I have a 1986 Rebel and I am having trouble with the headlight. The problem is the headlight will come on sometimes and sometimes it will not. I have checked the fuses, connections and headlight. Does anyone have any advice on this. I have taken the seat off, tank and ran up and down all the wiring. Can not seem to find the problem. Anyhelp is greatly appreciated.
The bike has about 6 thousand miles on it, and is really good shape other than the above.
Yes when its out its on both hi and lo, when its on both hi and low function, everything seems to function but the headlight, break lights, turn signals and the rear light all work all the time as well as the horn, just the headlight goes out, then when it on the hi beam indicator works as well but when it goes out, the indicator does not work either. That is how I sometime realize it working as I look down (of course in the day) and see the hi indicator has come on, sure enough I pull up behind someone and the light is on. It can stay on one minute, then off for the next or on for hours and then I turn it off it will not come on again. Very strange.
I suspect the starter button. If your '86 had the headlight upgraded/replaced then I would suspect the starter button even more.
Keep in mind, the starter button cuts off the headlight to save amperage for starting. It doesn't cut off any other lights, just the headlight. I'd check that.
1987 CMX250C Rebel
2002 FSC600 SilverWing
1983 Yamaha Midnight Virago XV920MK
Put your bike's year and size in your signature.
It helps others help you.
Sounds to me like the hi-low switch need to be taken apart and cleaned and new dielectric grease grease put on the contacts. I have had the same problem with both the 250 and the 450 rebels. Had a hard time finding it the first time. I have learned the grease in the switches on the handle bars gets old and hard and will not complete the circuit. So sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't.
Be careful when you take the switch apart, it has a few small pieces and springs and small balls in it. I clean the old grease off with lacquer thinner and then polish the copper with scotch brite, and use a small amount of new dielectric grease to make sure everything will slide as new.
The easiest way is to take the switch off the bike and do the work and reassembly on a bench so none of the little pieces get lost.
It is a slow process but if you take your time and get everything back together again it will work
Keep the rubber side down and the shiny side up
1986 450 Rebel
Yes when its out its on both hi and lo, when its on both hi and low function
When you say that if its on both high and low function, do you mean normally or both are on at the same time?
If both are on at the same time, then I would say that Jax is right and the fault lies in the high low switch.
If it functions normally when the headlight works, I still suspect the starter button.
There are four wires to the starter button and they have a connector in the front junction box (black and says honda on it, just behind the headlight).
The red with brown trace wire supplies power to the headlight interrupt when the key is on. The blue with white trace wire takes power out of the interrupt function of the starter switch.
When I say hi or low, they both function as they should when the light is on, when its off its off it will not work on either hi or low. I can be driving around and it just come on or if it did not come on when I first took off it could just come on. When it does I can go between hi beam and low beam both work.
The switch does not seem like it will come apart anymore (hi low) I have it out and the contacts appear as if they are clean and shiny. I will look at the little hi low switch again when I get home tonight. Thanks for the tips. I will go over it all again when I get home.
I have not done much work on bikes but have got plenty of time under the hood (SBC). Just had to completely rebiuld my truck. My 16 year old destroyed it while I was deployed, just been back since Dec 10, (cracked head bent rod, the further I went into the engine the worse it got) anyway that thing is done. Now starting to work on the other things broke around the house. Anyhow I appreciate the experience and advise.