Motorcycle Indicator Not Working?: Do This!

If you’re a motorcycle enthusiast like I am, you know that your bike’s indicators are crucial for your safety on the road.

Whether you’re making a turn or changing lanes, these small but essential lights communicate your intentions to other road users.

But what do you do when you discover that your motorcycle indicator is not working?

In this article, we’ll explore common reasons why this might happen and guide you through the troubleshooting process. Together, we’ll get those indicators back in working order.

1. Check the Bulbs:

The first step when you notice your motorcycle indicator is not working is to inspect the bulbs. Most indicators use simple incandescent bulbs that can burn out over time. If you suspect a burnt-out bulb, here’s what you can do:

  • Step 1: Locate the problematic indicator on your motorcycle. You’ll usually find the bulbs behind a transparent or colored cover on the front and rear of your bike.
  • Step 2: Remove the cover by unscrewing or unclipping it.
  • Step 3: Carefully pull out the bulb and visually inspect it. If the filament inside is broken or damaged, the bulb is likely burnt out and needs to be replaced.
  • Step 4: Replace the bulb with a new one that matches the specifications of your motorcycle’s indicator.

2. Check the Wiring:

If the bulbs are all in good condition and your motorcycle indicator is still not working, the next step is to examine the wiring. Electrical issues can be a bit more complex, but you can tackle them with patience and some basic tools:

  • Step 1: Start by checking the wiring connections at both the indicator and the main electrical harness. Loose or disconnected wires can lead to non-functioning indicators.
  • Step 2: If all connections seem secure, you can use a multimeter to test for continuity in the wires. This will help identify any breaks or faults in the wiring.
  • Step 3: Look for signs of damaged insulation or exposed wires. If you find any, use electrical tape or heat shrink tubing to insulate and repair the affected areas.

3. Inspect the Indicator Relay:

Your motorcycle’s indicator relay is a small, often cylindrical component responsible for regulating the flashing rate of your indicators. If it’s faulty, your indicators might not work correctly:

  • Step 1: Locate the indicator relay on your motorcycle. It’s usually located under the seat, near the battery, or in the vicinity of the indicator switch.
  • Step 2: You can test the relay by swapping it with another relay that you know is working (e.g., the one for the horn or lights). If your indicators start working with the known working relay, you’ve identified the issue.
  • Step 3: If swapping the relay doesn’t resolve the problem, you might need to replace the indicator relay with a new one.

4. Indicator Switch and Controls:

Your indicator controls, including the switch and the wiring leading to it, can also be a source of trouble:

  • Step 1: Test the indicator switch by moving it to the left and right positions. Listen for the clicking sound and feel for resistance in the switch.
  • Step 2: If the switch seems unresponsive or loose, it might need to be cleaned or replaced.
  • Step 3: Examine the wiring leading to the switch and make sure there are no visible damage or loose connections.

5. Battery and Charging System:

In some cases, a weak battery or charging system issues can affect the performance of your indicators:

  • Step 1: Ensure that your motorcycle’s battery is in good condition and fully charged. Weak or depleted batteries can lead to electrical problems.
  • Step 2: Check the charging system, including the alternator and regulator/rectifier, to ensure they are functioning properly. Inadequate charging can result in erratic indicator behavior.


Troubleshooting a non-working motorcycle indicator can be a bit of a detective’s job, but with some patience and the right approach, you can identify and fix the issue.

From checking the bulbs and wiring to inspecting the indicator relay and controls, it’s a step-by-step process that can help you get your indicators back in working order.

Remember, if you ever encounter electrical issues beyond your expertise, it’s advisable to seek professional assistance to ensure the safety and reliability of your motorcycle’s electrical system.

So, don’t give up—diagnose and fix the problem, and you’ll be back on the road with fully functional indicators in no time.

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