The radiator on the Rebel is in a rather exposed position, and to further add to that, its in a direct path of spray and mud thrown up by the front tyre when riding in the wet.
The fins of the radiator are also very fragile, seemingly made of chocolate wrapper foil and the cooling channels are very small and can be easily blocked by debris, grass seeds and bugs.
In order to protect the fins and stop gunk from wrecking the radiator I fitted a screen behind the cover that will stop most of the bad stuff and allow easy cleaning if it gets crudded up. I thought I'd share so that any of you could do the same.
First off are tools and materials. You will need:
1 x 5mm hex key, cutting tools, glue gun or double sided tape and nylon insect screen/mesh.
To remove the radiator cover, just undo the two 5mm hex head cap screws shown here, repeat for the other side and pull the cover forward to remove.
The size of the mesh required is almost exactly ISO A4 paper size, so you can use that as a template to cut your mesh to the size needed.
With that done, place the mesh inside the cover and use some dots of hot glue or tape to hold it in place.
While you have the cover off it's a good opportunity to clean and inspect the radiator. Just use a gentle spray from the garden hose and a very soft brush. Do NOT use a pressure cleaner! I've seen somebody ruin their radiator by blasting all of the fins flat.
Now that it's all clean, just fit the cover back on and loosely
fit the four cap screws, shorter ones to the top, longer ones to the bottom. Now finish inserting the screws, making sure that the boss on the shank of the screw goes inside the hole in the cover tab
as shown below. You may need to jiggle the cover as you turn the screw to get it in correctly.
With all screws seated correctly finger tight, take the hex key and torque up the screws to "that feels just right".
And that's all there is to it. Your radiator now has some added protection.
I've used this mod on many cars and a few bikes without any problems like overheating and it's much easier and safer to blow the crud off the mesh screen than to risk damage to the radiator.