Rebel 300/500 and Long Distance Riding - Honda Rebel 300 & 500 Forum
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post #1 of 32 (permalink) Old 03-02-2018, 09:20 PM Thread Starter
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Rebel 300/500 and Long Distance Riding

Hello, I am considering either the Rebel 300 or 500 for my first bike. I知 just looking to cruise around the country side when its nice out. However, the thing I really want to do is a cross country trip across the US.

I understand the limitations of the Rebel, but its really the only thing I can afford as a college student. The Rebel 300 would be great for the affordability, but the 500 would be much better all around obviously.

I have looked at the used market at things like the Honda Shadow, but its a really big hastle for me, personally.

Has anyone had any experience with the Rebel 300/500 for touring?
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post #2 of 32 (permalink) Old 03-02-2018, 10:14 PM
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Originally Posted by DannyD View Post
Hello, I am considering either the Rebel 300 or 500 for my first bike. I知 just looking to cruise around the country side when its nice out. However, the thing I really want to do is a cross country trip across the US.

I understand the limitations of the Rebel, but its really the only thing I can afford as a college student. The Rebel 300 would be great for the affordability, but the 500 would be much better all around obviously.

I have looked at the used market at things like the Honda Shadow, but its a really big hastle for me, personally.

Has anyone had any experience with the Rebel 300/500 for touring?
Well the 500 would be a much better bike for longer rides. The 300 is single cylinder and will have a lot more vibration and not be as comfortable on longer rides.
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post #3 of 32 (permalink) Old 03-03-2018, 12:00 AM
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It depends how tall you are. If you are short and need a bike with low seat height there isn't much around.
There is the Yamaha Virago XV535 with the same seat height as the rebel.
I had one for many years.

The rebel 500 starts vibrating at 80 kmh and it gets worse the faster you go. My fingers tingle after a while and I wouldn't wan to ride it on the highway all day.

The Virago is almost as lightweight and fast as the rebel 500 but does not vibrate because of the V-engine. The seat is more comfy too. However it does not handle near as well as the rebel but if you go only in a straight line you won't notice that.
They are made in Japan being 20 or so years old and the built quality is good. Some parts are not so readily available here but it should be no problem if you are in the USA.
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post #4 of 32 (permalink) Old 03-03-2018, 05:01 AM
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I've seen some good posts from a couple of touring riders here on the forum, one in Slovenia, the other in Israel, however those countries are a vastly different kettle of fish to the likes of the USA and Australia where cross country rides take days, if not weeks.

The 300 and the 500 are great for getting around the city, and can easily manage a day ride, but even I would be reluctant to do a cross country on either of them.

Aside from luggage capacity, you have to think of physical endurance and fuel capacity/range.

Only two bikes I've owned would be my choice. Honda CB750K2 or BMW K100RT.

If I was to embark on a tour of the USA or Australia I'd buy a bike designed for the task.

My choice?

Ducati Multistrada 950 Touring.
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post #5 of 32 (permalink) Old 03-03-2018, 02:34 PM
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It depends how tall you are. If you are short and need a bike with low seat height there isn't much around.
There is the Yamaha Virago XV535 with the same seat height as the rebel.
I had one for many years.

The rebel 500 starts vibrating at 80 kmh and it gets worse the faster you go. My fingers tingle after a while and I wouldn't wan to ride it on the highway all day.

The Virago is almost as lightweight and fast as the rebel 500 but does not vibrate because of the V-engine. The seat is more comfy too. However it does not handle near as well as the rebel but if you go only in a straight line you won't notice that.
They are made in Japan being 20 or so years old and the built quality is good. Some parts are not so readily available here but it should be no problem if you are in the USA.
My 500 doesn't start vibrating till much higher than 80kmh. But after replacing the handlebars I feel like I get almost no vibrations. The 500 is a very smooth engine.
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post #6 of 32 (permalink) Old 03-03-2018, 02:45 PM
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Originally Posted by shortyg83 View Post
My 500 doesn't start vibrating till much higher than 80kmh. But after replacing the handlebars I feel like I get almost no vibrations. The 500 is a very smooth engine.
I haven't changed the bars or the grips yet, and I've still not experienced any issue/irritation by any vibration, even on longer rides for several hours.
Might have a lot to say about the gloves people use, and how you're actually riding. If you're squeezing the heck out of the grips then ofc you'll feel everything that's going on.
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post #7 of 32 (permalink) Old 03-03-2018, 05:55 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the information guys! Money is my biggest problem, otherwise I would get something more suited to touring with the style I知 looking for.

I did get some conflicting information about vibration though. I guess I値l have to test ride one to see for myself.

Again thanks for the info. If anyone still wants to give some input, I would appreciate it still!
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post #8 of 32 (permalink) Old 03-04-2018, 04:10 AM
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I think that with the right setup the Rebel 500 would be an okay tourer. Three top issues as said above are fuel capacity, luggage and comfort.

You can use a gel pad on your stock seat to ease any backside pains.

Get a saddle and some saddle bags and tail bags for luggage and get an extra couple of small fuel containers for emergencies.

Having said that, and after riding my Rebel for an entire day, I'd go for an adventure bike as my first choice for touring.

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post #9 of 32 (permalink) Old 03-04-2018, 07:20 AM
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I'd like to elaborate a little on my reply above, now that I'm in front of a proper keyboard.

I think the challenges of cross-country touring come down to riding comfort, bike reliability and maintainability and storage capacity. The Rebel doesn't tick all these boxes since it wasn't designed specifically for the task.

Putting budget, experience and physical limitations aside (by physical I mean body build), you might want to look into one of the following
- Honda CB500X - Same engine as the Rebel 500, reliable as ****, but might lack a bit of power. Good riding position, easy to mount extra gear
- Honda NC750 - Same as above but with more power and a bit more build-in storage.
- Suzuki DL650 V-Strom - Battle-tested engine, easy to mount extra gear, a bit over-sized for my taste, might lack a bit of power on limited version.
- BMW F800GS or similar - I think the main advantage here is the famous German reliability.

If I were you, I'd settle down on a budget for the bike, a budget for extra gear, test drive on any of the models you think might suit you, and then decide if you're going to get a new one or a second hand one. Also try to locate dealerships / mechanics along the route that can service your chosen bike, as you are quite likely to need some professional help at some point during the trip.

Good luck, and hope I helped
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post #10 of 32 (permalink) Old 03-04-2018, 10:49 AM
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Listen, you can tour on just about any bike. There was a guy who blogged about touring extensively on his 250 Rebel. Can稚 remember his name but something like Pashnit.
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