I hear you. I haven't driven a manual in a while, but you are probably right that I wasn't shifting based on the RPM when I did. However, I do have a friend who managed to accidentally stick his saab into 3rd instead of 5th on the highway and not notice it for quite some time due to open windows, loud music and a car full of loud people.
Also, when just starting out I feel that being able to see the RPM would help learn what the bike sounds like at the point where you should shift.
Anyways, I guess it's not an issue and I am just wondering why would honda decide to omit it, since most bikes do have them and it's not a terribly expensive piece of equipment.
Well, in such circumstances I'm sure even the most experienced driver would struggle a little...
But thankfully that ain't an everyday situation that we find our self in, unless you're a taxi driver perhaps...
I'll say to you what I said to another one here complaining about the same, the Rebel isn't supposed to have it! It's that simple!
The Rebel was made with the word "bobber" in mind, both in styling and function.
When was the last time you saw a bobber with an rpm gauge? Or a gear indicator?
The Rebel is an retro idea of a bike, with a modern twist to it.
And again with the numbers.. Trust me, when the bike want's to change gear, you'll notice!!
If you go out one day and simply try applying throttle until the bike simply can't go any faster in that gear, then you'll know. And believe me, you'll be wanting to change long before the bike can't go any faster, because of the sound it'll be making. You really can't mistake the sound from an engine that is screaming at you between your legs... You've gotta be deaf in that case!
When you start getting some experience on two wheels, you'll eventually get used to only relying on the sound from the bike, and not the gimmicks telling you the rpm, or what gear you're in.
To begin with it might be a little steep learning curve, but you'll gain way more experience by starting out like that, instead of relying on gimmicks.
So don't let if throw you off the saddle before you've started riding even.