Picking One Up This Weekend... - Honda Rebel Forum
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post #1 of 20 Old 06-26-2019, 09:01 AM Thread Starter
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Join Date: Jun 2019
Posts: 72
Picking One Up This Weekend...

Hi all,

Long time rider here. I actually road raced motorcycles back in my 20's. I've ran the gamut of motorcycles and now working my way back to the optimal small bike. I think what has drawn me to the Rebel is, back when I was a pre-teen, my dad came home with a Honda Rebel sales brochure. I read and looked that brochure over from front to back, time and time again. He never did buy that bike. Nor have I. Then recently, a friend here at work rode in on a well used, but in great shape prime example Rebel and I fell in love all over again.

I've owned sport bikes, dual sports and currently have a Burgman that I'm not in love with. The Burgman is a 650, plenty of power, but is sort of a gas hog of a 2 wheeler. 47 mpg is about as good as I can achieve. But I got the Burgman cheap, so I can get right back out of it for nothing. I found a late model Rebel with almost nearly no miles on it. And I'm getting it for a steal as well, so I thought, what the heck. I don't need a drag bike, or a canyon carver any more. I want simplicity and efficiency. And I'm going to enjoy doing a few somewhat simple mods to it. I may add a tach, but more likely I may add an AFR gauge. I've fell in love with carburetors after tuning the carb on my 1972 Plymouth Scamp using the feedback from my AFR gauge. And my Scamp with it's old school carbureted V8 runs like a son-of-a-gun. But fuel efficient and very powerful at WOT. It gets good mpg in cruise mode, but will absolutely melt the tires off at WOT. I've become proficient at carburetion, and hope to learn and experiment with the Rebel.

So I want to know at what AFRs the Rebel carburets and see if maybe I could make some incremental improvements to it. For example, I'm guessing at and/or near top speed (70+ mph) the AFRs are probably not optimized for power but probably optimized for emissions. OEMs sort of have their hands tied and have to tune for emissions at least to a degree. And if that's the case, I'm betting it would be fun to tune the carb for the optimal AFR at WOT, and maybe get a few more mph out of it. Not that I or anyone else *needs* 5 more mph out of a Rebel but it would be a fun project. I also surmise that Honda sells the Rebel with a carb in a "one size fits all" kind of jetting set up. Which means a few tweaks based on my locale could only lead to even better performance (whether it be mpg or power maybe both).

Other than that and maybe some mod(s) related to carrying around some cargo, I think I will leave the bike stock.

Most of my buddies are telling me, "you're gonna hate it, not enough power, you're gonna sell it in 6 months, blah blah blah." But, I don't think so. I already know it's a 16 ~ 19 hp bike. That's part of the appeal to me. I no longer need 200 hp to blaze the interstates looking for trouble. It's the same red color as the rebel pictured at the top of this forum page.

Looking forward to getting to know you all, and hopefully becoming a valued contributor.

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post #2 of 20 Old 06-26-2019, 01:15 PM
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Location: Maine
Posts: 3,321

1985 Rebel 250 ... 2005 Ruckus 50
Keith from Maine USA - Banning Spammers since 2016
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post #3 of 20 Old 06-26-2019, 02:17 PM
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Monroe, Louisiana
Posts: 27,901
Welcome to the forum. The first generation of Rebel 250s (1985-87) had slightly larger jets than the second generation (1996-2016). Will be interesting to follow your journey to discover the ideal air/fuel ratio.

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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post #4 of 20 Old 06-27-2019, 08:37 AM
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Join Date: Sep 2016
Location: Northern Virginia
Posts: 1,906
the rebel is an awesome little go-go, and the viking trunk on a luggage rack works beautifully (see my pics).
I'm looking forward to following you analytical diagnostic guage-using journey on tweaking the carb, there have been lots of thread with 'guesses' on just this, but no scientific/engineering approach yet.

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
HRF Answer #2 You need to clean your carburetor
HRF Answer #3 Sorry we assumed if you didn't say otherwise
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post #5 of 20 Old 07-01-2019, 08:38 AM Thread Starter
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Join Date: Jun 2019
Posts: 72
Well I've got it home. I want to say, I'm considering a name for it. If Harley riders (I used to have a 1450 SuperGlide) call their bikes HAWGS, maybe I should call this bike PIGLETT.

First impressions - It's not perfect for me. The main thing is, comfort. It's set-up for a 130 pound Japanese man. Yesterday I cleaned it up (because it was raining half of my trip back with it), took it for a ride and then raised the handle bars. I'm 6'2" and when turning slowly, very sharp (like in parking lots), I couldn't decide to leave my leg in or out, as the handlebar would hit my leg. Now that it's up, it shouldn't hit my leg. But I didn't ride it again.

The first ride (handlebar down). Power - For a 250, its OK. I'm not going to complain. It's about what I expected. Comfort, not good for me. I'll see if the new handlebar position works for me. And the foot peg position is too far to the rear. While riding it I was thinking if I had 3 things different it would be good. 1. Flat handlebars that were higher too (so maybe not flat exactly). 2. Forward controls. 3. A driver backrest. Those would cover it for the comfort.

Other things I'll eventually get to. A luggage box. I like to carry stuff from time to time and do not like the way a backpack makes my back sweat. I got the Piglett up to 60 - 65 mph. And it's not so much that it didn't feel like it had any more power. Even at that speed in 5th gear, if I gave it throttle, it would pick up speed. Nothing impressive, but it would do it. But what occurred to me was it sounded more "wound out" from rpm than it did from power. I'm hoping I don't siss-out when it comes time to evaluate the AFR. I think if the rpm were dropped, it would be a more pleasant experience. But before I go too far down that path, I need more seat time to know what I'm talking about.

So far so good. One last thing. The seller lied. It had been dropped. But the damage was very minimal. I'm betting his wife dropped in in the process of trying to learn to ride it and then wanted nothing to do with it.

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post #6 of 20 Old 07-01-2019, 09:22 AM
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Monroe, Louisiana
Posts: 27,901
For further comfort mods, do a tag search for "seat mods" and look in my picture album for the rear rack I built; it holds a ton of stuff.

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 #7 of 20 Old 07-01-2019, 11:43 AM
Join Date: Oct 2016
Location: Shrewsbury Shropshire UK
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Welcome 7milesoutyou will be pleased with the rebel as I am, have had bigger bikes in the past but at 73 years young find I can't handle the weight of them
1998 honda 250 rebel 250 CMX
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post #8 of 20 Old 07-01-2019, 01:39 PM Thread Starter
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Join Date: Jun 2019
Posts: 72
I forgot to mention. The shift lever is buzzier than any shift lever I've ever put a foot on. With my tennis shoes on, it actually hurt my toe to keep my toe in the ready to upshift position. I wasn't expecting that. I'm not going to worry too much about it, as I think I'll go to forward controls before too long. If it remains a problem, I'll address it then.
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post #9 of 20 Old 07-02-2019, 07:16 PM
Join Date: Jun 2019
Location: Austin, Tx
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I'm curious on the route you take to get forward controls. My bike has the pegs moved up about two inches, but that is not quite enough. Last owner made a steel plate extension that allows the rear bolt hole of the stock bracket to line up with the front frame mount. If that makes sense. Kind of a triangular plate for support.

1970 CT90
2001 KE100
2002 Honda Rebel
I'll buy a Harley someday
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post #10 of 20 Old 07-02-2019, 08:41 PM
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Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Creston, Ohio
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You can try grease to cure a buzzy shift lever. Take the lever off and push grease into it. put enough in so you have to wipe it clean when reassembled. Or, you could use a hole punch to cut a leather washer out of an old piece of thin leather, such as a glove. Leather absorbs oil and will absorb the vibration. Worked for me.

MC.com ruined this forum

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