The Honda Rebel 1100 is a modern cruiser combining style, performance, and comfort.
It features a 1084cc parallel-twin engine, a six-speed transmission, and a range of advanced technologies, but like any other motorcycle, the Rebel 1100 has flaws.
This article explores the common problems that Honda Rebel 1100 owners have reported and how to fix them.
Table of Contents
1. DCT Won’t Turn On/Off
Some Honda Rebel 1100 trims feature a Dual Clutch Transmission (DCT), allowing riders to switch between automatic and manual shifting modes. However, some owners have reported issues with DCT, including trouble turning it on/off, changing gears, or shifting from neutral.
“I just purchased a Rebel 1100 DCT. My issue is that it won’t change gears auto/manual; it stays on 1st.”-Hondarebel3forum.com
“I have had it fail to go into gear from neutral when the bike was rolling downhill from parked. I simply stopped the rolling downhill. I then put it in gear, and all was fine. A manual bike, you can put it in gear while rolling downhill. That’s OK, I’m very pleased with the DCT” -Hondarebel3forum.com.
“it looks like the DCT is not shifting, which is done by the DC electric motor. It sits on the right, is easy to access, and has to be cleaned. Also, recalibrating DCT by pushing control buttons is easy.” -YouTube comment.
A malfunctioning switch or a loose connection is a common culprit for the DCT not powering on/off correctly.
- To address this, inspect the wiring and the switch for signs of damage or corrosion. If you identify any issues, consider replacing or repairing the affected components.
- A quick reset of the DCT can also be attempted by toggling the ignition off and on.
Another prevalent issue is the DCT’s reluctance to change gears or engage from neutral, often stemming from a dirty or misaligned DCT motor.
This critical component is responsible for electronically shifting gears and can accumulate dirt and debris over time.
- The solution involves thoroughly cleaning and recalibrating the DCT motor using the instructions in your owner’s manual.
- Check the clutch fluid level and inspect the clutch plates for signs of wear or damage, replacing them as necessary.
Keep in mind that the DCT is a sophisticated system. Contact your Honda dealer if you encounter DCT problems beyond your ability to resolve.
2. Bolts Strip Easily
Honda Rebel 1100 owners often deal with the frustrating issue of easily stripped bolts, which renders them unmanageable with standard tools due to damaged heads.
Several factors contribute to bolt stripping, including using the wrong tool, excessive force, and low-quality bolts.
“I have stripped 2 of my fender bolts by using the proper key and tools. Is anyone else experiencing this? Going to attempt to remove it. I’m getting annoyed at how easily these bolts get stripped. Never had it happened on any other vehicle.” -Hondarebel3forum.com”
To prevent bolt stripping, consider these guidelines:
- Choose the correct tool and size that snugly matches the bolt head’s shape and size. Never mismatch tools.
- Avoid over-tightening. Utilize a torque wrench to apply the specified torque from your owner’s or service manual. Over-tightening can weaken the metal and result in head breakage.
- Prevent cross-threading by aligning threads properly. Initiate the bolt by hand and ensure it goes in straight and smoothly. If you feel resistance, stop and retry.
- Invest in high-quality bolts like stainless steel or titanium to resist easy stripping. Consider using an anti-seize compound or thread locker to safeguard threads and prevent corrosion.
3. Bike Stalls While Riding
Another common issue reported by Honda Rebel 1100 owners is the unexpected stalling of their bikes, particularly at low speeds or when coming to a stop. This predicament can be not only frustrating but also potentially hazardous.
“My Rebel 1100 has stalled at a stop sign twice this week. It idled while waiting in traffic but stalled as soon as I began to open the throttle. I don’t have 2000 miles on it yet.” -Hondarebel3forum.com
“I was riding, stopped at the red light, and my bike stalled. The oil light came on right after that. The issue didn’t come back after I fired up the bike again, but I haven’t ridden much. The oil was changed a few months ago, and I don’t think the oil leaked. Another thing to consider: just moved to a big city and had to install the OEM muffler.”-Hondarebel3forum.com
Causes of a Rebel 1100 stalling while riding include:
- A clogged, damaged, or malfunctioning fuel pump or filter disrupts fuel delivery, leading to inconsistent pressure and stalling. Inspect these components for damage, replacing them if necessary.
- Dirty, worn, or defective spark plugs causing misfires and stalling. Examine them for carbon buildup, corrosion, or damage, replacing as needed.
- Poor-quality or contaminated fuel affects engine performance.
- Low idle speed or a faulty throttle position sensor. Adjust idle speed to specifications or calibrate the sensor using a diagnostic tool.
- Damaged or corrupted ECUs or loose/broken wiring, creating inconsistent signals. Inspect wires, replacing them as needed.
4. Engine Shudders Under Acceleration
Honda Rebel 1100 owners often encounter engine shuddering, notably during high-speed acceleration or in high gears, leading to an unstable and unresponsive riding experience.
On the freeway at 60 in cruise control in 6th, sport mode, violent shuddering at full throttle to clear merging traffic, shuddering stopped, looked at speedometer at 80 mph. Is this systemic to the 1100 manuals, or is mine a lemon? Dealer service personnel say harmonics and downshift. Tried 5th 60-80 shudder duration shorter, slightly less aggressive.” -Hondarebel3forum.com
While there’s no single malfunction responsible for this problem, causes can include:
- Operating at low RPMs or high gears or lugging can result in insufficient power and engine shuddering. Avoid this by downshifting or increasing RPM when accelerating. Utilize sport or manual mode for precise gear control.
- Fuel injection or Ignition malfunctions can lead to poor combustion, misfires, and shuddering. Inspect for damage or corrosion and repair or replace components as necessary. Use a fuel injector or ignition system cleaner to remove deposits.
- Transmission, clutch, chain, and sprockets transfer power but may cause jerking or shuddering due to wear or looseness. Examine these components for damage, replacing or adjusting as needed. Maintain the chain and sprockets with a chain cleaner and lube.
5. Engine Leaks Oil
Engine oil is crucial for engine lubrication, but some Rebel 1100 owners complain their bike develops oil leaks. Common leakage areas in the Honda Rebel 1100 include the stator cover and the top of the engine.
“I have a 21 Rebel 1100 DCT, and I just noticed while looking at the bike tonight that I have what appears to be an oil leak at the top of the engine. Has anyone come across this yet? I plan to remove the gas tank tomorrow, but I hope it’s an easy fix. I bought it used with 4,000 miles on it” –Hondarebel3forum.com.
“My 1100 DCT developed a leak where the alternator wires come out of the case on the left side of the engine. Leaks in the upper end of a motor can be a crankcase breather hose. Can be accumulated oil in the air cleaner if the drain tube has not been drained lately (by the key) or a valve cover gasket.” -Hondarebel3forum.com
Oil often leaks around the stator cover, where alternator wires exit the engine’s left side, and can occur due to improper sealant application.
Owners have reported this issue, which results from ineffective bonding between the sealant, the triangular grommet, or the metal case—a gap or crack forms, allowing oil to escape.
- To remedy this, reapply or replace the sealant and reinstall the stator cover, possibly necessitating an oil drain and removing the wire protector cover.
Other riders report leaks near the valve cover or crankcase breather hose at the engine’s top stem from worn, cracked, or loose gaskets or hoses.
- This leakage can be fixed by replacing or tightening the valve cover gasket or the crankcase breather hose.
- Accessing the engine may require removing the gas tank and air cleaner.
6. Radiator/Coolant Leaks
Rebell 1100 riders sometimes report coolant leaks that jeopardize engine temperature regulation and can lead to overheating, engine damage, or stalling. Two common areas for coolant leaks in the Honda Rebel 1100 are the radiator cap and the water pump.
“I came down to my bike and noticed a quarter-sized wet spot. I looked under the bike and saw a drop hanging from something below…. My coolant level is below “low,” too. What’s happening? I don’t want to assume it’s the coolant automatically…” -Hondarebel3forum.com.
Some 2021 Rebel 1100 models may have radiator caps with manufacturing defects, resulting in an inadequate seal.
- This defect can lead to radiator cap leakage or hot coolant spraying during operation.
- To resolve this issue, replace the radiator cap as part of a safety recall affecting all 2021 Rebel 1100 models, with Honda providing the replacement free of charge.
Coolant leaks around the water pump on the engine’s left side beneath the stator cover can result from a worn or failed water pump seal.
- Replacing the water pump seal may require draining coolant and removing the stator and water pump cover.
7. Battery Won’t Charge/Bike Won’t Start
Honda Rebel 1100 owners may encounter the frustrating issue of a non-charging battery or a bike that refuses to start. This predicament can disrupt the joy of riding and exploration.
“On my 21 Rebel 1100. When I try to start my bike, I hear the fuel pump engage, and then I hear the starter weakly try to turn over before it stops doing anything. If I charge the battery, it’ll do the same thing. It seems like I need a new one. My local Honda shop wants $300+ for a battery, which I cannot afford.” -Hondarebel3forum.com”
Common starting/charging issues on the Honda Rebel 1100 include:
- Faulty Battery: The battery is vital for engine start, but age, wear, damage, or excessive discharging can weaken or render it dead, causing inadequate power supply to the starter and weak cranking sounds. Replacing it with a Yuasa YTZ14S AGM battery is recommended.
- Faulty Alternator or Regulator/Rectifier: Damaged alternators or regulator/rectifiers can disrupt proper battery charging, resulting in quick power drains, low battery voltage, no starts, or running stalls. Testing and potential component replacement are necessary.
- Faulty Starter or Starter Relay: Starter issues, including intermittent operation and clicking or grinding sounds during start attempts, may require testing and potential replacement of the starter or starter relay.
What Are the Pros and Cons of the Honda Rebel 1100?
- Powerful and smooth 1084cc parallel-twin engine, with a claimed 86 hp and 72 lb-ft of torque.
- Modern and stylish cruiser design, with a low seat height, a forward-leaning stance, and a minimalist aesthetic.
- Some packages offer the Dual Clutch Transmission (DCT) option, which allows the rider to choose between automatic and manual shifting modes, with a paddle shifter on the left handlebar.
- Range of advanced technologies, such as throttle-by-wire, four riding modes (standard, sport, rain, and user), traction control, cruise control, and slipper clutch.
- Customizable and versatile, with various accessories and options, such as heated grips, backrest, luggage rack, saddlebags, windshield, and more.
- Battery Won’t Charge/Bike Won’t Start
- Radiator/Coolant Leaks
- Engine Leaks Oil
- Engine Shudders Under Acceleration
- Bike Stalls While Riding
- Bolts Strip Easily
- DCT Won’t Turn On/Off
What Are Some Alternative Models?
|Honda Rebel 1100||$9,999||44|
|Indian Scout Rogue||$12,749||45|
|Kawasaki Vulcan S||$7,599||47|
|Suzuki Boulevard C50||$8,299||45|
|Triumph Bonneville Speedmaster||$13,150||58|
What’s the Resale Value of a Honda Rebel 1100?
|Year||Mileage||Used Listing Price|
What Do the Reviews Say?
“The 2021 Honda Rebel 1100 is a cruiser motorbike providing further proof the firm builds bikes that shock you with their simplistic brilliance. The original parallel twin CB500s were such bikes, and so was the current CB500 range that includes this Rebel’s little brother, the Honda Rebel 500. The Rebel 1100 is a genuine giggle.”
“Rebels are renowned for their friendly demeanor and ease of use by virtually any sized rider, short or tall. And the 1100 continues the format. Mid-foot controls, a low seat, and a slim powertrain make a bike easy to straddle, especially for smaller riders.”