7 Common Honda Rebel 300 Problems (Explained)

The Honda Rebel 300 is an entry-level cruiser motorcycle that offers a stylish and comfortable ride for beginners and experienced motorcyclists alike.

However, like any other vehicle, the Rebel 300 is not immune to problems and issues.

This article explores the common problems with the Honda Rebel 300, providing tips on how to fix or prevent them.

1. Rear Fender Scratches Easily

Honda Rebel 300 owners report the rear fender scratches easily on the Honda Rebel 300 because of a design flaw in the plastic cover under the seat. The cover fastens to the fender, scratching it.

  • This cover rubs against the fender and creates friction, especially when dirt and sand get trapped in between.
  • Over time, this can cause noticeable damage to the paint and the metal of the fender.

“So it turns out little plastic cover under the seat that fastens to the fender the scratching… I’m not satisfied with how this looks. It isn’t supposed to be like this. Not on a bike that isn’t one year old even.” -hondarebel3forum.com

“This plastic cover is fastened directly to the fender by three plastic clips, so it will constantly have contact with it. Not to mention that sand and dirt are making their way in between these parts, causing even more wear and tear on the fender. This is not a spot on the bike that you’ll be able to see normally. You have to unscrew a few parts to gain access.” -hondarebel3forum.com

Thankfully, there are a few tricks to tackle this issue. One solution is to ditch the problematic plastic cover and find a more ideal replacement.

Some owners have suggested using rubber washers, foam tape, or silicone sealant to create a buffer between the cover and the fender.

Others have gone for a more radical approach by removing the cover completely. Regardless, we suggest you find an alternative method to seal the gap under the seat.

2. Slipping Clutch; Weak Acceleration

Another common issue reported by owners of the Honda Rebel 300 is the clutch slip while riding. This problem occurs when the clutch plates fail to engage correctly, causing the engine to spin faster than the transmission.

Consequently, you’ll notice weak acceleration, loss of power, and decreased fuel efficiency.

“My 2017 CMX300 issue is that sometimes (maybe 1 out of 8 times or so), while I’m up to speed(anywhere between 20-60mph), the accelerator won’t work unless I let go of it and try to give it gas again. The engine does not rev at all, and the bike begins to slow down as if I’m in gear and not giving it gas. But like I said, if I let go and try to accelerate again, she comes right back. -hondarebel3forum.com

“I have a 300, and it just won’t accelerate. I can maybe get up to 5 mph, but that’s with walking to help. I rev the throttle to see if it accelerates, but for some reason, it just won’t pick up speed.” -hondarebel3forum.com

“I have a 2021 Honda Rebel 300. I have had issues with riding for a few days. The issues seem to disappear after I’ve been riding for a while.

1. The power cuts out when I accelerate, and I must re-throttle the throttle to re-engage the engine.
2. The engine shuts off completely when downshifting with the clutch

There are a few potential culprits behind a slipping clutch:

  • Worn or damaged clutch plates or springs.
  • Incorrect clutch cable adjustment.
  • Using the wrong type or amount of engine oil.
  • Clutch plates contaminated by oil or dirt.
  • A faulty slip-and-assist clutch mechanism.

The solution hinges on the underlying cause, but here are some general steps to consider:

  • Consult your owner’s manual and adjust the clutch cable accordingly.
  • Replace the engine oil and filter with the recommended specifications.
  • Inspect and replace the clutch plates, springs, and washers if necessary.
  • Ensure the clutch basket and cover are free from debris or residue.
  • If applicable, check and repair the slip-and-assist clutch system.

If these steps seem beyond your experience level, we suggest seeking professional assistance from a qualified mechanic.

Ignoring a slipping clutch can pose safety risks and potential engine damage if left unresolved.

3. Bike Leaks Oil

Some owners report issues with oil leaks on their Honda Rebel 300 motorcycles. Rebel 300 riders have identified oil leakage near the sprocket, suggesting potential problems with worn or damaged oil seals on the countershaft.

Another concern is oil leaking near the clear reservoir, often linked to a defective right engine case cover.

Additionally, oil leaking can be associated with clogged or damaged crankcase breather tubes.

“Just got a 2021 Rebel 300, il near the sprocket. I’m not sure where it’s leaking and what ring or part I would need to fix it. My 2021 Rebel 300 started leaking oil at the bottom near the clear reservoir… The crankcase breather tube was filled. So, I let some go. But now I noticed ar it that’s dripping, and I don’t know if it was cut like that or that.” -hondarebel3forum.com

  • To address sprocket-related leaks, replace the worn oil seal with a new one, following instructions in the service manual.
  • For issues near the clear reservoir, check if your 2023 Honda Rebel 300 qualifies for a recall due to misapplied paint, and schedule a free repair if eligible. If not, replace the right engine case cover.
  • To fix leakage near the breather tube, clean or replace the crankcase breather tube with the help of the service manual, ensuring the air cleaner and oil level’s integrity is unaffected by the leak.

4. Shift Lever Gets Stuck; Bike Won’t Shift

Some owners report problems with their Rebel 300’s shift lever getting stuck or not shifting correctly, posing a safety risk if the bike does not respond to the rider’s input.

The shift lever is the part allowing the rider to change gears by moving it up or down with the left foot.

Your shift lever is connected to the transmission by a linkage that consists of a gearshift arm, a tie rod, and a shift shaft.

“I just bought a 300 and seem to be experiencing problems with its shifter. Sometimes, it will drop way down, and I’ll have a heck of a time getting it back into neutral. I looked up the part, and then the entire shift pedal and linkage shaft is 25 bucks.” -hondarebel3forum.com

  • Consult your owner’s manual for guidance on setting the shift lever’s height and position properly.
  • Ensure it doesn’t hit the crankcase or foot peg and be cautious when adjusting the spline shaft.
  • Inspect your Rebell 300’s shift lever or linkage for signs of wear or damage and replace them as needed.
  • Refer to the service manual for part numbers and replacement instructions.

Finally, if the problem lies in the clutch or transmission, follow your owner’s manual to adjust the clutch cable correctly and replace worn or damaged clutch components and transmission gears.

5. Faulty Idle

Some Honda Rebel 300 owners encounter a common issue with a faulty idle, where the engine struggles to maintain a steady speed when the throttle is released, potentially leading to stalling or engine shutdown.

A maladjusted idle stop or idle mixture screw can both contribute to a faulty idle.

Other potential culprits include incorrect idle speed or mixture settings, dirt or blockages in the throttle body or fuel injection system, faulty spark plugs or ignition system, and clogged or obstructed air filters or intake components.

“My Rebel 300 will not idle regardless of gear or clutch position. As a new bike owner, that makes it very difficult to ride… It’s been doing this for a little over two weeks. During this time, I haven’t been running it for more than a minute, so I have other opinions on why it won’t idle. I’m not sure if it does this while it’s warmed up. Can bad gas do this?” -hondarebel3forum.com

Consult your owner’s manual and utilize a tachometer to set the idle speed at 1400 RPM when the engine is warm.

  • Adjust the idle mixture for smooth engine operation.
  • Clean the throttle body and fuel injection system following service manual instructions.
  • Use a fuel system cleaner like Sea Foam.

We also suggest regularly checking and replacing spark plugs and ignition components as needed.

Finally, ensure you maintain the air filter and inspect intake components, replacing them when necessary.

6. Crank Case Plug Slips Out

A severe concern for some 2023 Honda Rebel 300 owners is the crankcase plug slipping out. The plug seals the right-side engine case, housing the alternator and oil filter. If it loosens, oil leakage can occur, potentially leading to fire, crashes, or injury.

  • In a recall notice reported by rideapart.com, Honda warns that the crankcase plug of some 2023 Rebel 300 motorcycles may come loose due to faulty paint and cause oil to spill on the exhaust pipe or the rear tire.
  • This could lead to a fire, crash, or injury while riding. Honda reported the problem to NHTSA on April 14, 2023.
  • The recall affects 1,461 2023 Rebel 300 motorcycles made between September 15 and November 17, 2022.
  • Honda Rebel 300 owners can call Honda customer service or visit NHTSA’s website to learn more.

Honda will replace the right crankcase (PN 11300-K0A-EB00) cover for free at authorized dealers for eligible motorcycles. Honda sent notification letters to Rebel 300 owners on June 5, 2023, explaining their method of mixing the issue.

However, 2023 Honda Rebel 300 owners may want to contact their local dealer before riding the motorcycle again just to be sure.

7. Hard Starts

Some Honda Rebel 300 owners face starting problems. The bike may not start or display a flashing FI light. Potential causes include a weak or dead battery, faulty starter components, malfunctioning switches, clogged fuel systems, or problematic ignition components.

“I turned the key on, and all the lights were working, but wouldn’t start AT ALL. I also noticed I didn’t hear the fuel pump. I wasn’t sure what to do at first, so I tried to push start it. After push-starting it, I heard the whine from the fuel pump when I came to a stop, and I was able to start it. After I parked and cut it off, I couldn’t start it again… long story short, it turns out the kill switch wasn’t making a good connection when it was set to start. I had to press it down to make sure a connection was being made.”-hondarebel3forum.com

Solutions for starting problems on a Honda Rebel 300 depend on the cause:

  • For a weak battery, charge it or test the voltage.
  • Replace starter components if needed.
  • Inspect and repair malfunctioning switches.
  • Address fuel system issues or clean fuel injection components.
  • Replace spark plugs or ignition components if necessary.
  • Regularly check the spark plug gaps and condition and use recommended plugs.

What Are the Pros and Cons of the Honda Rebel 300?


  • Smooth, Responsive Engine
  • High Fuel Efficiency
  • Easy Stopping Power
  • Comfortable Riding Position
  • Stylish and Rugged Design
  • Fun to Rie yet Approachable
  • Affordable
  • Great First Bike


  • Rear Fender Scratches Easily
  • Slipping Clutch; Weak Acceleration
  • Bike Leaks Oil
  • Shift Lever Gets Stuck; Bike Won’t Shift
  • Faulty Idle
  • Crank Case Plug Slips Out
  • Hard Starts

What Are Some Alternative Models?

Make/Model MSRP MPG
Honda Rebel 300 $4,599 ($4,899 with ABS) 78
Kawasaki Vulcan S 650 $7,199 ($7,599 with ABS) 47
Yamaha V Star 250 $4,499 78
Suzuki TU250X $4,699 80
Royal Enfield Meteor 350 $4,399 ($4,599 with ABS) 70
BMW G 310 R $4,945 71
KTM 390 Duke $5,499 58

What’s the Resale Value of a Honda Rebel 300?

Year Mileage Used Listing Price
2022 3,072 mi $4,499
2022 4,588 mi $4,490
2023 76 mi $4,600
2019 1,370 mi $3,999
2018 5,319 mi $3,987
2022 524 mi $4,295
2019 1,612 mi $3,999
2023 408 mi $3,999

What Do the Reviews Say?

“The Honda Rebel has a beginner-friendly pedigree like no other motorcycle cruiser. Since its launch in 1985, this small-bore hero has introduced riders to motorcycling with its likable, easy-to-handle character.”

“While the 2021 model remains unchanged after its 2020 updates, it retains the approachable nature for which it is very well known: a plucky engine with performance that won’t be outgrown too quickly, a low seat height that new and shorter-statured riders will feel comfortable swinging a leg over, and a low-slung chassis that’s easy to handle on the road and while stopped.”


Recall: 2023 Honda Rebel 300 Could Lose Crankcase Plug (rideapart.com)

2021 Honda Rebel 300 ABS First Ride Review | Cycle World


  • Michael Ta Nous

    I've been weaving words into stories since my early scribbling days, and my journey in the world of motorcycles and their communities spans almost two decades. Living with a talented motorcycle mechanic as a roommate, our garage transformed into a vibrant workshop where I absorbed the intricacies of...