No shifting at neutral - Honda Rebel Forum
Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 23 Old 02-28-2019, 10:37 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2018
Location: ATHENS Greece
Posts: 58
No shifting at neutral

Hello, I did my first ride after the restoration.. When I stop at traffic lights there is no way to shift my gear to neutral? I have to play so many times up and down the level to find the neutral!

When I turn off the engine I noticed that is easier to shift at neutral..

Oil is new suppose that was changed by the shop that I did the service when I purchased the bike..

Any idea how to deal with this?

1996 Honda CMX 250
haf is online now  
Sponsored Links
post #2 of 23 Old 02-28-2019, 11:59 AM
SoakedKarma's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: Nevada
Posts: 1,507
many have reported finding neutral a problem..
Use the forum Search function ah heck I preloaded it for you, just click the link

96 VS800 Intruder (sold 2018 ), 87 CMX250C Rebel,
79 CB400 Hawk (sold 93), 75 CB350 (sold 83), 71 CB350 (stolen 74)
Help others help you, Include Year in your signature...
SoakedKarma is offline  
post #3 of 23 Old 02-28-2019, 12:02 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2018
Location: ATHENS Greece
Posts: 58
Originally Posted by SoakedKarma View Post
many have reported finding neutral a problem..
Use the forum Search function ah heck I preloaded it for you, just click the link

Thank you.. I omitted the obvious!

Many info there thank you

1996 Honda CMX 250
haf is online now  
post #4 of 23 Old 02-28-2019, 12:38 PM
Join Date: Dec 2018
Location: Southern Arizona
Posts: 103
clutch cable is too loose?

1985 CMX 250

You look much less stupid locking your handlebar lock every night no matter where you park it than looking at the empty space where your bike was last parked.
oggytherebel is offline  
post #5 of 23 Old 02-28-2019, 02:35 PM
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Monroe, Louisiana
Posts: 28,523
Nope, inexperienced rider syndrome. Happened to me too.
kryton likes this.

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:
flitecontrol is offline  
post #6 of 23 Old 03-06-2019, 01:47 AM
Join Date: Jul 2018
Location: SO IL
Posts: 8
Nope, inexperienced rider syndrome.
I disagree. I have been riding all types of bikes for 50+ years. When hot and idling my 2011 Rebel is impossible to get into neutral. When cold dead maybe a 10% success rate. And YES, I have tried all the tricks and methods listed on the forum - nothing has worked. Other than neutral it shifts through the gears - well just OK. Not slick or smooth - just OK. Actually, I would rate it as the worst shifting bike I have ever ridden. Even my old Honda 305 Dream shifted much better and it was built over 50 years ago.

I will say other than that the bike does seem bulletproof. I have had it for less than a year but have put 3500 miles on it. It's a fun ride......
raymacke is offline  
post #7 of 23 Old 03-06-2019, 03:18 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2018
Location: ATHENS Greece
Posts: 58
Also for me the same, when hot neutral is gamble, sometime helps to move the bike forward while stopped. Reading the instruction above I donít put so much effort or pressure on the shift level.

Especially before entering my garage I am always turn engine off and then I shift neutral like a charm.

I thought that my inexperience is the problem but maybe itís more than this.

I dint know what type of oil was used by mechanic when I got the bike but I will give a try to replace it again just make sure that oil has nothing to do with that.

Also cable connection its fine and lubrications on shift level and rod bearings has been done.

1996 Honda CMX 250
haf is online now  
post #8 of 23 Old 03-06-2019, 06:51 AM
Join Date: Nov 2016
Location: Chandler, AZ
Posts: 767
I guess not all Rebels are alike. I have owned four, '85,'99,'04, and '16, and they have all been the easiest shifting bikes to shift I've ever ridden, out of well over 50 total. They click into gear while running quietly and without the loud CLUNK most bikes make, and the shifter is like a hot knife through butter. The shifter linkage could be adjusted wrong, the clutch could be adjusted wrong, or dragging for some other reason. I did have a couple of bikes I had shifting problems with where I found the friction plates were warped, and the clutch was not releasing completely. Could also be a problem with the internal shift linkage or drum. But by design, the Rebel seems to be an excellent shifting bike.

I typically do not put bikes into neutral except while letting them warm up before taking off. I keep them in first and hold the clutch in at stop lights, and also park them in first. But before I posted this, I started my Rebel up, warmed it up for 5 minutes, then shifted it up and down through the gears. I found neutral first time every time. Also be aware that if an engine is really hot, a wet clutch may not disengage as well. I've had a few bikes where the adjustment at the lever would change noticeably when the engine got really warm, and shifting would become notchy.
JerryH is offline  
post #9 of 23 Old 03-06-2019, 07:25 PM
Join Date: Jul 2018
Location: SO IL
Posts: 8
Probably the most definitive answer was from the late Duckster -

As an instructor I get to ride quite a few different small motorcycles. I know that difficulty in finding neutral generally has a couple of components.
First, it does take a delicate touch on the shift lever even if your bike is in good "normal" condition. A heavy foot will blow right through neutral, even when it is not that hard to find. Often a student will get frustrated trying to get neutral and one of the instructors will check it out. Most of the time its not a problem and the student just needs a little technique refinement.

Occasionally however, even an experienced instructor can't get it into neutral, and the bike is clearly experiencing a dragging clutch. This is when pulling up or pushing down on the shifter with clutch pulled meets a lot of resistance, and then finally the pedal lets go and it is virtually impossible to stop the motion in the middle at the neutral detent and it blows right through into first or second. This is a result of the undercut dogs on the gears as Kryton noted. With the dragging clutch, the input shaft has some static torque on it which creates resistance to pulling the dogs sideways out of the slots on adjacent gears because of this undercutting. The undercut dogs are also why you cannot shift gears while the engine is accelerating under power. You can apply quite a bit of pressure to the shifter lever, but it will not move until you roll off the throttle to unload those dogs. This is a design feature of ALL motorcycle transmissions. The dogs tend to drive themselves into the slots under power to prevent any tendency to jump out of gear.

Our training site had the misfortune to buy several Honda Groms a couple of years ago. This batch of Groms were ALL afflicted with dragging clutches, and there was no way to get them into neutral with the engine running. All of these bikes went back to the dealer for new or repaired clutches, so faulty clutches can be present right out of the box. A few years back we had a similar issue with Suzuki DR250's and the dealer was not able to repair them. As a result, we have not bought any more Suzukis.

So, there is no big mystery here. Some Rebels (like mine) will slip easily into neutral, hot or cold when the engine is running, Others have a degree of difficulty doing so, and others will not, under any condition, do so. Unless there is an issue with the shifting forks or linkages, (rare) the problem is due to failure to fully disengage the clutch resulting in some static torque on the input shaft, resulting in high friction on the undercut shifting dogs on the transmission gears, resulting in high force being required to move the shifter lever, resulting in inability to find neutral while the engine is running. It's really that simple.
Although in my case when stopped NO AMOUNT OF PRESSURE will get it out of 1st and into any other gear. Once rolling all is well.

So, it sounds as if my clutch is dragging a good amount. Really thinking about opening it up and taking a look. BTW - When I bought the bike last spring it had 492 miles on it and shifted poorly. I hoped additional miles would "loosen" things up. But now with 3500 miles on it nothing has changed.
JakerHsnaker likes this.
raymacke is offline  
post #10 of 23 Old 03-06-2019, 07:37 PM
Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: NYC
Posts: 176
I had that problem, and replacing the clutch plates solved it. You bought it used and perhaps the clutch problem motivated the seller to give you a good price
reb2005 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)
Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode

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