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Motorcycle Repair/1984 Honda big red 200 electrical problems


I own a 1984 big red 200. Mechanically its still very sound,lots of power! Everyone that ever rode it told me they were impressed how strong it was still. Early last summer it died on me in my drive way and I have not been able to get it running again. I'm sure its getting gas because the spark plug comes out slightly wet with fuel every time I take it out or try another one. I have noticed the copper wire on a couple wires have turned greenish and black inside of the wires coating. I'm great with mechanics, but instantly lost when it comes to electrical. I'm not sure what to test or how to test it or what I might be able to do to figure out the problem before I start putting money into new parts that I may not even need to replace. Can you give me some advise on where I should start or what I can do to figure out my electrical problem please? I would very much appreciate it! thank you

Keith, I have spent ZERO time working on ATV/ATC Hondas.

Still, you have to have all the ingredients for any 4 stroke engine....

Fuel, spark, compression, air.....

If you left it sitting since last summer the gas is probably bad and has plugged up the idle jet which causes hard starting.

If you put a fresh spark plug in the wire and ground it to the engine, you should see a strong spark. IF not, then you have to go back through the ignition system connections. The KILL switch could be grounding out internally or the ignition switch has failed inside.

Clean any and all wiring connections with a little cup of baking soda and water, brushed into the corroded connections, then rinsed off with water and packed with silicone grease.

If you have spark, then the fuel system needs cleaning.

Do check the valve clearances, make sure you have clean oil in the motor. Clean the air filter and make sure you don't have any other air leaks at the manifold or carburetor.  #23 idle jet

Remove the CDI cover on the head and check that everything is clean and moving properly.

More help is here on specific websites: for shop manual... (62MB file)

Bill Silver  

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Bill Silver


Need help with vintage Hondas from the 1960s? I am an expert with 250-305cc bikes in particular and most all of the other pre-91 models, in general. I do NOT claim to have a great deal of experience on Gold Wings, Cruisers, ATC/ATVs and dirt bikes.


I have owned/ridden/maintained Honda motorcycles for 35 years. I have written five books on Honda repairs and collecting. I was a service manager for two Honda shops back in the 1980s.

VJMC (Vintage Japanese Motorcycle Club) of North America

VJMC newsletter, as editor for two years and as contributing editor currently.

3 years auto shop in high school, teacher's aide in Automotive Technology in Jr. College, Diesel mechanic course in college, self-taught mechanic and automotive writer.

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