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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Obligatory intro here. Long time Sportster rider.
Have had plenty of Hondas, Triumphs, a few Yamahas, and several HD's over many years.
Been riding a long time, and am probably up in age compared to most here.

Looking for a smaller, lighter bike with a low seat height, and the Rebel meets the criteria.
Not decided for sure yet, but it's in the running.

Hard to believe how long some people have been waiting for this bike.
I first heard about it almost a half year ago, and dealers around here don't have them
in stock yet, but they say 'real soon'.

Anyways - hi guys.
 

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welcome! i'm also waiting to see one in person
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
Welcome JR. what other bikes are you considering
Long post - get ready - ha ha.

I've been trying to keep an open mind and look at everything.
The last 25 years, I've been riding Sportsters and have been happy enough with them that I didn't really look at other bikes.

I like a lower seat height (I'm not a tall guy), and I like mid controls - can't stand forward controls. Those two things really narrow down the choices. The only reason I'm looking for something besides another Sportster is weight. While the Sportsters are HD's lightest bikes, I'd like something a little lighter than 565 lbs.

I've looked at the current Hondas - CB's, NC's, and CTX's, test drove a Yamaha FZ-07, and the Kaw. Z-650 looks pretty good too. I've never had a sport bike, and can't get my leg over most of them, even though I'm average height for a male in the USA. I don't like the leaning forward position with a low of weight on your wrists either.

In researching, I've found that Honda made a Shadow model called the RS that had mid controls that would have been cool, but it's discontinued, didn't sell too well, and is close to the weight of a Sportster.

I also considered a dual sport, but the seat heights are ridiculously high on most of them. When you're on the short side, your options are a bit limited. A lightweight dual sport with a low seat height and good power would be ideal, but I'd have to buy one and modify the frame to get that seat height down.

The biggest issues I've found are that while cruisers have good seat heights, they almost all have forward controls.
They also tend to be on the heavy side. No real excuse for that.
The most realistic options for me are the Rebel 500, or to get another Sportster and deal with the weight, or try to lighten it.

Sorry for the long ramble, but his seems like the right place for it. ;)

.
 

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Really nice to have someone with your experience to and a different view on what you were looking at as well! Welcome to the forums :)
 

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Welcome! It's great to know the new rebel appeals to both new and old riders. The sportster is a great bike, so I'm glad Honda created a great affordable competitor for the small bobber category.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
Just got back from the dealer.
I've been watching the sites, and one of the local dealers posted - 'Rebel, just in. See it before it's gone' or something.

Hopped in the car and drove over. They had to go in back and look for it.
They had a 500ABS still in the crate, and rolled out a 300 for me. The seat was on, but it wasn't ready to start or ride.
I didn't really care - I just wanted to sit on it for size.

Oh yeah - it fits like a glove. Pretty close to a perfect fit.
Close my eyes and it feels almost exactly like how I had my Sportster set up.
It looks better in person than in the pics I've seen too.
This one's definitely in the running.

Edit - this site - I've found that unless you edit your post right away, if you come back to it later,
the edit option is gone. So apologies for the typos in my previous post.

.
 

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...

Oh yeah - it fits like a glove. Pretty close to a perfect fit.
Close my eyes and it feels almost exactly like how I had my Sportster set up.
It looks better in person than in the pics I've seen too.
This one's definitely in the running.
...

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Well what more do you need? Buy it and post about it here!
 

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Just got back from the dealer.
I've been watching the sites, and one of the local dealers posted - 'Rebel, just in. See it before it's gone' or something.

Hopped in the car and drove over. They had to go in back and look for it.
They had a 500ABS still in the crate, and rolled out a 300 for me. The seat was on, but it wasn't ready to start or ride.
I didn't really care - I just wanted to sit on it for size.

Oh yeah - it fits like a glove. Pretty close to a perfect fit.
Close my eyes and it feels almost exactly like how I had my Sportster set up.
It looks better in person than in the pics I've seen too.
This one's definitely in the running.

Edit - this site - I've found that unless you edit your post right away, if you come back to it later,
the edit option is gone. So apologies for the typos in my previous post.

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That is kind of weird. I have seen a lot of people who got to review it or see them at shows say very similar things. They all said the bike actually looks much better in person than in the pics. I already like it in the pictures so I can't wait to see it in person.
 

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I said the exact same thing when I bought my Honda Ruckus a few years ago! For some reason, motorcycles always look "bigger and better" in person.
 

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Hi Johny Reb, thanks for your first impressions, certainly coming from a person with long term Sportster experience. I've always loved the mid mount Sportsters but never could bring myself to trying and buying one, the specs where against them; weight, aircooled, where is sixth gear, brakes anyone?
Further more the history of HD gives me the impression that this is a company that will never spend a nickel on technology unless forced by law and emissions regulations, and they employ hair dressers and mannequins to develop next years models instead of CAD-designers and rocket scientists.
With the 750 they've now reinvented the 80's Honda Shadow? Come on...
I'd rather be with the company that's at the forefront of the game, and dares to take risks.
The Shadow RS was honestly the most blatant Sportster copy ever made but it was solid quality and reasonably priced. And the only mid mount design in an ocean of Japanese copy cat forward control cruisers.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 · (Edited)
....I've always loved the mid mount Sportsters but never could bring myself to trying and buying one, the specs where against them; weight, aircooled, where is sixth gear, brakes anyone?.....
Well - as I said in my intro, I'm no spring chicken anymore. The old, simple technology is one of the things I like about them.

Air cooled = no water pump, pump drives or lines to leak and maintain.

Hydraulic lifters = no need to ever check valve clearance (which looks like a bear on the new Rebel).

With the power they have, and being a cruiser, there's no need for a 6th gear - up until 1991 all the Sportsters had 4 gears, and did just fine with them. My '91 and '97 Sportsters had 5 gears and I never felt the need for a 6th.

Brakes - Sportsters have had discs for a long time. There are still Honda Shadows being made that have a rear drum brake.

2006 was the last year for the carburetor, when they went to EFI in 2007.

In the last 25 years of riding Sportsters, I never had a breakdown/mechanical problem. Went through several batteries and a couple sets of tires,
but other than that, it was pretty much just change oil, spark plugs, air cleaner, and ride. The last few years, I started to dislike the weight of it though.

All that said, I think I might be finally ready to modernize a bit. The new Rebel really has a lot going for it. I started with a Honda half a lifetime ago, had several of them that were pretty fun, and don't have any negative attitudes towards Hondas.
I think I'd get along with the Rebel pretty good.

I'm still deciding though. ;)

.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Oops - lost the 'edit' again.

Just wanted to add about spending on technology - check out HD's racing history, and more recently (2001) the introduction of the V-Rod, which is pretty high tech stuff, just not my style and also pretty expensive.
 

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Thanks for your elaborate reply, all points well taken, I can see that wisdom comes with the years.
As I said, I've always loved the Sportsters, but never got to riding one. I should refrain from commenting on bikes I didn't try myself, concentrate on the new toy.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 · (Edited)
....
I'm still deciding though. ;)
.

Well - I decided. I got a lightly used 2016 HD Roadster. I will ride this one until it gets to be too much to handle (weight wise).
If I'm still around, and able to ride bikes at that time, I will be looking at getting a Rebel or a CB500. I test rode that one and really liked it too.
Hopefully, I'll have a few good years left in me for the Roadster. I'm loving it so far.

The Rebels haven't been selling too good here. The one I looked at about a month ago is still at the dealer.
Other dealers around here have gotten them in, but I haven't seen any sell yet.
More Rebels for me later, I guess :D

Here's a pic of the Roadster when I picked it up. I've since changed handlebars and put a windshield and a K&N filter on it.

.
 

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Just got back from the dealer.
I've been watching the sites, and one of the local dealers posted - 'Rebel, just in. See it before it's gone' or something.

Hopped in the car and drove over. They had to go in back and look for it.
They had a 500ABS still in the crate, and rolled out a 300 for me. The seat was on, but it wasn't ready to start or ride.
I didn't really care - I just wanted to sit on it for size.

Oh yeah - it fits like a glove. Pretty close to a perfect fit.
Close my eyes and it feels almost exactly like how I had my Sportster set up.
It looks better in person than in the pics I've seen too.
This one's definitely in the running.

Edit - this site - I've found that unless you edit your post right away, if you come back to it later,
the edit option is gone. So apologies for the typos in my previous post.

.

welcome to the forum! I bought the rebel 300 non-abs a month ago. 16yrs driving, finally in a position to get a ride. Always been a Honda fan, and this bike is no exception. Loved the looks of it in pictures, went to see it, loved it even more, bought it on the spot. I regret not getting the 500, but it is my first ever bike, and I am plenty happy with it. Its $4700, so even though its not the 500, its not exactly a great loss. I'll have futre upgrades in the works to move up into a bigger bike, but I'll likely still keep this one for the many coffee trips and zipping around town.


BTW, the Honda Shadow RS, is fantastic. My aunt has one, had it for 3 yrs and its her first bike. She is upgrading to a fat boy or street glide next spring, so she will be selling me her shadow for almost nothing. Can't wait. That will be my highway long trip bike. lol.
 

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For around town you really can't beat the rebel 300. If you plan on longer trips in the future, it would be worth keeping the rebel 300 and buying a second bike. Especially with all the upcoming accessories to the market, you can still make the rebel 300/500 and not feel like you made a bad choice. The Japanese version of a sportster!
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I agree with dollarbill181 - if you don't plan on doing a lot of freeway riding, the 300 is just about the perfect bike for starting out on.

If you decide you want a bit more, after you get some riding experience under your belt, you've got the perfect upgrade path in the 500.

I do the majority of my riding on country roads and highways, usually with speed limits of 45 to 55 mph.
I try to avoid freeway riding when possible.
Honestly, for probably about 60% of all the riding I do, the 300 would be enough.
Sometimes you just want that little extra oomph though.

Take your time, learning to ride macjosh1, have fun, and be careful but not afraid.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
....
BTW, the Honda Shadow RS, is fantastic. My aunt has one, had it for 3 yrs and its her first bike. She is upgrading to a fat boy or street glide next spring, so she will be selling me her shadow for almost nothing. Can't wait. That will be my highway long trip bike. lol.

Oh man - I missed that part the first time I read it. You lucky dog. ;)

Learn to really ride the 300 first. The Shadow will be similar, but heavier, of course. And it might take a bit of getting used to.
 
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