Model updates: The Rebel, Honda’s popular A2 licence-friendly 500cc parallel twin-cylinder compact cruiser, receives a fresh new paint option for 22YM. Standard specification includes assist/slipper clutch, LED lighting and gear position indicator. A Rebel S version with factory-fitted accessories – headlight cowl, all-black fork covers and gaiters plus diamond-stitch style seat – is also available.
471cc liquid cooled parallel twin.
Torque heavy bottom-end output.
Assist / slipper clutch.
Nitrogen charged front and rear shocks
LAF exhaust sensor helps meet Euro 5 regulations.
120mm ‘shotgun’ style exhaust.
Lean and low ‘bobber’ styling.
Negative LCD display with white backlight and gear position indicator
All lighting is LED, including indicators.
Pearl Organic Green **NEW**
Mat Jeans Blue Metallic
Mat Axis Grey Metallic
OTR £6,599 (S MODEL)
For many riders in their early 20s – Generation Z, 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 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 individualisation. Fusing tradition and ground-breaking new ideas and perspectives, the CMX500 Rebel set out to be that motorcycle. Showcasing a classic, timeless look, but imbuing it with a forward-looking, contemporary style all of its own, the CMX500 Rebel was an instant hit on its introduction for the 2017 season. Its continued popularity ever since – including among female riders, who account for 33% of owners – has made it the best selling European model in the ‘custom’ category in 2021. For 20YM, the Rebel received more comfort and practicality thanks to a revised seat and suspension settings, plus a gear position indicator. Both the headlight and tail-light were new, and the addition of LED indicators meant all lighting became LED. A refined exhaust system, including a new exhaust sensor, ensured EURO5 compliance. 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. It carries on mechanically unchanged for 22YM, but gets an aesthetic boost from a brand new – and suitably off-beat – paint choice.
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. 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 draws fresh, contemporary lines into stripped-back, fat-tyred ‘bobber’ style. Blacked out to the maximum, with the minimum of paint, it also switches from solo-only to pillion-possible via two bolts.
3.1 Styling & Equipment
Lean and low ‘bobber’ styling
Negative LCD display with white backlight and gear position indicator
Pillion pad and rear pegs easily removed for customisation
Factory fitted accessory kit available
Two key words ran headlined throughout the Rebel’s development programme: ‘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 tyres, its low and lean ‘bobber’ silhouette – crowned by the steeply raked 11.2L fuel tank and fat handlebars – sits the rider firmly ‘in’ the machine. 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. All lighting is LED, and the evocative round headlight features a compact 175mm diameter lens and die-cast aluminium mount. The ultra-thin oval tail-light and licence plate light match the Rebel’s low-down stance; mini circular LED indicators measure only 55mm in diameter, with a circular position light included in the front indicators. The speedo is a compact 100mm dial with negative LCD display and white backlight and is both striking and effective and features a gear position indicator and fuel consumption display. The ignition is housed below the left side of the fuel tank The pillion pad and rear footpegs are easily removed and the accessories line-up includes a rear rack, backrest, tank pads and meter visor; a nylon saddlebag also available alongside the leather ones. An ‘S’ edition – in Mat Axis Grey Metallic paint – comes complete with factory-fit headlight cowl with smoke screen, retro front fork covers and gaiters and a special diamond-stitch style seat.
The Rebel’s 471cc 8-valve, liquid-cooled parallel twin-cylinder engine is drawn from the sporty CBR500R. For cruising duties, revised PGM-FI fuel injection mapping and different valve and ignition timings mean its character is shifted 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 43.3Nm torque @ 6,000rpm combines with peak power of 34kW @ 8,500rpm. 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 oxidisation membrane. The crankshaft pins are phased at 180° and a primary couple-balancer sits behind the cylinders, close to the bike’s centre 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 3.2L. Slick to use up or down the six-speed gearbox is designed to offer effortless changes, especially around town. An assist/slipper clutch makes the shift lighter and smoother, and controls rear wheel ‘hop’ on rapid downshifting. The 2-1 exhaust scrubs spent gases in its catalyser, which then speeds them through its first chamber into the second resonator chamber; the sound produced has a heavy-duty pulsing feel that fits the torque delivery. A Linear Air Flow (LAF) sensor and internal adjustments to the 120mm diameter ‘shotgun’ style muffler help the engine’s EURO5 compliance.
Low slung tubular steel frame
Compliant, supple damping front and rear; shocks nitrogen charged
130/90-16 front and 150/80-16 rear tyres
To support the Rebel’s low-slung look its attractive tubular steel frame grips the engine in three places and is designed to be as narrow as possible around the rider’s inseam. The fork spring rates and oil volume are optimised to give compliant damping and a smooth ride. Trail is set at 110mm with 28° rake; the 30° off-set of the forks, combined with 1490mm wheelbase, allows a low 690mm seat height. Mid-mounted footpegs help ensure a natural riding position, with balanced and neutral steering. The frame includes an innovative rear loop that separates the thicker seat from the textured metal mudguard; the bolt-on cast aluminium subframe provides further scope for customisation. At 230mm apart the 41mm front fork stanchions are set wide for handling rigidity, comfort and style. The tubular steel swingarm has a 45mm diameter and works twin, nitrogen-charged shock absorbers that feature 5 step preload settings. Dunlop tyres are fitted as standard sized 130/90-16 front and 150/80-16 rear. The style of the 16-inch cast aluminium wheels is crisp and simple, with the 296mm front disc acting as mirror to the spoke pattern. A twin-piston front caliper is matched by a single-piston rear.
Accessories As a motorcycle born to be accessorised there are a range of Honda Genuine Accessories available both individually or as part of the ‘comfort’ or ‘travel’ packs, that are ready to bolt straight on to the CMX500 Rebel including:
Adjustable Brake Lever
Throw-over saddlebags (leather or lightweight nylon)
Tremain Road Bridgend, CF31 1UA. 01656 661131
Llantarnam Ind. Est. Cwmbran, NP44 3AX. 01633 868888