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Discussion Starter #1
I got confused when I switched the high beam on my 2018 Ninja 650: it looks like only the left side is on, and the right side high beam is off. When I stop with the engine running, sometimes, only sometimes, I have seen both sides with high beam on. I really got confused. Is it by design? And if there is a way to switch both side on at the same time? The manual does not mention this at all.
 

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To my knowledge both lights should come on. I have a 2012 but I've seen many bikes that will turn both lights on when you hit the high beam.

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I have a 2017 and when my high beam is on both lights are on. Their could be a short, or their could actually be something wrong with the bulb. I would unscrew the dust covers of both bulbs and then start the bike. play with the switch for a bit that turns on the high beam by turning it on and off. Then I would gently play with the connector to the bulbs. Maybe one of them is loose. I noticed when I changed my bulbs that they are not on super tight on the bulbs metal contacts.

You could also have a bulb that is slightly out of spec or on the small size of the tolerance they allowed. And a connector plug that is on the loose side. Simply putting a new bulb in could solve the problem if that's the case.

Their aren't any sensors that change for daytime running lights or brightness settings or anything, so they should always work the same way.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
thanks for the replies.

I checked closely and realized that both bulbs are switched on, and when you check in front of the bike, they seems to be equally bright enough to blind you if you look into in the right direction. However, far away from the bike (e.g., 10 ft away), you can tell the left side is brighter than the right side: this is exactly what I see when they are reflected from the front cars in traffic!

I wen to Kawa dealership and the guy said it was normal for sport motorcycles to have one side brighter than the other. He could not explain what's the purpose of this design and I really don't know if this is the case.

Any ideas?
 

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Ah yes, that is correct. If you're in the US, the right side light will be dipped or aimed lower. That's so it doesn't blind oncoming traffic, but it's up high enough to illuminate the road and street signs that are mostly on the right side.

The left side (or your high beam) will be aimed up higher for when other cars are not arrive and you won't be blinding anyone.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Interesting. I'm in US and my right-hand side beam is brighter. I guess it should make more sense to have the right side aim higher ("brighter") as the road signs are on the right side and the upcoming traffic is on the left side.

Ah yes, that is correct. If you're in the US, the right side light will be dipped or aimed lower. That's so it doesn't blind oncoming traffic, but it's up high enough to illuminate the road and street signs that are mostly on the right side.

The left side (or your high beam) will be aimed up higher for when other cars are not arrive and you won't be blinding anyone.
 

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Ah yes, that is correct. If you're in the US, the right side light will be dipped or aimed lower. That's so it doesn't blind oncoming traffic, but it's up high enough to illuminate the road and street signs that are mostly on the right side.

The left side (or your high beam) will be aimed up higher for when other cars are not arrive and you won't be blinding anyone.

Thanks! This is the first time I heard about this. I was thinking about this too for quite a long time.
 

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thanks for the replies.

I checked closely and realized that both bulbs are switched on, and when you check in front of the bike, they seems to be equally bright enough to blind you if you look into in the right direction. However, far away from the bike (e.g., 10 ft away), you can tell the left side is brighter than the right side: this is exactly what I see when they are reflected from the front cars in traffic!

I wen to Kawa dealership and the guy said it was normal for sport motorcycles to have one side brighter than the other. He could not explain what's the purpose of this design and I really don't know if this is the case.

Any ideas?
The 'brighter' side is your high beam. Although both bulbs are the same wattage the reflector design in the high beam side is designed to cast light further and in a more concentrated beam.
 

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Ah yes, that is correct. If you're in the US, the right side light will be dipped or aimed lower. That's so it doesn't blind oncoming traffic, but it's up high enough to illuminate the road and street signs that are mostly on the right side.

The left side (or your high beam) will be aimed up higher for when other cars are not arrive and you won't be blinding anyone.
I think it's the other way around, no?

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I'm getting confused about which side is left and right when you say you are sitting on the bike as well as when you are looking at it.

The brighter side could be a few reasons. If that is the high only beam side it would be the bulb has fewer hours on it, that it's a higher wattage output, different color temperature (giving a perceived difference) or as others have said the reflector and aim are different.

If it's the low/high beam it could be that both the low and high beam elements in the light are on in the high beam state, the bulb newer, different color temp etc.

I've never been a fan of bike with 2 headlights with one low beam and 2 high beams. If the altenator supports the high wattage draw of 2 high beams then put 2 low beams in as well!
 
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