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viernes, septiembre 29, 2023
HomeCars10 Reasons Why You Should Buy A Honda Rebel 500

10 Reasons Why You Should Buy A Honda Rebel 500

Though the Rebel may be small in stature, it leaves a massive shadow on Honda’s history. Known primarily as a beginner bike as far back as the 1980s, those machines taught many a new rider the intricacies of navigating local streets and highways. It has also been a mainstay of Motorcycle Safety Foundation classes throughout the United States, due to its relative light weight, low seat and ease of use. But eventually time came for Honda to give a big update, and boy were we all in for a massive treat when the manufacturer released not one, but two different versions in the 300 and 500 cc variants. And a few years later, the 1100cc Rebel rolled onto the streets. And with the new CL500 Scrambler edition right around the corner, it’s time to take another look at the middleweight of the group, the Rebel 500.

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The 2023 Honda Rebel 500 hasn’t changed much since its inception, but despite that, it still reminds us why this model has been so popular from the start. The Rebel 500 has always been a quality choice that fits many riders well, and provides a fun and enjoyable rider experience. The size and weight of the Rebel make it a top choice for new and returning riders. It boasts a slipper/assist clutch, and a class leading power-to-weight ratio. It is known for its reliable Honda engine that will most likely outlive its owner. Although it is primarily a beginner bike, it is also ideal for shorter riders, with an extra low seat height and a simple, comfortable rider triangle.

Updated June 2023: Honda continues to tinker with their best-selling Rebel cruisers, and the 500 is no exception. Though they haven’t introduced too many major updates this time around, that potentially may change in the coming years. To keep our readers up to speed on the latest developments, this article will be updated periodically.

Related: 10 Best Motorcycles For Beginners



10 Approachability And Seat Height

A grey dirt bike parked in front of shop and owner.

A 2022 Honda Rebel 500 in gray sits in front of shop

Honda certainly knows its way around building motorcycles for a specific need. They’ve been able to successfully compete in just about every market, from sport to adventure and off-road. They may also be one of the more accomplished brands to have a foothold in the American cruiser market, dominated by US giants like Harley-Davidson and Indian. But Honda is smart enough to know that they can’t compete with nostalgia, so they shifted focus with their updated Rebels. Knowing full well that Harley and Indian build large, heavy, big-capacity cruisers, Honda saw a way in with approachability and low weight, while leveraging their reputation as a dependable manufacturer with decades of reliable motorcycles under their belt.

Accordingly, the Rebel 500 was built with comfort in mind, as it has one of the lowest seats available on the market at just over 27 inches, making it easy to flat-foot whenever needed. It is lightweight and has a low center of gravity, making it a fun bike to ride. The bike has been designed to be narrow, particularly around the tank and seat area, which makes it relatively easy to hop on and off of. Because the Rebel is so customizable, it is hard to find a demographic of riders that won’t be pleased with the comfort and handling of this little cruiser.

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  • Easy to customize.
  • Approachable for new and shorter riders.


  • Taller riders may find the 500 to be a bit cramped.

9 A Workhorse Parallel Twin

Driver turning on a grey dirt bike.

Honda Rebel 500

The Rebel 500 features the 471cc parallel-twin engine that boasts eight valves and is liquid-cooled, providing quality bottom-end torque with smooth power delivery. The 500 has a cylinder head that uses a shim-style valve adjustment, reducing friction and lowering spring load. The primary balancer sits behind the cylinders, keeping its weight close to the bike’s center of gravity. Although it only makes around 46 horsepower, it is more than enough for a bike that only weighs 408 pounds.

Engine Type

471cc liquid-cooled parallel-twin four-stroke

Bore And Stroke

67.0mm x 66.8mm


Programmed Fuel Injection (PGM-FI); 34mm throttle body

Valve Train

DOHC; 4 valves per cylinder

10Compression Ratio


8 Comfortable Ride And Predictable Handling

Driver riding dirt bike on road.

A rider in motion on the gray 2022 Honda Rebel 500

The Rebel 500 features nitrogen-filled rear shocks. The rear suspension has a special spring rate too, both the front and rear are tuned for comfort. The front suspension features 41 mm forks that are simple, but effective. It is an easy bike to ride with a suspension that is well-matched to the power output. All this equates to a bike with neutral, predictable handling that will help build confidence in newer riders.

7 Slipper/Assist Clutch

Rebel 500 on road

Honda developed a slipper/assist clutch that provides a lighter clutch pull at the lever. The assist/slipper clutch minimizes the effort in stop-and-go situations and returns control to the rider for improved grip during deceleration. The slipper/assist clutch reduces rear-wheel hop when decelerating rapidly, and they are becoming so popular that this style of clutch might become the standard for all modern bikes, as other brands like Kawasaki have adopted this style of clutch too.


  • Prevents rear wheel from locking up.
  • Lighter clutch pull.
  • Reduces engine braking.


  • Complex technology can be difficult to work on at home and pricey to repair.
  • Some riders prefer to have active engine braking.

Related: 2023 Honda Rebel 1100T: Performance, Price, And Photos

6 Modern Cruiser Aesthetic

Front headlight shot of dirt bike.

Up close, front shot of the sleek headlight on the 2022 Honda Rebel 500

The Rebel 500 is blacked out, including the engine and bodywork. Even the muffler has been blacked-out, stepping away from chrome aesthetic cruisers favored in the past. The Rebel has been upgraded with an LCD dash that provides valuable information to the rider while also giving the bike a classic, yet modern, feel. It gets LED lighting all round, which is brighter and requires fewer replacements over the bike’s lifetime than incandescent bulbs. It’s a cruiser for riders who aren’t preoccupied with a certain lifestyle and simply want their bike to work and look good.

5 Easy Going Ergonomics

The side shot of a dirt bike.

Side shot of the 2022 Honda Rebel 500

The design of the subframe helps keep the rider in a relaxed position, as the handlebars and mid-controls provide a very natural riding position. The bike has good ground clearance, making it easier to maneuver in town and easier to lean into the corners too. The Rebel 500 is available with an ABS braking system as an option. It features a steel fender that supports the passenger seat accessory if you are looking to ride two up. The standard bike is very much only designed for one though.

Front Suspension

41mm fork; 5.5-inch travel

Rear Suspension

Dual shocks; 3.7-inch travel

Front Brake

Single 296mm disc

Rear Brake

Single 240mm disc

Front Tire


Rear Tire


4 Available Accessories

Back shot of the rear fender and taillight of dirt bike.

Rear fender on the 2022 Honda Rebel 500

There are plenty of additional accessories available to customize the Rebel 500. Some accessories include an upgraded seat, saddlebags, passenger seat and a rear rack. With the Rebel 500, you can easily set your bike up for riding solo or take a passenger along in style: the removable seat, optional passenger seat and footpegs, are simple, bolt-on parts. Honda effectively sells you a blank canvas, and the route you take with the bike will be defined by the type of riding you plan to do.

RELATED: US-Spec Kawasaki Eliminator vs Honda Rebel 500 – Which Metric Cruiser Should You Buy?

3 Three Trim Levels

Side shot from a distance of dirt bike.

The 2022 Honda Rebel 500 with the cityscape on the horizon

The 2023 Honda Rebel 500 comes in three trim levels: base trim, ABS, and ABS SE. The Base Trim Rebel 500 starts at $6,449. The Rebel 500 ABS starts at $6,749, and the ABS SE starts at $6,949. These prices make it a great deal, and Honda also include a one-year warranty. As of 2022, the Honda Rebel 500 was becoming harder to find, as this popular cruiser is usually the first choice to take home for beginners and shorter riders alike. Due to the Honda’s reputation, riders will feel at ease with their bike’s durability and usability.

And as mentioned previously, if riders feel the need to upgrade or downgrade, depending on their circumstances, Honda also offers the Rebel as a single thumper 300 version and a more advanced and powerful 1100, which rocks an overhauled Africa Twin engine.

2 Great For Riders Of Any Level

a gray and black dirt bike in front of a white background.

A 2022 Honda Rebel 500 in gray against a white background

The Rebel 500 is the best-selling beginner cruiser bike in the industry. Aside from the popular assist/slipper clutch mentioned above, the bike includes features that aid new riders, such as the low seat height and ABS (albeit optional). As much as the focus of the bike is to bring in new riders, experienced riders will appreciate its smooth ride and high quality fit and finish, something not usually found at this price point.


  • Compact and unintimidating for beginners.
  • Powerful enough to be a long-term purchase for riders of any experience.


  • May be too small for taller and larger riders.
  • 471cc parallel twin not the most exciting option on the market.

1 Fuel Efficient

2023 Candy Blue Honda Rebel 500 side shot

A side studio shot of a Candy Blue 2023 Honda Rebel 500

The fuel tank of the Rebel 500 has an iconic shape, but it certainly isn’t very big. The fuel tank holds around three gallons, and Honda claims each gallon offers at least 67 miles of range. This allows the Rebel 500 to boast a range of up to 187 miles. On the highway, most riders claim their Honda gets upwards of 70 MPG, touting gas mileage estimates even higher than Honda has released.

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