Big Red recently unveiled an all-new Honda Rebel 500 Bobber for 2017. Unlike the rest of their 2017 range, Honda decided to pull the covers off of their latest offering in relative secrecy. No big reveal at the trade shows, no artsy videos, and no indoor fireworks – just a simple press release: all killer and no filler. So, if you know someone who’s in the market for a great learner bike with a decent bang for buck ratio, and a nice raw and simple aesthetic, then the 2017 Honda Rebel 500 might be a nice suggestion.
At the heart of Honda’s latest small displacement machine you’ll find the very same engine found on the CBR500RR: a liquid cooled, 471cc, eight valve, parallel twin motor. Naturally, the engine has been re-tuned for a very different ride experience: bottom end torque and an equal power delivery through the range is the aim of the game with the revised engine, which pushes out 45 hp at 8,000 rpm and 33 lb – ft of torque at 6,000 rpm.
While the 500 has certainly taken a lot of inspiration from its 450cc predecessor from the 80s, there are very few concrete similarities. The frame is a completely new tubular steel unit, with a narrow profile, and a comfortable seat height (690 mm). The new Rebel is all bobber, and ticks all of the right boxes for a decent cruiser, with a 110 mm trail, and a 28 degree rake, with the front forks offset to 30 degrees. The foot pegs have also been placed in a nice and versatile mid way position, to make the bike more appealing to a wider audience.
Versatility seems to be the main thought progression during the Honda Rebel 500 Bobber’a design process, since the chassis comes with a special rear loop that detaches from the seat so that the passenger cushion can be easily removed, along with a bolt on subframe that is just screaming out for customization options.
Throw some fat tires, a lone LCD dial up front, a single side exhaust, and a simple, retro styled headlight into the mix and you’ve got the makings of a very nice learner or commuter machine. Of course, Honda have also got a full catalog of accessories for buyers to invest in, such as a new rear rack, saddlebags, and power adapter options. The color options will be Graphite Black, Millennium Red, and Matte Armored Silver Metallic, and the price should be around the $4k – $5k marker, although there hasn’t been any formal announcement on the actual costs.
If you’re interested though, you’ll be pleased to know that the new breed of Rebel will also come in a 300cc configuration too…