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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hello all,

As you all may know, my 2006 Honda Rebel is my first bike. I have no automotive (cage or bike) experience at all, but after now putting 1100 miles on my bike, I think it's time to do some maintenance to it.

One reason is beacuse I feel like it just doesn't have the same power as it did when I bought it. At highway speeds, it is sometimes difficult to maintain the speed limit (getting it that fast). It wasn't that bad when I first bought it. The wind has been pretty heavy around here lately, so I am sure that has an effect, but I just seem to have no power. :p

Another reason is that I am now hearing a funny sqeaking noise as I ride (I noticed it last night when I was out). So, I think I am at the point I need to give my bike some TLC, so it doesn't develop costly issues. I imagine the squeaking is from the chain, as I rode in some really heavy rain a few days ago.

My problem is, that I have no idea of what to do, or how to get it done.

I know I should do an oil chnage, lube the cain, and check tire pressure. I assume that I should also check all fluids (maybe drain & replace them as well?). Maybe put new spark plugs in, check the cables, clean the carb?

I don't honestly know.

I know these may be embarassing questions to ask, but I want to learn and we all have to start somewhere. Anybody willing to advise? :)
 

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Troublemaker
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There is a maintenance schedule in the owners manual. Look at it and see what it says to do at the mileage you have on the bike.

Check youtube for videos on things like oil changes and chain tightening and lubrication. The only fluid you have other than oil is the front brake fluid, that is also easy to change, just have to be very careful to not get ANY brake fluid on the paint.

Tackle what you can at your comfort level and then ask for help on what you might not want to handle yourself now. Most of the time you will find that some of the tasks are not as hard as they seem, other's experience can show that.

I myself do a lot of checking for loose parts, cracks, paint chips and such by hand washing every part of the bike. Trying to get that speck off may just be a crack starting on the frame, or a loose cover may mean that it is broken and will need repaired or replaced before it falls off. Checking the front brake rotor for bad scratches may indicate a failure the next time you need it. Oil leaking from the fork seals indicates either a bad seal or possibly just a speck of dirt stuck in it. Check tires for weather checking, the bike is 8 years old, and if they haven't been replaced, they should be now. Just look for anything that isn't right and fix it. This is a start, there is more.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
There is a maintenance schedule in the owners manual. Look at it and see what it says to do at the mileage you have on the bike.
Thanks for the info. Unfortunately, I bought my bike used, and it didn't come with a user manual or service manual of any type. If anybody has an electronic copy of these, and would be willing to e-mail them to me, I would be greatly appreciative. :)

As I have no idea of how well it was maininted prior to my purchase, I would love to be able to give it a "complete workover" while I am at it. That way I am 100% positive that everything needed is up to date. :71baldboy:
 

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The service manual is one of the best purchases you can make if you own a motorcycle and do your own maintenance.

It will pay for itself the first time you use it, compared to having a service done. Costly mistakes can be avoided by following the procedures in the book as well.

If you aren't sure when the last oil and filter change was done, go ahead and do it.

Check your tire pressure often, at least every few days. If the tires are older than 5-6 years, or are worn near the wear bars, change them. Your life depends on them being in top condition.

Check the color of the brake fluid. If it is no longer clear, flush it. Follow the proper procedure to be sure you don't end up with air in the line. I posted some instructions in the front page article section a while ago. Just do a search.
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
Thankd for the tips all. I think buying a service manual is probably the way to go.

I have a silly question though.

How detailed are the service manuals?

For example, do they give you a break down similar to this:

OIL CHANGE- First you will need the following tools. A XXX socket, a XXX wrench, a XXX oil filter, and so on.

Then you will need to unscrwew this bolt (with a picture), after that you will need to remove that plate, ect.

What I am getting at, is are these manuals designed to literally walk you through the process step by step, even if you have no automotive experience?

Also, I see that there are 3 paper options and an online option. The offical Honda manual ($110 on e-bay), a Haynes manual, a Clymer's manual (both around $50-$60), and an online manual from Cyclepedia. However it is a subscription based manual, I believe.

Of these, what would you all recommend?

Sorry for the silly questions, but these manuals aren't poacket change for my budget, so I want to make sure I get the one that will best suit my needs.

Thanks. :)
 

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Troublemaker
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Go to an auction site like ebay, you didn't buy the bike new, why buy the manual new? There are so many past Rebel owners that have been in the same place you are. They have since moved on and sold the bike, and will sell the manuals they had too since they no longer have a use for them. Save some scratch and buy some gas.
 

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The manuals show step by step instructions, usually with fairly decent illustrations.

They are not going to get so basic as to tell you which direction to turn a drain bolt or oil filter to loosen it, but they are laid out fairly logically.

The main headache I have run across with manuals is sometimes they have you flip around to different sections to complete a task. Such as, Step 1: remove wheel (see section 12-5), then remove belt guard, (see section 14-2) etc.

The book would be much thicker (and more expensive) if they had to duplicate information I guess.

They are also loaded with a lot of safety warnings like everything else these days. Some things might not be apparent and need to be read and understood, but others such as "Caution! Don't touch a hot exhaust pipe with your bare hands or face!" are a little silly.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
The manuals show step by step instructions, usually with fairly decent illustrations.

They are not going to get so basic as to tell you which direction to turn a drain bolt or oil filter to loosen it, but they are laid out fairly logically.

The main headache I have run across with manuals is sometimes they have you flip around to different sections to complete a task. Such as, Step 1: remove wheel (see section 12-5), then remove belt guard, (see section 14-2) etc.

The book would be much thicker (and more expensive) if they had to duplicate information I guess.

They are also loaded with a lot of safety warnings like everything else these days. Some things might not be apparent and need to be read and understood, but others such as "Caution! Don't touch a hot exhaust pipe with your bare hands or face!" are a little silly.
Thanks Dods, that is exactly what I needed to know. :)

Anybody have an opinion on what manual is the best/most complete?
 

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Dods is right, Cyclepedia does it this way. Not an issue for me. The descriptions and screen shots do a pretty good job of stepping through what you're working on, along with bolt and nut sizes, etc. $34.95 for the lifetime subscription was in the ballpark for other paper manuals I had seen for sale. There is a link within for ordering parts that goes to MR Cycles. I compared their prices and they were in line with what others were asking. You will still be muttering, "Dang, that part is how much??" Delivery was on time. I like the option of taking my tablet out to the bike, or printing only the sections I'll need. I'd still like to know how Cyclepedia stacks up against the genuine Honda shop manual.
 

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Eating GSXRs, Sh***ing CBRs
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If it is an option, get multiple service manuals made by different companies. While I can only get Haynes for my ZX9R, I have Haynes, Clymer and the Yamaha factory service manual for my XV1000. Sometimes, one manual is better detailed than the others in different areas. In one instance Clymer was flat out wrong on a repair but was more accurate than Haynes on a different repair.

-Personally, I found that having the manuals in .pdf form on my Ipad has been the greatest help ever. I have all 3 right there and can skip to different sections quickly.
 

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YOUTUBE

So many videos...

"Oil change, honda rebel" gives you 4,300 results! #4 is a girl in a low cut shirt showing you her, um, skills...
 

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Discussion Starter #14
YOUTUBE

So many videos...

"Oil change, honda rebel" gives you 4,300 results! #4 is a girl in a low cut shirt showing you her, um, skills...
LOL! I actually watched a youtube video today to learn how to do my oil change. It was SUPER easy. Easier than a car, to be honest.

I am trying to find a good video on how to take the carb off, clean it up well, get it back together, and back on the bike ok.
 

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YouTube videos done well are informative and helpful. (See CaptCrashIdaho for well produced "how to ride" videos)

There are a large number of how to videos that are simply painful for me to watch, however. Unscripted, rambling, poorly edited, out of focus videos is why I'll usually look for instructions in print first.
 
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