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I bought a 1985 rebel 250 earlier this week. It wasn’t running... so I got a super good deal on it and hoped I could fix it cheaply. I thought it was carb issues since it had great compression, but now that I’ve completely rebuilt the carbs, I’ve discovered that it also has some serious electrical issues. Today I put in a new battery, turned the key, annnndddd (insert drumroll) nothing. Not a single indicator light lit up or a single part of it had power.
When I was installing the battery, I had a feeling this would happen, because as I attached the negative wire there weren’t any sparks or electric “clicks”.
I’m really scratching me head on where to go from here... I don’t have any idea where or how to begin troubleshooting. Any ideas?
 

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Make sure the negative battery cable is tight and corrosion free where it grounds to the frame. Also check the fuses.
 

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I am not familiar with 85s but my 96 neg terminal is attached to the rear of the engine. As an additional test attach an alligator clip from the neg to anywhere on the frame and check for action. Try to connect the starter directly to the battery and see if it motors. Also assure the kill switch is open ie the run position.
 
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