6 Most-Common Problems With Honda Rebel

The Honda Rebel was Honda’s noble effort to create the perfect beginner motorcycle, and in many ways, they succeeded.

The Rebel merges characteristics like a low seat height, a lightweight design, and a small parallel-twin engine with decent power response, and a riding position, chassis, and wide tires that offer comfort, practicality, and efficient everyday use.

Although Honda is known for reliability, no real rebel is loved by everyone. Since its inception, the Rebel has experienced a few issues and garnered a few grievances, and we’re here to dive into the 6 most common complaints with the Honda Rebel.

1. Gearbox Issue (Solved by Recall)

In 2019, Honda issued a recall on their small motorcycles, including the Rebel line, announcing that 3,898 bikes were prone to issues with their gearbox.

Among the bikes affected was the 2018-2019 Honda Rebel (CMX300).

The issue derives from the circlip on the transmission’s main shaft. If the circlip came detached, it could result in gear misalignment.

A misaligned gear can shift the transmission from neutral into gear while the engine is igniting, resulting in a sudden movement.

While the bike is in motion, an unintentional gear shaft can also seize the transmission and rear wheel.

To mitigate the issue, American Honda notified affected owners to report their Rebels to Honda dealers to have their transmission main shaft swapped out for a fresh upgrade for free. 

If you’re the owner of a Rebel from 2018 to 2019 Rebel CMX300, a trip to your local Honda can determine if your bike’s been upgraded with the new shaft design.

2. Fuel Leaking From Carb

Here’s a complaint regarding an older, carburetor-equipped Rebel.

It’s a normal wear-and-tear incident common across many carburetted cruisers, but since we’ve seen it asked about on numerous forums, we’ve decided to include it on our list.

The issue starts when the rider discovers fuel leaking from one of the black hoses on the bottom of the Rebel’s right side.

The Honda Rebel line is an unsung hero of the motorcycling world. Originally launched in 1985 with the Rebel 250, the spritely little cruiser was virtually unchanged over its 32-year run on the market and quickly became one of the quintessential beginner bikes due to its durability, unintimidating power, low seat height and user-friendliness. For those reasons, it was the bike of choice for numerous basic riding courses, allowing countless would-be motorcyclists to receive their motorcycle endorsements.

Above all, it was cheap and built to take the harsh punishment that new riders dish out. Yes, the Rebel also helped riders earn other notable merit badges, such as learning the importance of fully extending your kickstand, or not overfilling your fuel tank and spraying gas everywhere.

Source: ridermagazine.com

What’s the Resale Value of a Honda Rebel?

 

Year Mileage Price
2021 1 $6,599
2020 137 $4,650
2019 3 $4,799
2018 390 $5,200

Sources

https://ridermagazine.com/

Pros

The Rebel is a great first bike, and most of these complaints stem from riders reluctant to graduate to something intended for a more seasoned rider to take long trips or something on which they can rip up the city like more of a pro.

Not only are Honda Rebels reliable, but they’re inexpensive to fix, and parts are cheap.

It’s a fast, nimble, lightweight, and fun bike for a beginner to get used to, and it’s easy to back up and pick up off the pavement if you drop it, which is something every beginner does at least once.

Cons

  • 1. Gearbox Issue (Solved by Recall)

  • 2. Fuel Leaking From Carb

  • 3. Back Fender Issue

  • 4. Buzzing Headlight-Housing at High RPMs

  • 5. No Oil Filter

  • 6. Small and Unconformable

What Do the Reviews Say?

The Honda Rebel line is an unsung hero of the motorcycling world. Originally launched in 1985 with the Rebel 250, the spritely little cruiser was virtually unchanged over its 32-year run on the market and quickly became one of the quintessential beginner bikes due to its durability, unintimidating power, low seat height and user-friendliness. For those reasons, it was the bike of choice for numerous basic riding courses, allowing countless would-be motorcyclists to receive their motorcycle endorsements.

Above all, it was cheap and built to take the harsh punishment that new riders dish out. Yes, the Rebel also helped riders earn other notable merit badges, such as learning the importance of fully extending your kickstand, or not overfilling your fuel tank and spraying gas everywhere.

Source: ridermagazine.com

What’s the Resale Value of a Honda Rebel?

 

Year Mileage Price
2021 1 $6,599
2020 137 $4,650
2019 3 $4,799
2018 390 $5,200

Sources

https://ridermagazine.com/

The consensus regarding the cause of this leaking hose is a sticking float in the carb or a float needle not properly seated.

Most needle valves use a little clip to hold the needle in place, along with a tiny pin that holds the float in place, and if either of these parts is not put in right, the float can stick, or the needle can pop out entirely.

Sometimes the fuel leak is a one-and-done situation, and this is because sometimes the float fixes itself as the bike runs. 

Still, it’s recommended to remove and dismantle the carb to hit it with a thorough cleaning.

If you’re hesitant to pull your carbs off, as it is a time-consuming situation, try this first:

  1. Turn the petcock to the off position.
  2. Remove the fuel line from the petcock.
  3. Loosen the screw on the bottom of the float bowl.
  4. Drain out the gas
  5. Tighten the screw.
  6. Through the fuel lines, fill the carb full of Seafoam and let it steep for a full day.
  7. Drain out the Seafoam.
  8. Tighten the drain screw.
  9. Put the fuel line back on the carb.
  10. Turn the petcock back on. This will fill the carb up with gas. Put 2 ounces of Seafoam per gallon in the next few tanks of gas you fill her with.
  11. If that stops the problem, use Seafoam in the gas every so often to prevent the leak from resurfacing.  

Please make sure to also read our article about common problems with the Honda Fury.

3. Back Fender Issue

This isn’t necessarily a defect, nor is it a widespread complaint, but it has left a few Rebels scratching their heads, so we figured it was useful to share.

Some Honda Rebels have a small plastic cover under the seat that fastens to the fender.

If this cover moves, bends or gets sand or dirt caught between it, it can scratch the rear fender.

It’s noteworthy enough to mention that this damage is strictly cosmetic, and it’s not a spot on the bike that’s regularly visible.

It has left a few Rebel owners frustrated, but it’s not uncommon for a bike to have quirks that need to be checked to keep its paint job spick-and-span.

4. Buzzing Headlight-Housing at High RPMs

We’ve encountered a few Rebel-riders who were mystified by a coarse, loud buzzing noise generating from the front of their bike, noting that the buzz gets more and more dramatic as the bike’s RPM increases.

Many of the Rebel owners we’ve encountered eventually narrowed it down to the headlight housing.

A little bit of research goes a long way, and it turns out that the Honda Rebel’s headlight bucket buzz is a common problem, but if there’s any doubt, carefully put your hand on the headlight while riding and see if it stops.

Motorcycles are noisy, and rattling is just a part of riding. If it really bothers you past the point of wanting to ride, however, you can place insulation in the areas within the housing you’ve determined are rattling; this may take a few attempts to nail.

Make sure to also read our article about how long the Honda Rebel lasts.

5. No Oil Filter

To keep maintenance, cost, size, and weight down, the Rebel was designed to be as stripped down as possible, and some of the engineering is so unconventional that it confuses some riders.

This is one of those quirks that takes an open mind and some getting used to.

The Rebel does not have an oil filter, but a strainer screen held on with a single screw that pops off to be cleaned and reinstalled.

The Rebel also doesn’t hold much oil.

The result is that the Rebel is harder on oil more than other cruisers. The recommended change interval is 2000 miles, already less than what most owner’s manuals suggest, but riders find that changing it every 1000 miles yields better results.

Rebel riders have given testimony that when changing your oil every 1,000 miles, they’d never have to clean the screen.

6. Small and Uncomfortable

The Rebel is designed to be small as a beginner bike, but some taller riders feel that the bike’s size isn’t realistic for them, regardless of skill level.

For example, the bike only has 17 horsepower, which can prove problematic for a bigger rider who’s trying to pass traffic, forcing them to build up speed in advance to get around another vehicle. 

Bigger riders feel the drag when going up a hill, claiming they have to shift down to fourth gear to shoot their RPMs high enough.

Taller Rebel-Riders often complain about their legs getting stiff during long rides and having to sit on the metal piece at the back of the seat to stretch their legs out, which only serves to leave their butt sore in place of their legs. 

The small frame and peg placement make it difficult to stand up on the pegs while bouncing over potholes and railroad tracks, as is suggested to avoid bottoming out the suspension.

Also check out our article about problems with the Honda ST1300.

General Pros and Cons of the Honda Rebel

Below, I summarize the advantages and disadvantages of the Honda Rebel:

Pros

The Rebel is a great first bike, and most of these complaints stem from riders reluctant to graduate to something intended for a more seasoned rider to take long trips or something on which they can rip up the city like more of a pro.

Not only are Honda Rebels reliable, but they’re inexpensive to fix, and parts are cheap.

It’s a fast, nimble, lightweight, and fun bike for a beginner to get used to, and it’s easy to back up and pick up off the pavement if you drop it, which is something every beginner does at least once.

Cons

  • 1. Gearbox Issue (Solved by Recall)

  • 2. Fuel Leaking From Carb

  • 3. Back Fender Issue

  • 4. Buzzing Headlight-Housing at High RPMs

  • 5. No Oil Filter

  • 6. Small and Unconformable

What Do the Reviews Say?

The Honda Rebel line is an unsung hero of the motorcycling world. Originally launched in 1985 with the Rebel 250, the spritely little cruiser was virtually unchanged over its 32-year run on the market and quickly became one of the quintessential beginner bikes due to its durability, unintimidating power, low seat height and user-friendliness. For those reasons, it was the bike of choice for numerous basic riding courses, allowing countless would-be motorcyclists to receive their motorcycle endorsements.

Above all, it was cheap and built to take the harsh punishment that new riders dish out. Yes, the Rebel also helped riders earn other notable merit badges, such as learning the importance of fully extending your kickstand, or not overfilling your fuel tank and spraying gas everywhere.

Source: ridermagazine.com

What’s the Resale Value of a Honda Rebel?

 

Year Mileage Price
2021 1 $6,599
2020 137 $4,650
2019 3 $4,799
2018 390 $5,200

Sources

https://ridermagazine.com/

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