Honda Rebel 250 & 450 Forum banner
  • Hey everyone! Enter your ride HERE to be a part of November's Ride of the Month Challenge!
1 - 20 of 25 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
10 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have had my 1985 Honda Rebel 250 for two months, as a starter bike.

Because of it's size, it is a perfect fit for me. However, as I was frequently told before I bought this bike, I have gotten to the point where I want something with more power.

I am also in the throes of planning a trip to Utah (aprx 1,200 miles from where I live), and this little bike would not be a great one to try riding that far.

I have toyed with the idea of trading up, but since this is my first bike...and I have grown QUITE fond of it...I was hoping to get some info on possibly taking the 250 motor out and replacing it with a motor that is twice to 3x bigger.

Has this been done before? Is it possible to accomplish? What are the pro's and con's if it IS possible, and how simple/difficult would the swap be?
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
13,264 Posts
Lots of talk about it, nobody's really done it that we know of. As you point out, the Rebel is a small bike, and only has room in the frame for a small engine.
Swapping engines successfully is a serious piece of engineering work, not just a matter of bolting something in. Even if you were prepared and able to do it, the resulting machine would no longer be a rebel.
There's no shame in wanting something a bit bigger, and you would soon be used to the size and weight of a larger machine if you go that way.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
31,959 Posts
No easy swaps with larger engines that I know of. It could be done by altering the frame, but then the 250 engine wouldn't fit right. Best bet is to find a larger bike.

If the Rebel fits you, it should have no more problems making the trip than you will. Cagie went from Pennsylvania to Texas and back on his Rebel, and others have gone coast to coast.

I too was bitten by the bigger bike bug and bought the Vulcan. It has much more power and is a smoother ride. But I tend to put many more miles on the Rebel.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
13,126 Posts
Your 250 will do fine on a 1200 mile trip. Lots of people have done it and gone even further with no problems. The bike will go further than your backside will go before you have to stop and rest.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Cobra2

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
17,769 Posts
I won't say its impossible because with enough money, time, equipment and fabricating skills, anything is possible.

However, the engine in the Rebel is the largest of its family. The old TwinStar 185 and 200 were the beginning of that basic engine.

The Rebel 450 is a completely different cycle in design and its not interchangeable.

On the trip side, the Rebel is capable of long distance. Saddle comfort for a two day trip of 600 miles each would be the biggest issue IMO. When I was younger, and so was my Rebel, I did three days of 500 each.
Others have gone farther. Cagie did 4800 miles in two weeks if memory serves.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
11,931 Posts
However, as I was frequently told before I bought this bike, I have gotten to the point where I want something with more power.
Let's talk about this for a bit first.

You say you've had the bike for two months and it's your first bike. Have you simply grown bored with the straight line capabilities? If so a bike with more power is definitely attractive. But here's the catch: as a motorcyclist you also have to develop skills in many arenas outside of straight line riding.

Most notable being curves.

You really need to learn how to master cornering and braking in corners before trying it the first time on a bigger heavier bike that is going faster.
 
  • Like
Reactions: projectfineline

·
Registered
Joined
·
10 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Not that I am saying I am any kind of expert rider here (I DO only have 2 months/2,200 miles under my belt), but I have been doing more than straight line riding. Where I live, there aren't many straight lines to ride on, and those are mostly in town and only last a mile at most. In fact, Push Mountain Road is 20 minutes from where I live. I have handled curves, braking and accelerating out of them pretty well. My experience driving stick-shifts has given me a tiny advantage on that. But again, I am not an expert. Bikes are far different. However, with having no personal handling of a two-wheeled machine whatsoever...I picked it up fairly easily and quickly.

The only reason I want something bigger is to ride to Utah. If general consensus is that my Rebel will make it that far, and I haven't found something larger and more comfortable by next May - then the Rebel it is. I will be going on this trip no matter what I have to ride. :p But my bottom (and whichever fellow riders can join me - I'm sure) would appreciate it more.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
17,769 Posts
What I've found is that the rider's physical condition is the major factor in limiting trip length. I've had many other motorcycles. When I was younger and in better shape The Rebel for 10 hours wasn't a real problem. As I got older (and in less than prime condition) six hours on a BWM tourer with all the comfort gear including a high end Corbin saddle was causing my sciatica to act up. If I had no place to change my leg position it would be worse.
Still left in my garage is an '83 Midnight Virago 920 with a Mustang Regal comfort saddle. Its great for about two hours but after that the peg position, even though its more standard that the Rebel, ends up causing me pain. There is no place to move my feet, other than passenger pegs and those just put my leg in a cramped bend.
920 actual CCs, $400 seat (at the time of purchase), Rebel 450 bars for more arm comfort, standard with shaft drive, front and rear air adjustable suspension, magnesium wheels and tubeless tires and I won't take it more than 80 miles from home because at the end of a 160 miles ride I'm so stiff I can hardly walk.
I'd rather take the Rebel with its highway pegs and OE torture plate saddle. I can put more time in the saddle on the Rebel and its content running all day at 65.
The SilverWing scooter allows me even longer times in its OE saddle. With the floor boards integrated in to the lower fairing, it has an almost infinite number of possible leg positions so 10 hours in the saddle and still being able to walk when I get there is not only possible, I have done it this past summer.

Its not the size of the bike in the ride, its the size of the ride in the rider.

JMTCW
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
31,959 Posts
I had this guy put better foam in my Rebel seat and it's now as comfortable as the Mustang seat on the Vulcan. FAQ

I went with the Supracor upgrade. With shipping both ways, it cost right at $100, which is cheap compared with any custom seat.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
13,264 Posts
:lol2:Don't you mean "it's not the size of the bike in the ride, It's the size of the ride in the biker."
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
17,769 Posts
Much better turn of a phrase, yes.
Thanks Duckster.
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
4,989 Posts
no trouble - of course it can be done but most people don't have the skills or patience - check out Michael Waller for his videos on fitting random engines into random frames

 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3 Posts
Thanks for the reply .Will check out the video ,I like a challenge my fabricating would need a to be honed up a great deal though my welding skills are ok so I'm up for the challenge
 

·
Premium Member
1985, 86 CMX250C, 81 CM200T, 74 CL360, Invisible to cages, treat them accordingly. Avoids Road RAGE!
Joined
·
2,875 Posts
Welcome to the forum!
Don't know, but it would be cool to see!
 

·
Super Moderator
1987 CMX250C AC
Joined
·
3,222 Posts
ninja 300 drivetrain on a rebel 250
No pictures = Didn't happen
Ninga 300 engine is at least 1/2 of the ninga frame if you can even say the ninga has a frame.
By the time a new frame is built to bolt the ninga engine into you don't have a Rebel any more
Tire Wheel Land vehicle Fuel tank Motorcycle
 
1 - 20 of 25 Posts
Top