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Motorcycle Repair/1974 Honda cb200 electrical problems


Gday . Iv recently rebuilt a 74 cb200 and all seems sweet but I'm having a hell of a time with the electrics . Iv got the button clusters right and left from a 2001 cb250 because that's what I had spare and heaps cheaper than originals haha . Iv assumed that Honda kept its original wiring colours and have conected as much as to get the headlight ect working . Just wondering if you have any pointers for the rest such as the manny Different black wires and if they have any different colours compared to the old or maybe just the basics so I can get the ol rocket to spark, kick and splutter .

Thomas, I think your main problem is that the switch gear was meant for bikes that have automatic ON headlights and your bike wasn't designed for them. In the US the feature wasn't required until 1975. Honda is pretty consistent with wire colors back then, but had to come up with new ones when the requirements were changed.

The difference for you, chiefly, is that the starter switch wiring is dual purpose on the switchgear you have... button released puts the headlight on and button pressed in disconnects the headlight and enables the starter solenoid.  has both the early and late CB200 wiring diagrams side by side on the site options.

Copy, enlarge and print them out and see if that helps you rework the wiring options to suit. Otherwise, you need to work with the kind of switch gear that the bike was built for.

Bill Silver

Motorcycle Repair

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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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