Reusing Old Motorcycle Sealed Headlights

Introduction: Reusing Old Motorcycle Sealed Headlights

I just bought a 78 Kawasaki KZ200 for 500 bux.   I thought it was a great deal for it's condition and most importantly, it runs pretty well after one kick.   I'm replacing minor things on it pretty quickly, most of the parts can be found on ebay.  However, one of the main items that I've had a hard time finding is the 5.75 inch headlight.   Apparently, it's somewhat of an oddball in the motorcycle headlamp world.   After looking for a while, i finally gave up and decided to just make my own.  In this instructable I'll show you how to make a new sealed beam for your 1960s-1980s motorcycle.  I would not recommend this for those of you who have the standard 7inch beams.....go and buy one for 6-10 bux and save your time unless you like making stuff like i do.

This project should only take 20 minutes with the right tools. (plus waiting for the jb weld to dry)

What You'll need:

1. Your original, burnt out sealed beam headlight with METAL back. (glass wont work with this method)
2. A new 12v halogen bulb made for a scooter (mine was a 35 watt) (check out the picture here so you can see the metal ring on this model)
3. an angle grinder with a thin cutoff wheel or a dremel with a cuttoff wheel
4. JB weld
5. original wires
6.soldering iron

12v dc power supply or dc wall wart to test
Shopvac to suck out the old bits and particles of glass

Lets get to work.

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Step 1: Removing the Old Bulb

youre going to want the old bulb out of there so you can put the new one in.  This was really really easy with my angle grinder, just cut it out from the side until you can see inside the enclosure. (if that makes sense)   Just be sure not to cut too far into the metal enclosure itself.   

When you get the back of the bulb cut out, take a screwdriver and break the glass inside then empty the glass in a  trash can.  You might want to suck the rest out with a shopvac like i did.

I then used a dremel to grind down the metal around the lamp area so the JB weld will stick to it.

I dont have pictures of this step, only the results.

Step 2: Putting in the New Bulb

I got the new bulb at a local scooter shop but if you dont have one nearby you can just order one online.

Ive never ordered anything from this company but this is the bulb you need:

Take note of the metal ring near the base on this specific model.   This is important because it will hold the lamp in the enclosure hole.  Unless you want to hold the new lamp in place while you JB weld it, you really need this model of lamp or a similar one.

Now, you have your bulb.

Mix equal parts of JB weld (steel + hardener) on a flat mixing surface.  I used a popsicle-sized piece of plexiglass to mix it together but you can use whatever you have.   Mix enough to cover the whole bulb.  A little bit more is better than a little less.

Put the new bulb into the old enclosure and get it to where it needs to be, there might be a little room to play with but the new lamp should fit fine.   Now take the JB weld you just made and put it over the lamp ring and onto the enclosure.    Distribute it evenly over and make sure there arent any cracks showing, we want the lamp to be sealed by the JB weld. (so moisture can't get in)

Step 3: Almost Done

Wait for the JB weld to dry, i usually let it sit for a day or two before touching it.  Make sure it's rock solid before continuing or the bulb might fall out of place.


If you have a 12v power supply around you can test the new light out or just solder it on to the motorcycle.

Solder the original wires from the motorcycle onto the new bulb.   the outer metal on the bulb is negative, and one of the metal "dots" on the tip is a positive.

My motorcycle came with 3 headlamp leads (wires) but  only two of them are needed.  You might need to figure out which are which before you solder.

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    5 Discussions


    7 years ago on Introduction

    why not ease removal with a solution to the style is not a glue bottle bouchonde the lighthouse
    and drilled in the center of the cap to be placed in the ampe scooter finally (depent this course if it makes contact or not ^ ^ ^ ^ finally I guess)


    10 years ago on Introduction

    What do you do when that bulb fails - angle-grind it?



    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    yeah, just cut it out and replace it again for $8 (new scooter bulb). I did this on a scooter years ago and the bulb is still going strong.

    This project takes 20 minutes max.


    10 years ago on Introduction

    depending on where you are the junk yard is a goldmine for parts,I restore bikes usually 2 or 3 a year. There are also several parts houses that sell aftermarket stuff online.Your light may last for years or it may die tomorrow,as Lemonie pointed out what then?


    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    I found a light on ebay a few weeks ago but i dont think it had the screw in tabs that my original bike lamp came with.   It could have worked i guess.

    Theres a small salvage yard around here but incidentally they didnt have the right size...they had one similar but it was 6v. :(

    I used this method when replacing a scooter bulb a few years ago without any still hasnt burnt out.

    And yes, this project took maybe 20 minutes tops, so just cut the old one out and do it again if it burns out...  no big deal...