A close-up of a motorcycle's left handlebar with a focus on the circular turn signal light that has no illumination.

5 Common Issues You May Encounter Installing Turn Signals

Turn signal lights are a vital part of any motorcycle. However, upon installation, you may encounter certain issues and need the right knowledge to fix them.

Upgrading or installing new turn signals on a Harley or motorcycle is an adventure. This project is an opportunity to get hands-on with your ride. However, as with any great adventure, you may sometimes hit a few bumps. Here are some common issues you may encounter while installing turn signals and how to confidently overcome them.

1. Compatibility Issues

The excitement of finding the perfect set of turn signals quickly dims if they’re incompatible with your motorcycle model. Before you make a purchase, double-check the specifications. Manufacturers list the models and years compatible with their products to ensure customers know what lights to buy. If you have doubts, customer service is your best friend. Don’t hesitate to ask for clarification.

2. Wiring Issues

Wiring is tricky, especially for those new to DIY projects. A common issue is discovering that the wire colors on your new motorcycle turn signals don’t match your bike’s wiring system. Avoid relying solely on colors. Instead, understand the function of each wire.

A good rule of thumb is to consult your motorcycle’s service manual for a wiring diagram. This booklet will guide you through the process and help you make the right connections.

3. Blinking Issues

After installing your new turn signals, you may find they blink too fast or too slow. This issue is often due to a mismatch in the electrical load between your motorcycle’s original signals and the new LED ones.

The simplest solution is to install a load equalizer or upgrade the flasher unit to one compatible with LED lights. This small addition will ensure your turn signals blink at the right tempo, keeping you safe and compliant on the road.

4. Fitting Issues

Sometimes the turn signals you’ve set your heart on don’t fit as seamlessly as you’d hoped. Whether it’s a difference in mounting hole size or the stem length, these physical mismatches are discouraging.

However, these issues are easy to resolve with creativity and the right tools. Adapter plates or universal mounting brackets provide the flexibility you need. Otherwise, adjust the turn signal spacer until your lights have the right fit.

5. Legal-Requirement Issues

Considering the legal requirements for turn signals in your area is crucial. Regulations regarding size, color, and blinking rate can vary significantly.

The last thing you want is to complete your installation only to find your new turn signals don’t meet legal standards. A quick check of local laws or a call to your local DMV will save you time and potential headaches.

You may encounter these issues during your turn signal installation, and they may feel like roadblocks, but they’re just part of the journey. With the right knowledge and a confident, problem-solving attitude, you’ll be able to navigate these challenges. From there, you can achieve a satisfying result that enhances your motorcycle’s safety and style.

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