Motorcycles First Ride Review: 2017 Honda Rebel 300 and Rebel 500

22:02  20 april  2017
22:02  20 april  2017 Source:   Motorcyclist

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Actually, make that two new Rebels , a 300 and 500 built on virtually identical chassis. This is new-think for Honda —never before have two completely different engines been shoehorned into the same package. First Ride Review : 2017 Harley-Davidson Street Rod.

Courtesy of Honda . 2017 Honda Rebel 500 ABS only comes in the color Black and will likely be priced $ 300 -$ 500 more than the non-ABS version. How does the 2017 Honda Rebel sound? We've yet to hear one run. First press ride is slated for March.

Honda revamps and restyles the Rebel cruiser.

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The Rebel 500 and Rebel 300 are simple and raw, offering cutting-edge style and a radical image while minimizing the barriers to riding.” Colors. Dunlop Sportmax Roadsmart III Tires Review . 2017 Honda Rebel 500 | First Ride Review . Video Review : 2017 Ducati Multistrada 950.

2013 Honda CB 500 F And CBR 500 R Review – First Ride . Like the original 250 and 450 Rebels , the 2017 iterations come is two sizes, 500 and 300 . The Rebel 500 utilizes the 471cc liquid-cooled DOHC parallel-Twin powering the CB/CBR 500 s, while the Rebel 300 uses the 286cc

Honda says: “Cruisers are an extension of your own personal style.”

Motorcyclist says: “Better yet, these cruisers don’t sacrifice function over form.”

The debut of the Honda Rebel way back in 1985 created a very big splash, especially considering its very small size. I was a staff editor at Cycle magazine back then, and we were all amused that Honda used this little guy to stick a thumb right in the eye of Harley-Davidson by “borrowing” so many styling cues from the H-D Sportster. More importantly, during its first year in showrooms the original 234cc twin-cylinder bike singlehandedly racked up sales of more than 20,000 units—a figure topping annual sales of all models combined achieved by some other manufacturers. No joke.

The Ram 1500 Sublime Sport and Rebel Blue Streak swipe from Dodge paint booths

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2017 Honda Rebel 300 and 500 - FIRST RIDE REVIEW . 2017 Honda Rebel 300 . While Honda offers a choice of two distinct power trains, both Rebels share identical styling and chassis components.

If we were to take a quick poll, undoubtedly we’d find that many of you cut your riding teeth on a Honda Rebel . There are no design differences between the Rebel 300 and Rebel 500 other than the engine that motivates them. Apr 4, 2017 Matt Neundorf.

Clearly, a lot of people found a lot to like about the little Rebel. Over the next three decades, total sales of the Rebel 250 surpassed 150,000 units, a figure that clearly identifies an important and enduring market segment. But come on—30 years without even a major facelift? Obviously, it was time for Honda to step things up.

At long last, 2017 brings a new Rebel, built along the lines of classic “bobber” bikes. Actually, make that two new Rebels, a 300 and 500 built on virtually identical chassis. This is new-think for Honda—never before have two completely different engines been shoehorned into the same package. It’s commonplace in the auto industry—the Ford Mustang, for example, can be had with four-, six- or eight-cylinder engines. Such feats can be very tricky for motorcycles, yet Honda has done a masterful job of pulling it off.

Focus on chassis specs, and all key numbers run identical between the 300 and 500. Wheelbase is 58.7 inches (up from 57.1 inches with the 250 Rebel); a seat height of 27.2 inches plus an especially slim seat/tank junction make for an easy reach to the ground. Both Rebels share identical suspension components: the beefy looking 41mm fork with 4.7 inches of travel, and rear twin shocks dishing up 3.7 inches feature identical spring and damping rates. Only the engine-mounting lugs differ in the trellis-style frame, and both use three solid-type mounting points. Both also share front and rear disc brakes, and fat 16-inch tires front and rear. As expected, curb weight increases with the 500, which Honda says scales in at a modest 408 pounds, compared to the svelte 300 at only 364 pounds (again, claimed)—add six pounds to either bike if you select ABS.

The Ram 1500 Sublime Sport and Rebel Blue Streak swipe from Dodge paint booths

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2017 Honda Rebel 500 (left) and Rebel 300 (right). The original Honda Rebel has become an icon in its own right. I had been eagerly anticipating the first ride since I got an email announcing the new Rebels a couple of months ago.

The 2017 Honda Rebel 500 and 300 have nothing in common with the discontinued classic Honda 250, and that’s a very good thing.

WHAT’S IT LIKE TO RIDE?

Fine, fine, you say; but how do they actually work in the real world? Short answer: really well. They both feel like full-sized bikes with rider triangles closer to standard bikes rather than exaggerated cruiser layouts. The pegs sit only a pinch forward, the 1-inch tubular handlebar positions the rider’s arms in a very neutral, natural position. The seat is nicely shaped, although padding is kinda thin (to reduce seat height).

Steering traits are nicely responsive and linear in progression, light in action, with none of the front-end floppiness that plague cruisers saddled with a huge long fork and loads of steering rake. So riding at a brisk pace on winding mountain roads becomes lots of fun; both bikes offer very intuitive handling, and it’s easy to pick the bike up mid-corner to change lines as needed. These bikes feel flickable in the canyons, yet reassuringly stable in faster sweepers and at higher speeds. With only a single 296mm disc up front you don’t get sportbike-level stopping power, but the brake is plenty strong for the intended use, and nicely progressive with good feel. Also, ground clearance is quite good on both sides.

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Available in two versions, we review both the Rebel 300 and Rebel 500 on the crowded streets of Los Angeles in this video review . Make sure to read our 2017 Honda Rebel 300 and 500 First Look Preview article. Stay tuned for our written ride report on Monday, April, 17.

Posted By webmaster on Apr 3, 2017 | 1 comment. The Rebel remained relatively unchanged for 32 years while it introduced countless riders to the world of motorcycling. Therefore, it comes as no surprise that Honda has revamped this pint-sized staple in their lineup.

With so many good things going for the Rebel, suspension action is a bit of a letdown. Granted, these bikes are built to hit a given price point, but I’d like to see more rebound damping in the rear shocks. I’m no featherweight, at nearly 240 pounds, but lighter riders in our group also judged the rear suspension lacking a bit of control in the damping department.

RIDING THE REBEL 300

With the 300 engine, Honda followed the natural path by adapting the basic 286cc liquid-cooled single already in use in the CBR300R and CB300F. This is a dual-overhead-cam four-valve powerplant and is well proven (and typically produces about 28hp at the rear wheel), although the Rebel incorporates different mapping for fuel injection and ignition to strengthen torque output. A gear-driven counterbalancer shaft helps moderate engine vibration, and the gearbox offers six well-spaced speeds in contrast to the older Rebel’s five-cog box.

A light clutch pull and broad spread of power lets the Rebel get off from a standing start with ease, which benefits newbie riders. If you really rev it up there’s pretty good acceleration off the line; lacking a tachometer, just pin it and shift when the engine hits the rev limiter. More experienced riders won’t be overly impressed, but in real-world street conditions this little bike launches significantly quicker off the line than the vast majority of four-wheel vehicles on the road. For highway use the Rebel 300 can maintain cruising speeds around 70 mph if the road is flat; up one long, steady grade my heavy load slowed things down to 65 mph max. On the downhill side I hit 80 mph easily, with no drama.

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2017 Honda Rebel 500 | First Ride Review . Jenny Smith. In a fairly impressive feat of engineering, the Rebel 300 and Rebel 500 share the same steel trellis chassis, and in fact about 85 percent of their parts are identical across both variations.

2017 Honda Rebel 500 Specifications. Engine Type. Will this configuration be around in 32 years like the original or disappear when Honda discontinues the 500 and 300 cc engines when they fall out of fashion?

As expected, higher speeds with this single-cylinder generates an inescapable buzz through the handlebar and seat from about 45 mph upward in 6th gear. You could say it adds character, or that it lends a distinct mechanical connection between rider and machine as the engine chuffs along. But longer rides especially at higher speeds can become tiring—my butt was sore after a long day in the saddle. When LA traffic slowed freeway flow, the little Rebel split lanes effortlessly, its light weight and nimble handling paying big dividends. However, since there’s not tons of roll-on power available, you need to build extra lead time into passing moves. No surprise there.

RIDING THE REBEL 500

Jumping from the 300 to the Rebel 500 reveals big steps up in both muscle and smoothness. It’s easy to launch from a standing start, and power builds nicely as the engine revs freely and willingly. As with the 300, EFI fuel mapping is spot-on, which goes a long way in feeling comfortable on the bike. The 500 pulls well on twisty mountain roads—you don’t need to carry as much speed through a corner as the 300 demands to maintain a brisk pace because there’s more oomph available. Like the 300, a gear-driven counterbalancer shaft reduces engine vibration, and this 471cc liquid-cooled parallel-twin engine is likewise derived from siblings in the Honda lineup, the CBR500R, CB500F and CB500X. (The last CB500 engine we had on the dyno put out about 44 horsepower, just for reference.) However, Honda used new camshafts and EFI/ignition mapping in the Rebel 500 for a broader, more accessible spread of power. So the 500 works well for entry riders, and can also easily serve for all-around street duty including longer trips.

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But 2017 might stir things up a bit. Honda has been quite blatant about its intentions for the new line. Tags: Honda , ride review , Honda Rebel 300 , Honda Rebel 500 , Honda Rebel .

Available in two versions, we review both the Rebel 300 and Rebel 500 on the crowded streets of Los Angeles in this video review . Make sure to read our 2017 Honda Rebel 300 and 500 First Look Preview article. Stay tuned for our written ride report on Monday, April, 17.

With these new-generation Rebels, Honda offers riders two very viable options. At $4,399, the 300 attracts riders with its eminently affordable price and sufficient performance for around-town rides, commutes and weekend journeys. It’s a fun bike, one that’s easy to live with. A $1,600 jump to the $5,999 Rebel 500 adds a significant boost in performance and versatility; strap on some soft saddlebags and head out for the next state over if you like.

A new day dawns for Honda’s Rebel, and we wouldn’t be surprised one bit of this new duo enjoys year and years of popularity, just like the original.

TECH SPEC
EVOLUTION
Honda’s 30-year-old Rebel finally gets a revamp that includes two new water-cooled engines and totally updated styling.
RIVALS
Harley Davidson Street 500, Hyosung GV250 and GV650, Kawasaki Vulcan S, Suzuki Boulevard S40, SSR Snake Eyes
TECH
PRICE$4,399 ($5,999)
ENGINE286cc liquid-cooled single (471cc liquid-cooled single)
TRANSMISSION/FINAL DRIVE6-speed/chain
CLAIMED HORSEPOWERN/A
CLAIMED TORQUEN/A
FRAMETubular-steel semi-double cradle
FRONT SUSPENSIONShowa 41mm fork; 4.8 in. travel
REAR SUSPENSIONShowa shocks adjustable for spring preload; 3.8 in. travel
FRONT BRAKENissin two-piston caliper, 296mm disc
REAR BRAKENissin one-piston caliper, 239mm disc
RAKE/TRAIL28.0°/4.3 in.
WHEELBASE58.7 in.
SEAT HEIGHT27.3 in.
FUEL CAPACITY3.0 gal.
CLAIMED WEIGHT364 (408) lb. wet
AVAILABLENow
CONTACTpowersports.honda.com
VERDICT
New style, more power, and more refinement should keep the Rebel lineup revving for years to come.


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Why We Should Buy Beginner Bikes .
Ride what you're comfortable with, and don't blame the bikeWhile I do agree that a 500cc bike might be a great place for many people to start off, an accident that is rider error should not be blamed on the bike, and a genre should not be subsequently written off because of it. Beginner bikes offer a ton of benefits to new riders, including lighter weight, lower seat height, cheaper price tags, and smaller displacement to make riding less intimidating and more approachable for new riders.

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