How to replace motorcycle brake light switches

Your motorcycle's brake lights are all that separate you from the car following behind you. When your lights come on, it signals the driver that you are slowing down or stopping. If those lights fail to come on, it could spell trouble. Replacing the brake light switches on most motorcycles is a fairly easy matter, requiring a few small hand tools and a little bit of time.

Turn the motorcycle's ignition OFF.

Locate the switch. On most motorcycles, it is located under the front brake master cylinder and is attached to the brake lever pivot by two screws. The switch is usually connected to a pair of wires.

Unscrew the mounting screws.

Remove the switch and gently detach the wires from the switch.

Install the wires on the new brake light switch.

Re-install the switch by screwing the mounting screws into place.

Turn the bike on and pull in the front brake lever. The brake light should be on. If the light doesn't work, check the bulb or consult a qualified technician.

Turn the motorcycle's ignition OFF.

Locate the switch. On most motorcycles, it is attached to the brake pedal by a return spring. The switch is usually held in place on a bracket by a locking clip or circlip.

Remove the spring and locking clip from the switch with a pair of pliers.

Disconnect the switch wiring and remove the switch.

Slide the new switch into place and connect the wiring.

Replace the locking clip and the spring.

Turn the bike on and push the brake pedal. The brake light should be on.

Adjust adjust how far the pedal must travel before activating the switch by turning the locknut on the brake switch.


Take your time. Rushing creates more problems. Invest in a factory service manual for your bike to help you with troubleshooting and component replacement information. If you cannot obtain a manual, basic parts diagrams can be found online. If you do not feel confident that you can complete this project, have the work done by a qualified technician.

Things You'll Need

  • Brake light switch
  • Screw driver, Phillips head
  • Allen keys
  • Pliers
  • Service Manual (if available)
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About the Author

An avid motorcyclist, Chris Gilliland has immersed himself into the two-wheeled world while balancing work life and raising three daughters. When he is not managing the parts department of a local, multi-line motorcycle dealership, Gilliland can often be found riding, writing or working on his motorcycle blog, Wingman's Garage.