2017 Honda Rebel 500 and 300 First Look |
One Dozen Essential Facts
Aimed directly at Generation Y (aka Millennials), the new 2017 Honda Rebel 500 and Rebel 300 take existing powerplants and present them to the world in a daring new way. Combining traditional bobber styling with some unexpected modern touches, the Rebel 500 and Rebel 300 trade Honda’s 1960s “You Meet The Nicest People On A Honda” slogan for the unabashedly 21st century #BornRebel. Here are the Fast Facts on the new Rebels.
- There are four 2017 Honda Rebels. Both the Honda Rebel 500 and 300 also come in ABS versions.
- Both Honda Rebel engines are repurposed. The 500 parallel twin is from the CB500 series, and the 300 thumper is lifted from the pair of CB300 sport bikes. Both have been tuned for more bottom-end power, with the Rebel 500 also getting a mid-range boost over its CB500 counterparts.
- Both 2017 Honda Rebels share the same chassis. The frame, suspension, and wheels are fully interchangeable.
- The Honda Rebel geometry is designed for easy riding. The rake is set at 28 degrees, with an additional offset of two degree, so the Rebels will be stable. The wheelbase is just short of 59 inches, adding to the stability. Fat 16-inch Dunlop tires add a robust contact patch. To accommodate almost any rider, the seat height is just a hair over 27 inches.
- The seating position on the 2017 Honda Rebel 500 and Rebel 300 is not radical. The pegs are mid-mount, while the bars require a short forward reach, giving the rider a cool, aggressive stance. Honda claims that “good ground clearances allow surprisingly sporty lean angles.”
- The Honda Rebels may be cruisers, but they are still lightweight motorcycles. The Rebel 500 hits the scales at a claimed 408 pounds wet (add just six pounds for ABS), while the Rebel 300 is a featherweight 364 pounds (with the same weight penalty for ABS). For comparison, the Harley-Davidson Street 500 weighs in at 489 pounds wet.
- Honda is not modest about aiming the Rebels at Generation Y. “The Rebel 500 and Rebel 300 are simple and raw, offering cutting-edge style and a radical image, while minimizing the barriers to riding,” according to Lee Edmunds, Manager of Motorcycle Marketing Communications at American Honda. “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.”
- Honda designed the Rebels to be customized. When Honda introduced the Rebels, they also rolled out three dolled up Rebels that gave instant credibility to the line. All three retained the stock chassis and relied on accessible bolt-ons for customization. One of the three custom Rebels was built by Aviator Nation—purveyors of $75 t-shirts and $45 trucker hats.
- There are a number of nice details on the 2017 Honda Rebel 500 and Rebel 300. The rear fender is metal, rather than the usual plastic on inexpensive Honda cruisers, with the mount nicely integrated into the bike’s design. The round headlight is a looker and has a die-cast aluminum bottom mount. Honda keeps the clock small, and the seat is solo (passenger accommodations will be optional), and the side-mount key is a nice retro touch.
- Honda Rebel buyers will have lots of color choices, unless they want ABS. Both ABS models are black-only, while the standard Rebels come in Matte Silver, Black, and Red. The 300 can also be had in a Matte Pearl White paint job, with the 500 having exclusive access to Bright Yellow. The engine and the frame on all models are black.
- The prices of the 2017 Honda Rebel 500 and Rebel 300 are accessible to many Generation Y members. The tentative price for the standard Rebel 300 is $4399, with the Rebel 500 expected to have an MSRP of $5999.
- Potential owners have plenty of time to accumulate needed funds. The 2017 Honda Rebel 500 and Rebel 300 won’t hit the showroom floor until April 2017.
2017 Honda Rebel 500 and 300 Specs
Type: Liquid-cooled parallel twin (300: liquid-cooled single)
Bore x stroke: 67.0 x 66.8mm (300: 76.0 x 63.0mm)
Displacement: 471cc (300: 286cc)
Valve train: DOCH; four valves per cylinder
Compression Ratio: 10.7:1
Induction: PGM-FI; 34mm throttle bodies (300: 38mm throttle body)
Ignition: Computer-controlled digital transistorized w/ electronic advance
Final drive: Chain; 15T/40T (300:14T/36T)
Front suspension: 41mm telescopic forks; 4.8 inches of travel
Rear: Twin shocks; 3.8 inches of travel
Front brake: 296mm disc
Rear brake: 240mm disc
Front tire: 130/90-16; Dunlop
Rear tire: 150/80-16; Dunlop
DIMENSIONS and CAPACITIES
Wheelbase: 58.7 inches
Rake: 28 degrees
Trail: 4.3 inches
Seat height: 27.2 inches
Fuel capacity: 3 gallons
Colors: Matte Silver, Black, Red (all non-ABS models); Bright Yellow (Rebel 500); Matte Pearl White (Rebel 300); Black (ABS models)
Curb weights: Rebel 500 ABS: 414 pounds; Rebel 500: 408 pounds; Rebel 300 ABS: 370 pounds; Rebel 300: 364 pounds
Tentative prices: 2017 Honda Rebel 500: $5999; 2017 Honda Rebel 300: $4399. (ABS prices unavailable)
Availability: April 2017