No longer worried about riding at night

Considering the headlight on our Sportster XL1200c was 11 years old, no wonder it was dim. It didn’t project far, which made riding at night sketchy. Since witnessing the increase in punch and spread of Harley’s Daymaker LED when it debuted on the 2013 CVO Road Glide Custom, we were convinced they should be standard on every Harley. The Motor Company now offers a 5 ¾-inch Daymaker LED for Sportsters, which seemed like the natural solution for the faded reality of our old stock light.

The new Daymaker 5 ¾-inch headlight is pretty much plug-and-play, Harley making the process as easy as possible. There were a couple steps of prep before we could pull out the old light, like unbolting the XL Super Sport Wind Deflector we put on that sits right above the headlight. We also disconnected power as a precautionary measure by unplugging the main fuse.

The only thing connecting the bezel to the main headlight housing is one bolt. Unscrew it, remove the bezel, and the old light comes right out. The electrical housing the light plugs into has a couple of locking tabs that you have to hold down to disconnect the light. You’ll need to slide the mounting ring off, too, for use on the new headlamp.

Swapping it out is as simple as sliding the new headlight into the mounting ring and plugging it into the wire harness connecting block. We were thrown a little curve because the new light had an extra red wire with a small blue connector that didn’t connect to anything on our 2004 XL1200C. The black connecting block on our 2004 model is already grounded to the headlight housing, so we rationalized the blue connector is for newer models. After that, we slipped the bezel back around the new headlamp and screwed it back into place.

During our first ride we discovered the light was rattling around in the housing. On our 2004 1200C, the rubber seal inside the housing had worn thin so the light had a little play. Our bike vibrates pretty good at idle, so the rattle was really noticeable. We fixed the problem with a thin strip of black foam we had in the garage, and it’s been good to go since.

The Daymaker LED puts out a considerably stronger stream of light. Low-beam is on all the time, which lights up two round lenses along with a single central lens mounted on the lower portion of the headlight. Hit high-beam and three more lenses light up, which adds depth and width to the pattern. With its assortment of LEDs, the new lamp looks much more modern, too. Funny. You wouldn’t think that something minor like a new headlight would get noticed, but we’ve had numerous people ask about the Daymaker. Most important, we’re no longer leery of taking the Sporty out at night.