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1986 Rebel 250 Candy Eiger Blue
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a 1986 Rebel purchased about 9 months ago. Had about 2500 miles on it at the time, and I have since added about another thousand. When I first got it, to begin riding again after an absence of decades, I found that it would occasionally slip out of second gear back to neutral. Didn't do it too often, and I thought it might be partly me being very rusty. However, it slowly seemed to be getting worse even as I improved, and now it's progressed to the point where it will slip out every second shift, which is really dangerous in traffic. For all practical purposes, it's not rideable. The shift linkage moves freely, nothing is bent, and the alignment is good going by the diagram I've seen elsewhere on the forum. The oil was changed about 300 miles ago (proper Honda oil) so I'm thinking that's not the problem. Any suggestions on what to try?
 

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If you shift by first lifting up on the shift lever, pulling clutch lever and then raising shift lever all the way up before releasing the clutch lever, I would say it's a mechanical issue. That said, it's happened to me a number of times. I was getting lazy in my shifting technique and not raising the shifter all the way up before releasing the clutch lever, leaving the transmission somewhere between neutral and second. It would accelerate, but eventually slip back into neutral.

To try and rule out other things, does the end of the clutch lever have 3/8"-3/4" of free play before resistance is felt? Is there good resistance in the clutch lever past the free play point?
 

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1986 Rebel 250 Candy Eiger Blue
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
If you shift by first lifting up on the shift lever, pulling clutch lever and then raising shift lever all the way up before releasing the clutch lever, I would say it's a mechanical issue. That said, it's happened to me a number of times. I was getting lazy in my shifting technique and not raising the shifter all the way up before releasing the clutch lever, leaving the transmission somewhere between neutral and second. It would accelerate, but eventually slip back into neutral.

To try and rule out other things, does the end of the clutch lever have 3/8"-3/4" of free play before resistance is felt? Is there good resistance in the clutch lever past the free play point?
Just measured the free play and it was just shy of 3/8" with the handle bar straight but also noticed there was zero free play at full lock to left, while full right was about the same as center. Not that I'd be accelerating hard in second gear at full lock in either direction, but something I noticed all the same. So, I've adjusted the free play for just other 1/2" with the bar straight which still allows some free play at full lock left, although not quite 3/8". I won't be able to test ride until tomorrow to see how that works out.

I had tried altering my shift method from first to second in a number of different ways without much success. Of course, once past second, no problems at all up or down.
 

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85 CMX 250C, 82 GW Remember that you are invisible, treat all others accordingly. Avoids Road RAGE!
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Mine has had this problem intermittently since I got it. Like flitecontrol, I think that when it happens, it's my own laziness for not pulling all the way up before engagement.
If it always happened I'd think possibly the dogs on 2nd might be to blame.
Anyone else thinking the same?
 

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Emil, if it's happening all the time, I suspect you are right.
 

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85 CMX 250C, 82 GW Remember that you are invisible, treat all others accordingly. Avoids Road RAGE!
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I don't know how much you know, but YouTube has an excellent video on "How motorcycle transmissions work" . It's animated & explains it clearly..
 

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1986 Rebel 250 Candy Eiger Blue
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Just back from a long and enjoyable ride. Exactly one missed shift, which I'm going to attribute to inattentiveness. I think maybe this was a combo problem, the majority of which was not enough preload. The clutch free play was set to the middle of the specified range, but before heading out today I also took a few minutes to check the lubrication on the shaft at the foot peg end. There was some grease, but very little, black and sticky, and only on a small section of the shaft, the rest being dry. Given the low mileage on the bike, I kind of suspect it was the original 35 year old factory grease. I cleaned it up and applied a good coating of grease over the full length of the shaft. Anxious to get out, I did not pull the cover at the transmission end to check the needle bearing which I suspect may also need cleaning and lube. One other item of note is the significant amount of overall slop in the linkage, which is caused mainly by the wobbly ball joint at the transmission end. The ball joint is fine, but the pin that secures it to the actuating lever is wobbly, only being secured by a type of rivet. I suspect the only solution for this may be to have it welded.
 

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I should have suggested that, as a well lubricated linkage shifts much easier. The ball joints should be lubricated as well as the other moving parts.
 

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85 CMX 250C, 82 GW Remember that you are invisible, treat all others accordingly. Avoids Road RAGE!
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Hope the problem doesn't recur. Happy that you seem to have found an easy way to fix it.
 

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1. Remove the shifter and the sprocket plate. Spray with brake cleaner, spray out the 2 shifter links, and the little roller bearing thing in the cover plate. Grease it all up i use sprsy lithium (4.95 at home depot), reinstall.

2. The bike is under geared, i switched to the 15t / 32t combo, now it shifts right, no more popping out of 2nd!
 

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I don't see how the sprocket change has anything to do with the bike slipping out of 2nd.
 

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I'm in 3rd ready to upshift to 4th before getting across 4 lane intersection from stoplight..
 

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85 CMX 250C, 82 GW Remember that you are invisible, treat all others accordingly. Avoids Road RAGE!
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Sorry about taking so long to reply. We've been out all day.
I know my gears are much taller with this set up. Every now and then I get lazy and I don't quite pull it into second completely. Then it will jump out. I just have to force myself to pull second up completely when I'm pulling it into gear. I'm going to try to adjust the shifter a little bit lower, this should help me to be able to pull second up all the way in each time. Just about a quarter inch ought to do it.:unsure: I will say this, when shifting the next gear is right at a sweet spot for power when I get to it. So when I get to 5th gear I'm already doing about 60-65 mph, & then I have plenty of power right up to 75-80.
 

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2002 Honda rebel 250
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Sorry about taking so long to reply. We've been out all day.
I know my gears are much taller with this set up. Every now and then I get lazy and I don't quite pull it into second completely. Then it will jump out. I just have to force myself to pull second up completely when I'm pulling it into gear. I'm going to try to adjust the shifter a little bit lower, this should help me to be able to pull second up all the way in each time. Just about a quarter inch ought to do it.:unsure: I will say this, when shifting the next gear is right at a sweet spot for power when I get to it. So when I get to 5th gear I'm already doing about 60-65 mph, & then I have plenty of power right up to 75-80.
Hey EMIL, I should have been more specific. I was asking with your sprocket setup, do you find you don't have to shift as quickly?
 

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85 CMX 250C, 82 GW Remember that you are invisible, treat all others accordingly. Avoids Road RAGE!
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Yes.
The gears are much taller, Meaning that shifting is much further apart.
One notification however, 1st generation Rebels seem to have more power in the 2nd gen. This is especially true with the 1985. It was designed with a larger main jet than all the others.
 
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