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Preventing Headlamp Bulb Breakage

Reader, be forewarned: the notion I'm about to present - a possible cure for 446 headlight bulbs breaking and/or 'blowing out' - may be completely "pie in the sky".

In times gone by, 446 bulbs intalled in my classic 1969 Triumph Bonneveille frequently shattered, broke off from the base, or blew, within a short time. This could happen to a couple of bulbs, one after the other.

Now, Quebec paved roads are notoriously rough. And it's also a fact that classic Triumphs and other British motorbikes occasionally vibrate.

With that in mind, I once dabbed a bit of grease on the contacts of a bulb I was installing to see if it might reduce vibration.

Result? End of losing streak. That greased bulb never broke and it lasted a good long time.

Since then I've always greased my headlight bulb contacts and very few have broken or suffered catastrophic burn-out.

I might be the guy snapping his fingers to keep away the elephants, but if you ever have a problem with headlamp bulbs shattering or blowing-out, try putting a small dab of general purpose grease on the contacts before inserting the bulb into the socket.

Snap..... snap...... snap

headlight bulb

Bardfark Dungwall on Testing the 446 motorcycle headlamp bulb


I see that Bardfark Dungwall, motorcycle mechanic extraordinaire, would like to add a few words concerning testing of the 446 motorcycle headlamp bulb.

Take it away, Bardfark...

Ok. Yeah, right. Many times mates has said to me, "Bardfark," they sez, "Bardfark, how can I tell if my 446 headlight bulb is good or not?"

Well now, I tells 'em... That might seems like a stupid question, but, generally speaking, I just eyeballs 'em". The bulbs, I mean.

Take a squiz at the 446s down under.

You prolly see that the left one could maybe be bad. Now the right one might be good, but you never know, Lucas, eh?. Now that middle one might have been on the workbench when I was spray paintin' the cracks in my helmet's chin strap.

But it could be bad too. Your call.

headlight bulbs

Uh. Yeah, right. Thanks very much for that, Bardfark.

Just a few seconds left, I should tell the reader audience that an expert panel previously determined that all the bulbs illustrated are indeed faulty.

But anyway, you might try putting a little grease on those headlamp bulb contacts.