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Motorcycle Repair/no electrical power


I recently purchased a 2012 Honda 250 Rebel, my 8th Honda in 50 years. On Tuesday I rode for about 30 minutes and parked inside. On Thursday, after installing a luggage rack, I turned on the key and got nothing but a idiot lights, no brake or tail light, no horn, no starter. I've checked all 4 fuses and the ignition switch has power to it and out when the key is "on". The battery was put on a charger, to no avail, and the headlight is the only thing that works when the key is turned on. Is there a control module or such an animal under the gas tank?

Terry, these bikes are pretty basic, so no magic boxes underneath the bodywork. I would recheck your luggage rack install, as there are a bunch of wires going back to the turn signals and tail light. Perhaps you pinched or disconnected something in the process. There is also a 20amp fuse on the starter relay, but that usually takes every thing out when it blows.

Check for loose ground connectors, too...

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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