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Hello Everyone. My name is Jerry and I currently ride a Harley Electra Glide Classic, but my son has caught the two-wheeled bug and wants to learn how to ride. I found him an 86 Honda Rebel 250 that isn't in terrible shape to learn the ins and outs on. Got some minor work to do on it to get it road-ready but here recently it has started having issues when I've tried starting it. It does have a brand new battery in it and when the key is turned on, clutch lever pulled in and start button is pressed, nothing happens except for the headlight dimming. No clicking or anything. The engine cutoff switch is in the run position and it's in neutral, and had been starting up just fine. I haven't been able to look into it too in-depth yet but I'm thinking it's either an issue with the starter solenoid or possibly the clutch lever switch as it acts the same whether the clutch lever is pulled in or not. Figured I'd join the forum and learn a bit about these bikes.

Thanks,

Jerry
 

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Welcome to the forum.

Check the battery with a multi-meter and make sure it's charged. If you don't have a meter, jump it from a car battery, but be sure the car's engine is off. Wouldn't be the first bad battery right out of the box. If you need a new battery, get a Yuasa. Great quality and lasts a long time. Just a few dollars more than a cheaply made battery, but costs less in the long run.

A multi-meter should help you diagnose if the clutch switch is good. Can you bypass the starter solenoid to see if that's the problem?

Check for blown fuses. There are pictures of the fuse locations here: https://www.hondarebelforum.com/f80/fuse-box-installation-help-26369.html
 

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Welcome. The clutch switch is bypassed when the transmission is in neutral.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Hello FliteControl, and thanks for the suggestions. I actually went out to the garage during my lunch break today (I work in IT and most work can be done from home) and took a look at some things. Clutch switch was good. Battery was reading plenty of voltage as I have it hooked up to a battery tender and the light was showing green. His bike is missing the electrical cover so I was able to locate the starter solenoid pretty easily and the cable that goes from the solenoid, to the starter was WAY loose on the solenoid terminal. Not sure how it started to begin with if it has been this way for a while. I've got it tightened back down and put back in place and was able to get the bike started up for me. Whether that was the issue or not will remain to be seen but I'm pretty sure it wasn't helping.

I need to find the electrical cover and an air filter cover for his bike to make it look a little better as those weren't on the bike to begin with. We bought the bike off a co-worker of mine and they weren't there when he purchased the bike either.

Thanks again!
 

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You're welcome. The Rebel vibrates a lot, and it isn't unusual for fasteners to come loose. I like to use blue threadlocker on any fittings where it's permissible. The chromed metal side covers from any first generation Rebel 250 (1985-87) will fit without modification, but they are getting harder and harder to find. Jacks Rebel Warehouse or ebay may have some.
 

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