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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Does anyone else have trouble shifting up sometimes? It's like I've got to pull myself up to shift up. Also, I can't always shift down into first when rolling to a stop sign. My husband said he has that issue as well on his Ninja.
 

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Duckster can fill you in on proper shifting technique, if that is the issue.
I can tell you about how the linkage needs to be aligned parallel to work well and how lubrication on the shift linkage and bearing where the shift shaft goes through the sprocket cover can cause stiff shifting.
Check the lubrication. I use a spray white lithium grease on the ball and socket joints of the shift linkage. I pull the rubber boots back gently and spray it in.
On the bearing in the sprocket cover, I take the linkage loose from the shift shaft, take off the sprocket case cover, clean the bearing with kerosene and lube it with the grease from my grease gun. You know, the stuff they squirt in to the ball joints on a car.

If the linkage isn't parallel or the linkage rod is bent, the lever won't throw riht. It will go too far one way, and not far enough the other.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
As my husband said the bike has a very wide shifter. I had a break from riding and have only had it a month. Just have to get used to it again. I don't drive anything automatic, so I know how to properly shift.
 

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Lubricating the linkage makes a big difference as does wearing proper footwear with thin soles and low toes so its easy to move your foot over and under the lever.
The technique is simply to PULL or PUSH (not tug at or tap) the lever all the way to the end of its travel and hold it there momentarily on every shift. If you do this you will never miss a shift.
 

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I just had to grease my joints on the gear changer. Mine stuck when shifting down and had to lift it up a little with my foot or else it would not shift down to the next gear. Oiled the joints and now it's all good...
 

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I have a 2006 250 Rebel and it was so had to go from 1st to 2nd that it became a safety hazard for me in city traffic. So bought a made on China (not my 1st choice) for 100.00 and problem solved...Even when took safety course the 250 nighthawks were hard to get into second gear.
 

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I don't know what to tell you... other than that there is no design problem with the Honda 125/250 transmission setup... There's a kazillion of them around, many of those in training service with no issues. It's possible to have trouble if the linkage needs lubrication, but its an easy fix.
 

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I'm coming in late to this ball but hoping you can still answer a question. My girlfriend just bought a 2006 Rebel 250 and it is almost impossible to shift out of 1st sometimes. At least with a toe. What did you buy to fix the problem? I'll try greasing the linkage but it feels like there is another problem. Thanks
 

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Welcome, Happylandings. If the linkage is dirty, cleaning and lubricating it will help a lot. Is there some free play in the clutch cable? The end of the shift lever should move 3/8" to 3/4" before any resistance is felt.

If all the above are properly done, I would first question if she is using the right technique. Some folks with smaller hands have trouble pulling the lever all the way to the handlebars.
 

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With any used bike its a good idea to change the oil, I saw some improvement in my shifter when I got the 5 year old oil out and new oil in.
 

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I'll bet you saw some improvement in lubrication as well! How thick was that soup?
not bad really, it only had 700 miles on it. PO did care about it, used a tender on it and idled it up to temp every 2 months, just couldn't afford the luxury of insurance/registration/taxes.
 

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My shifting is rough/draggy. Lube on linkage helps but still a problem. So, I added 4oz canola oil to crankcase with great improvement -- indicating that this is a boundary lubrication problem within the crankcase. This could though in the long run increase tappet wear, so lI am looking for a solution based on what appears to be an insight here. There seems to be a rough Honda design within the crankcase re these shifting issues. Some say "nature of the beast".
 

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Canola Oil in your crankcase?? You should do an oil change immediately using a good quality 10w-40 and don't do that again. Lubing the shifter mechanism is just a tiny part of the job that motor oil does, and Canola oil is not a proper substitute for engine protection which is the oil's main job.
Most shifting issues can be attributed to lack of external lube on the linkage (the actual pedal "bearing" needs to be packed with grease) or to a maladjusted clutch. its also possible that shifting forks can be bent due to previous owner abuse. The shifter linkage rod can also be out of adjustment if anything has been modified.
You should not assume that Honda made a fundamental mistake just because you have a problem. The Rebel design has been tested by thousands of owners over 20 plus years.
 
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wow - i missed that word canola when i read this earlier

sounds like his rebel had high cholesterol
 
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I don't know, half the time I use clutch on start up 1-2 shift rarely using clutch 2-3, 3-4, 4-5 up-shifts..
70% of the time I don't use the clutch down shifting..
Guess I am just better attuned to matching engine rpm with transmission..
There was one time that I experienced some difficulty shifting immediately after an oil change that went away after less than 2 days of riding. Stands out in my mind having 14+ years of riding my little beast year round in all temperatures from freezing to over 100ºf as the only shifting difficulty I have ever had..

when I bought the bike PO had bent the shifter tie rod bolt into a V shape which I straightened and welded a stiffener rod to preventing it from ever bending again.. adjusted the linkage with nary a problem since..
 

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Thanks for your reply, but I believe you misunderstood me. I didn't do an oil change with canola oil. I just included four ounces in the recent change and that revealed a boundary lubrication problem within the crankcase. Too many riders complain about the shift problem despite lubing the shift linkage. I do not plan on continuing with canola oil.

Just now looking at the service manual. It gives external and internal resolutions.

External resolution targets the linkage (lubrication etc).

Internal resolution targets:

• Incorrect gearshift spindle assembly
• Damaged shift drum cam grooves
 

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The only shifting issues that can be labeled as "comes with the territory" on the rebel is
1) a bit of a "clunk" downshifting 2 -> 1. comes from the fact it's shifting 2->N->1 in one stroke, and apparently is common to most all bikes, sort of a design feature for the rider to know they hit bottom, lol
(All 6 Indians I tried on the last demo day did the same thing)
2) a warmed-up/hot-from-riding rebel is a bit finicky shifting into N at idle if you have the correct manufacturer's 10W-30 or 10W-40 oil, and rolling on a bit (100-200rpm) of throttle and it slides in like silk.
 

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Thanks for your reply, but I believe you misunderstood me. I didn't do an oil change with canola oil. I just included four ounces in the recent change and that revealed a boundary lubrication problem within the crankcase.
I understood what you said. You added a significant quantity of cooking oil to the motor oil in your engine. How did you determine from diluting the oil that you had a "boundary lubrication" problem?

Just now looking at the service manual. It gives external and internal resolutions.

External resolution targets the linkage (lubrication etc).

Internal resolution targets:

• Incorrect gearshift spindle assembly
• Damaged shift drum cam grooves
Of course if someone has been into your engine and reassembled the shifter mechanism incorrectly you might expect to have issues.

It's hard to imagine how the shifter drum cam groove would become damaged, (before the rest of the engine is trashed) since it runs in motor oil and is really not subject to significant wear compared to the rest of the engine internals which are subject to normal running engine wear at all times. Of course engine wear rate will spike if oil level gets too low, or if an inadequate grade of oil is used in the crankcase.
 
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