|Safety problem: Headlight failure
Model affected: 1997 Moto Guzzi Sport 1100i. 47,000 miles. Lots of bad weather exposure. This may (probably) apply to other Guzzi's as
Symptom: Intermittent or complete failure of either low or high beam or both, not related to headlight switch failure or headlight bulb
Cause: Corrosion/deterioration of connector contacts.
Failure point: Four contact connector on right side of fairing mount that connects to headlight bulb. Wiring harness colors are: black,
gray/green, yellow and brown. The headlight side (USA version) has - black, gray/green, (no yellow) and white, Euro version has the yellow
Problem identification: Separate the connector and visually confirm that the connector contacts have corrosion. A bad connector will have
visual corrosion on one or more of the contacts or the contacts that are partially melted. This may happen if you have a 100 watt
headlight bulb. This is a lightweight connector with mediocre weather sealing properties. Note the small electrical contacts. Think of
darkness at bad moments when riding at night. Think harder about replacing this little piece of garbage...
Solution: Replace connector.
Parts needed: A suitable replacement would be any three (four for non-USA versions) contact weatherproof connector including OEM parts.
A better replacement would be a connector of the same format with heavier contacts and better weather performance. I used a Weatherpack
M/FM three wire, 14 AWG complete connector part number# 2867F from JT&T Products of San Jose, CA., 1-800-633-3655. This connector has
the same type of mount as the original and looks a lot like the original but has much heavier duty contacts and better weather
Action: This connector set (it has both halves) comes with wires already attached. You will need heat shrink, solder, a soldering
iron, wire strippers and a heat gun (your wife's hair dryer will do - just don't get caught) to attach it. If you're uncomfortable with
ripping into wiring, have someone do it that you have confidence in. Cut off the old connector halves from the wiring harness and
headlight harness and wire by wire, solder the leads from the connector to the appropriate wires from the wiring harness and the
headlight harness. DO NOT use the A, B, C markings on the connector to determine hook ups, they may not match side to side (and do not
ask me how I know, because I've already used up my daily quota of expletives). Visually match the wires by colors and make sure they
match up. Be sure to slip the heat shrink on the wires before you solder (otherwise, have a handy store of expletives, you will be
using them). Electrical tape can be substituted for heat shrink, but it is a poor substitute.
Test your work. Turn on the ignition and cycle the headlight from low to high and back. If done incorrectly, you will need a new 15A fuse
and a few more expletives. If you run out of expletives suitable to the occasion, you can utter little phrases like "Damn, damn, coal
burning ding-ding" or "Ten thousand thundering little tin gods". These phrases lack the sheer power of everyday curses, but they can
be uttered in a most convincing manner with a little practice.
Optional solution: You could probably do away with this connector entirely and just connect the headlight connector harness directly to
the bike wiring. Your choice.
Note: I have never used a high wattage headlight bulb, only high wattage expletives.
97 MG Sport 1100i "Bright Red Italian Bugswatter"
97 MG California 1100i