Honda Gets Groovy at SXSW With a New Rebel

If old school bikers want to know which direction their motorcycle world is riding, the hip festival in Austin highlights a low-cost segment of bikes for a new generation of riders.

Leaving little room for doubt, the very first line of Honda’s latest press release reads ‘This year's SXSW festival-goers will get an up-close and personal look at the ultimate motorcycle for the next generation of rider – the 2017 Honda Rebel & the Honda Rebel + Aviator Nation limited edition cruiser.’

South by Southwest, abbreviated as SXSW, is an annual event that celebrates films and interactive media which features music festivals and conferences, all taking place during March in Austin, Texas. Attracting a younger demographic, SXSW is the highest revenue-producing event for the Austin economy. Honda is using this event and collaboration to highlight the Honda Rebel at the Waterloo Records Day Parties taking place at SXSW.

Is it this particular motorcycle promotion hip or what?

In years past, the smaller engine motorcycles were pushed to the corners of the showroom, on the floor for what was a slither of the riding community. Since ‘affordable’ has become the buzz word in attracting new riders, motorcycle manufacturers have paid more attention to this bookend of the model range.

Dipping into its own motorcycle history, Honda revamped its Rebel model which comes in 300 and 500 cc varieties. The Japanese motorcycle manufacturer had already redesigned the iconic bike for 2017 but decided to go one step further with a new, limited edition based on the popular apparel company, Aviator Nation, a 1970's inspired California lifestyle brand consisting of hand-made, distressed hoodies and sweatpants.

Aviator Nation describes itself as celebrating 'a time when music, surfing, and a love for community shaped our culture’. Honda asked Aviator Nation founder, Paige Mycoskie to mix her California lifestyle brand with their famous small-engine bike to create the Honda Rebel + Aviator Nation edition.

"I was inspired by vintage motorcycles from the 70s," said Paige. "When I was given the opportunity to customize a 2017 Honda Rebel, I knew that I wanted to create a classic, clean look reminiscent of those heritage Honda bikes."

Aviator Nation founder, Paige Mycoskie and her version of Honda's Rebel

The result is a user-friendly, lightweight cruiser that is undeniably Aviator Nation; capturing Paige's innate love of outdoor adventure, music and design. The hand-stitched brown leather seat with the embroidered Aviator Nation signature logo is a retro contrast to the black, glossy fenders that flank the bike. The gas tank's gold shimmer is a nod to vintage sparkle drum sets & guitars and is finished off with Aviator Nation's signature 4 stripes painted on in the brand's recognizable colors. Custom brown leather grips, round rear view mirrors, a minimalist tail light and caged head lamp are the ‘cherries on top of Paige's design vision’ according to Honda.

"We're really excited about this collaboration with Aviator Nation," said Lee Edmunds, Manager of Motorcycle Marketing Communications at American Honda. "The potential for these bikes is endless and with the Aviator Nation customized bikes, we're just starting to explore what great things are possible in the custom bike world. With each different owner, we're hoping to see totally different expressions of style and attitude.  This up and coming generation of riders will probably be unlike anything we've known and we're hoping they think the same of these great motorcycles."

Suited for the SXSW event, the collaboration and campaign was devised and executed by Venice, CA-based Marketing Factory, a leader in millennial marketing. The Honda Rebel + Aviator Nation bike will make its first outdoor appearance at the Waterloo Records Day Parties during SXSW in Aviator Nation's on-site pop up shop.

"Waterloo Records really is the perfect venue for the launch of our Honda Rebel + Aviator Nation collaboration and pop-up shop,” said Paige, a Texas Native. “It's famous for bringing music lovers together to celebrate and support the local music scene – something that I'm deeply passionate about. I'm honored to be working with a local record shop that truly helps propel great new artists forward."

Revelers at Waterloo Records will also be able to shop Aviator Nation + Honda Powersports custom designed gear, think tanks, tees and hats created exclusively for the Waterloo Records Day Parties. The collaboration will also be hosting an artist lounge for the musicians backstage where talent can chill out pre- and post-performance.

Clutch and Chrome took a closer look at the Honda Rebel 300 and 500 in November 2016. The 2017 Honda Rebel 300 & 500 will go on sale nationwide in late April. Aviator Nation customized Rebels will be available for purchase in Aviator Nation flagship stores in June 2017.

But wait, Honda still has some hipness in store. The Aviator Nation customized Rebels will make another special appearance in Austin at a unique pop-up experience at ACL Music Festival later this year.

Share this article

Leave a comment

Make sure you enter the (*) required information where indicated. HTML code is not allowed.

About us

Clutch and Chrome covers every aspect of the motorcycle lifestyle. Daily news, in-depth articles, reviews and anything that would interest a rider.


We not only produce our own motorcycle related videos but scour the internet to bring our readers the latest, greatest two-wheeled hits online.

Last posts


Want to really stay in touch? Here's our newsletter!