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Discussion Starter #1
Hey everybody. I'm having some issues with my 2004 Honda Rebel. Before I get started I know that it's a 250 so it's innate power is limited, so the comparative adjectives I use will be to compare it to itself. That being said... I left my bike un-ridden for about two weeks. Now when I ride it it feels like I'm accelerating into a strong wind. I give it throttle and the engine revs but it doesn't translate to acceleration like it used to. It feels really sluggish, and I find myself downshifting in familiar places where I never had to before. I thought maybe the fuel sat for too long, even though 2 weeks has never messed with my carbs before, but I started running some SeaFoam through it, but no change.

Does anyone have any idea what could be causing this? What are the usual suspects for power loss? The oil has been changed recently, but the power loss came about 700 miles after the change. Spark plugs? Chain tension? Thanks for any feedback.
 

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After sitting, even after only two weeks, bad gas gumming the carbs is the first suspect. IMO Seafoam is more of a preventative measure than a cure, so I wouldn't rule out dirty carbs until you actually gave them a more thorough cleaning. As long as you're cleaning stuff, you may as well clean the air filter while you're at it. How many miles are on the bike total?
 
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What type of oil (oils with friction reducers are not good for your bike) and does it fell like the clutch is slipping. (high revs no movement)
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for the replies. The bike has 4700 miles on it total. I used Amsoil 10w-40 synthetic oil in it. I'm not sure if the clutch is slipping because I'm not sure what that feels like. When I give it gas I can feel it accelerate, but it is sluggish, like I'm driving into a strong headwind. I hope this helps diagnose the problem. I'm hoping that I don't need to tear down the carbs, but I will if I have to. Thanks.
 
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Not the oil then, and if your not running high rpm to get the bike to move then your clutch is fine. Go with schniederman and clean the carbs. You could have gotten some bad or even dirty gas.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Shoot! Ok I will clean them. I have a cyclepedia.com membership and it tells me how to remove and install the carb, but not what to look for/do when cleaning them. Can you point me towards a how to for cleaning them? Thanks again, I'll try to clean them tomorrow and let you know how they look.
 

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Now when I ride it it feels like I'm accelerating into a strong wind. I give it throttle and the engine revs but it doesn't translate to acceleration like it used to.
Try changing the oil first the syn or seafoam could have the clutches slipping.
That is what it sounds like to me. Try a rolling start and give it full throttle if the engine rpm picks up and you do not accelerate very fast than it is clutch slippage. If you end up back at the carbs try fuel injector cleaner first before you tear it down. You need to figure Gal. per part mix But I have had very good luck doing this. It will take at least a tankfull to do the job.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Emergency update! I was on the highway and lost all power. The motorcycle stayed on but lost the ability to move. This seems like the clutch is not engaging. Does this make sense? Is there a way I can free it easily so I can drive it home? I am stranded right now and I know that I will have to open it and probably replace something, but is there a short term fix? I rev it and nothing happens but the RPM's climb. Thanks for your help.
 

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Wow I am probably to late and you needed a truck from the sound of it.
But check the adjuster nut on the clutch and see if it is tight?
That is the only thing I can think of right now.
 

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Definitely sounds like clutch slippage. Did you use an oil specifically for motorcycles? I'm not sure if your clutch is a wet type or not, but if it is you need to be careful about the type of oil you use. Motorcycle types are designed to deal with wet clutch and go through the engine and transmission. Somebody said something about that earlier.

First try changing the oil. After 700 miles makes it sound like that's your culprit, because I really doubt the clutch is used up after 4700 miles. Good luck, and I hope you found a way to get your bike home.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I was able to push the bike to a friends house (3 miles and my quads are killing me!). Here is the oil I used: http://www.amsoil.com/storefront/mcf.aspx

I feel like it is the right stuff. Unless I hear otherwise I'm going to try to get the bike towed back to my place and start disassembling the clutch, but I don't know what I'm looking for. Should I just change the oil?!? I'd much rather do that, but I don't understand how the Amsoil wouldn't work. Thanks so much for the help. I'm hoping to get this fixed this weekend.
 
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Thats what I was asking . Is the engine reving high, well it looks like it was. the oil brand is ok (wet clutch application) and a change won't help anyway if it fouled the friction plates.
Are you the original owner , do you have a habit of "riding" the clutch, Hopefully like bill says yoy can just adjust it.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Ok, I'm getting ready to have it towed back to my place, here is one last clue that will hopefully help me determine what I'm going to need to do once I'm in there. I can shift through the gears as though I had the clutch in, but the clutch never "catches" the gear to supply power. Maybe I'll take pics of the process.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
oh yeah, where is the adjuster nut on the clutch, I'm not able to find it in the repair manual. Thanks again.
 
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There is one nut and sleeve at the lever itself . Then another at the engine. Can you push the bike while it is in gear. Is there a resistance change when you disengage the clutch, . It really should not be the cable problem unless someone messed with it. Cables will stretch not shorten and the clutch won't disengage when that happens.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Sorry for the delay, I tore it down yesterday only to find no issues. All of the springs and plates met spec. I'm baffled. Maybe it is the oil? Anyone have any other ideas?
 

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Sorry for the delay, I tore it down yesterday only to find no issues. All of the springs and plates met spec. I'm baffled. Maybe it is the oil? Anyone have any other ideas?
I bought a used Honda Shadow and right away noticed the top two gears had a small amount of slip for a few seconds at full power, I went back and talked to the Honda dealer. He changed the oil and said the wrong oil will make it slip. This cured the issue with in a few miles. Another shop told me the same thing. The Rebel uses the same oil for everything. So buy Honda recommended non synthetic and see what happens. I've also heard of brakes dragging but they would be very hot and turning to a brown color or blue. Good luck on it.
 

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Yea what BH said Honda has a track record of this problem.:(
Let us know how it goes.
 
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Where are the amsoil pros at, they can answer this. Never would have thought oil would effect the gears in that manner , Clutch yes but actual gears. Now i know. Downcycle did you try to push the bike while it was in gear like I was asking.
 
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