2018 Honda Rebel 500 Review of Specs / Changes + R&D Info | Bobber / Cruiser Motorcycle (CMX500 / Optional ABS)

2018 Honda Rebel 300 / 500 Review

– Detailed 2018 Rebel 500 (including ABS) Motorcycle Buyer’s Guide: Price, MPG, HP & TQ Performance Specs, Accessories + More! –

Everything you need to know about the 18′ Rebel 500 in one place!

2018 Honda Rebel 500 Review / Specs - Bobber Motorcycle

Today, we’re going to go over and do a complete breakdown of all features, specs etc on the 2018 Honda Rebel 500 / 2018 Rebel 500 ABS. You can check out the 2018 Rebel 500 / 300 Model Announcement by Clicking Here. The Rebel 500 has a smaller brother too that was an all-new model introduced last year too, the Rebel 300 but this review is only going to cover the Rebel 500 though and I’ll have a separate page covering all of the details and nitty-gritty specs on the Rebel 300. Why (2) pages? There’s so much information concerning these two 2018 cruiser motorcycles from Honda that they need their own pages to highlight everything you need to know about both of them.

What is the Rebel 500 (CMX500)? It’s a new cruiser, ‘bobber’ style motorcycle from Honda that was originally introduced last year that is a huge update and I mean HUGE update coming from the Honda Rebel that Honda introduced a year before I came into this world – in 1984. It is Honda’s idea at creating a fresh new take on an otherwise old-school ‘look’ with the 500 cc parallel twin-cylinder stolen from the very popular CBR500R / CB500F / CB500X bikes. Honda didn’t just steal that engine and not make any tweaks to it… For cruising duties, revised PGM-FI fuel injection mapping has re-focused its character towards a more torque-heavy bottom-end output, while retaining a sporty feel to its smooth and linear power delivery, for a ride that is engaging as well as easy. Honda has shown yet again that they know how to mix old and new school to create an engaging and incredibly easy motorcycle to ride, yet still offering plenty of room for owner customization. It’s update has been long overdue as this is one of Honda’s longest-running bikes that has not received an update with major changes and upgrades etc so needless to say, it’s been a long-time coming…


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Slim, blacked out to the max and with a low 27.2 inch seat height, the Rebel mixes old and new school style to fire the imagination of a younger generation of riders. A new tubular steel frame draws fresh, contemporary lines into stripped-back, fat-tired ‘bobber’ style, with mid-mounted footpegs and a relaxed and neutral riding position with gently outstretched arms.

2018 Rebel 500 VS Rebel 300

With the all-new Rebel from Honda you have (2) engine options: 1. 471cc 8-valve, liquid-cooled parallel twin-cylinder engine was stolen from Honda’s popular 500cc trio (CBR500R / CB500F / CB500X) or the 286cc single-cylinder engine stolen from Honda’s 300cc duo (CBR300R / CB300F). If you want more details on the smaller 300cc variant, the Rebel 300, check it out by clicking here.

The 2018 Rebel 500 and 300 models share more parts than what is technically different between them. Here’s a quick overview of the differences in specs between them:

  • Rebel 500 VS 300 Comparison
  • Rebel 500 HP – 45.9 horsepower
  • Rebel 300 HP – 27.4 horsepower
    • Rebel 500 TQ – 32.9 lb/ft torque
    • Rebel 300 TQ – 19.9 lb/ft torque
      • Rebel 500 MPG – 61 miles per gallon
      • Rebel 300 MPG – 71 miles per gallon
        • Rebel 500 Weight – 408 lbs
        • Rebel 300 Weight – 364 lbs
          • Rebel 500 Price – TBA (MSRP)
            • Rebel 500 ABS Price – TBA (MSRP)
          • Rebel 300 Price – TBA (MSRP)
            • Rebel 300 ABS Price – TBA (MSRP)

Want to learn more about the Rebel 300 that Honda introduced alongside the Rebel 500? Check out my Rebel 300 Review by Clicking Here or by clicking on the image below.

2018 Honda Rebel 500 VS 300 Comparison Review / Specs


Alright, now that we’ve got that out of the way let’s dive more in-depth into the All-New Rebel 500 model that helped replace the old-school Rebel 250 that went unchanged for more than 20 years…

2018 Rebel 500 Review Contents:

  • 1. Introduction
  • 2. Model Overview
  • 3. Key Features
    • 3.1 Styling
    • 3.2 Engine
    • 3.3 Chassis / Suspension
  • 4. Rebel 500 Accessories
  • 5. Quick Overview of Specs / Features (if you’re in a hurry, skip to here…)
  • 6. Photo Gallery
  • 7. Technical Specifications

1. Rebel 500 Introduction

The Rebel is a progressive new custom bobber that fuses tradition with new ideas and perspectives while offering ample scope for owner customization. For many riders in their early 20s – Generation Y, who have grown up through the digital age – motorcycles mean so much more than just transport. They need to represent a lifestyle, an attitude, and to allow them to express their own individual identity. These riders’ expectations are different to those of the motorcycling mainstream and the machines that speak to them reflect this. They have to fit in with their life but must also contain the potential for further individualization.

2018 Honda Rebel 500 Review / Specs - Price, MPG, Accessories

Mr Keita Mikura, Large Project Leader (LPL) of the innovative NM4 Vultus (pictured below) understands this. He likes to play with the rules, creating machines that fuse tradition with groundbreaking new ideas and perspectives. Mikura-san is the Large Project Leader of the new Honda Rebel. His team has produced a custom motorcycle that showcases a classic, timeless look but is also imbued with a forward-looking, contemporary style all of its own. Accessible, easy to ride and easy to live with, the Rebel goes its own way but is also a blank canvas, ready for whatever its owner’s imagination has in store for it.

2018 Honda NM4 Vultus Review / Specs - Motorcycle / DCT Automatic Bike NC700 / NC750

2. Rebel 500 Overview

The new Rebel is simple and raw but don’t let the minimalistic design fool you; it is a Honda after all and every tiny detail matters. The low, lean silhouette is crowned by an iconic fuel tank, aggressively raked front end and fat 16 inch tires on large-diameter wheels. The stamped-steel rear fender and narrow frame body result in a stripped form expressing offbeat individuality from every angle.

Development of the Rebel began in North America, with an outlook geared toward firing the imagination of a younger generation of riders in a different way to traditional cruiser motorcycles. Powered by a 471cc parallel twin-cylinder engine, with strong bottom end torque and a smooth, linear power delivery the Rebel is A2 licence friendly for those in countries with restrictions on motorcycle licensing. It’s also slim, with a low seat height and therefore easy to manage at low speeds. The riding position is relaxed and neutral, with gently outstretched arms matched to mid-mounted footpegs.

The Rebel’s tubular steel frame is brand new and draws fresh, contemporary lines into stripped-back, fat-tired ‘bobber’ style. 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. The ignition is housed below the left side of the fuel tank and everything that can be is blacked out. Speaking of blacked out, the 2018 Rebel is blacked out to the maximum, with the minimum of paint, it also switches from solo-only to passenger-possible via two bolts so you can easily carry a passenger on your Rebel 500.


– Video Review: Rebel 500 Specs & Features –

– Video: Rebel 500 Exhaust Soundclip –


 

2018 Rebel 500 Performance Info:

  • 2018 Rebel 500 Horsepower – 45 HP @ 8,500 rpm
  • 2018 Rebel 500 Torque – 32.9 ft/lb TQ @ 6,000 rpm
  • 2018 Rebel 500 Miles Per Gallon – 61 MPG

2018 Rebel Model Options / Prices:

  • 2018 Rebel 500 Price / MSRP – TBA 
    • (Model ID: CMX500J)
  • 2018 Rebel 500 ABS Price / MSRP – TBA 
    • (Model ID: CMX500AJ) ABS = Anti-Lock Brakes
  • 2018 Rebel 300 Price / MSRP – TBA 
    • (Model ID: CMX300J)
  • 2018 Rebel 300 ABS Price / MSRP – TBA 
    • (Model ID: CMX300AJ) ABS = Anti-Lock Brakes

2018 Rebel 500 Colors:

  • Graphite Black
  • Matte Silver Metallic
  • Millennium Red
  • Candy Lightning Blue
    • (Colors will vary by country)

3. Rebel 500 Key Features

3.1 Styling

Two key words ran headlined throughout the Rebel’s development program: ‘SIMPLE’ and ‘RAW’. But to do so much with so little is an art form in itself, an exercise in minimalist design where every detail matters.

And the Rebel does not disappoint; rolling on fat tires its low and lean ‘bobber’ silhouette – crowned by the steeply raked 2.95 gallon fuel tank and fat handlebars – sits the rider firmly ‘in’ the machine. Iconic peanut-shaped fuel tanks, aggressively raked front ends and fat tires on large-diameter wheels result in stripped forms that express offbeat individuality from every angle. From every angle of its stripped form it expresses an off-beat individuality.

Everything that can be is blacked out, which highlights the Rebel’s lithe design as well as underlining the subtle paintwork. Set high up front the evocative round headlight features a 135mm diameter glass lens and die-cast aluminum mount.

2018 Honda Rebel 300 & 500 Review - Motorcycle / Bike Seats, Windshield, Saddle Bags

The ‘one button’ speedo is a compact 100mm dial with negative LCD display and blue backlight and is both striking and effective, while the ignition is housed below the left side of the fuel tank.

The passenger seat and rear footpegs are easily removed on the Rebel 500, and a number of tailor-made accessories will be available for the Rebel; these include a tubular rear rack, saddlebags, screen and 12V socket.

3.2 Engine

The Rebel’s 471cc 8-valve, liquid-cooled parallel twin-cylinder engine was taken from the CBR500R sport bike. For cruising duties, revised PGM-FI fuel injection mapping has shifted its character away from the high rpm-focused performance of the CBR to a torque-heavy bottom-end output, with smooth and linear delivery throughout the rev-range. Punchy maximum torque of 32.9 ft/lb TQ @ 6,000rpm combines with peak horsepower of 45 HP @ 8,500rpm.

2018 Honda Rebel 500 / 300 Horsepower & Torque Performance Specs

It’s a power unit that strikes a great balance between physical size and flexible output. Bore and stroke is set at 67mm x 66.8mm with compression ratio of 10.7:1. Internally the cylinder head uses roller rocker arms; shim-type valve adjustment allows them to be light, for lower valve-spring load and reduced friction.

A silent (SV Chain) cam chain has the surface of its pins treated with Vanadium, reducing friction with increased protection against dust. Inlet valve diameter is 26.0mm with exhaust valve diameter of 21.5mm.

Friction is reduced by the addition of striations on the piston skirt (a finish that increases surface area, introducing gaps in which oil can flow for better lubrication). An AB 1 salt bath process, used after isonite nitriding, forms a protective oxidization membrane.

The crankshaft pins are phased at 180° and a primary couple-balancer sits behind the cylinders, close to the bike’s center of gravity. The primary and balancer gears use scissor gears, reducing noise. The crank counterweight is specifically shaped for couple-balance and its light weight allows the engine to spin freely, with reduced inertia.

The crankcases use centrifugally cast thin-walled sleeves. Their internal design reduces the ‘pumping’ losses that can occur with a 180° phased firing order. A deep oil sump holds 3,38 qt. The Rebel 500 use the six-speed transmission and if there’s one thing that Honda knows how to build, it is gearboxes. It’s next to impossible to find any reviews whether it be in an online publication or magazine where they disliked how smooth Honda’s transmission are. They are incredibly slick to use both up and down the six-speed gearbox. Effortless is one of the best descriptions I can use when it comes to the transmission Honda is using in the Rebel 500 whether it be around-town riding in the city or raising hell on your favorite mountain roads.

2018 Honda Rebel 500 / 300 Exhaust Muffler

The 2-1 exhaust scrubs spent gases in its catalyser then speeds them through its first chamber into the second resonator chamber. The muffler is a 120mm diameter ‘shotgun’ style, and the sound produced has a heavy-duty pulsing feel that fits the torque delivery. Honda also blacked-out its mechanical components for a tough, minimalist look.

How will the 2018 Rebel 500 stack up against the 2018 Honda Shadow 750 in performance?

Let’s use the Shadow Phantom 750 for an example VS Rebel 500…

● Shadow Phantom 750 | 40.5 Horsepower / 47.9 Torque / 549 lbs = Power-to-Weight Ratio .074 HP / .00015 TQ

Versus

● Rebel 500 | 44.9 Horsepower / 32.8 Torque / 408 lbs = Power-to-Weight Ratio .110 HP / .00014 TQ

When comparing their horsepower-to-weight ratio on the Rebel 500 VS Shadow Phantom 750 it’s a huge difference but when comparing their torque-to-weight it does close up the gap slightly where the Phantom edges out but just barely. The Shadow would have a fighting chance at launch but once you get into 2nd gear and get moving the Rebel is going to pull away and widen the gap the faster they go. My $$ would be on the Rebel whether it be a roll race or from a dig.

It does go to show something that I preach every day to people when they are comparing motorcycles between different manufacturers and even the same brands like this comparison… A larger displacement engine doesn’t always mean it’s faster as you have to compare a lot more of the nitty-gritty specs.

3.3 Chassis

The Rebel’s riding position is relaxed and neutral, with arms gently outstretched and feet dropping straight down to the mid-mounted pegs. Good ground clearance allows surprisingly sporty lean angles.

2018 Honda Rebel 500 Seating Position - Review / Specs - New Cruiser Motorcycle: Prices, Release Date, Colors

 

To support the Rebel’s low-slung look, its attractive tubular-steel frame holds the engine in three places and is designed to be as narrow as possible around the rider’s inseam. The 41mm forks are set wide at 230mm apart for handling rigidity, comfort and style, and the lower legs are blacked-out. Trail is set at 110mm with 28° rake; the forks are offset at 30° and the result, combined with the 58.7 inch wheelbase, is a low 27.2 inch seat height and mid-mounted footpegs, for balanced and neutral steering.

The frame has a narrow shape and includes an innovative rear loop that separates the seat from the stamped-metal rear fender; the bolt-on cast aluminum subframe provides further scope for customization.

The tubular steel blacked-out 45mm diameter swingarm works with side-mounted twin shock absorbers that feature 2 step preload settings so you can fine-tune the ride to your liking’s via the adjusters.

2018 Honda Rebel 500 Frame - Review / Specs - New Cruiser Motorcycle: Prices, Release Date, Colors

Dunlop tires are fitted as standard sized 130/90-16 front and 150/80-16 rear. The style of the 16-inch cast aluminum wheels is crisp and simple, with the 264mm front disc acting as mirror to the spoke pattern. A twin-piston front caliper is matched by a single-piston rear; ABS is fitted as standard on Euro-spec Rebel 500’s but is available as an option here in the USA on the 2018 Rebel 500.

4. Rebel 500 Accessories

Here’s some pictures of some of the available accessories at this time for the 2018 Rebel 500 which include passenger seats, pegs, windshields, saddlebags, saddlebag mounting hardware, 12v accessory plug and more!

5. Quick Overview of Features / Specs

2018 Rebel 500 Chassis / Suspension

  • Riding position is relaxed and neutral, with arms gently outstretched and feet dropping straight down to the mid-mounted pegs.
  • Good ground clearances allow surprisingly sporty lean angles.
  • To support the Rebel’s low-slung look, its attractive tubular-steel frame holds the engine in three places and is designed to be as narrow as possible around the rider’s inseam. Trail is set at 110mm with 28° rake.
  • The 41mm fork stanchions are set wide at 230mm apart for handling rigidity, comfort and style, and the lower legs are blacked-out.
  • Fork angle is 30°, wheelbase is 58.7 in. wheelbase and seat height is 27.2 in., resulting in balanced, neutral steering.
  • Frame body has a narrow shape and includes an innovative rear loop that separates the seat from the stamped-metal rear fender.
  • Dunlop tires (size 130/90-16 front, 150/80-16 rear) are mounted to 16 inch cast-aluminum wheels.
  • Both the Rebel 500 is available in standard and ABS versions.
  • Iconic peanut-shaped fuel tanks, aggressively raked front ends and fat tires on large-diameter wheels result in stripped forms that express offbeat individuality from every angle.
  • Blacked-out 45mm tubular swingarm with twin conventional, side-mounted shocks that feature two-step preload adjusters.
  • Evocative round headlight sits up high in a die-cast aluminum mount.
  • Speedometer is a compact dial with negative LCD display and blue backlight.
  • Ignition is housed below the left side of the fuel tank.

2018 Rebel 50 Engine / Drivetrain

  • Rebel 500 is powered by a 471cc, eight-valve, liquid-cooled parallel twin with strong bottom-end torque and a smooth, linear power delivery.
  • Rebel 500 cylinder head uses roller rocker arms; shim-type valve adjustment allows them to be light, for lower valve-spring load and reduced friction.
  • Rebel 500 has a silent (SV Chain) cam chain, with the surface of its pins treated with Vanadium to reduce friction through its increased protection against dust. Inlet-valve diameter is 26.0mm with exhaust-valve diameter of 21.5mm.
  • Rebel 500 has reduced friction through the addition of striations on the piston skirt (a finish that increases surface area, introducing gaps in which oil can flow for better lubrication). An AB 1 salt bath process, used after isonite nitriding, forms a protective oxidization membrane.
  • Rebel 500 crankshaft pins are phased at 180°, and a primary couple-balancer sits behind the cylinders, close to the bike’s center of gravity. The primary and balancer gears use scissor gears, reducing noise. The crank counterweight is specifically shaped for couple-balance and its light weight allows the engine to spin freely, with reduced inertia.
  • Rebel 500 crankcases use centrifugally cast thin-walled sleeves. Their internal design reduces the “pumping” losses that can occur with a 180° phased firing order. A deep oil sump holds 3.2 liters.
  • Six-speed gearbox is designed to offer effortless changes.
  • Blacked-out mechanical components for a tough, minimalist look.
  • Specially designed muffler looks good and emits a pulsating exhaust note.

6. 2018 Rebel 500 Photo Gallery / Pictures

7. 2018 Rebel 500 Technical Specifications

Model 2018 Rebel 500 ABS 2018 Rebel 500 2018 Rebel 300 ABS 2018 Rebel 300
ENGINE
Type 471cc liquid-cooled parallel-twin four-stroke 286cc liquid-cooled single-cyilnder four-stroke
Valve Train DOHC; four valves per cylinder
Bore x Stroke 67.0mm x 66.8mm 76.0mm x 63.0mm
Compression Ratio 10.7:1
Induction PGM-FI; 34mm throttle bodies PGM-FI; 38mm throttle bodies
Ignition Computer-controlled digital transistorized w/ electronic advance
Starter Electric
Transmission Six-speed
Clutch Multiplate wet
Final Drive Chain; 15T/40T Chain; 14T/36T
SUSPENSION
Front 41mm telescopic fork; 4.77 in. travel
Rear Twin shock; 3.77 in. travel
BRAKES
Front Single 296mm disc w/ hydraulic calipers; ABS Single 296mm disc w/ hydraulic calipers Single 296mm disc w/ hydraulic calipers; ABS Single 296mm disc w/ hydraulic calipers
Rear Single 240mm disc w/ hydraulic calipers; ABS Single 240mm disc w/ hydraulic calipers Single 240mm disc w/ hydraulic calipers; ABS Single 240mm disc w/ hydraulic calipers
TIRES
Front 130/90-16
Rear 150/80-16
MEASUREMENTS
Rake (Caster Angle) 28º
Trail 110mm (4.3 in)
Seat Height 27.2 in.
Ground Clearance 5.4 in. 5.9 in.
Wheelbase 58.7 in.
Fuel Capacity 3 gal.
Color Matte Silver Metallic Candy Lightning Blue, Matte Silver Metallic, Black, Red Matte Silver Metallic Candy Lightning Blue, Matte Silver Metallic, Black, Red
Curb Weight* 414 lbs. 408 lbs. 370 lbs. 364 lbs.

* Includes all standard equipment, required fluids and full tank of fuel—ready to ride. Meets current EPA standards. Models sold in California meet current CARB standards and may differ slightly due to emissions equipment.


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