight. Neither the turn signal indicator and high beam indicator come on. Main red and brown wires inside the headlight housing have power. Scratching my head at this point.


Edit: Squeezing the headlight relay lit the headlight...bad ground at regulator/rectifier, maybe elsewhere?
 

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Check ground continuity, only common item on lights you listed that I see.

 

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everyone puts a volt meter on the wires going to the headlights, with the ground wire of the meter back at the battery or on a shiney part of the engine

and forgets it takes two wires for the bulbs to go on, the +12V and the ground.

If all those lights are out, and the 12V is all there, it has to be the ground not connecting, either the ground wire from the headlight bucket / turn signal assembly, or where it all connects to the frame

take a wire with alligator clips, if you have 12 volts to the headlight try grounding the headlight bucket, or the ground part of the light bulb connection, back to where you had the meter black wire grounded, and see if it comes on.

If the relay ground was not connected then the relay would not close, and there would be no 12V on the output side of it to the headlight, and no 12V at the headlight itself.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks Lesblank for the diagram. Still not finding where ground is having issues.

KCW, the only way I got any 12V was physically squeezing the headlight relay...which has me wondering if the ground coming from the rectifier to the relay may be (one of) the culprit(s)?
I also squeezed the fan relay and caused the fan to kick on for a moment while trying to make sure the relays were working.

From what I was able to see and trace on my bike, it looks like the wiring comes up from the regulator/rectifier, goes through the relays and continues on.
 

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Im not sure where Les got that partial wiring diagram

the yamaha factory service manuals for the Vstar bikes were published as CDs in a PDF format. Most of them have been posted in several places on the internet - if the Vstar 1300 Service Manual is out there, it will be easy to find as a free download. The wiring diagrams are on the last few pages.

squeezing the relay may just be wiggling a corroded pin or connection. If its a plug in relay I'd pull it out, clean off the connection pins and plug it in and out a few times to clean off the mating connections.. if that does not do it, trace the ground wire from the relay to where it connects to the frame and see if that connection is corroded.

Im assuming the bike runs, which means the battery is well grounded to the frame, but check to make sure - if you got hung up trying to see why the lights dont go on, maybe the bike doesnt run anymore either.

Some of these bikes only turn the headlight on after the engine starts, some have the headlight on all the time when the key is on.
 

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Im not sure where Les got that partial wiring diagram
Google Vstar 1300 wire diagram, both side of wire diagram there.

Quick test:
Pull headlight out of socket. It's a three wire connection, high beam, low beam and ground. Start bike, turn high beam on, should have 12 volt to one pin. Turn high beam off, should have 12 volt to other pin. Third pin is ground, do you have continuity? If you report results we can back track. Socket should have this wire configuration.


 

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