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Tail light works. Brake light doesn't...

25421 Views 27 Replies 12 Participants Last post by  buschchris1
I just bought an 86' VT700C and it runs great. However, the brake light doesn't work. I'm sure the brake light switch is just fine, as the indicator on my dash lights up whenever I depress either the front or the back brake. The only issue is that the brake light in the rear does nothing.

I tried switching the bulb expecting that it could be that one of the filaments that is bum, but both filaments were just fine and the brand new bulb worked the same.

I was wondering if anybody might have a suggestion on how to fix this? The only theory I have come up with, is that there is a blown fuse and for some reason this locks the brake light either always on, or always off (the tail light seems unusually bright to me, but I could be wrong)?

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Ok. Seems we are all now in will need to start checking wiring and connections. Taking the front seat off will help, so here how to do this.

1) Take the passenger seat off if you have one. This is done by using the ignition key...and the Helmet Lock on the right side rear under the passenger seat bottom. Insert the key and turn clockwise I believe to release the lock mechanism for the rear can be a bit sticky.

2) Once the rear seat is off, looking straight down the back of the drivers rear seat edge, you should see (2) two flange nuts sticking up in front of the plastic storage compartment..these are 10mm heads...remove them. Now the rear of the seat will lift clear of the bolt ends, then pull rearward and the front portion of the seat will come free of the factory hold down in rear of the fuel tank.

I have attached 2 images below...1 is Helmet Lock/Passenger Seat Release and the other is a pic of where the driver seat slips under the rear section of the fuel tank/frame. Unfortunately, I dont have a good picture of Jezebels seat off and rear fender shown...
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Hands on experience is best ;)
Especially with knowledge of the Bike in question & Pics :D

Good Luck on this issue...

You`re in good hands here...

Merry Christmas,
Ann & Dennis

LLLL, bring it over, the lift is empty :D
After lots of exploring with a voltmeter and exploring every inch of wire even remotely related to the brakes and brake light. Not a single problem with any of it. Naturally, I didn't trust my assessment, so I ended up calling a guy who runs a nomadic repair business (a super helpful and generous man), and after coming up with the same conclusions about the wiring, he discovered that whoever had last replaced the housing for the tail light had installed the light socket in such a way that it caused the brake light to always be on.

I guess sometimes the right answers really are hiding in plain sight! haha

Anyways, he fixed the problem in less than a minute, and was on his way.

P.S. thank you all for your help. You guys really helped me explore my bike in a way that would have been impossible otherwise.
When someone posts a fault on here most of us think that it is because something has gone wrong, we have no chance of finding the fault if it has always been there since installation.. glad you got the fault sorted out and very glad that you got to know your bike a bit better.. Before you do any future work on your bike take clear photographs of everything you undo and label them to show what they are..they will be very helpful when you reassemble your bike..

If both filiments are burning your brake light is always on try adjusting the switch for the rear brake
I know a day late and a dollar short
Ok so 4 years later here comes me. Hope you get this and soon. I was wondering what the fix was. Something about the wiring to the tail light. Was it at the twilight housing or further back along the wiring? I'm having the same issue and I checked the things mentioned. Just stays on. Probably a bad switch but wanted to know what your fix was. Thanks.
Ok well I figured it out so oif anyone reads this despite the age of the Origional post then maybe it helps someone. So I took a 5mph dip and all though nothing serious the rear break pedal got bent in. Everything still worked. Well I replaced it and due to the new pedal haviing a slight difference in its range of motion the rear break light switch and spring were not releases back enough to trip the break light back to normal brightness. There is an adjustment screw on the bottom of the rear break pedal arm that you can tighten and that fixed it. Super easy. I attached picks. Sorry if the orientation is wrong but it should matter. First one is the spring that connects the rewar break pedal to the switch. It pulls as you break. The second is of the adjustment screw that I had to tighten all the way for it to allow enough give to release the switch. A lot like how old car break pedals work. Thank the steel horse gods it was something easy. Cheers.


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