Old (1987) 250 Rebels v. New 250 Rebels - differences? - Honda Rebel Forum
Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 16 Old 10-03-2013, 06:51 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: Holland
Posts: 20
Old (1987) 250 Rebels v. New 250 Rebels - differences?

Hi all,

I am the proud owner of a 250 Rebel, 100% stock, from 1987. I live in the Netherlands.

I own my bike by a few months, and I am now interested in pimping it up - new seat, exhaust, sissy bar, luggage rack - the works.

However, I am running against a little issue - most sellers (including US based) advertise their products for the most recent Rebels, not the old ones.

Here comes the million dollar question:
In how far is the new 250 Rebel different from the old model (in this case, 1987)?

More specifically:
Would a new Corbin seat fit on an old Rebel?
Would new exhaust (original or aftermarket) be any different from the old ones (would they fit out of the box) on my bike?
Would commercially available sissy bars and luggage rack fit on an oldie?

I am looking for real life experiences of people who have an old 250 Rebel and succeeded to fit an original or after market component made for "new" models.

Also looking for technical insight on the real differences between old and new Rebels - measures, sizes, improvements, and so on.

Feedback would be most appreciated. If consensus is that the new Rebels are (mostly) just the same as the old ones, an intensive shopping season is awaiting for me (and possibly for a few more).

Kind regards
Holland is offline  
Sponsored Links
post #2 of 16 Old 10-03-2013, 07:45 AM
mojorisn's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Oklahoma
Posts: 13,126
The most obvious difference between the 85-87 and 96-present Rebels are the side covers. The classic Rebels (85-87) have nice chrome air box and battery covers and the 2nd gen (96-present) have plastic covers with a chrome trim piece.

There are quite a few more subtle differences also like the front brake rotor is on the right side on the classics and the left on 2nd gen.

The forks on the classics have molded in reflectors and also drain plugs at the bottom for the changing fork oil, the 2nd gen has neither.

The classics have a vented gas cap and the 2nd gen have a vented tank. Also the petcock on the classics has a cleanable filter in the sediment bowl that the 2nd gen doesn't have.

The front and rear brake pads and shoes are different between the two generations also.

The swing arm on the classics have grease zerks to lube the bushings and the 2nd gen don't.

The rider foot pegs are different between the two and not interchangeable.

The 2nd gens have a side stand interlock that will keep the motor from running in gear when the stand is down, the classics don't they have a rubber foot that is supposed to scrape the ground and lift the stand if it is forgotten and left down.

The classics have a 35w sealed beam headlight the 2nd gen has a 55w h4 bulb.

The head and valve covers are different between the generations and the way the carburetors mount is also different.

The handlebars are different between the two, the classics come with a buck horn style handlebar.

The fenders, tank, seats, and exhaust are all interchangeable between the two. The rear turn signals and taillight are also the same. The front signals are different.

The battery, fuse block, and starter solenoid are different between generations and also the voltage regulators are different but a 2nd gen regulator can be used on a classic but it's not recommended to use a classic regulator on a 2nd gen bike.

I know there is some more differences but that's all I can think of at the moment. I'm sure I left out some obvious ones. Someone else can chime in and add to the list.

1985 Rebel 250
Adding your bikes year and size in your signature helps others help you.
mojorisn is offline  
post #3 of 16 Old 10-03-2013, 08:17 AM
Buickguy's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Michigan, near Ann Arbor
Posts: 17,771
There are some differences, mostly cosmetic. Some mechanical differences.
Dimensionally, they are the same. The Corbin seat will fit. As will a sissy bar.
The exhaust from the new will bolt up to the old but there are some differences.
The 85 to 87 has a larger inside diameter than the new ones and a a result is a bit louder.

The wheels are the same diameter and use the same tire sizes, however the hubs changed. The old rear drum brake uses a different shoe than the '96 and up.
The front brake was changed from the right to the left of the front wheel.
A different caliper was used as well as different pads. However, the rotor is the same, just bolted to the left instead of the right and will fit.
The speedometer drive is the same as is the speedometer cable.
The front forks are the same size but the newer has the caliper mount on the left fork, the older have the mount on the right fork. The first gen has the reflector mounted to the fork lowers and a drain for fork oil.
The front fender will bolt across but the newer has the brake hose holder on the left. The older has it on the right.
The speedometer itself changed a bit. Your first gen has a black wrinkle finish dash plate and speedometer bucket. The newer Rebels have a chromed dash plate and bucket. The speedometer itself will fit across but your first gen has the high beam indicator in the 6 O'clock position on the speedometer dial. The '96 to "99 or 2000 have a yellow side stand down light there. The high beam indicator was moved down to the dash plate with the neutral and turn indicators. The 2000 and up have no side stand indicator on the speedometer dial. The clutch perch and master cylinder were painted silver on the new Rebel. Yours are painted black. There is a slight difference in the angle of the master cylinder outlet but a newer one can be made to work.
The switch housings are the same on all years.
The shape of the handlebars changed slightly.
The gas tank on the newer Rebel is vented and the gas cap is not. The first gen vent the cap and not the tank, except the California emission models.
Chain and sprockets are identical. Chain guard will bolt across.
The headlight and voltage regulator were changed in 2001. The 2001 and up have an H4 composite headlight. 2000 and below use a 35 watt sealed beam. The entire headlight housing changed. The newer headlight housing can be bolted across to the older style.
The carburetor mounting changed. Old has a clamp on, new uses a bolt on flange.
Can't go with the new without changing the manifold. The also got rid of the chrome cable cover you have on the right side of your carb.
The chrome left side cover and right battery cover are only on the first gen. 96 and up got body color painted plastic side covers.
A different battery is used on the newer Rebel as well as a relocated main fuse.
The main fuse was upped to 20 amps.
The rear fenders, fender rails, tail/brake light, and license plate holders are indentical and will bolt across.

That pretty much covers it, stem to stern.

There are some 1987 only features that the Rebel has.
1987 was the only year to offer a body color frame. The Candy Wineberry red Rebel had the frame in Wineberry red.
1987 was the only year the Rebel seat was done in a smooth top. Every other year has button tufting. While any year fits, '87 was the only smooth top.
1987 the Rebel engine right (clutch) side case is the only year to not have a vestigial hump where the kickstart boss would be. Every other year has the bump.

moatsad, dianah0711 and GDUB like this.

1987 CMX250C Rebel
2002 FSC600 SilverWing
1983 Yamaha Midnight Virago XV920MK
Put your bike's year and size in your signature.
It helps others help you.

Buickguy is offline  
post #4 of 16 Old 10-03-2013, 09:05 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: Holland
Posts: 20

I am seriously impressed... Thanks you! That solves a number of problems.

In the meantime I brought my little lady to the doctor, who confirms the right exhaust is rattling. Since the left one has a hole in it, I will start hunting for new original exhausts. In the meantime I will put a couple of screws into the existing ones, just to stop it from rattling and be able to enjoy the magnificent Rebel rumble.

Next a sissy bar, and after that another seat. It is more than confy for me, but the pillion seat and my lady's back do not agree. Cannot change the second, so I will change the first.

I will also tune the carb - the engine is running very lean, default factory settings, but I want to have a bit richer mix.

Which is, in your experience, the best place to shop for the parts I am interested in? Please consider I am oversee, so I need people able and willing to ship parts to Europe - or in alternative a Europe base provider.

Thank you again
Holland is offline  
post #5 of 16 Old 10-03-2013, 09:49 AM
Buickguy's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Michigan, near Ann Arbor
Posts: 17,771
In my opinion, the best looking sissy bar and pad was the HondaLine accessory that was offed with the first gen. Honda no longer makes that but Jack's rebel Warehouse has a great reproduction. Its more costly that his other offering but its looks just like the HondaLine original.

1987 CMX250C Rebel
2002 FSC600 SilverWing
1983 Yamaha Midnight Virago XV920MK
Put your bike's year and size in your signature.
It helps others help you.

Buickguy is offline  
post #6 of 16 Old 10-03-2013, 02:26 PM
gyrojunkie's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Astoria, Oregon
Posts: 6,150
A first gen like your 87 would look great as a War Horse. It would be the only one in Holland!!!!
gyrojunkie is offline  
post #7 of 16 Old 10-03-2013, 02:43 PM
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: Grand Rapids, MI
Posts: 169
You forgot to mention, only really cool people ride first generation bikes
sbear99 is offline  
post #8 of 16 Old 10-03-2013, 05:51 PM
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Monroe, Louisiana
Posts: 28,455
I thought they only rode rattlecan matte black bobbers with the front fender missing!

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
flitecontrol is online now  
post #9 of 16 Old 10-03-2013, 06:05 PM
Sparkman's Avatar
Join Date: May 2013
Location: Delray Beach,Fl
Posts: 1,575
Originally Posted by flitecontrol View Post
I thought they only rode rattlecan matte black bobbers with the front fender missing!

2006 Rebel 250 (Sold) 2003 Honda Shadow Spirit 750(Red ghost flames) "MONGO JUST PAWN IN GAME OF LIFE"
Sparkman is offline  
post #10 of 16 Old 10-03-2013, 07:57 PM
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: Harrisonburg, VA
Posts: 3,146
It has been my observation that when folks refer to "really cool people" they are creating a mental Venn Diagram circle to which they perceive they belong. I have also observed that either my perception or mental construct sometimes do not match theirs.

No Fool Like an Old Fool

86 Rebel 250 / basket case - impulse buy
ShenValleyFlyFish is offline  

Quick Reply

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the Honda Rebel Forum forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome