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Last year my 2006 250 Rebel, died at 40-45 mph and about 20 minutes into the ride. Restarted easily and rode about a mile and it died again. Same scenario. 3rd time it would not restart and had no headlight. Our thoughts were gas lines were clogged up and the restarting took it's toll on an old battery. Cleaned everything out, bought new battery and it started right up. Started 2 or 3 times over winter with no issues. Monday, rode to work. Everything was great. Parked for 8 hours. Started right back up. Road about 5 minutes and bike died at 40 mph. Had headlight but would not start. Trailered it home and put in garage. 2 days later, tried it and it started right up. Nothing had been done to it since we unloaded it. Have checked kickstand kill switch and everything looks good and it's working properly. Any ideas??? I'm afraid to take it 15 minutes to work now because I can't trust it to get back home.
 

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Welcome. Do you know if the tank is OEM, or aftermarket? The second generation (1996-2016) Rebel 250 factory tank is vented and the cap is not. Aftermarket tanks are not vented, and require a vented cap. It sounds like a vacuum is forming due to a venting issue, and starving the engine of fuel. After the bike sits a while, air leaks in and it will run well until a vacuum builds up again. If this is the case, the cap can be vented by drilling a small hole, say 1/8" in the bottom of the cap.

Do not drill into the center of the cap because that is where the lock mechanism is located and you don't want to damage it. Once the drill breaks through the bottom layer, which is only about 1/8" thick, stop.

If there is a tube running under the bottom of the tank, it is vented, but something (dirt dauber?) may be blocking it. Running a stiff wire up the tube may open it up.
 

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Welcome. Do you know if the tank is OEM, or aftermarket? The second generation (1996-2016) Rebel 250 factory tank is vented and the cap is not. Aftermarket tanks are not vented, and require a vented cap. It sounds like a vacuum is forming due to a venting issue, and starving the engine of fuel. After the bike sits a while, air leaks in and it will run well until a vacuum builds up again. If this is the case, the cap can be vented by drilling a small hole, say 1/8" in the bottom of the cap.

Do not drill into the center of the cap because that is where the lock mechanism is located and you don't want to damage it. Once the drill breaks through the bottom layer, which is only about 1/8" thick, stop.

If there is a tube running under the bottom of the tank, it is vented, but something (dirt dauber?) may be blocking it. Running a stiff wire up the tube may open it up.
It is a factory tank, however, we did switch the tin from stock 86 to a stock 2006 but as I said, it runs great, for a while. Today, I took it out and rode it for about 20 minutes before it died. It did start back up without issues after letting it just sit for a couple of minutes.
 

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I'm confused. What year is your bike? If it's a 2006, why did it have a 1986 tank on it?

You'll need two keys to do this. Put one in the cap and open the cap slightly. Use the other to start the bike. Ride it and see if the engine dies or not. This is best done with a less-than-full tank so gas doesn't slosh out. If the engine doesn't die within 45 minutes of riding, there's probably a venting issue.

The first generation (1985-87) Rebels came with vented caps and unvented tanks. If you used the 2006 unvented cap on a first generation unvented tank, there's your problem. Drill the cap to vent it and things should be fine.
 

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Going to try this. I had just started wondering if there was an issue in switching the tanks, since I did not have this problem before the switch. I had a custom paint job on the 86. I wanted a newer bike but didn't want to give up the paint job, that is why we switched the tank and fenders from the 86 to the 2006. Thanks again.
 

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Sounds like drilling the 2006 cap will probably fix your problem.
 

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When the bike dies, open the fuel cap. If it starts once reinstalled, the problem is probably as described. a venting issue.
 
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