I bought my Rebel 500 towards the end of May 2017 and have been happily riding it for three months now. I've ridden about 1,400 miles so far (my work commute isn't very far). Here are some "first impressions" from a complete novice (I'd never even sat on a motorbike in my [50 year] life until May).
Pros: It looks good, handles well, and is easy to maintain. A great bike for a beginning riders, with its low seat height. It's no slouch when it comes to pulling away from a junction or stop light. I was even proud to have changed my own oil for the first time ever - really not too difficult.
The engine cut-off when the kickstand is down and the engine is in gear seems to have become a standard feature on most bikes these days but I still appreciate it on this one.
It uses the same proven engine technology as other CB500 models. With 46 horsepower, it's able to keep up with my GFs Shadow 750 and to comfortably overtake other traffic at 80 mph on the highways.
Cons: No gear indicator or tachometer. I know it's only a $6,000 bike, but surely it wouldn't have cost that much more? I've quickly learned to listen to the pitch of the engine noise for extra clues about shifting up or down.
The directional (turn) signals on the instrument panel blink both ways and the signals are not self-canceling.
US bikes have fewer stock tools under the seat than the Canadian models. So far I haven't had to use them but a fuller set would have been nice.
ABS is only available for the black model in the US. I'm not sure how useful ABS actually would be on this kind of bike but it's the norm on European versions.
Most disappointingly, there are still not many Honda (or third party) accessories available. I did spring for the saddlebags from Honda (a bit small) but it really needs a decent wind shield for those high-speed journeys.
My brakes feel a bit 'soft'. Perhaps that's because I'm more defensive now that I've flown over the handlebars once (ironically, during the motorcycle safety class when I clamped down too hard while coming to a stop on a curve
) I only sustained some bruised ribs, and I was on a Suzuki at the time, so "Red" was fine.
Overall, I'm really happy with my new ride. I'm sad that Montana's long winter will soon be upon us again but in a little while today I'll be heading to a lake in the mountains, enjoying the ride along the way.