Shifting Issues (Newbie Problems) - Honda Rebel Forum
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post #1 of 12 Old 04-11-2019, 09:46 PM Thread Starter
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Not sure if it's been posted ( there's a lot of info here haha) but I'm a new rider with a 2015 250. I've learned how to be comfortable pretty quick but the only issue I seem to be having is shifting / locating gears. I know it's hard to confuse "1 down, 4 up" but hear me out haha

When I'm shifting from 1st to 2nd, there is an audible click along with feeling it on my foot. From 2nd to 3rd I don't hear that click, but lightly feel it on my foot ALONG with not being able to hear the rpm's drop. Basically my bike SOUNDS the same whether it's in 2nd or 3rd. 4th and 5th are complicated. When going into 4th, I get nothing. No audible click, nor can I feel it click on my foot. I often think "maybe I didn't flick up hard enough" which makes me shift again. After shifting again my rpms mellow out and the bike sounds smooth but then when I go to (what I think) is 5th, nothing at all. So I must have already been in 5th right? Haha I probably make no sense but I'm trying to dumb it down haha. Basically...if I dont hear a click or feel it...I shift again. What am I doing wrong?

I should also add that I find my self out of gears (5th I assume) around 45mph.

Thanks for any advice.
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post #2 of 12 Old 04-11-2019, 10:04 PM
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A lot has to do with the rpms at which you are shifting, the noise of the engine, and experience. A quick and easy way to tell if the transmission is in fifth or not is to try and lightly lift the shifter with the toe. In fourth or any other lower gear, the shift pedal won't normally move up without use of the clutch. In fifth, the shifter can be lifted slightly without any resistance. If you try shifting through all the gears with the engine off (usually have to have the bike rolling to do this), you can hear an audible click at every gear change. The first to second click is a little louder, probably due to the gears going from first, to neutral and then on to second. As the rpms increase, hearing the clicks while riding is more difficult, if not impossible.

Trying to keep track of what gear the bike is in can be difficult without experience. Learn to upshift when needed (don't lug the engine) and downshift as speed decreases. That way you are always ready for whatever situation you may find yourself in; accelerating or further downshifting. Don't downshift to first if the bike is travelling more than about 15 mph. If you do, you'll hear a very loud clunk.

Have you taken a basic rider training course?
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post #3 of 12 Old 04-11-2019, 10:42 PM
 
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I can relate. Also at 45mph I'm trying to up-shift into 6th.



Personally I never try to track what gear I'm in, like flitecontrol says, it's mostly by feel. I prefer to engine brake as I'm downshifting/decelerating, which helps clue you into where you are at.


Since I replaced the dash lights with LED's it's very noticeable when I drop from 2nd to 1st 'cos that neutral light flashes so brightly, which for me is a handy reminder

1986 Rebel 250 / N. California
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post #4 of 12 Old 04-11-2019, 11:36 PM Thread Starter
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I haven't taken a rider course yet. I went to my local dmv and got my permit to ride but I'm waiting for a class date (in my area it's usually hosted by Harley-Davidson) until then I've been getting some seat time on my own that way if I can't take a course I can still pass the DMV course for my license. I will definitely try and apply some of this. Thank you!
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post #5 of 12 Old 04-12-2019, 08:32 AM
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The basic rider course is extremely important IMO. Studies show trained riders have fewer accidents than self/family/friend taught, and if they do, the accidents aren't as serious. I followed the course you are on (bought bike, couldn't wait to start riding, and then took the course). Like many who do this, I picked up several bad habits that have been very hard to break. If you can resist the temptation to ride until trained, you will be doing yourself a favor. In many states, showing DMV the certificate for passing the course lets you skip taking the test. Plus, most insurance companies will offer reduced rates.
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Keepin' all the left over parts. Gonna use 'em to build another bike!

'01 & '09 Rebel 250, '06 Ninja 250, '89 VN 750
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Here's how: https://www.hondarebelforum.com/f19/...re-121087.html
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post #6 of 12 Old 04-12-2019, 08:38 AM
 
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All bikes have a more pronounced 'clunk' shifting between 1 and 2 because you are pushing over and past N, compared to shifting between the other gears.
And executed well, shifting should be smooth and easy and just noticeable in the rpms of the engine, no lurching.

2009 Honda Rebel 250; 2009 Honda Shadow 750 Spirit
"The bravest thing for me to do is admit when I am wrong" - unknown
HRF Answer #1 You should take the MSF Rider Course
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post #7 of 12 Old 04-17-2019, 09:57 PM
 
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Thanks Flitecontrol for the info. I'm still looking for 6th gear after 2 yrs.. I'll try that without the clutch & if it doesn't work, I'll send the bill to you. LOL !
Now, back to the other shifting issue. I had trouble finding neutral & maybe 1st. I noticed that if I didn't pull the clutch in all the way, it handled neutral & 1st. smoother. The simple fix was adjusting the cable so that the clutch didn't go too far in. Maybe just my bike ?

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post #8 of 12 Old 04-18-2019, 09:24 AM
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The clutch cable should be adjusted so there is around 1/2" of freeplay at the end of the clutch lever before resistance is felt.

Keepin' all the left over parts. Gonna use 'em to build another bike!

'01 & '09 Rebel 250, '06 Ninja 250, '89 VN 750
Putting your bike year and model in your signature helps others help you!
Here's how: https://www.hondarebelforum.com/f19/...re-121087.html
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post #9 of 12 Old 04-19-2019, 01:37 PM
 
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This bike is very smooth shifting compared to most bikes (Small displacement lightweight engine attributes to this as well, along with fine machinery) and you won't feel much resistance or click most of the time. I don't on my bike anyway.. sometimes I worry that the gearbox will start slipping because it's too smooth, but so far so good. The bike will be fine.
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post #10 of 12 Old 04-21-2019, 02:52 AM
 
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Rebels are very smooth shifting bikes (unlike Harleys) It sounds like you just need more experience, you'll get it. It takes proper coordination between the clutch, throttle, and shifter. I like to ring mine out a bit, and don't shift into 5th until around 50 mph. After that don't worry about the engine speed and the perception that you need another gear. I have ridden Rebels at full throttle for probably close to 30,000 miles. They are designed to run at high rpm. They cruise on the freeway in the right lane just fine.
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