First bike? If not, what else do you have?
I know that the Rebel is marketed as a beginnerís bike, and for many, it is their first. For me, itís my 9th.
My first ďbikeĒ was a 150cc Vespa ET4. It was barely fast enough to ride on the freeway and people thought I was crazy to do so, but it was a lot of fun. My second was another ET4, this time with a Big Bore kit that brought it up to 180cc. The first did 70 mph, this one did 75 mph.
My third bike was a 1989 Kawasaki EX500 and it was a rocket. I didnít need a newer 600cc sport bike or any liter bike to let me know that I have no business on sport bikes. I rode it dangerously for a year and decided to save myself from myself and get a cruiser.
4th was a 1987 Honda Shadow VT750. It was a ton of fun, but I sold it in a month because I needed cash more than a bike at the time.
5th was a 1972 Honda CB500Four. Beautiful, but as a vintage bike, needed more work and time than I had (especially without a garage).
Then I bought a Honda Shadow VLX600 and a hacksaw. Bobbed it out with that hacksaw and eventually decided I wanted the option to go on long rides with luggage. Thatís hard to do when youíve hacksawed off most of the body.
I bought a Honda Shadow Spirit VT1100C for my long-distance touring bike. I had it for 5 years, rode it all around California, replaced the fuel pump once but otherwise had no issues, but always itched for a Harley.
My 8th bike, I still own: Special Construction Harley-esque Softail. Mostly aftermarket parts in Harley style. I struggle to actually call it a Harley. Frame by Kraft Tech, 96Ē Evo-style S&S motor, to-me-unknown aftermarket 6-speed trans, Sportster tank, etc. I love it, but a custom-built project bike is inevitably and continuously a project that you need to work on.
I decided I need to buy something new for once in my life and looked at my options, which came down to...
1) Sell the Harley, buy a new bike for $12,000+ (I was looking at Triumph Bobbers but wanted a backseat/place to strap luggage)
2) Keep the Harley, supplement with a Rebel (has backseat/place to strap luggage)
As you can see from above, Iíve always liked Honda, and you canít beat the bang-for-your-buckness of the Rebel. There was a Triumph event near me on Friday night where I got to check out the 2018 Bonneville Speedmaster, which was on my short list. After seeing it in person, I knew that it wasnít for me, and the Bobber didnít have the seat/luggage options I wanted, so Saturday, I bought the Rebel. Iíve only put 50 or so miles on it, but coming from all of the old bikes Iíve had, it rides like a dream.
Sorry for the verbose description, but I suppose Iím getting at this: The Rebel (especially the 500) is not JUST a first bike, and if itís not your first, what else are you riding? And how does it stack up? My Harley has loads more torque, but honestly, not to the point where the Rebel disappoints. 20+ years of engineering seem to outweigh pure displacement in this case.
Iíll try to find some photos of my old bikes to add later, till then, thanks for reading and let me know your journey,
2018 Rebel 500 ABS