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Discussion Starter #1
62 years old here, two weeks to 63. Been going through bikes faster than old socks the last few years, trying to decide what I want to ride, and for a few spells, if I even want to ride. Right now I’m on a 6-month-old Honda CB650R. Loved the retro-ish looks from the moment I saw it, but the ride is very sport-like, really more sporty than I’m comfortable on, and to be honest, a whole lot more performance than I’ll ever need or use. Yeah, that ‘little’ 650 fairly screams. But, like so many others that have come and gone, it’s a great bike, but it’s just not screaming to me to ride it.

Before that it was a Monkey that lasted for 1 year, after about a 3-month period that I thought I was done riding. Before that a Valkyrie 1800 for a couple of years, before that a CTX1300 that I totaled. And a long, long list of more before-thats. Anyway, it’s been just about one season with the CB and I’m already looking for the next thing ... that’s never a good sign.

I don’t ride a whole lot any more. At my peak, I probably put about 4-5000 miles a year on a bike. The last 8-10 years it’s been more like 1000-1200 miles a year. So I don’t live to ride, but still don’t think I’m quite ready to hang it up. Gone are the days that I had to have big and powerful. Now I just want comfortable, affordable, and can keep up with highway traffic for the times I need to. I don’t do bike nights any more, I hate the crowd that group rides bring, I don’t even have a regular riding buddy any more. So my riding is pretty much solo, and 1-2 hours a pop is about all my butt cheeks can handle these days.

I’m a very average size guy, 5’9”, 180 lbs. I’ve been watching the bike news lately and seeing that it looks like Honda could be coming out with a Rebel 1100, which looks like it would be a very right-sized machine, but I’m guessing that’s going to miss the ‘affordable’ checkbox. For the amount I ride, I just cannot justify paying more than $7-$8k on a bike any more. The Rebel 500 is looking more and more like a closer look might be in order. And my first step in taking that closer look is typically joining a forum like this before deciding whether to pull the trigger. Again. Should be an easy sell to the missus, since it’s less than the CB, if I decide to do the stupid and trade in a 1-year-old bike in the spring. Or worse, trade it now - my local dealer happens to have a black Rebel 500 in stock.

So here I am again, looking for somebody to talk me off the ledge. Or not.
 

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It’s real fun on this side of the ledge though! I’m probably “too big” for this bike but I love it, and I have the 300 at that. The 500 checks all the boxes you listed, the only question is, does it call to you? At the very least take one for a spin.
 

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Never considered or gave a second glance to any bike with this type of styling, but it was the only new bike we could find that my petite wife could flat foot and was also comfortable with its weight. She asked me to run it and get the first service done, so after putting 600 miles on it in a couple of days I returned it to the dealer and was so impressed by how much fun this bike was ordered one for myself whilst hers was being serviced and picked mine up later that week.
I still have no real love for the styling but that's more than offset by how much enjoyment I get out of it and it'll be the last bike to leave the garage.

Definitely worth a test ride if only to dismiss it from your short list.
 

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2019 Rebel 500
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Danny - I'm on the 650forum as well and would not recommend going down to a Rebel for any of the reasons you mentioned. I own the 2019 CBR650R and Rebel 500 and would not get a Rebel again unless you're absolutely in love with the look. It's a very budget minded option in terms of parts, ride, etc. Not bad, but everything was made to a price point and Honda is selling above that point on the looks. If you're looking for a comfortable and reasonably priced cruiser I would look towards the Vulcan 650 or Bolt. Both are in the same range, and offer a lot more bike for the $$.

Bottom line - get off the ledge!! Keep the CB650 as it's much nicer than either option I mentioned above. Only get the Rebel if you love the look and can live with what I consider to be subpar everything for the price. Don't get me wrong I still love it, but would I walk into a dealer and buy it again after 5,000 miles - absolutely not at anywhere near the Honda asking price!

Just my two cents.
 

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I have an MT-07 as well as the 500. I enjoy riding them both - alternating rides. Both bikes are budget, but that does not stop them being fun. I like the comparatively low weight of both. I bought both used so price not so critical. My aged opinions are 17 years ahead of you BTW, Danny.
 

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2017 Rebel 500
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I've had my Rebel 500 for about 5 months now and have put about 6,000 miles on it. Almost all of them being empty back roads where the bike can hum along at speeds I take up to about 70MPH (it has more in it than that, but I have no need to ride any faster than that). My commute is a little over 40 miles each direction, and with infrequent stops, turns and three rail road crossings it takes my just under an hour for the trip It is an absolute pleasure to ride this bike on the smooth roads, but the bumpy sections rattle my spine. My other bike is a CRF 250 Rally and it's amazing how much better that bike feels on the rough spots.

I plan on keeping both bikes forever because of how good they are in their own way, and I'm very glad that I have both bikes. The 500 engine is just so much more smooth and powerful than the 250, but the suspension on the 250 is itself awesome (on the road - for off road I'm thinking of upgrading to a better bike, then I'll have three in the stable)

So I can neither talk you back from nor over the ledge. The Rebel's suspension concerns are legitimate. I'm 6' and 240 lbs. But for its price and performance it's a suspension upgrade and/or seat upgrade from being the perfect bike for me.
 

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2020 Honda Rebel 500
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If Honda releases a Rebel 1100, hope they release a engine conversation kit so I can bump up this little 500 engine.

If you want it, go for it!
 

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Similar story here. It's my second come back to riding, just 5 years ago I was riding HD Heritage Softail. Now I'm 58, keeping balance at low speeds, coming to a stop became somewhat of a problem. Rented Rebel 500 last week and loved it, felt at home right away; bought it the same day. Put about 300 mi in the last few days - it's so easy to ride and maneuver, so light. I'm 6' 230 lbs, but I feel OK size-wise. Sure, no comparison with bigger faster 1.8 liter engines as far as torque, but still perfectly fine to ride in north GA mountains. My advice - rent it for a day, you might be surprised. And it's a lot of fun!!!
 

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Don't buy new or from a dealer, that is assuming you know what you are doing. There are plenty of low mileage top rate bikes that have been bought by older people and just not used.
The 500 is a fun bike and as a 66 year old it is enough for me. I find it a willing friend that just loves to tootle along the back roads. On a motorway it's the slow lane for me and my only real gripe is that it's so light that sidewind is a bit challenging. Stay young and get the wheels.
 

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As an older gentleman myself, I HIGHLY encourage replacing the seat. It will make your rides much more enjoyable. Other than that I have left it stock.

There are a lot of good used 2017 ones around. But the 2020 has better suspension. I first road an older 300 (2017), and then a new 500 (2020). So not quite an apples to apples comparison. The 500 feels better both from a power standpoint, but also from the ride itself. It’s a fun bike, but not a coast to coast cruiser for sure.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
And the flip-flopping continues. I love the new Rebel 1100 DCT. But for the last 5 or more years, I barely put 1000 miles a year on my bikes. Always thinking a new ride will get me back in the saddle, but nothing, including 4 new bikes in the last 5 years, has really re-lit that fuse. I’m in the northeast US, where I can only ride about half the year anyway (I am NOT a cold-weather rider), which brings me to why I’ve been considering option 2 these past few months: a decent 4x4 ATV with a plow rig (been looking at the Honda Fourtrax Foreman). I keep thinking I’ll miss riding, even though I actually do very little of it, and only kind of force myself to get out because I’ve got a bike I’m paying for in the garage. My heart says get the new Rebel if/when my dealer ever gets them in, but my brain says get something I’ll get more use out of, and add a different kind of fun in the warmer weather. I’m torn. Anybody got any thoughts or ideas to chew on?
 

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I hear what you're saying. The only time I put any mileage on my bike(s) is when I set aside time to take a ride. There are usually a lot of other things competing for my time. I have 3 bikes and a scooter. This year I will register and inspect only one of the Rebels because i don't have time to ride all three. The Ruckus always gets registered because it's too much fun and great for quick grocery runs. If I didn't have any bikes I would be looking to buy one, but having a bike available doesn't cause me to ride more than 500 miles a year. I'm also in the short season part of the country. I think you should get a Rebel and get bags to make it more practical so you can ride it for errands. No harm if you don't ride it every day. I'm my humble opinion, ATVs don't make great plows.
 

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I have been riding my entire life, had dozens of bikes and sometimes ride a lot in a month, other times I may not have much time, and like you I live in the northeast and no longer ride in cold weather either... it just isn't fun to me anymore.

After having just about every kind of bike, and car, I found a Honda Grom and Rebel 500 were the right amount of fun, both are cheap to purchase and insure... I don't feel any guilt if they sit and both are easy enough to change up the look and appearance... rebel can be a bit cafe, bobber, standard, tourer, etc.

I used to keep 4-5 bikes at a time, fix them up, sell one off and buy another each 6-12 months for the fun of it, sadly that isn't fun anymore and I dont have the time to spend on it... but I can't see to be without a bike, I have tried that, it doesn't work for me. I say... follow your gut, we only live once, try to find one that ignites the passion for riding. I like the new 1100 DCT, kind of a neat unique thing, and I like unique vehicles. A friend has an Africa Twin and loves that DCT.
 
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Discussion Starter #16
I have been riding my entire life, had dozens of bikes and sometimes ride a lot in a month, other times I may not have much time, and like you I live in the northeast and no longer ride in cold weather either... it just isn't fun to me anymore.

After having just about every kind of bike, and car, I found a Honda Grom and Rebel 500 were the right amount of fun, both are cheap to purchase and insure... I don't feel any guilt if they sit and both are easy enough to change up the look and appearance... rebel can be a bit cafe, bobber, standard, tourer, etc.

I used to keep 4-5 bikes at a time, fix them up, sell one off and buy another each 6-12 months for the fun of it, sadly that isn't fun anymore and I dont have the time to spend on it... but I can't see to be without a bike, I have tried that, it doesn't work for me. I say... follow your gut, we only live once, try to find one that ignites the passion for riding. I like the new 1100 DCT, kind of a neat unique thing, and I like unique vehicles. A friend has an Africa Twin and loves that DCT.
Well you’re the second one now to say get a bike, and so what if it doesn’t get ridden all the time. :D

Now that the last snow storm is over and cleaned up, I’m drifting back toward staying with another bike. One way or another, if I do end up getting a Rebel 1100, I’m pretty sure it will be safe to say it will be my last bike. If this scratches the itch, there’ll be no more excuses to replace it. If it doesn’t, then I’m thinking there’s nothing else that will, and that will be that.

But I am really looking forward to trying that DCT. Up until a few years ago I was a die-hard manual tranny guy, swearing I’d never own an automatic. Right up until my daily commute became almost all stop-and-go. Didn’t help that the clutch in the car was total crap, too. My next car was an auto, and made the commute much less miserable, and I found I didn’t miss that third pedal anywhere near as much as I thought I would. In fact I don’t miss it at all now. I’m guessing/hoping a DCT Rebel will garner a similar sentiment - relax & excite, as Honda says. I like having the power to getup and go if I want it, though these days there’s a lot less of that stuff. And my current CB650R has reminded me why most of my past bikes have been cruisers.

Anyway, thanks everybody for your input.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I hear what you're saying. The only time I put any mileage on my bike(s) is when I set aside time to take a ride. There are usually a lot of other things competing for my time. I have 3 bikes and a scooter. This year I will register and inspect only one of the Rebels because i don't have time to ride all three. The Ruckus always gets registered because it's too much fun and great for quick grocery runs. If I didn't have any bikes I would be looking to buy one, but having a bike available doesn't cause me to ride more than 500 miles a year. I'm also in the short season part of the country. I think you should get a Rebel and get bags to make it more practical so you can ride it for errands. No harm if you don't ride it every day. I'm my humble opinion, ATVs don't make great plows.
Funny you mentioned the Ruckus. I had sold my Valkyrie 1800 a few years ago because I wasn’t riding it, which was a real shame for such a beautiful bike. I went a couple of months without a bike, then couldn’t stand it any more and bought a Monkey, which I thought would be all that fun, and I’d feel less guilty if I went through spells of not riding. Except I do most of my riding in rural areas, lots of swoops and hills, speeds usually in the 50 mph area, which the Monkey just couldn’t handle. Anything north of level would just bog it down to the point it actually felt unsafe.

So I looked around for a replacement last year, when the CB650R caught my eye. I loved the modern retro look, and figured the 650 4 would be peppy enough to get me around where I like to go and sedate enough to keep me out of trouble. Wrong. Make no mistake, the CB is a sport bike in disguise. Great looker, all kinds of power throughout the RPM range, but I knew from the first ride it wouldn’t be a keeper. Just too sport-ish for my liking. Consequently it barely got 600 miles put on it last season. Again, a real shame for another awesome bike because it just doesn’t quite scratch my itch. And that’s why the CB will getting replaced this year. The question is still, with what. Will I regret it if I decide against another bike? Twice in the last few years I thought I was done riding, once after totaling a CTX1300, and once with the aforementioned Valkyrie, both times I ended up going back for more. That’s why I’m so afraid I’m going to plunk more money down on this new Rebel and end up not riding it.

What the hell is it with people like us.
 

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With the wind in my favor I can do 45 mph on the Ruckus but not up any kind of hill. I've been through a lot of rinse and repeat cycles with my cycles over the years. Sold a bike, regretted selling the bike, bought another one just like it, etc. Now I'm planning to keep all the bikes and put them in storage, take out a different one each year.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
So I had something of an epiphany when I rolled out of bed this morning. I’m thinking, it’s getting near the end of February, and hopefully not too much more snow falling this year. If I were to head down to me dealer on the next decently comfortable Saturday and hand over the keys to my CB in exchange for a Fourtrax with all the plowing goodies, what am I gonna do with it? I may take it for a quick joy ride around the property, but at just 1 acre that’s half wooded, that’s not going to last too long. And then what between now and next winter? Nothing. I don’t have a trailer, so it’s not like I can just haul it around to somewhere that’s got trails. It will sit, much like the bike does in the off season, only longer.

Nope, I think I’ve made up my mind - I’m gonna give this Rebel 1100 a real close look when my dealer finally gets one in, and will most likely be taking one home. If they ever get one in.
 
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