Rebel 500A: Best woman's motorcycle. - Honda Rebel 300 & 500 Forum
LinkBack Thread Tools
post #1 of 30 (permalink) Old 06-06-2017, 03:41 AM Thread Starter
Junior Member
Join Date: Jun 2017
Posts: 16
Cool Rebel 500A: Best woman's motorcycle.

I have been riding a primo 1999 Rebel for years. Just bought my new Honda Rebel CMX500A. Went riding Saturday. WOW! I am 4'10” / 125lb woman who has limited bike choices. Seat height is not a selection criteria, it is the ONLY criteria. I tried out the following low-seat bikes in the last six months, and liked them all but... in alphabetical order:

- BMW G650 GS – “This is the BMW for short women” he said. Apparently short German women are at least 5'9” tall...
- Harley Davidson Slim – Stylin, but the engine felt too heavy and center of gravity too high for me.
- Harley Davidson 500 & 700 – OK bikes, but I just did not like them, personal preference I guess. Plus the Harley sales staff had this macho male thing going, subtitle but condescending. Grrr. :-(
- Honda Shadow 750cc – looks good but heavy and slow compared to the Rebel 500.
- Honda NM4 670cc – maybe, but a bit long in the arm reach for me.
- Indian Scout and Scout 60 – Beautiful and fits me. Really liked it. It may be my next bike with the Indian reach-reduction parts. But at 100hp/78hp & 560lbs I felt like I needed an intermediate step right now, and it's $4K more.
- Kawasaki Vulcan S 650cc– Good bike for both tall and short people, it can be made to fit with reduced reach kit. But the headlight styling is, well, not to my taste.

The new 408lb 2017 Honda Rebel 500 ABS is perfect for me. Honda removed the old painful square battery boxes so I can finally comfortably flat foot the ground on both sides with 2” heel riding boots. Several other old-Rebel design shortcomings have been fixed too. Best is: I can pass semi-trucks at freeway speeds. 46Hp in the light Rebel frame is AWESOME. We live in rural Pacific Northwest mountain country. Big trucks riding my tail going up long hills used to really irritate and sometimes frighten me. No longer. Drove it up the famous “Cabbage Hill” on I84 out of Pendleton Oregon. LOTs of power. Going 70mph up miles of 7% grade and it could still accelerate out of the corners and into the straight sections. My husband can accelerate on any hill on his Honda Valkyrie. Now I can too. It's about time. The new Rebel no-choke fuel injection is pure water-cooled horsepower magic in the mountain passes. Drop it to 5th gear and you are zoom zoom gone...

The new headlight with glass bezel is very bright. I put a 2013 headlight on my old Rebel so it wasn't bad, but the new 2017 lens design seems to put more light on the road. On the showroom floor, the taillight seemed a little big and square. However now that I have used it, I like it's functionally. Mine holds an oversize 625 lumen LED bulb that just blasts the highway behind and to the sides with red tail light. I will never change it, maybe, unless I do... but it's safe safe safe.

The brakes are amazingly effective. I bought the ABS model, with the hopes of never needing the ABS brake feature to work, but it just seemed like a smart thing to do. The old Rebel fought and dove in really hard braking; skinny tires, small forks and small brakes. The new one – its like it's on rails. Both front and rear work so much better with the modern suspension than the old Rebel. The front brake also seems smoother and easier to pull for small hands. The big Dunlop tires and steering are much more stable. I can feel the improved gyroscopic stability at every speed. Everything about the new 500 Rebel feels safer, faster, better, and more comfortable. Which interestingly enough the small bobber seat is more comfortable for me too. It looks thin, but it's got some rubber mounts underneath and excellent padding for a 120 lb person. Being narrow in front, it is a much better shape than my old Rebel seat, which BTW, I loved – until I got the new one.

On the other hand, it is not a great seat for my tall 300lb husband – too narrow and a bit small. In fact, the entire bike geometry is too small for him. He can ride it, but the seat:foot control distance is too short. Sort of a circus bear sort of image, just like on my old Rebel. This is not a bike for big guys.

My old Rebel had beautiful red paint. I planned, and still may, have my new Rebel painted House of Kolor “classic purple” pearl. But after living with and admiring the Honda fit and finish of the black on black for a couple weeks, I like the black on black badass look. So for now, it stays. A “Spitfire” windshield and Viking leather covered hard bags fit well and give it a completed look.

So in summary, if you are hesitant about the new Rebels modern design features, it's because you don't actually own one yet. Sell your classic unsafe-on-the-highway Rebel 250, and upgrade to a new Rebel 500 ABS. You will thank yourself every time you ride it. Do not wait. Remember: safer, faster, beautiful, and more comfortable.

The Rebel 500 is perfect for the petite wild woman with the perfectly filled leathers who just passed you like you were sitting still. See you out there. :-)
Steve1135, Lyoko, jr_b17 and 9 others like this.
AllenPom is offline  
post #2 of 30 (permalink) Old 06-06-2017, 05:56 AM
Super Moderator
01-7700's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2017
Location: Maine
Posts: 1,080
Great write-up. Welcome to the forum.

Keith from Maine USA - Rebel R1
01-7700 is online now  
post #3 of 30 (permalink) Old 06-06-2017, 08:56 AM
Join Date: Apr 2017
Location: Minot ND
Posts: 79
Nice review, welcome!
Jet noise is offline  
post #4 of 30 (permalink) Old 06-06-2017, 01:41 PM
Super Moderator
Lyoko's Avatar
Join Date: May 2017
Location: Europe - Norway
Posts: 1,655
HAH! I was right! In my first post here i wrote: "Hey guys (girls?)"
And look, here you are!

Welcome, welcome! Nice to see that the female audience find the Rebel 500 apealing aswell ^^,
AllenPom and beansTX like this.
Lyoko is offline  
post #5 of 30 (permalink) Old 06-06-2017, 02:58 PM
Join Date: May 2017
Posts: 67
Originally Posted by AllenPom View Post
I have been riding a primo 1999 Rebel for years. Just bought my new Honda Rebel CMX500A. Went riding Saturday. WOW!
Woohoo! Welcome girl rider!

Loved your write-up - agree with you on so many levels...I also upgraded from my red Honda Rebel 250 to the 500/A which is black. My helmet is red as my old bike but goes well with the black. I also thought I'd want to repaint, but grew to love the black on black look

Last weekend we took it from the Bay Area in CA to Monterey through back roads in Santa Cruz mountains and it took about 3.5 hours but was so much fun!

One thing that really bothers me is the seat. I sit at the very front of it because my arms are a bit short (5'4") and that makes my butt very very sore after about 30 minutes. I plan to get a custom seat that will put the pocket closer to the front and I'm thinking either dark red or tan leather, which will give a great look for the bike.
TRACYMURPH likes this.

shadow is offline  
post #6 of 30 (permalink) Old 06-06-2017, 07:02 PM
Join Date: May 2017
Posts: 51
Great write up. Glad to see people with experience on both really like the improvements to the bike.

I think the 500 will turn out to be a great second bike for many, and a destination for shorter statue folks. It will be chosen by some as a first bike also, especially younger males who like the bobber look, and feel they don't really need a beginner bike.

The 250 will likely still dominate the beginner bike market for years to come until parts availability becomes an issue. It is just so much less expensive, and let's the newbie learn without worrying so much about a small ding or scratch that ultimately always happens while learning to ride. It also retains virtually all of its resale value when time to move on. It will be interesting to see if the 300 will eventually displace the 250 in this market before the 250 is obsolete.
76Paw is offline  
post #7 of 30 (permalink) Old 06-07-2017, 09:20 PM
Junior Member
Join Date: Jun 2017
Location: London
Posts: 8
Do you have a picture of your bike with the bags and windshield? Which viking bag order number was it? Where did you get the windshield. I am also a 5'0 female rider with a rebel 500!!
TRACYMURPH and motorolla like this.
Moebile is offline  
post #8 of 30 (permalink) Old 06-07-2017, 11:02 PM
Senior Member
CueBaller's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2017
Posts: 713
Here's a pic of the windshield on mine, with a few coats of black Plasti Dip on the underside. I got mine from Same price as Honda's accessory site (even came labeled as Honda OEM parts), and I had it in 2 days.
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	20170605_205119_1496890920456.jpg
Views:	585
Size:	185.1 KB
ID:	1322  
AllenPom, lizrut and motorolla like this.
CueBaller is offline  
post #9 of 30 (permalink) Old 06-08-2017, 02:36 AM Thread Starter
Junior Member
Join Date: Jun 2017
Posts: 16
Originally Posted by Moebile View Post
Do you have a picture of your bike with the bags and windshield? Which viking bag order number was it? Where did you get the windshield. I am also a 5'0 female rider with a rebel 500!!
Yes - I will get you a photos of my 500 next week. My husband has the handlebars off right now to shorten the front arm-reach with Rebel 300/500 handlebar pullbacks available from HM Racing parts at Their Honda Rebel 500 1" pullback has a mounting bracket for the instrument panel cast into it. That is necessary. Normal 1" aftermarket handlebar pullbacks have nowhere to mount the instrument panel. These pullbacks are small enough it should work with stock cables & wires. We will see, they are in the mail...

The Viking bags are found at The exact bags are: "Honda Rebel 500 Viking Lamellar Leather covered Shock". They are hard ABS with leather cover, hinge top, locking key, and rear shock absorber cutout so it sits much closer to the bike and is slightly narrower than the exhaust pipe. It you click on that specific bag photo on their web site, there is a photo of those exact bags mounted on a yellow Rebel 500. They are currently $384.99 -10% (June 2017) with the hard bag mounting brackets included. These bags do not require the factory accessory Honda bag brackets. I had the smaller semi-rigid soft bags on my 250. They worked great. I think any of the Rebel 500 specific bags would work & look fine on the 500.

The Spitfire windshield is a common small aftermarket windshield. About $100. I had one on my Rebel 250 for a while. When I bought the 500 I asked the Honda salesman to order me a "Clear Spitfire windshield". He knew exactly what I wanted, and got it. When fitting it up, my husband mounted the two handlebar clamp bar receiver holes in FRONT of the handlebars, 1" outside of the Honda clamps. He cut 3 inches off the two long Spitfire support bars so the support bars could be inserted into the handlebar clamps without hitting top of the front fork tree. Yes - I will get you photos. It is the right height for me. Remembering that I am 4'10" tall, my eye sight-line is only about 8" above/over the instrument panel. After the windshield was mounted I took it out and ran it up to 75-80 mph to make sure it was stable, and felt with my hand where the air-stream was hitting my helmet. The air stream was hitting me just below the top of my helmet. Just right. Sit up straight, I see over the windshield; slouch, I see through it. The Spitfire it is about 17" wide, 17" tall. It is not wide enough to protect the handle grips. But - we have real wind here sometimes so I want a windshield that has a small enough profile not to create side wind buffeting problems with trucks. The Spitfire works for me.
AllenPom is offline  
post #10 of 30 (permalink) Old 06-08-2017, 02:43 AM Thread Starter
Junior Member
Join Date: Jun 2017
Posts: 16
Yes I agree - I suspect Rebel 250's will be like the old Honda Trail 90's. The old ones that run will sustain their value. Rebel 250's are great/excellent/easy bikes for new riders and will always have a following.
AllenPom is offline  

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Do You Have 2017 Honda Rebel Questions? Honda Rebel News 2017+ Honda Rebel 300 & 500 News 18 03-08-2018 12:23 PM
Got my New Rebel 500A! shadow Honda Rebel 300 & 500 Owners Registry & Check In Area 14 05-25-2017 01:01 PM
Positives about the 2017 Honda Rebel 300 & 500 RebelAdmin 2017+ Honda Rebel 300 & 500 News 0 05-23-2017 12:40 PM
Meet The Aviator Nation Honda Rebel Honda Rebel News 2017+ Honda Rebel 300 & 500 News 1 03-22-2017 03:07 PM
Honda Rebel 500 & Rebel 300 Debuts Ahead Of The IMS Show Honda Rebel News Honda Rebel 300 & 500 General Discussion 4 03-13-2017 12:44 PM

Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome