Honda’s iconic Rebel, now with a slip-and-assist clutch

by TJ Hinton, onJune 28, 2021, 04:00LISTEN09:05

Honda rolls into the new decade with the first overhaul to its newest-generation Rebel range. It has only been a few years since the classic Rebel line was replaced by the current iteration, and the added features are largely due to lớn feedbachồng from the new rider base. New suspension components improve the ride along with upgrades to the lighting và clutch paông xã khổng lồ increase overall safety and expand its buyer base.

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The new Rebel 300/500 carries itself with much the same panabịt as the initial “new” Rebels, but with a few important distinctions. First, the headlight was reshaped và repositioned with a quartet of LED emitters phối behind a round lens, blackout housing, and chrome bezel. The homegrown-custom blackout continues throughout the thiết kế of both displacements, & it would be easier khổng lồ tell you what didn’t get hit with the dark finish: the inner fork tubes & brake discs out of necessity, & the aforementioned headlight trim for the sake of vanity. This effectively gives the Rebel a home-built vibe, but it doesn’t stop there.

Fenders front & rear are both heavily bobbed with builds that seek the lighthử nghiệm balance between weight & function, và this, too, adds khổng lồ the homemade look. The exposed framing goes with the thiết kế flow và adds an industrial edge khổng lồ the package. Stock, the new Rebel line rolls with a solo seat, but if you like to lớn cốt truyện the fun, you can peruse the well-populated accessory catalog for all the extra gadgetry you’ll need to bring a friend.

A blackened, short-rise handlebar và low-rise clamp push your hands bachồng just a skosh to lớn make for a comfortable, relatively upright riding posture in keeping with the longstanding cruiser tradition of the Rebel family, even if the foot controls are in a sportier, heels-under-butt position.

The unusual way the oddly-shaped, 2.96-gallon fuel tank is perched on the frame lends even more custom flavor lớn the phối to finish off the aesthetics in a way that, I gotta’ say, looks nothing lượt thích the original Honda Rebel that launched a sub-genre và inspired a cult-lượt thích following. Not sayin’ that’s a bad thing, just making an observation.

A 67 mpg fuel-efficiency rating gives the 500 a range right around 200 miles per fillup, which should be plenty for some very light long-distance work right along with urban commutes. One thing is certain; the 27.2-inch high seat is an improved feature that will endear itself to lớn your butt with its new plusher foam construction and especially lớn shorter riders as it provides plenty of leverage for riders with less-than-athletic legs.

For some added sophistication, the Rebel 500 SE comes with ABS & a selection of accessories, including the blachồng diamond-stitch saddle, blaông xã fork boots & covers, and a blachồng headlight cowl.

Honda Rebel 300 / 500 Chassis




Steel-tubing members Cosplay the completely exposed fame with plate gussets for stiffness. The 28-degree rake angle và 4.3-inch trail helps it traông xã to lớn combat the squirreliness that a sportbike’s steering geometry would provide. It’s billed as a cruiser, & those are some mighty cruise-tastic steering numbers to go with the 58.7-inch wheelbase.

Since the 300 weighs in at 364-pounds wet và the 500 weighs in at 408-pounds wet, there’s no getting around the fact that these are very light bikes. The good news is, even the largest of the pair is easily finessed without being reduced lớn a wrestling match of mass versus muscle.

It should be very unintimidating to riders who are new khổng lồ cruisers, or just plain new to riding altogether.

Right-way-up, 41 mm hydraulic forks float the front end on 4.8 inches of travel with dual, coil-over shocks to lớn support the rear and tame the motion of the swingarm while they allow a 3.8-inch range of motion that should be sufficient for any urban jungle. A set of 16-inch, cast-alloy blackout rims round out the rolling chassis with a chunky-looking 130/90 leading the way ahead of an even fatter 150/80 – dimensions that reinforce the custom vibe further yet.

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You can choose to take or leave the ABS protection since both displacements come with and without an anti-loông xã version. May I add, if you’re a new rider, it’s probably safe enough to cut your teeth on an ABS bike since that công nghệ is nearly ubiquitous nowadays and you can rely on it becoming even more widespread in the foreseeable future.

286 cc thumper or 471 cc parallel twin Slip-and-assist clutch 300: 27.4 hp và 19.9 lb-ft 500:45.9 hp and 31.9 lb-ft
The Rebel line splits along the displacement break with a choice between the 286 cc “300” Model và a 471 cc “500” version. At the bottom of the foodchain is the 300 that rocks a 76 milimet bore & 63 mm stroke thumper with a 10.7-to-1 compression ratio that turns out a total of 27.4 horsepower and 19.9 pound-feet of torque for a top tốc độ of 85 mph. The 500 measures in with a nearly-square 67 mm bore and 66.8 mm stroke and the same compression ratio as its smaller sibling, just with a parallel-twin layout. It cranks out 45.9 ponies & 31.9 pounds o’ grunt with a top speed around 95 mph.

Both engines run with DOHC valve timing và four poppets per cylinder along with a water jacket and radiator to giảm giá khuyến mãi with the waste heat. New for this year is the slip-and-assist clutch that delivers a light lever pull và protects the rear liên hệ patch from the effects of excessive sầu drag torque under heavy engine braking and hard downshifts.

That's the extent of the fandanglery on these essential little bikes, so they can be counted upon to deliver the power along with honest feedbachồng.
Model:Rebel 500 Rebel 300 Engine:Bore x Stroke:Compression Ratio:Induction:Ignition:Transmission:Final Drive:
471 cc liquid-cooled parallel-twin four-stroke, DOHC; four valves per cylinder286 cc liquid-cooled single-cylinder four-stroke, DOHC; four valves per cylinder
67.0 mm x 66.8 mm76.0 mm x 63.0 mm
PGM-FI; 34 mm throttle bodiesPGM-FI; 38 mm throttle bodies
Full Transistorized ignitionFull Transistorized ignition
O-ring-sealed chainO-ring-sealed chain

Like the outgoing Rebel kiến thiết, the Boulevard S40 carries itself with a ’70s bobber look that borrows heavily from the custom bikes of that era. Blackout treatment is another constant across the board, though the Boulevard doesn’t suffer from quite the same dearth of chrome as the Rebel.

An old-school teardrop tank & duplex seating defines the S40’s flyline in a way much lượt thích the Rebel used lớn. Standard forks and coil-over shocks deliver a non-adjustable ride, not a great surprise at this price point, but what is surprising is Suzuki’s insistence on using an antiquated drum brake to slow the rear wheel instead of a hydraulic disc lượt thích the front wheel và most of the rest of the full-kích cỡ motorcycle world.

Rather than going with low, fat hoops, the Suzuki rolls on a 19-inch front và 15-inch rear wheel for a large offphối that leaves it with custom roots of its own. Too bad for Suzuki, it has no answer for the Honda’s (optional) ABS feature, và so it falls behind in the only gadgetry category the Red Riders bring lớn the table.

The S40 runs a 652 cc, air-cooled thumper that churns out 31 ponies and 37 pounds o’ grunt against 45.9/31.9 on the 500 for the trade off I’d expect to see from similar displacements in a one- versus two-cylinder layout. Suzuki slips again with a standard clutch against Honda’s slipper clutch.

It seems the only thing the S40 really has going for it is the $5,799 sticker that lands almost a grand less expensive than the Rebel 500.

Read our full đánh giá of the Suzuki Boulevard S40.

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He Said

“I’m kindomain authority torn here. As a former Rebel rider, I will always hold the old thiết kế cthua thảm lớn my heart & this new machine looks nothing lượt thích it, but on the other hvà, it was a dated thiết kế and the younger riders 3D the target audience for this bike. Got to cater to lớn your crowd, ya’ know? Looking at the rider’s triangle, it certainly seems lượt thích the new Rebels are going to lớn be as cramped for taller riders as they ever were.

She Said

My wife and fellow motorcycle writer, Allyn Hinton, says, “I was never really a Rebel bạn baông xã in the day, but I am digging the new styling and getting more appreciation for this iconic little ride.”

It's very approachable & unintimidating; so for new riders, this is right up your alley. For experienced riders, it's nice to just get on and feel comfortable.”

“One thing I will say, though, on the 500, the clutch cover seems big & a bit intrusive sầu right there at the rear brake lever. I can see that being a bit wearisome after a long ride..”

Hondomain authority Rebel 300 / 500 Specifications

T.J got an early start from his father & other family members who owned và rode motorcycles, and by helping with various mechanical repairs throughout childhood. That planted a seed that grew inlớn a well-rounded appreciation of all things mechanical, and eventually, inlớn a formal education of same. Though primarily a Harley rider, he has an appreciation for all sorts of bikes và doesn"t discriminate against any particular brvà or region of origin. He currently holds an Associate"s degree in applied mechanical science from his time at the M.M.I.Read full bio