Canam Spyder RS SM5 (2009) headlight replacement

During a recent ride noticed that the left headlight of my canam spyder RS SM5 (2009) had stopped working which initiated this DIY project. I was surprised that I did not find much info online about RS (most talked about RT and the newer F3), even on spyderlovers.com (spyder community) there weren’t detailed posts. Most of the posts talked about upgrading to the more fancier kinds. The one that comes stock on the spyder is the basic version. The owner’a manual does have a section which covers this, but it wasn’t clear to me even after reading it to 2 – 3 times.

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So on a hunch that the halogen bulb had gone bad and that there wasn’t some other electrical problem, I started to disassemble the bike.

The first step is to insert a small flat head screwdriver in the two holes on the upper console to remove the odometer cluster. Due to the windshield there is very little room to play with there, so decided to take that off first.

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My windshield is held on by the Kuryakyn widow windshield trim, so had to remove that using an allen or hex key wrench as shown in the picture above (4 screws).

Then fiddled around with the 2 holes  and figured out that I had to basically press in the two tabs which hold the odometer cluster so that I can remove it. Pulled the top part towards me and then dislodged the bottom and just moved it to the right, but kept it connected.

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Now it seems a professional/experienced hand can do the remaining steps of accessing the bulb right from this cavity. But not for a novice DIYer like me. So I decided to take the side and the top panels off.

For the top panel to slide off I had to remove the side panels on both the sides.

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Now from the console cavity I located the headlight housing and then removed the rubber cap. It just slides on the housing like a lid to a cylindrical tube.

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All the greenish stuff is pollen. Next step was to turn the connector in the housing counterclockwise to remove it. Its very difficult to reach this connector and get a good grip in order to turn it. I was able to reach it going from bottom up (from the left side of the bike) instead of top down (from the cluster cavity).

I was wearing white gloves which is why my figures appear bright white in the picture on the left above. The arrows indicate counterclockwise round turn. The bulb attached to the connector is shown in the picture on the right above.

Now had to remove the bulb from the connector by releasing both the metal clips with a small flat head screwdriver. This was very tough. Its very tight in there and there is very little wiggle room to get a good grip and understand which way to apply pressure. I took my time and did not rush this step.

Above pictures show how the bulb is placed on the connector. Again I could do this by going from bottom up.

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The bulb is held in place on the connector by the help of this metal connecting piece. The bulb sits flush on this connecting piece only in one configuration. So made a note of that.

This is the first time I have handled a halogen bulb so I took some time to understand its working. Also visually the bulb looked alright to me, no visible burned out filaments, so decided to test the bulb with my trusted multi-meter.

Set the multi-meter to resistance (or ohms) setting and it shows an open loop for my halogen bulb. Tried a working household bulb and it shows up fine. For CFL bulbs though, we need to test for capacitance so set the multi-meter correctly. Saw some good deals on amazon but did not want to wait for a couple of days so purchased it from the local autozone store. Also learnt that new halogen bulbs should not be handled with bare hands as the oils from our skin affects the longevity of the bulb. So got nitrile gloves (thanks to my 5yr old who impressed the cashier I got one for free)

Tested the new bulb and it looks good. Second picture shows the brand/rating etc. OSRAM and Sylvania are the same company looks like. The old bulb had OSRAM on it similar to the new one.

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Lined up the bulb with the metal connecting piece/adapter and the black connector and this went on pretty smoothly.

Inserted the connector assembly back into the cylindrical housing, aligned it properly and then twisted clockwise to lock it in place. Attached the rubber cap to the housing. Started the spyder and tested to make sure everything looked and worked properly and it did.

Snap fit the odometer console back in place, bottom edge first and then the top. Re-attached the windshield. Put on all the plastic panels back on, the top one first followed by the two side panels.

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