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, according to Honda, the models go their own way but are also blank canvases, ready for whatever their owners’ imaginations have in store.
Calling the motorcycles 'progressive custom bobbers', the two models promise to fuse tradition with groundbreaking new ideas and perspectives while offering ample scope for owner customization. Mixing these old and new-school style’s, it’s clear Honda have their eyes on would-be bikers who want the occasional fun ride which comes at an entry level price for new or a younger generation of riders.
“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.”
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 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.
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 motorcycles are light, weighing in at 408lbs wet and offer a seat height of 27.2 inches, leading to Honda claiming the new Rebel has one of the lowest seats in anyone’s lineup. A six speed transmission should help when riders open up the throttle on the two, smaller engines.
Understanding this isn’t the motorcycle that’ll be taken on long road trips, the gas tank holds just under three gallons, giving a decent number of miles in-between filling up. Both the Rebel 500 and Rebel 300 are available in standard and ABS versions.
The Rebel 500 enjoys the colors of Matte Silver, Bright Yellow, Black, Red with the ABS version only available in black. The Rebel 300’s choices are Matte Silver, Matte Pearl White, Black, Red and again, the ABS version is only available in black.
The motorcycles will find their way into Honda showrooms in April 2017. Currently the price point is around $4,399 for the Rebel 300 and the Rebel 500 at $5,999. A firm price will be set in December.
“The Rebel 500 and Rebel 300 are simple and raw, offering cutting-edge style and a radical image while minimizing the barriers to riding,” Edmunds notes. “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.”