1.6 Headlamp Aim

Information Method of Inspection Reason for rejection
Headlamps fitted to motorcycles fall into two main groups, ie those which are intended to be set on main (driving) beam (diagram 2) and those on dipped beam (diagrams 1 & 3).

Some of the more prominent features which will aid identification are given below and on Pages 3, 4 and 5.

Machines with a single beam headlamp first used on or after 1 May 1995 so constructed to be incapable of exceeding 30mph/50kph on the level with an engine capacity not exceeding 50cc are only required to have a dipped beam, provided a rear position lamp, stop lamp and rear reflector are also fitted (see also information notes at 1.2 headlamps).

On machines without a battery or with an insufficiently charged battery it will be necessary to run the engine. If an automatic transmission is fitted the light output may be low but the hot spot can usually be identified.

Check that the tyres are not under-inflated.

A flat top dip beam pattern is not a reason for rejection.

An alternative headlamp dipped beam pattern (not being one of the examples) is acceptable providing all of the beam upper edge, including any "peak" is contained within the appropriate tolerance band.
A1. USING A RAIL MOUNTED HEADLAMP AIM TESTER

Locate the machine on the area designated as the 'standing area' for the headlamp test.

Clamp the front wheel or otherwise support the machine so that it is upright and in the straight ahead position. With an assistant sitting on the machine in the normal riding position align the beam tester with the longitudinal axis of the motorcycle and align the centre of the collecting lens with the centre of the headlamp under test in accordance with the equipment manufacturer's instructions.

Switch the headlamp to the beam on which the headlamp is to be checked.

Follow the instructions given by the manufacturer for the particular headlamp aim equipment being used.

A2. USING AN AIMING SCREEN

Place the machine on the standing area. Position the machine or motorcycle part of a combination, with the headlamp lens the appropriate distance away from the aiming screen and its longitudinal centre line at right angles to the screen. Clamp the front wheel or otherwise support the machine so that it is upright and adequately supported. Align the screen vertical zero line with the motorcycle headlamp centre line.

With an assistant sitting on the machine in the normal riding position align the horizontal zero line with the horizontal axis of the headlamp using the headlamp height measuring equipment. Switch the headlamp to the beam on which it is to be checked.
European type - Characteristics
a. an asymmetric dipped beam pattern which
when correctly aimed, produces an image with a distinct line rising at 15 (45 in some lamps) on the nearside;

b. a lens or reflector with one or more asymmetric stepped patterns moulded in the glass/plastic;

c. a lens may carry
• a European approval mark - a circle containing an 'E' and a number, or
• a rectangle containing an 'e', and a number.

Masks or converter kits.
Right hand dip headlights can be temporarily altered for use in the UK by fitting masks or converter kits which remove the beam "kick up" to the right.

A headlamp altered in this way is not a reason for rejection, if; A. the headlamp aim is not rejected for the reasons listed in the Reason for Rejection column (except that the top of the beam image will be a straight line).

B. the light output is not duly reduced.

C. the mask or converter is securely attached.
Diagram 1
Check the beam image 'kick up' is to the nearside.

Check the image horizontal cut-off is between

• for headlamps not more than 850mm from the ground, the 0.5% and 2% lines, i.e. the red tolerance band
• for headlamps with centres more than 850mm from the ground, the 1.25% and 2.75% lines ie the blue tolerance band.

Check the beam image 'break point' is between the 2% and 0% vertical lines.
B1. The beam image 'kick-up' is to the offside.

2. For headlamps with centres not more than 850 mm from the ground the beam image horizontal cut-off is not between the horizontal 0.5% and 2% lines, i.e. the red tolerance band.

3. For headlamps with centres more than 850 mm from the ground, the beam image horizontal cut- off is not between the horizontal 1.25% and 2.75% lines, i.e. the blue tolerance band.

4. The beam image 'break point' is to the right of the 0% vertical line or to the left of the vertical 2% line.
British American Type

Headlamps tested on main beam
have a symmetrical main beam pattern with a central area of maximum intensity ('hot spot').

This type of lamp generally has the following characteristics:

a. a circular lens which may be marked with a figure 1 followed by an arrow indicating the direction of dip;

b. likely to be of sealed beam construction.

Diagram 2
Main beam image.

Check the position of the centre of the area of maximum intensity ('hot-spot').

C1. the 'hot spot' centre is above the horizontal 0% line.

2. the 'hot spot' centre is to the right of the vertical 0% line, or to the left of the vertical 2% line.

3. for headlamps whose centre is not more than 850 mm from the ground the 'hot spot' centre is below the horizontal 2% line.

4. for headlamps whose centre is more than 850 mm from the ground, the 'hot spot' centre is below the horizontal 2.75% line.

5. when dipped the brightest part of the image does not move downwards.
British American type - Characteristics

a. an asymmetric dipped beam pattern which when correctly aimed has a flat topped area of high intensity extending above and parallel with the horizontal zero line on the nearside;

b. a circular lens marked with the figure 2 which may also have an arrow showing the direction of dip;
Diagram 3

Dipped beam image Check the position of the upper and right hand edge of the area of maximum intensity ('hot spot')
1. the upper edge of the 'hot spot' is above the horizontal 0% line.

2. the upper edge of the 'hot spot' is below the horizontal 2.75% line.

3. the right hand edge of the 'hot spot' is to the right of the vertical 0% line or to the left of the vertical 2% line.
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