Honda Rebel 300 Impressions

Discussion in 'Road Warriors' started by cabanza, Jun 27, 2018.

  1. cabanza

    cabanza Smooth is Fast

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    Anyone bought a Rebel 300? What's your experience so far? What made you decide to go for the 300 instead of the 500?
    #1
  2. damasovi

    damasovi Long timer

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    very interesting, I want to know too!
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  3. Dav101

    Dav101 Been here awhile

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    I'll give it a go...
    The 300 cost less
    It's lighter
    Insurance cost less
    It's narrower
    Better gas mileage
    Easier access for valve adustments
    It doesn't have that weirdness at the right foot peg no one likes about the 500
    When looked down upon a birds eye view it's more symetrical
    You can wind it up and rip up and down the gears in a city/urban environment
    Can't do the same on the 500 with out attracting the wrong kind of attention
    You can feel the engine power at speed vs riding a 500cc sewing machine
    Changing spark plugs is easy vs the tear down necessitated by the 500
    300 engine is pampered by an overbuilt cooling system designed for a 500
    500 engine appears crammed in the chassis vs hipster spaciousness of 300
    300 has an overbuilt braking system designed for the power of a 500
    It's more fun to ride a slow bike fast than a fast bike slow
    Less top heavy
    You enjoy and use more of the engines potential on typical 45mph city roads
    In the hands of an experienced rider - it's way more fun to do more with less


    While the 500 does a better job on regular interstate trips slogging against a headwind trying to make time doing 90mph down a featurless flat straight, ...that's not where you really want to be riding on a Rebel anyway.

    I may be a little biased.:D
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  4. BarrieCTaylor

    BarrieCTaylor Been here awhile

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    Good Points Dav101. As "some" of us age, weight is becoming more of a factor the HP.
    #4
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  5. ScooterJon

    ScooterJon Been here awhile

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    Interesting...is a spark plug change that difficult on the 500?? What has to be torn apart to do it?
    #5
  6. Chuck Pryce

    Chuck Pryce Been here awhile Supporter

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    Wife bought a used 500 for 300 money, we changed the bars and it’s perfect for her.
    #6
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  7. dcfield

    dcfield Adventurer

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    Went to the local Honda dealer to try on some bikes for size. The CB300f and CB500r both had a very restrictive seating position. Couldn't move forward without injuring yourself on the gas tank, couldn't slide back at all cause of the raised passenger seat. The tractor seat on the Rebel was far more comfortable and even sliding back to the rear edge of the seat was tolerable (it's nice to be able to move around a little on long rides).

    The overall seating position wasn't as upright as I'm used to, felt like I was slouching in an overstuffed chair. But it wasn't nearly as bad as some cruisers. The foot pegs seemed to be spaced out an inch from the frame (maybe the 500 has a thicker engine case?). The pegs were also further forward than I'm used to, but comfortable.

    The whole bike was a lot lower than the CBs. This made it noticably easier to get on and off the bike. Also looked at a CRF250x (they didn't have a 250L in stock). I could mount the CRF and had no problem flat footing it. Loved the seating position, it obviously gives better control of the bike. The CRF seat was a little too narrow, but comfortable. Lots of room to slide back and forth to find an ideal position. I'd love to get a CRF for exploring dirt roads.

    But I also want a utility bike for errands and shopping. The Rebels have a steel rear fender that's designed to support a passenger seat. I'm envisioning a large cargo rack there. The Rebel is so low your could swing a leg over a reasonably loaded cargo rack easier than you could over the bare fender of a CRF. Or just lift your foot right over the front seat. By the time you get a CRF cargo rack loaded, it's a pain to mount the bike (maybe saddlebags?).

    Anyway, I've crossed the CBs off my list, and surprised myself by now considering a Rebel. The salesman came over while I was sitting on a Rebel and asked what I thought of it? I told him it was the most butt ugly bike I'd seen in a long time, but I might be able to live with that if it did what I wanted it to do.
    #7
  8. GodWhomIsMike

    GodWhomIsMike The Neon Rider Rocking The 250

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    Photos and details. One of the things holding me back on the new Rebel is the very forward bars.
    #8
  9. GodWhomIsMike

    GodWhomIsMike The Neon Rider Rocking The 250

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    I am torn between the Harley Street 750 and the Rebel 500. I dislike the forward bars and the seat is not overly comfortable, but the rest of it seemed perfect.

    Worth noting are those tire sizes on the Rebel. Those fat tire sizes have some interesting options in that size like the Pirelli MT60RS tires. Those tires are meant as a Scrambler tire (70% street / 30% dirt).

    [​IMG]

    I think those tires would make the Rebel a ton of fun bombing down a dirt road.
    #9
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  10. Andyvh1959

    Andyvh1959 Cheesehead Klompen Supporter

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    Being a MSf instructor of many years I have ridden many a Rebel, and the new ones are FAR superior to the old design Rebels. First off, the new Rebels start and run right away like no old design Rebel/Nighthawk could even hope to run. Riding both the 300 and 500 Rebel, either is very easy to handle especially at the low speeds common to the MSF program. I prefer the 500 since it is no bigger dimensions wise other than weight versus the 300. But the 500 engine feels/sounds so much more compelling. Either would make a fine first bike or a 2nd city bike for someone with a bigger bike for weekend rides. Nice engine, tranny, easy handling. Typical Honda though, over-sprung/under damped rides like a brick rear suspension, stiff and harsh. Needs some defint


    Looks wise,.....well perhaps because I grew up on classic Hondas of the 70's, to me the new Rebel is butt ugly. I don't care for the fat front tire look, as the Rebel is no big cruiser bike so don't to make it look like one. Its no bobber because it has no classic/vintage lines to it so don't try to make it look like one. Biggest style goof to me is the fuel tank,....looks like a total afterthought,....like they got the whole bike done and THEN someone on the design committee said, "Hey! Um,...we gotta put a fuel tank on this thing, what do we do now??"
    #10
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  11. boothmoto

    boothmoto Adventurer

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    I picked up a rebel 300 with 1500 miles on it this summer. I got it as a first (well second after a trail 90) bike for my girlfriend. I love riding it. The 300 motor is fun to wring out on back roads, 60 feels fast and exciting. I've also got a cb500x and I love that engine, but sometimes it's just more fun to rev out the 300. I also sold my FZ09 this summer and haven't missed it much riding smaller displacements. IMG_20180826_145506557_HDR.jpg
    #11
  12. ProLeisure

    ProLeisure Gimme shelter... Supporter

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    I know this thread is a bit old, but it contains some useful first-hand experience info. I wanted to give the thread a bump and see if anyone has any new feedback or additional impressions of the Rebel 300? My wife recently sat on one at a dealership and it peaked her interest in the bike.
    #12
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  13. derblauereiter

    derblauereiter Mostly made of cheese Supporter

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    I picked one up (2017 300cc rebel with 4500 miles on it for $3k) for my 5’2” fiancée this week. Riding it home, I was happy to find it could hold 70 fine in top gear, and downshift and go up into the 80’s to pass. Haven’t taken it up a canyon yet.

    She’s a very careful new rider, and wouldn’t even touch my TW200 or SR400 because they were too tall. After our first parking lot lesson on this she was grinning ear to ear and even did some committed racy turns in second gear, which is uncharacteristic. She’s done the MSF course on a Rebel 250 and has owned a Trail 90 which she only rode a handful of times, other than that she’s completely new to riding.

    I’ll post again in here once we’ve taken it on some longer rides and possibly little camping trips.
    #13
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  14. AwDang

    AwDang Enabler

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    Please do
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  15. ProLeisure

    ProLeisure Gimme shelter... Supporter

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    Thank you for the information. BTW, having priced used Rebel 300s this past week online you got a great deal at $3k.

    My wife is 5’ 3” and currently has a CRF230L which is a lot of fun for the forest service and logging roads around our area, but not so much fun on longer pavement stretches. She has no interest riding on the interstate, but it’s good to know you found the top speed acceptable.

    I’ve been looking the last few weeks at more street oriented bikes for her. We stopped by a Honda dealership because I wanted her to sit on a CB300F to see what it was like. She thought it was okay, but then gravitated to the Rebel and ended up sitting on it several times. She loved being able to flat foot it. The Rebel wasn’t even on my radar, mostly because of my own bias towards adventure and dual sport bikes.

    Ideally, bike wise, I wanted to get her something that was street oriented, but could handle the occasional gravel/dirt road and that she could also camp off of. (We both enjoy moto-camping). I started reading up on the Kawasaki Versys X 300 and it sounded like a possible solution. We went to a Kawasaki dealership earlier this week and she sat on one. It’s not a small bike, physically, and even lowering it as much as it could be, it would still be a lot for her, especially weight wise.

    I realize, as stated above, my bias influenced what I thought would be a good bike for her. But ultimately, what’s best is something she’d be most comfortable on and the Rebel 300 is now looking like a great option.
    #15
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  16. derblauereiter

    derblauereiter Mostly made of cheese Supporter

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    I totally relate, I kept trying taller more dual sport bikes for her because that’s what I pictured us riding together, but that’s further down the road if at all. She lit right up after sitting on the low rebel at the dealership.
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  17. derblauereiter

    derblauereiter Mostly made of cheese Supporter

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    No followup rides yet, but we did install an OEM rear seat and footpegs as a little mechanical project. Baby steps!
    24692BA2-BF50-4027-920B-0E052EDF110A.jpeg
    #17
  18. derblauereiter

    derblauereiter Mostly made of cheese Supporter

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    We got some real world miles in... 5 of them. She’s stoked on it, and wants to “do that all the time.” Next up, some real gear.

    7F504E38-C69C-413B-A887-E9F4820E3614.jpeg B2594210-B737-44DA-ACE8-6A0CF50E496B.jpeg

    Continued bike review: she’s happy as a clam. I’m a little more judgey.

    I took some turns on it, it’s easy to max out the lean angle (it’s a cruiser, after all) appears pegs drag easily before tire traction runs out.

    There isn’t much to the suspension, I’m no suspension snob and only weigh 150lbs but I found myself glancing down on bumps at the front wheel and making sure everything was bolted together as it should be. Oh and in the previous owner’s care (4500 mi) it developed a pretty heavy leak in a fork seal, FWIW.

    Any light off roading would be done seated, its cruiser ergos are terrible for standing.
    #18
  19. frog13

    frog13 Long timer

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    Yep.....happy rider for sure. I've read where the 300 has roller rockers ( valve trane)..... no need to remove cam to replace shims.....a big plus there !. Ground clearance is good too ,from what I've read , over 5".
    #19
  20. Matt-J2

    Matt-J2 Been here awhile

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    I'd think about taking apart the forks and checking them. Not that the budget suspension is going to be golden, but if the previous owner had to refill it/repair it, they may not have done a great job. I'd dump the oil, check the seals, preload spacers, etc. Might be nothing, might be they put the wrong weight oil back in.

    Also, RIP Lemmy.
    #20
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