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Discussion Starter #1
Hi guys,

My Honda TRX 250 1987 is having an electrical issue.

The lights don't work (neutral, oil light, head light) and when I press the starter button, nothing happens either. Long story shirt, electricity from the back isn't getting to the front.
I tested the starter, solenoid, lights, CDI boxes, diode (I found one) and fuses (I found three of them). Everything seems to be fine.

I know it's not the battery either, because when the bike is on (kickstarter), no lights work either, when they should.

What could the problem possible be?

I found and cleaned one ground so far underneath the handle bars where all the wires meet. I don't know where the other grounds are.
All the wires seems to be intact.

Thanks for the help !

Kirk
 

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Welcome. Have you checked the fuses to see if any have blown?
 

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an internally shorted battery could cause the problems you describe
if shorted it could suck all the power alternator can produce, lights wouldn't work..

Many Honda engines use a Magneto type of ignition system independent of battery power
Rebel will run just fine without battery connected/installed, hard on the alternator, volt regulator though.

I'd jump with car battery (car not running) before anything else.. if lights/starter work battery is your problem
I've seen battery cables corroded internally under the insulation that wouldn't pass a millivolt of power with no external visual indication.

more specific information for your machine can be found at
www.trxforums.com
www.hondaatvforums.net
www.atv-forum.com

your current sign in ID and password may work there as they are also run by VerticalScope Inc.
www.verticalscope.com which has forums for most all wheeled vehicles..
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I have checked three fuses and they're fine. I don't think that there are any more.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Right now there isn't a battery on it. I have a battery pack that I use to see if the circuit is working once I try something new. If not, when the bike is started, the lights should still work, which they don't.
 

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Battery Pack??? at this point I would check main battery cables if you have known good battery..
if there is corrosion under insulation it is most often found at battery end.. the cable will flex easier where acid has eaten away the copper, most often Positive side.
Typical wiring battery positive goes to starter Relay/solenoid attaching to a large Lug/stud,, a small wire attached to same lug/stud becomes Main power, often supplying power directly to Ignition switch than fuses.. Could go first to a main fuse than Ignition switch,, when back to other fuses for further distribution...
You should have + voltage at one of the Ignition switch wires at all times..

I'm assuming you have glass barrel fuses,, Just seeing an intact wire inside the glass tube doesn't mean it's good.
ohm vohm multimeter or 12v volt probe that lights probing both fuse terminals is the only sure way to check for good fuse.. pull and reinsert fuses to assure good contact.. do the same for Ignition switch connector or other connectors..
a little oxidation at connections can wreck havoc on electrical devices..
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I have tested the fuses and many wires (not all) with a multimeter.

Let's just say it was a main battery wire, wouldn't everything light up anyways when the bike is running?

Also, I can turn the bike off with the key (ignition switch) and the off button next to the start button. Would that mean that the ignition switch is ok?

Thanks
 

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I have tested the fuses and many wires (not all) with a multimeter.

Let's just say it was a main battery wire, wouldn't everything light up anyways when the bike is running?

Also, I can turn the bike off with the key (ignition switch) and the off button next to the start button. Would that mean that the ignition switch is ok?

Thanks
No,, The ignition is a totally separate self powered unit that does not depend on the battery or alternator. The ignition switch is really 2 separate switches. One set of contacts grounds the ignition module and the other set switches 12 volt power to lights etc.
 

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^^^^^^^^^
Yup,,, what Duckster says
you could have a bad wire, or connection not supplying voltage to electrical system while engine runs just fine and no lights,,
while ignition switch when turned off grounds (in other words shorts out) the CDI, thus forcing it Not to produce spark..

Do you have a voltage increase on positive battery terminal after you start engine? Ground negative probe to frame, don't rely on neg battery cable for grounding point.

Have you checked for voltage at ignition switch connector ignition off? Likely a solid red wire.. are any fuse terminals hot with ignition off? if yes that is your main fuse, from starter relay/solenoid red wire? to ignition switch..
Measure voltages ignition off from battery to starter relay than to Main fuse onward to ign input etc etc. start at source aka battery checking voltages at each junction.. work your way down the electron stream watching for voltage drops..

I'd say you need a wiring diagram for your machine to properly trace it down.. you may find a link to diagram searching on one of the aforementioned TRX forums..
 

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If you read 12v across the battery terminals, check that the high amp in side of the starter relay also reads 12v to ground.
if its like the rebel, its always connected, no switch or fuse between them.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I took off my ignition switch and checked the wires for continuity. There wasn't any.
I ordered a new one and decided to take the old one apart. It's definitely not in any shape to work. Hopefully the problem will be fixed!

Thanks for the help guys! I'll keep you posted.
 

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I'd say you have identified the problem! :eek2::eek2:

You might be able to clean that one up enough to work, at least until the new one comes in.
 

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a little 1200 grit wet dry or equivalent on a flat surface, buff that sucker up
Glad you found it..
 

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Holy Shnieky did that thing take a dip in the ocean?!?!?!?
 

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Discussion Starter #15
The bike works! The ignition switch was the problem. I took the her out for a good ride this week-end and man did it feel good!

Thank for your help everyone :)
 
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