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Got my first bike (used). Its a 2003 VLX600. Is it normal for the headlight and tail light to dim when the motor is just idling?

It seems like a lot to me compared to a car but I'm not used to bikes yet. I can easily see a difference looking at the ground behind me at night. When I rev the motor, the ground lights up brighter from the tail light (and the same goes for my headlight).

No problems starting so the batter seems good (I also believe its pretty new).

Thanks!
 

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The charging systems on these bikes are pretty weak, especially at idle. But there should be enough voltage in the battery to run the lights at full power for short durations. It sounds like the battery is weak to me. Might think about getting a new battery, or at least hooking your old one up to a good charger for a while to make sure it's fully charged. If the lights still dim at idle, your charging system may be failing.
 

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Typical fer mine ~ lights dim at Idle...Like at a stop sign out in the country ~ I can see the difference when I rev to take off from a stopped position...
When you rev to take off from a stop it should brighten up...
My book says "Do NOT Idle fer long periods" as the charging system isn`t at full capicity when Idling...
Keep monitoring it though...
Dennis
Sturgis2011
 

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Very normal for my vlx and most bikes I have had. The charging system on bikes typically dont charge till like 2000 rpm. I would check the 3 yellow wires and as long as you start easily don't fret too much.
 

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Can't say for sure about the tail light cause I never noticed it but my head light used to dim like that till I changed the bulb to a silver star bulb. Now the head light is much brighter and stays the same at idle and revved up.
 

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pay attention when in your car as well. It will do the same thing. The battery produces less voltage static than the charging system. More voltage = brighter lights. At idle the battery is either maintaining or discharging. Above idle the charging system provides MORE voltage >14.5 in some cases. So the bulbs will brighten up a bit.
Generally speaking a Cell in a battery will produce about 2.2 volts. Times that by 6 cells and you get 13.2 volts. Now we almost never see that on a static battery so we call it 12volts. The charging system produces around 14.5 volts That extra 2 volts gives you the brighter light.
 
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