Honda Rebel 500 review – unfinished business

(Last Updated On: March 15, 2018)

The new Rebel 500 is one of the few cruisers that A2 licence holders can enjoy. On the new motorcycle market, it’s basically on its own. Other manufacturers aren’t bothered to make entry level cruisers meaning the Rebel has virtually no competition.

Out of place rear light on the Rebel 500.

Looking at the Rebel from a distance gives you the image of a classic well thought out bobber style motorcycle. Only from up close you get to see the unfinished, out of place details on the bike. Things like the large, cheap looking rear lights, the non-LED turn signals, the use of just slightly different tones of black on different materials make the Rebel look like a prototype that needs to be worked on.
This of course is the first generation product that has been recently introduced and in the following years we can expect Honda to fix any of the early issues.

The engine however has been around for a while now. It is the same 471cc parallel twin engine that powers the entry level Honda lineup. We’ve seen it perform well in the CBR series, in dual-sports and now, with slight modifications, found its way into Honda’s new cruiser.
Being a small displacement, liquid-cooled unit, which is the opposite of what is associated with these bikes (large, air cooled V-twins), the Rebel does a good job at imitating the sound and power delivery of a proper cruiser. Of course with only 500cc the Rebel will struggle to give you the feeling of a classic cruiser, it more than makes up for it with excellent fuel efficiency. Despite the 11 litre tank, with 63 mpg (3.7 l/100 km) consumption the effective range is around 240 km.


At 690mm, the seating is quite low, but the all around body position is unusual. The legs are less stretched out that most cruisers, giving the Rebel more agility and the rider confidence during city riding. For a cruiser, there is a lot of lean angle to play with, and only being 190 kg this thing turns on a dime.

Honda CMX500 Rebel specs:

Engine: 471cc 180° parallel twin
Peak Torque: 32 lbft @ 6000rpm
Power: 45hp @ 8500rpm
Wet weight: 190kg
Fuel capacity: 11.2 liters

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