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Discussion Starter #1
2004 Honda rebel 250

New battery, stator, plugs and wires/coils.

Hi all, first post here. My wife's bike is having a charging issue and I'm having all kinds of trouble fixing it.
If I turn the key to the on position the battery starts draining like crazy. It will start fine if charged or jumped but the voltage drops as low as 8v while running. I can ride it all around town but if i turn it off then it'll need jumped again.
I'm thinking it has a short somewhere so I started unplugging things and the battery drain stopped once I unplugged this white plug (pictured). Once unplugged the headlight, brake light, and starter button stopped working.
Do you guys know what all this plug powers? It's located behind a plastic cover beneath the headlight.
Any nexts steps or obvious suspects you guys can think of? Thanks!
 

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1) The Rebs charging system will NOT charge the battery at idle. Engine needs something around 1,800 RPM's to charge. Idle RPM's are around 1,200. The 55 watts the headlight uses just drains the battery pretty quickly. The battery is only a 2 Amp Hour capacity, so sitting with the lights on and no engine running for a prolonged period (10 minutes?) isn't what I recommend.

2) If your reading battery voltage correctly, then your battery is junk! Even IF your charging system is working correctly, 8 volts is a dead battery that won't come back to life. If you have an original battery in the bike, it's past it's old age already. They don't last forever.

Just seen the battery is new. If you let it go below 8 volts I think you have permanently damaged it.

3) The Reb is one of the very few vehicles that will run without a battery! If you can start the engine with a push start you can get it home, but I don't recommend doing that on a regular basis. Sit on the bike facing down a slope. With the clutch pulled in and the bike in 1st gear, duck walk the bike until you get it going as fast as you can and then let out the clutch. The engine will cough to life and you need to be ready to pull the clutch in if needed.

4) You either have a battery that is junk, or you have a faulty charging system. If the battery did indeed get down to 8 volts, take it to a shop and have them test it.

5) Based on the wire colors and the number of pins, I would say that plug is for the ignition switch. Not 100% here...
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for the quick replys guys.

The battery is new and under warrenty but I want to get the battery drain figured out before replacing.

I understand that with the key turned to the on position (and even at idle) that some battery drain is normal but this thing drains fast! While revving the engine the voltage jumps up but it's competing with the drainage and can't keep up.

I hate electrical issues so after trying the above repairs I took it to a local bike shop and they said it is probably a short somewhere and that I'd need to take it to an electrical specialist.

Im pretty sure I've narrowed it down to that plug since unplugging it stops the drain. You are right, the wires go up too the start button. But it seems that that plug also controls some other things like the brake lights and headlight.

I can't start the bike to really test it out with that unplugged but I wonder if I could still push start it to test things?
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for the wiring diagram, I've been searching for a good one. Now I just have to learn how to speak whatever language electricians speak
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
Another thought, would it be safe (just for diagnostic purposes) to start the bike and then unplug that plug while its running? Or should I just try the push start?
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I've been checking out the wiring today and I saw that the tail light is possibly wired incorrectly (see attached picture). I had forgotten about this but when I bought the bike it had an ugly aftermarket light so I put the stock one back on.

When I wired it right (according to the colors) it had running lights but no braking light. When I swapped the brown and green yellow wires around like in the pic it seemed to work fine.

Could swapping those wires around be causing my battery drain?
 

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yes
 

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Check both brake switches to make sure they aren't being made.
 

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The foot pedal switch can vibrate out of position.

The handle bar switch can be unplugged to troubleshoot.
 

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From the wiring diagram it doesn't look like it would really matter if you switched those two wires. It is just two different bulbs each going to a chassis ground in the tail light casing. If the bulbs are different wattages it may cause some additional drain, but what you are describing sounds more like a short (as your bike repair shop said). The more interesting thing is that switching them gave you brake lights where you didn't have them before. Do you still have a rear running light with them wired as you have them?

My hypothesis is that there is a short somewhere after the splice in the green wire with the yellow tracer. When wired up according to the original wiring diagram this would be the brake light. The way you have it wired it should be the running light.
 

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Wires inside the rear fender have been know to get rubbed by the tire if the previous bike owner didn't put the wires back into the wire loom clamp after the modification.
 

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Yes swapping the wires is my problem? I put them back just now but haven't had a chance to test the bike. Also, now the brake light is on full blast and doesn't change when I press the brakes.
it's at least one of the problems
 

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Check the rear brake light switch. If it isn't adjusted properly, it can cause the brake light to be on all the time.
 
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