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How To Aim a Headlight
Q: How to aim a headlight?
A: When aiming a headlight, we use a "rule of thumb"
The bike or car (referred to here after as the "vehicle")
should be laden: the gas tank should be 3/4 full, all
tires be properly inflated and a motorcycle should
have a rider on it. When aiming the headights, the
lens should be 10 feet from a vertical wall, 20 feet
1. Measure the distance from the ground and the center
of the headlamp (lamp height).
2. Using chalk or pencil, mark the vertical wall with a
horizontal line indicating the lamp height. Then draw
a parallel line 1" below the first line called the 1" line
and a parellel line 2" below the first line called the 2"
line (more on that later)
3. Start with the vehicle as far from the wall as possible,
make sure it is perpendicular to the wall, and then
slowly pull up to it. This will set your front and rear
wheels tracking straight towards the wall.
4. Notice where the "hot spot" is (the brightest part of
the light), draw a vertical line on the wall that is in
the center of the hot spot.
5. Back the vehicle away from the wall, watching the
wall (not the light) keeping the vehicle perpendicular
to the wall. Stop with the lens at the 10' mark or the
6. You may notice the hot spot diverging from it's
center. If it is then the light is out of adjustment.
7. If you are 10' from the wall, adjust the headlight so
that the hot spot is centered on the vertical line and
on the 1" line. If you are 20' from the wall, adjust
the headlight so that the hot spot is on the vertical
line and on the 2" line.
8. For vehicles that have independent headlight
housings (not mounted in a fender or cowel type
nacelle). Loosen the mounting nuts or bolts just
enough so that the headlight stays in place and
can be moved by hand. Rotate headlight until the
hot spot is centered in accordancewith paragraph
#7 then tighten the mounting nuts or bolts.
9. For vehicles that have fixed headlight housings
with gimbled mounting rings, adjust the aiming
screws that are visable from the front of the lamp.
You should not have to remove the trim ring (beauty
ring). One screw will adjust the light up and down
and the other will adjust the light left and right.