help! 2 week old bike that won't start - Honda Rebel 300 & 500 Forum
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-26-2017, 01:25 PM Thread Starter
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help! 2 week old bike that won't start

I am new to the world of motorcycles. I purchased my first bike 2 weeks ago- Honda rebel 500. When I brought it home I had a male friend come over and walk me through where to check my oil, fluids etc. When I brought the bike home I had proper oil levels looking through the view finder behind where you put the oil in it. That was on 7/13/17. I took short rides around town during the following week, did not notice any oil leaks or anything. On sunday, 7/23/27 I went for a 75 mile ride with some friends, had no problem with it. Monday evening I got on to take a spin around town, turned the ignition switch on, turned kill switch on then hit the start engine button. All lights came on like normal and went off except for the oil light. Put the bike in the upright position and there was no oil in it. Called dealership and had it towed there. Got a call back this morning that they took it off the truck and into the shop and no lights came on and the bike started without any problems. So i'm not sure how a bike can go from having 0 oil to having oil and running. Has anyone had any issues with this? Any thoughts? words of advice? I was told by the dealership that I just didn't know "how to start my bike." Any words of advice are appreciated! Thanks!
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-26-2017, 01:34 PM
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I am new to the world of motorcycles. I purchased my first bike 2 weeks ago- Honda rebel 500. When I brought it home I had a male friend come over and walk me through where to check my oil, fluids etc. When I brought the bike home I had proper oil levels looking through the view finder behind where you put the oil in it. That was on 7/13/17. I took short rides around town during the following week, did not notice any oil leaks or anything. On sunday, 7/23/27 I went for a 75 mile ride with some friends, had no problem with it. Monday evening I got on to take a spin around town, turned the ignition switch on, turned kill switch on then hit the start engine button. All lights came on like normal and went off except for the oil light. Put the bike in the upright position and there was no oil in it. Called dealership and had it towed there. Got a call back this morning that they took it off the truck and into the shop and no lights came on and the bike started without any problems. So i'm not sure how a bike can go from having 0 oil to having oil and running. Has anyone had any issues with this? Any thoughts? words of advice? I was told by the dealership that I just didn't know "how to start my bike." Any words of advice are appreciated! Thanks!
The oil light will most likely stay on until the bike is started.

Did you try pulling in the clutch lever? Our check if the battery was dead?

With the key on the side i have forgotten to turn the bike off once or twice and the headlight will drain the battery pretty fast.

But most importantly if the bike wasn't in neutral then the clutch needs to be pulled in to start.
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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-26-2017, 01:57 PM
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Maybe you had the kickstand up and not in neutral?

Something similar happened to me the first week of ownership, couldn't figure it out. Had to put the kickstand up, and then back down and it started. Hasn't happened since.
There's a sensor that shuts the bike off once the kickstand is put down and not in neutral, so maybe putting it up/down resets it.

The vanishing and re-appearing oil is a mystery though lol. My guess is the dealer didn't tighten the bolt all the way when they set it up and didn't want to admit to it?
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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-26-2017, 02:27 PM
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help! 2 week old bike that won't start

Well, new oil is pretty clearish, and the oil check window is kinda opaqueish so here's what I think happened,

The bike was in gear when you shut it down, you went to start it and it wouldn't start. Because your bike is new you checked the oil and got a little anxious when the opaque oil window and clearish oil misled you into thinking it was empty (it wasnt, or else you would have cleaned up 3L of oil under the bike and your bike woulda been a mess or oil all over your rear tile and fender from running over 3L of oil as it drained from your bike while riding) that anxiety led you to overlook the simple fact the bike was in gear with the kickstand down, or the clutch wasn't drawn, or really you hit your engine stop button backwards and had it cut. *shrugs* it takes a bit of repetition to get the start process down. I did the same thing(minus the oil and tow freak out) the second day I owned it.


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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-26-2017, 05:53 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the advice!
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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-26-2017, 07:24 PM
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Welcome and enjoy make sure to break it in properly
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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-27-2017, 07:56 PM
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if the bike is in gear, the oil light will stay on until its in N.


If you ran the bike with no oil, you'd notice a problem right away. lol. though if you know there's no leaks, its probably fine. make sure your on level surface, stand up straight when checking.


and bike will not start with kick stand down. had a few embarrassing moments with that happening to me.


Though I am not sure about the kill switch. No one ever mentioned that when parked, you should flick the kill switch. I just leave it as it is, but would like to know if it really matters. emergency situations I can see the need to use it, but parked, maybe someone with more bike experience than me can chime in. lol.
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-27-2017, 08:09 PM
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Though I am not sure about the kill switch. No one ever mentioned that when parked, you should flick the kill switch. I just leave it as it is, but would like to know if it really matters. emergency situations I can see the need to use it, but parked, maybe someone with more bike experience than me can chime in. lol.
They taught "thumb, key, valve" in the MSF course for shutdown procedures.

1. Thumb - engage the kill switch
2. Key - turn off the key
3. Valve - turn off the fuel valve.

That being said, the only time I use the kill switch is when I'm parking on an incline. Brake to a stop in 1st gear, kill the engine, turn the kill switch back on, slowly release the brake until the gear stops the bike, then kickstand down.

I realize putting the kickstand down will kill the engine as well, but I want to get all the "play" out of the wheels first so there's no movement after the stand is down.

As for the valve... if there is one on the Rebel, I don't use it.

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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-27-2017, 08:35 PM
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Yeah the kill switch is just that, a kill switch. It doesn't have any purpose in regards of parking the bike.
But I do agreed with CueBaller as when parking on an incline, to use it then to kill the engine so you can free the clutch with ease.
Otherwice I normaly just reach for the key and shut it of that way. I got instructed that you're not supposed to use the kill switch as a means of shutting down your bike when done riding/parking. Don't necessarily see any harm by doing it, but it's more so that you don't make it a habit, and end up draining your battery since you may forget that the key is still in.

And since there seems to be some confusion around what makes the bike start and not, here you go:
- Bike will start with kickstand down when in Neutral, but will die when you put it in gear with the kickstand still down. Safety feature to prevent you driving along with the stand still down.
- Parking the bike in 1st gear and trying to start again with kickstand down will not work.
- Parking the bike in 1st gear and trying to start again with the kickstand up, but not holding the clutch in, will not work.
- Might also add: Should you experience putting the bike down while it's still running, then there is a sensor that will kill off the engine automatically. When/if that happens, get the bike up again, place it on the kickstand, turn off the ignition, wait a little, turn on ignition again and start the bike as normal. The sensor should reset when taking the ignition off and on again.

As for the oil not showing in the little glass window; It's normal to not see any oil in the inspection window when the engine is cold. The engine needs to have run for about 3-4 minutes before you're able to get a reading of the level.
I believe this is why you wasn't able to see any oil in the engine, and thus thought it had a leak.
And I don't mean 3-4 minuts of riding, only on idle. You should always give the bike a little time to warm up before you jump on and set off with it.
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-28-2017, 07:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Lyoko-Code View Post
Yeah the kill switch is just that, a kill switch. It doesn't have any purpose in regards of parking the bike.
But I do agreed with CueBaller as when parking on an incline, to use it then to kill the engine so you can free the clutch with ease.
Otherwice I normaly just reach for the key and shut it of that way. I got instructed that you're not supposed to use the kill switch as a means of shutting down your bike when done riding/parking. Don't necessarily see any harm by doing it, but it's more so that you don't make it a habit, and end up draining your battery since you may forget that the key is still in.

And since there seems to be some confusion around what makes the bike start and not, here you go:
- Bike will start with kickstand down when in Neutral, but will die when you put it in gear with the kickstand still down. Safety feature to prevent you driving along with the stand still down.
- Parking the bike in 1st gear and trying to start again with kickstand down will not work.
- Parking the bike in 1st gear and trying to start again with the kickstand up, but not holding the clutch in, will not work.
- Might also add: Should you experience putting the bike down while it's still running, then there is a sensor that will kill off the engine automatically. When/if that happens, get the bike up again, place it on the kickstand, turn off the ignition, wait a little, turn on ignition again and start the bike as normal. The sensor should reset when taking the ignition off and on again.

As for the oil not showing in the little glass window; It's normal to not see any oil in the inspection window when the engine is cold. The engine needs to have run for about 3-4 minutes before you're able to get a reading of the level.
I believe this is why you wasn't able to see any oil in the engine, and thus thought it had a leak.
And I don't mean 3-4 minuts of riding, only on idle. You should always give the bike a little time to warm up before you jump on and set off with it.
good info and clarification right there! We should an education section on the forum. haha.


And he is correct on all those things. Kill switch is just what it is. All the rest, think everyone, even experienced riders will experience or forgot about one of those. lol. I've done it. Be parked, get on the bike, start talking to someone or get distracted, forgot about kickstand, go to start, doesn't start, put in neutral, start, go to take off, boom no go. lol. Did it twice before I looked down at the kickstand. lol.
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