2020 Honda Rebel 500
Editor’s rating: 83.5%
|Motor||18.0 / 20|
|Suspension / Handling||12.0 / 15|
|Transmission / Clutch||8.0 / 10|
|Brakes||8.0 / 10|
|Instruments / Controls||4.0 / 5|
|Ergonomics / Comfort||8.0 / 10|
|Appearance / Quality||8.5 / 10|
|Attractive||8.0 / 10|
|Value||9.0 / 10|
|Overall score||83.5 / 100|
Our friend Chrissy Rogers was excited and took the opportunity to get her driver’s license last year at the Honda Motorcycle Training Center, but a little disappointed to learn that she had been assigned a PCX150 scooter when the fateful weekend of training. It only made sense, since that’s what we were “testing” at the time. She was jealous of all the other students, especially Rebel 300. A large dog could learn to ride the fully automatic PCX in about a minute, if he had thumbs, and Chrissy had really wanted to learn how to use a clutch and change gears.
More specifically, the entire first day of the MSF course consists primarily of paddling her motorcycle at walking speed, and for the 5-foot-zero Christine, that would have been much easier from the Rebel’s 27.2-inch seat than gliding. turning the 30.1-on and off in one of the PCXs. There was an irritation problem, it is best not to mention it again. In any case, she has been itching for a rebel ever since. How convenient that Honda had just upgraded the Rebels for 2020, then, and fixed us up with a new Rebel 500 test unit.
He stayed in the garage for a week while I procrastinated, putting off a potential fight that could escalate quickly when the time came to mansplain her how to use a clutch. When the day came, in a big empty parking lot behind a Sears that may or may not be closed, all I had to do was show him where the deadlock was, between the first and second, and the little green “N” in the dial. . She took off with the first clutch release and instantly spun around the parking lot like a middle-aged madwoman (who drove a VW Beetle with a stick shift for years). One thing the revised 2020 Rebel has is a new slip / assist clutch, and the lever is super light and smooth, although it wouldn’t be a bad thing if it was adjustable too.
Besides the sweet clutch, the other new things the Rebel got for 2020, in Honda parlance, are:
- A revised fork features a new polish on the inner tube for smoother action, plus a stiffer spring rate and revised oil levels for better handling and greater comfort.
- The shock absorber tube now uses nitrogen gas to stabilize the damping force, while the stiffer spring speed improves handling and a revised shock rubber maximizes reaction force.
- The repositioned and restyled LED headlight is paired with new LED turn signals and a redesigned LED taillight to reinforce the iconic look.
- The updated LCD gauge with gear position and fuel consumption indicator provides pertinent information to the driver.
- The seat has a new thickness and density for greater comfort.
I can’t think of a better motorcycle to teach a person to ride. It is also a great bike for not Teach a person to ride – just hand them the key and most will figure it out. The Rebel 250 has been the choice of MSF schools since Honda launched it in 1985. And since the big redesign of the 300 and 500 in 2017, the Rebels have owned the small-engine cruise market. Meanwhile, Yamaha and Suzuki continue to whip V-Star (née Virago) 250 and Boulevard S40 (single Savage) designed 40 years ago. I do not know if it is the presence of my son Ryan on the camera or if it is the motorcycle, but his Youtube video on rebellious remake in 2017 is still MO’s gone With the Wind, with more than 1.3 million visits. I think he got a pair of gloves out of the deal.
I wasn’t paying much attention in 2017, but now that I’m on the case, I realize that we are straddling the same high-tech 471cc Twin engine that powers the excellent Honda CB500F and CB500X – bikes we’ve received. many compliments. in recent years. Just like it does in them, that little engine runs super smooth and efficient on its way to producing 40.2 horsepower, in a perfectly injected, surprisingly mid-range way.