Common Problems With Honda Rebel 250

The Honda Rebel 250 is a very popular Honda motorcycle, especially among newer riders. Honda is notorious for making incredibly reliable small engines. That being said, there are some issues to be aware of when considering getting a Honda Rebel 250.

Some common problems with the Honda Rebel 250 include:

  1. Fuel in carburetors will gum up due to improper storage.
  2. Fuel lines are prone to disintegrate and plug up the carburetor.
  3. The fuel filter is easily ripped and can let debris through and into the carburetor.
  4. Clutch components will wear quickly and require replacement.

Additionally, it’s not uncommon to require replacing parts like spark plugs, wires, headlamp assemblies, suspension components, seats, and other parts that get worn over time. However, these issues are typically specific to the Rebel 250 and it wouldn’t be fair to include them in the list above.

How Do I Prevent These Issues?

Luckily, most of these issues can easily be prevented by taking some extra steps concerning proper motorcycle maintenance. Doing so will extend the longevity of the motorcycle and result in a far better riding experience. Even if the issues occurred with a previous owner, these repairs are worthwhile.

As mentioned above, the carburetor can get dirty and cause performance issues. There are many ways that this can happen, but there are some simple steps that can do a lot to prevent it. Neglecting proper maintenance will cause a lot of issues and is frankly irresponsible. As with any maintenance, taking some extra time, effort, and common sense will go a long way.

To address the above-mentioned issues: first off, when parking the motorcycle for the winter, it is wise to drain the fuel out of the carburetor. Letting gas sit in the carb will allow it to degrade and that leaves deposits in the float, the jets, and so on.

Also, as the gas evaporates, water can condense on the interior walls of the carb, which may lead to corrosion. Draining the carburetor for storage eliminates that possibility. When it’s riding season, just add some new gas along with your pre-season checks and it’s ready to go.

Second, the fuel delivery system can have some issues, especially in older motorcycles. The “fuel delivery system” simply refers to the fuel tank and fuel lines to the carburetor. In older models, the alcohol in fuel can eventually degrade fuel lines and the debris gets washed into the carb. A regular inspection of the lines and keeping the carburetor clean will prevent this issue.

There can also be issues with the fuel on/off switch, also called the petcock. Through wear and tear, this component can leak. Also, the screen in the line is known to let debris through. Inspecting and/or replacing the fuel lines as needed will correct this issue. Installing an additional fuel filter or tighter screen could also help.

If the carburetor requires cleaning, make sure it is done right. It usually requires disassembly and there are a lot of small pieces that can go missing. If it’s a DIY project, take extra care; if not, have a competent technician handle it.

Third, the clutch is going to see wear and tear, especially on older motorcycles. Since this model is popular for beginners and since the clutch can be a tricky aspect to master, it shouldn’t be surprising to need a new clutch. Clutch operation and condition are critical to performance and so replacing it as needed will maintain performance.

An at-home clutch replacement is possible for the mechanically savvy, but taking it into a repair shop would be worth the money to have it done right. Also, the clutch handle and cables are prone to wear but replacements are readily available and relatively easy to replace and adjust. 

Generally speaking, the Rebel 250 is a solid motorcycle. There are a few commonly known issues and each model might have its own set of issues, but a Rebel 250 that is in good shape is a great motorcycle to have. Even though these are no longer in production, there are parts available and aren’t very expensive.

Is The Honda Rebel 250 A Good Starter Bike?

The Honda Rebel 250 is a very popular motorcycle for beginner riders. Here are a few reasons why:

  • Balanced engine power performance
  • Sized to fit a variety of riders
  • Legendary Honda reliability
  • Cruiser style offers options for customization and accessories

The Rebel was purposely designed to introduce more individuals to motorcycle riding. The 250 was sold off and on from the mid-1980s until 2016. The 234cc engine puts out about 16 horsepower, offering some performance without being over-powered. For an adult beginner, this balance is ideal.

Along those lines, the height and weight of the motorcycle were also designed to accommodate nearly any rider. The 250 has a 57″ wheel-base, a 26 ½” seat height, and weights about 320 lbs. These dimensions may be a bit small for taller people, but with a few adjustments, beginner riders will find a well-handling machine.

At the beginning of this article, a few common issues specific to the Rebel 250 were addressed. With that being said, Honda has been making motorcycle engines since its inception in the mid-1940s and has upheld a reputation of reliability over a range of platforms. Someone new to riding can trust that a Honda will be a great bike to start on. Honda offers dozens of options covering street bikes, sportbikes, touring bikes, scooters, adventure bikes, and dirtbikes.

For a beginner, it can be a bit overwhelming to decide which style of bike to get (sport, cruiser, etc). The Rebel 250 is a cruiser style with a classic look.  From something as simple as adding a few saddlebags and a windshield to a more in-depth mod like converting it to a cafe racer, the Rebel 250 is a solid platform to modify and customize to fit any style.

It’s always helpful to have the manual readily available. If you don’t have the original copy, you can easily find it on which is a great resource I’ve used for past motorcycles.

Should I Buy New Or Used?

When it comes to purchasing any vehicle, it usually comes down to buying new or used. The Rebel 250 last model year was 2016, so used is all that is available. However, there are Rebels in larger sizes, specifically the 300, 500, and 1100, still in production.

There appears to be no shortage of used Rebel 250s for sale. A quick look around sites like Craigslist produces dozens of results, depending on the searched area. The trick is finding a motorcycle that will be in good shape at the time of purchase.

For the mechanically inclined, finding a motorcycle that needs some work seems like an exciting challenge and, under the right circumstances, can be a good deal. However, if a beginner is looking to get a lot of riding in, it would be wise to avoid taking on a fixer-upper and get something that is already road-worthy.

Pricing on a used Rebel is dependent on location, condition, and age. The market for used vehicles changes geographically. Searching outside a local area is a strategy to find a good deal, but might require a bit of travel to view and pick up the motorcycle. Of course, if it is is newer with very few issues, it will be worth more and vice versa. Shopping online can produce a lot of info, but a hands-on review of the bike before purchasing is critical.

Generally speaking, a Rebel 250 is going to be a good value at an affordable price. Somewhere around $2000 will buy a motorcycle in great shape, depending on the conditions mentioned above. Another aspect to budget for will be some maintenance out of the gate. Oil changes for the engine and transmission, spark plugs, tires, and fuel are just a few things that should be considered and updated before doing a lot of riding.


So, while there are a few common issues, the Rebel 250 is a great beginner motorcycle. If an upgrade to a bigger, more powerful model is imminent, there will be plenty of potential buyers eager to get their hands on one. With some extra love and care, these bikes will last a long time with plenty of potential for the accessories any rider needs to be comfortable and have a great ride.

For more info on any of the above topics, combing through forums online can be a great way to find info about maintenance tips, diagnosing issues, modification ideas, and other tips and tricks. Also, blogs like this offer details and how-to articles to cover all aspects of motorcycle riding.

If you are considering buying a Honda Rebel 250 or have a different model in mind and need some buying advice, reach out to me on Instagram @moab.kyle and I will respond to any questions you may have.

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