Replacing the rear lights is a wiring nightmare on my Honda Rebel

I know, I know, I’m new to motorcycle maintenance. I thought I could do all the fixes myself. But triaging wiring harnesses to install new lights was NOT on the top of my list.

I bought some cheap aftermarket rear lights on Amazon, thinking, “Oh, this should be just plug in play, like installing a bolt.” I was dead wrong.

First, I disassembled the existing housing of the lights. This required some ambidextrous moves with the rear fender, a flat wrench for the nut, and a socket wrench for the bolt. After a good 5 minutes, I was able to disassemble the light cluster.

I don’t know what the engineers at Honda were thinking when they designed such floppy, failure inducing rear lights. The rubber stem doesn’t provide enough support for the heavy lights. As a result, duct tape has become my friend.

The wiring is where the real nightmare begins. There is a tail light wiring harness located under the rear fender, housed in a dusty rubber pouch. I detangled the cables and disconnected the bullet connectors. With no labeling and limited lighting, you have to rely on trial and error to determine the light.

Another issue, I connected my aftermarket light, only for the blinking action to not work. Looks like I also need a relay to enable the blinking switching. Sigh.

Coming from the world of plug and play, macgyvering solutions on a motorcycle requires a lot more patience and ingenuity. Still, keep on marching.

Ashraf Ali