Motorcycles

Honda revives the Rebel cruiser

Honda revives the Rebel cruise...
The all new Honda Rebel brings back memories of the small cruiser that made it big in the 1980s
The all new Honda Rebel brings back memories of the small cruiser that made it big in the 1980s
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The 2017 Honda Rebel 500 in action
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The 2017 Honda Rebel 500 in action
Honda introduced the 2017 Rebel in two engine versions; a 500 cc twin and a 300 cc single
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Honda introduced the 2017 Rebel in two engine versions; a 500 cc twin and a 300 cc single
The spartan design of the 2017 Honda Rebel provides an excellent base for customizing
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The spartan design of the 2017 Honda Rebel provides an excellent base for customizing
The 2017 Honda Rebel 500 in action
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The 2017 Honda Rebel 500 in action
The 2017 Honda Rebel 500 in action
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The 2017 Honda Rebel 500 in action
Notice the license plate on this 2017 Rebel 500? Honda apparently opted to use the same code name as the original 1985 model, CMX
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Notice the license plate on this 2017 Rebel 500? Honda apparently opted to use the same code name as the original 1985 model, CMX
The 2017 Honda Rebel 500 in action
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The 2017 Honda Rebel 500 in action
The 2017 Honda Rebel is here to contest the entry-level cruiser segment
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The 2017 Honda Rebel is here to contest the entry-level cruiser segment
The 2017 Honda Rebel 500 will be available in three fuel tank colors: grey (shown here), black and red
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The 2017 Honda Rebel 500 will be available in three fuel tank colors: grey (shown here), black and red
The 2017 Rebel is the low (300 cc) and mid-capacity (500 cc) cruiser that was missing from Honda's lineup
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The 2017 Rebel is the low (300 cc) and mid-capacity (500 cc) cruiser that was missing from Honda's lineup
The 2017 Honda Rebel 500 employs the same two-piston caliper as the CBR500R, but on a smaller 264 mm front disc - instead of the 300 mm unit of the CBR
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The 2017 Honda Rebel 500 employs the same two-piston caliper as the CBR500R, but on a smaller 264 mm front disc - instead of the 300 mm unit of the CBR
The blacked-out 2017 Honda Rebel
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The blacked-out 2017 Honda Rebel
The round headlight fits nicely the classic design of the 2017 Honda Rebel
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The round headlight fits nicely the classic design of the 2017 Honda Rebel
The 2017 Rebel 500 equipped with Honda 's optional leather saddlebags
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The 2017 Rebel 500 equipped with Honda 's optional leather saddlebags
A 12 V power outlet is part of the 2017 Honda Rebel's short list of extras
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A 12 V power outlet is part of the 2017 Honda Rebel's short list of extras
This short screen can be optionally fitted to the 2017 Honda Rebel
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This short screen can be optionally fitted to the 2017 Honda Rebel
Passenger footpeg on the 2017 Honda Rebel
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Passenger footpeg on the 2017 Honda Rebel
The 2017 Honda Rebel in gray matches the fuel tank with the rear fender. Both other color variants use a black fender
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The 2017 Honda Rebel in gray matches the fuel tank with the rear fender. Both other color variants use a black fender
The small passenger seat of the 2017 Honda Rebel can be easily removed for a sportier look
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The small passenger seat of the 2017 Honda Rebel can be easily removed for a sportier look
The extra rear carrier rack of the 2017 Honda Rebel
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The extra rear carrier rack of the 2017 Honda Rebel
2017 Honda Rebel, port side
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2017 Honda Rebel, port side
Honda has not revealed if the CBR's transmission has changed at all before moving to the 2017 Rebel
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Honda has not revealed if the CBR's transmission has changed at all before moving to the 2017 Rebel
Honda designed the 2017 Rebel with a slim silhouette in an effort to ensure easy, unintimidating access and control for riders of any age, size and experience
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Honda designed the 2017 Rebel with a slim silhouette in an effort to ensure easy, unintimidating access and control for riders of any age, size and experience
The 2017 Honda Rebel is slim, clean and ready to customize
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The 2017 Honda Rebel is slim, clean and ready to customize
The 2017 Honda Rebel's tank holds just 11.2 l (3 gal) of fuel, over 30 percent less than the CBR
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The 2017 Honda Rebel's tank holds just 11.2 l (3 gal) of fuel, over 30 percent less than the CBR
The two rear shocks of the 2017 Honda Rebel are adjustable for spring preload in two levels
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The two rear shocks of the 2017 Honda Rebel are adjustable for spring preload in two levels
A digital touch of practicality in the otherwise classic-looking package of the 2017 Honda Rebel
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A digital touch of practicality in the otherwise classic-looking package of the 2017 Honda Rebel
The liquid-cooled, single-cylinder engine of the 2017 Honda Rebel 300 comes from the CBR300R sportbike
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The liquid-cooled, single-cylinder engine of the 2017 Honda Rebel 300 comes from the CBR300R sportbike
The 2017 Honda Rebel 300 will initially be available in the US market, but not in Europe
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The 2017 Honda Rebel 300 will initially be available in the US market, but not in Europe
The all new Honda Rebel brings back memories of the small cruiser that made it big in the 1980s
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The all new Honda Rebel brings back memories of the small cruiser that made it big in the 1980s
The 2017 Honda Rebel relies on a timeless styling theme
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The 2017 Honda Rebel relies on a timeless styling theme

The Rebel was one of the most popular entry-level cruisers of the 1980s, and now Honda has given it a new lease of life with a brand new model in two engine versions. With either a 500 cc parallel twin or a 300 cc single, the new Rebel is an affordable cruiser designed for efficient commuting.

For a whole generation of motorcycle riders the name Rebel probably rekindles fond memories of a time when the original CMX250C cruiser was a prime choice for entry into the world of motorcycles. Introduced in 1985 with the Nighthawk's 250 cc in-line twin, the Rebel remained in production for several years providing trouble-free commuting services and an excellent base for customizing throughout the 1990s.

When Honda decided to resurrect the historic name, its lineup offered a variety of ready-to-use solutions. The new Rebel may be formally called CMX500H after its predecessor, but starts its second life as part of the CB500 model family, powered by the proven 471 cc, 45 hp (33.5 kW) liquid-cooled parallel twin engine with a reputation for reliability and fuel efficiency. Honda reveals that the motor is carried over from the sporty CBR500R, obviously retuned for punchier low and mid-range performance.

2017 Honda Rebel, port side
2017 Honda Rebel, port side

The announced performance specs are almost identical to those of the CBR in peak values, but we should expect a torque curve beefed-up all the way to the 6,000 rpm maximum of 44.6 Nm (32.9 lb-ft). Honda makes no mention of changes to the ratios of the six-speed gearbox though, suggesting that the transmission has not been altered at all.

Rolling on thick 16 inch tires, the steel diamond frame has been redesigned for a 28 degree caster angle, 110 mm (4.3 in) trail, 1488 mm (58.6 in) wheelbase, with the seat settling down to 690 mm (27.2 in). In ready-to-ride trim the EU-spec Rebel weighs 190 kg (419 lb), while the US version appears on paper to be 5 kg (11 lb) lighter.

Opting for a slim silhouette with clean lines, the motorcycle actually looks like a blank canvas for customizing. Honda's accessories list contains only some very basic bits – like a short screen, rear rack, and saddlebags – although a wider range of gear from third party manufacturers sounds like a very reasonable expectation.

A digital touch of practicality in the otherwise classic-looking package of the 2017 Honda Rebel
A digital touch of practicality in the otherwise classic-looking package of the 2017 Honda Rebel

The general spirit of simplicity filters down to the Rebel's standard equipment. Its suspensions feature non-adjustable 41 mm conventional forks and a pair of rear shocks with 2-step preload settings. The front brake employs the same two-piston front caliper as the CBR, gripping a 264 mm (10.4 in) disk, with a single-piston unit at the rear, complemented with a two-channel ABS system.

Its fuel tank has been designed primarily with bobber looks and small dimensions in mind, shrinking to just 11.2 l (3 gal) compared to the 16.7 l (4.4 gal) of the CBR500R. As prudent as it may be in guzzling down fuel, cutting the capacity by almost a third will certainly impact the bike's range considerably.

Honda also announced a 300 cc version of the new Rebel, built around the 30.4 hp (22.7 kW) liquid-cooled single-cylinder engine of the CBR300R. The smaller model has been confirmed for the US market, while Europe and Australia will only get the 500.

Honda North America has announced that the Rebel 500 will retail for $5,999 and the 300 for $4,399.

Going up against popular motorcycles like the Harley-Davidson Street 500 and Kawasaki Vulcan S, the 2017 Rebel is expected to start shipping in April 2017. Until then, Honda's stylish video below serves up a first taste.

Source: Honda

2017 Honda Rebel - Express Yourself

1 comment
Stephen N Russell
Does this replace Honda 70 bike or level above Honda 70 minibike?