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How to check and change your motorbike’s headlight bulbs

motorbike headlight bulb

Rob Keenan is the interim digital editor of
He runs a BMW 2 Series

Haynes explains… headlight bulbs

Your motorcycle's headlight bulbs are critical for your safety as a rider. They allow you to be seen by other road users in the day and let you ride safely at night, illuminating the road surface and obstacles as far ahead as possible.

The latest models tend to have LED bulbs fitted but the majority of motorbikes use halogen bulbs, which only last so long. It's good practice to carry a spare set of bulbs on the bike at all times. After all, you may not have the luxury of another bulb to rely on, so you wouldn't want to be stranded somewhere after dark. Additionally, many EU countries stipulate that you must carry spare bulbs, whatever you're riding or driving, and can be fined if you fail to do so.

Changing a blown bulb is usually a straightforward job you can do yourself, but every bike is different. Some require you to remove the headlight unit before you can access the blown bulb, others give you more straightforward access via the rear of the unit.

This video will give you a better idea of how the job is done, but a Haynes Owners Manual shows you how to carry out the task in a step-by-step manner – find your print or online Manual here.

Learn about your headlight bulbs with this video