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Honda Introduces New Rebel 500 and Rebel 300 (with video)

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Honda Rebel 500

Honda announced last evening an updated line of small displacement cruisers, the Rebel 500 and Rebel 300. The Rebel 500 features a 471 cc parallel-twin engine, while the Rebel 300 gets a 286 cc single.

Tentatively priced (Honda says this could change) at $5,999 for the Rebel 500 and $4,399 for the Rebel 300, there are a number of color options available (specified in the press release below). Take a look at the video below, and follow these links for more details on the Rebel 500 and Rebel 300.

TORRANCE, Calif. (Nov. 17, 2016) – Honda today introduced a pair of progressive customs that fuse tradition with groundbreaking new ideas and perspectives while providing ample scope for owner customization. Offering a fresh take on custom cool, the Rebel 500 and Rebel 300 mix old- and new-school style and are engaging and fun to ride, with an outlook geared toward firing the imagination of a younger generation of riders.

Development for the Rebel 500 and Rebel 300 began in the U.S., with the objective of referencing a timeless look while also introducing a forward-thinking, contemporary style all their own. Accessible, fun to ride and easy to live with, the models go their own way but are also blank canvases, ready for whatever their owners’ imaginations have in store.

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Honda Rebel 500

“For many riders who have grown up through the digital age, motorcycles represent a lifestyle and an attitude, a means of expressing their individuality,” said Lee Edmunds, Manager of Motorcycle Marketing Communications at American Honda. “The machines that speak to these riders need to reflect this, to fit with their life while also offering the potential for further individualization. The Rebel 500 and Rebel 300 are simple and raw, offering cutting-edge style and a radical image while minimizing the barriers to riding. There’s literally nothing else out there like them, and we’re confident that both models will appeal to young riders who want to stand out and are open to new experiences.”

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Honda Rebel 500

Rebel 500 / Rebel 300

Simple and raw, Honda’s new Rebel models are exercises in straightforward, minimalist design where every detail matters. Low, lean silhouettes are crowned by iconic fuel tanks, aggressively raked front ends and fat tires on large-diameter wheels, along with a stamped-steel rear fender and narrow frame body, resulting in stripped forms that express offbeat individuality from every angle. The evocative round, glass headlight sits up high in a die-cast aluminum mount, the speedometer is a compact dial with negative LCD display and blue backlight, and the ignition is housed below the left side of the fuel tank. Everything that can be is blacked out.

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Honda Rebel 500

With a 471cc parallel twin, the Rebel 500 has strong bottom-end torque and a smooth, linear power delivery, while the Rebel 300 is powered by a peppy 286cc single cylinder engine. In both cases, the bikes’ riding positions are relaxed and neutral, with arms gently outstretched and feet dropping straight down to the mid-mounted pegs. The versatile Rebels are fun to ride slow and fast, great for day trips, jaunts to the coffee shops or even sporty sessions on winding roads; low weights, slim frames and short seat heights equal agility at lower speeds, whereas good ground clearances allow surprisingly sporty lean angles. Both the Rebel 500 and Rebel 300 are available in standard and ABS versions.

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Honda Rebel 300

  • Colors
    • Rebel 500: Matte Silver, Bright Yellow, Black, Red
    • Rebel 500 ABS: Black
    • Rebel 300: Matte Silver, Matte Pearl White, Black, Red
    • Rebel 300 ABS: Black
  • *Rebel 300 Tentative Price: $4,399 (MSRP Announcement Dec. 2016)
  • *Rebel 500 Tentative Price: $5,999 (MSRP Announcement Dec. 2016)
  • Availability: April 2017

More info: http://powersports.honda.com/Rebel.aspx

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Honda Rebel 500


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126 Comments

  1. Tom says:

    This bike looks different. It’s not a subtle variation of a Sportster, or a refined bobber. It definitely has its own, and I think good, look, and for that Honda should be given credit for being different. OK, maybe an old Virago had a steep sloping tank like that. But when it drives by, there will be no confusing this sway-back-bike with another small cruiser or standard or whatever category it is.

  2. Don says:

    I hate it when they only show me one side of the bike!!

  3. nate says:

    This is abomination.

  4. Ferd Nesler says:

    I do not like Honda using idiots spray painting buildings with there useless crap. Does Honda think this showing morons spraying graffiti on buildings will sell bikes. I really doubt that these “artists” are interested in buying a motorcycle as most are unemployed.

    • Kyle says:

      While cringe factor of some of these paid actors showing off their Rebels is quite high, many of these artists are making $100K a year as graphic designers here in the Silicon Valley. The ones that didn’t make it as graphic designers are employed and quite friendly people that you would never expect to be graffiti artists.

    • Curly says:

      It’s just a promo video. Don’t let it get to you. I’ll bet the graffiti mural was even contracted and approved by the local gestapo, err, authorities.

  5. MGNorge says:

    Looking at the photos here it struck me as to what these two look like. They look like a bike with its standard seat removed and a small single cushion put down on top of the battery compartment. That lead me to think of what enterprising upholsterer could stitch up as an alternative? Might broaden its appeal some? Might lose some of the Bobber look but hey, to each their own.

  6. BRIAN says:

    Certainly better looking than the old Rebel 250! The 500 probably will be pretty cool and sound good.

  7. EZ Mark says:

    So Honda puts a DCT automatic transmission on a sport bike and two adventure bikes, but not on these two bikes? I don’t get it.
    If this 500 has a DCT my wife would have one tomorrow.

    • red says:

      it’s a beginner bike built to a price. get her a scooter

      • EZ Mark says:

        She’s got a 300cc Honda Forza. I’d like to get her something more highway capable, but she has no desire to use a clutch.

        • The Juan & only says:

          Get her a CTX700 Dct. Sits low, no clutch, more than enough power for the highway (delivered in a sweet power curve), and lots of aftermarket options (windshield, seats, bags, etc). Good luck.

    • Stuki Moi says:

      The DCT is expensive, and AFAIK not available with either of these engines. What’s wrong with the CTX700?

      • EZ Mark says:

        Honda only charges $800 extra for most of it’s DCT bikes. The price would still be good. The CTX700 is too heavy for her.

        • bmidd says:

          CTX DCT listed at 478# the new 500 Rebel listed at 408#.

          Honda Forza 300 listed at 422#…

          Maybe it’s the way it’s distributed, does the CTX feel top heavy to her versus the scooter having all its weight down low?

        • Dave says:

          Re: “Honda only charges $800 extra for most of it’s DCT bikes. The price would still be good.”

          That doesn’t mean that DCT only costs $800 more, this charge is likely a portion of it’s cost. The most likely reasons it’s only found on bigger, more expensive bikes are that it’s weight, size and complexity would be harder to design around, and it’s cost is more easily absorbed in the margin structure of a more expensive product.

          I’m not sure why a CVT couldn’t be applied. There are some good ones on ATV’s these days.

    • joe b says:

      I have the DCT on my VFR1200, and its not as easy to operate as a hand clutch, in certain conditions. I would ride one before you buy a DCT for your wife. Its also expensive, and heavy.

    • todd says:

      It took my wife all of a few minutes to understand the whole clutch thing on a bike. You need to be a little patient with her and help her get over the unjustified fear of a manual transmission.

      • Tim C says:

        Came here to say this. No need for this to be the roadblock to the majority of motorcycles. Sign her up for the 2-day MSF course (heck, take it with her, I took it in CA to bypass the horrid parking lot ride-in-the-circle test and had a blast doing the exercises etc). They start with clutch drills in first, just go a little, stop. She’ll be fine.

  8. steveinsandiego says:

    do most motorcyclists hang out in decrepit light industrial neighborhoods?

    • Stuki Moi says:

      Only the young, good looking, “cool” ones…. Who can’t afford a bike….

      Those with actual bikes, live inn Suburbia. And are too bald, fat, old and stupid looking in their Aerostich’, to fit naturally in any aspirational ad for a bike aimed at getting a new generation of riders hooked.

  9. My2cents says:

    Honda has been lost for years. They enter in two bobbers with completely ugly tank seams and bogus shaped. Then offer up chain final on a ride where a belt belongs. Beyond that some possibilities sleep in the minds of the custom crowd.

    • MGNorge says:

      ..and yet they have remained the largest manufacturer of motorcycles in the world. My point being that they certainly backed away from new model entries in the US but elsewhere it sounds like it’s been business as usual. I know it’s been common mantra to say Honda has been lost but I don’t think so, they just reeled things in during the downturn.

      • Norm G. says:

        re: “I know it’s been common mantra to say Honda has been lost but I don’t think so, they just reeled things in during the downturn.”

        the sleeping giant is now “semi-conscious” and growing ever more alert with each sip of coffee.

    • joe b says:

      Tank seams, again really? Is that all that makes a motorcycle important? …and who wants a belt? (belt drive, with all of its guards and large diameter pulleys, ruins the looks of any bike its put on) Sounds like a couple of pennies are asleep, not in touch with reality.

    • Austin ZZR 1200 says:

      I’ll take a belt to your hiney for that remark. The tank seam argument for anything under 8K is hilarious. Good troll though

    • Beasty says:

      Yeah, tank seams. The rest of the bike looks good, but they effed it up with that tank and some of the worst looking tank seams ever put on a motorcycle. The black minimizes them, but a better solution, sure to be implemented, will be some really nice chrome door edge molding. Yeah, that’s the ticket.

  10. Bubba says:

    I like the simple styling, been thinking about getting a Bolt, but might have to reconsider when I can see Rebel 500 at a dealer.

  11. chris says:

    provalogna interesting take on the HD xr 1200 I own one and it does shake a bit at idle but is smooth at any thing above that , as far as the 500 Honda running away from it ain’t gonna happen ,I have just under 20,000 miles on mine and no problems including track days and many miles off road and nothing has fallen off and I have many friends with sport bikes that have been very surprised by it.

    • Provologna says:

      One thing we likely agree on: it’s a looker! I estimate that XR resale value maintains higher ratio of new SRP than any other HD model. Plus it’s apparently still the all time best handling HD.

      In fact, I did like the handling and as you say, once the motor is wound up past the bottom 20%, it’s actually super smooth. Torque, shifting, and riding quality were all good. If the fasteners don’t need constant attention, and you could coax another 15-20hp out of it without degrading its lovely torque curve, it would be a superb daily ride. I’m anything but normal height/weight, so I’m sure you’re having far more fun on it than I did!

      I bet you’re a better rider than your buds w/sport bikes, yes?

      I’d have to select between an XR and an Indian Scout. The latter has ABS and infinitely better motor, but lacks the XRs panache, and its WB is 1.5″ longer, requiring steeper lean angle for same cornering velocity. But like I posted elsewhere, KTM’s 990 Adventure fits me like a glove (not an OJ glove), so I’m the wrong demographic for the cruiser genre, which I realize the XR is not, which is why I liked it enough to test ride.

  12. Vic says:

    I’m old (56) and I like the looks.

  13. mickey says:

    I’ve read that the lead designer on these are the guy who was in charge of designing the NM4 Vultus who is known at Honda for designing for a younger hipper crowd, which may explain their polarizing looks to older riders.