Honda’s new Rebel

Honda introduced its new bobber-style bike Thursday in Long Beach, the night before the Long Beach motorcycle show, and promised that although it’s called the Rebel, it’s nothing like the old pint-sized Rebel cruiser.

“I believe we’ve made a great product for Generation Y,” said designer Edward Birtulescu. “We started with a blank sheet — this is not yesterday’s Rebel.”

The new Rebel is available as either a 500 or a 300, taking its engines from the existing CBR500R twin and 300R single and retuning them as easy to ride with strong, low-end torque. The seat height is 27.2 inches. The engines are the only difference between the two bikes — everything else is the same, and it’s designed to be simple to customize. The rear fender, for example, removes completely.

There are no Canadian prices yet, but tentative American prices have been announced of $4,399 US for the 300 and $5,999 for the 500. Both will also be available with ABS, and they should start arriving in Canadian dealerships in April.

The full specs are in the press release that’s copied underneath this gallery. Click on the photos below for a closer look.

PRESS RELEASE: 2017 Honda Rebel

  • Rebel 500 ABS
  • Rebel 500
  • Rebel 300 ABS
  • Rebel 300

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 both models began in the U.S., with the objective of referencing a timeless look while also introducing a forward-thinking, contemporary style all their own. Both feature straightforward, minimalist designs with low, lean bobber silhouettes, and are fun to ride slow and fast—great for day trips, jaunts to the coffee shops or even sporty sessions on winding roads. 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.

Chassis/Suspension

  • Both models’ riding positions are relaxed and neutral, with arms gently outstretched and feet dropping straight down to the mid-mounted pegs.
  • Good ground clearances allow surprisingly sporty lean angles.
  • To support the Rebel’s low-slung look, its attractive tubular-steel frame holds the engine in three places and is designed to be as narrow as possible around the rider’s inseam. Trail is set at 110mm with 28° rake.
  • The 41mm fork stanchions are set wide at 230mm apart for handling rigidity, comfort and style, and the lower legs are blacked-out.
  • Fork angle is 30°, wheelbase is 58.7 in. wheelbase and seat height is 27.2 in., resulting in balanced, neutral steering.
  • Frame body has a narrow shape and includes an innovative rear loop that separates the seat from the stamped-metal rear fender.
  • Dunlop tires (size 130/90-16 front, 150/80-16 rear) are mounted to 16 inch cast-aluminum wheels.
  • Both the Rebel 500 and Rebel 300 are available in standard and ABS versions.
  • Iconic peanut-shaped fuel tanks, aggressively raked front ends and fat tires on large-diameter wheels result in stripped forms that express offbeat individuality from every angle.
  • Blacked-out 45mm tubular swingarm with twin conventional, side-mounted shocks that feature two-step preload adjusters.
  • Evocative round headlight sits up high in a die-cast aluminum mount.
  • Speedometer is a compact dial with negative LCD display and blue backlight.
  • Ignition is housed below the left side of the fuel tank.

Engine/Drivetrain

  • Rebel 500 is powered by a 471cc, eight-valve, liquid-cooled parallel twin with strong bottom-end torque and a smooth, linear power delivery.
  • Rebel 500 cylinder head uses roller rocker arms; shim-type valve adjustment allows them to be light, for lower valve-spring load and reduced friction.
  • Rebel 500 has a silent (SV Chain) cam chain, with the surface of its pins treated with Vanadium to reduce friction through its increased protection against dust. Inlet-valve diameter is 26.0mm with exhaust-valve diameter of 21.5mm.
  • Rebel 500 has reduced friction through the addition of striations on the piston skirt (a finish that increases surface area, introducing gaps in which oil can flow for better lubrication). An AB 1 salt bath process, used after isonite nitriding, forms a protective oxidization membrane.
  • Rebel 500 crankshaft pins are phased at 180°, and a primary couple-balancer sits behind the cylinders, close to the bike’s center of gravity. The primary and balancer gears use scissor gears, reducing noise. The crank counterweight is specifically shaped for couple-balance and its light weight allows the engine to spin freely, with reduced inertia.
  • Rebel 500 crankcases use centrifugally cast thin-walled sleeves. Their internal design reduces the “pumping” losses that can occur with a 180° phased firing order. A deep oil sump holds 3.2 liters.
  • Rebel 300 is powered by a peppy 286cc single cylinder engine.
  • Six-speed gearbox is designed to offer effortless changes.
  • Blacked-out mechanical components for a tough, minimalist look.
  • Specially designed muffler looks good and emits a pulsating exhaust note.
  • Meets current EPA and CARB standards
  • California version differs slightly due to emissions equipment

61 thoughts on “Honda’s new Rebel”

    1. The old Rebel was a staple of the motorcycle safety course line-up and that’s where I see these bikes ending up as well. This new one reminds me of the Moto Guzzi V9 Bobber, but without the V-twin character. These might sell in overseas markets with insurance-based displacement restrictions, but I don’t see much to appeal to North American cruiser tastes.

  1. A CRF450L Rally is in the works from what I was told, this year the CRF250L Rally comes out. The CB500X will always be a soft adventure bike.
    The Rebel needed replacement and the nailled it

    1. It’s costly but it works good on the CB500X. I was looking at the CB500X also for the same reasons but like you I wanted a real adventure bike.
      Honda has a lot of defferent flavor of Adventure bikes, seems like they want to make one in every possible style.
      By the time I’ll have that new 2017 Rebel payed for I’m sure the CRF450L Rally will be out and that bike will be amazing

  2. After EICMA disappointment it’s a nice surprise to see that new models are being announced!

    Still entry level though, hopefully there will be something for grown-ups too

  3. Straight from the annals of “I never saw that coming”. Wow. What an absolutely fantastic idea. While both engines are great picks, I think the 500 is the most impressive here. Liquid cooling, fuel-injection, a wet weight of 408 lbs (for a cruiser no less!), 47 hp, outstanding fuel economy, Honda reliability, a decent look (of course very subjective here) and hints of a relatively low price. What’s not to like? Ironically, the 500 boasts one of the smoothest parallel twins you’ll experience anywhere – so if you – like H-D – prefer to mix in a little shake with your newest bakes – this recipe will likely be missing a little soul character.

    1. While I’m not cruiser connoisseur, I think they look pretty decent, too. Better than the Kawi Vulcan 650, which they are somewhat similar to in style. Great to have a cruiser-style, low-seat option for beginners (the 300), and the 500 should probably handily outperform in every department (except posing).

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  41. When that’s a nice suprise from Honda. The old rebel looked like a low cost budget bike. This new Rebel looks amazing, even a better choice than a lot of other bikes out there in it’s class.

  42. When that’s a nice suprise from Honda. The old rebel looked like a low cost budget bike. This new Rebel looks amazing, even a better choice than a lot of other bikes out there in it’s class.

  43. When that’s a nice suprise from Honda. The old rebel looked like a low cost budget bike. This new Rebel looks amazing, even a better choice than a lot of other bikes out there in it’s class.

  44. When that’s a nice suprise from Honda. The old rebel looked like a low cost budget bike. This new Rebel looks amazing, even a better choice than a lot of other bikes out there in it’s class.

  45. When that’s a nice suprise from Honda. The old rebel looked like a low cost budget bike. This new Rebel looks amazing, even a better choice than a lot of other bikes out there in it’s class.

    1. They are the biggest motorcycle manufacturer in the world so not a case of doing this instead when they can make both..Maybe since the 500X as recently been updated they decided not to make a new one yet but definitely something they need to address,, surely a more oriented one would meet more success.

  46. This is a surprise. I wonder how many people got their start on the old rebel? I still see many on the road today, which speaks for its durability.

  47. I did my motorcycle course on one of the first generation Rebels back in 1985. Nice to see them updated. It’s rather Boltish looking, but there are not too many ways to skin a cruiser cat. Looks good. Hope it does well for them. It will make a great affordable, commuter, beat around town bike

  48. Too bad it`s not getting a warm welcome , i think it`s a good idea. I`m not into this kind of bike but i do like this one which is from the start a sign that the majority won`t like it I could even be tempted at that price

      1. Seem to get a warmer one in Canada and somehow in Europe but for what i have see so far it`s not getting a warm one in the US where i first saw loads of comments, far from it.

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