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Discussion Starter #1
Hello, I am considering either the Rebel 300 or 500 for my first bike. I’m 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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Hello, I am considering either the Rebel 300 or 500 for my first bike. I’m 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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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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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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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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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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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks for the information guys! Money is my biggest problem, otherwise I would get something more suited to touring with the style I’m looking for.

I did get some conflicting information about vibration though. I guess I’ll 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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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.

Sent from my Nexus 5X using Tapatalk
 

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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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Listen, you can tour on just about any bike. There was a guy who blogged about touring extensively on his 250 Rebel. Can’t remember his name but something like Pashnit.
 

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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’t remember his name but something like Pashnit.
I actually don't think that's a very helpful comment. It's true you could tour on just any bike, in reality there's more to it, and that's why he's asking for our advice and experience.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
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
Thanks, that was very helpful! I took a look at those bikes and there’s no doubt they’re good touring bikes. However, my pricepoint is pretty low and I’m not sure how much I like the Honda CB500X.

Like you said, I’m going to have to test ride some bikes. The Rebel just hits that style and price point I’m going for in a motorcycle. Maybe I’ll just wait an extra year and save up for a bit to get a proper touring bike. I’m just really hoping that’s not the case.
 

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Thanks, that was very helpful! I took a look at those bikes and there’s no doubt they’re good touring bikes. However, my pricepoint is pretty low and I’m not sure how much I like the Honda CB500X.

Like you said, I’m going to have to test ride some bikes. The Rebel just hits that style and price point I’m going for in a motorcycle. Maybe I’ll just wait an extra year and save up for a bit to get a proper touring bike. I’m just really hoping that’s not the case.
I hear you, and absolutely agree that you have to relate to the bike, rather than just the dry specs. I do think however that even with your limited budget, you can find a second-hand bike that's in good order, have it looked at and serviced before the trip and ideally save a few bucks.

I'm not familiar with the 2nd hand bike market in the US, but maybe someone here can recommend a good dealership or a reliable mechanic in your area, that can give you some advice on costs, availability and reliability of relevant makes and models that suit your budget and needs.
 

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I'm not sure why everyone complains about vibration, I ride a 300 and with decent riding gloves I really don't notice any vibration or numbness.
Longest I've gone is 1-2 hours of straight riding at a time, no problems but I stayed on highways with speed limit of 50 mph. If you're planning on taking expressways for cross country I'd say go with the 500 hands down if it's only between those two.
 

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I’m in the camp that different motorcycles have strong and weak points, so besides things like appearance and budget, a rider should really examine the purpose of why they are getting the bike.

The Rebels, can wear many hats and do different types of riding, all of which may or may not be their natural element.

Are they great for commuting and a quick run to the store with a backpack, or meeting friends downtown, yeah in my opinion yes. I would much rather take it to a city center or store than a 700lb Road King, Chieftian, or Goldwing, or Concourse. These are heavy bikes who use their power and weight to making touring easy because they stand up to wind blasts and long distance travel.

Could you tour on a Rebel? Sure, as long as you have the mindset that it may not be the best tool for the job. Could you navigate downtown on a Goldwing and park easy? Sure, as long as you have the mindset that it’s heavy and a little cumbersome, and a PITA in stop and go traffic.
 

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very good points Abiz, I bought mine for looks and price foremost. do i plan on taking trips with it? sure. Only then will i know how well it'll do, but i'm willing to find out.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
I’m in the camp that different motorcycles have strong and weak points, so besides things like appearance and budget, a rider should really examine the purpose of why they are getting the bike.

The Rebels, can wear many hats and do different types of riding, all of which may or may not be their natural element.

Are they great for commuting and a quick run to the store with a backpack, or meeting friends downtown, yeah in my opinion yes. I would much rather take it to a city center or store than a 700lb Road King, Chieftian, or Goldwing, or Concourse. These are heavy bikes who use their power and weight to making touring easy because they stand up to wind blasts and long distance travel.

Could you tour on a Rebel? Sure, as long as you have the mindset that it may not be the best tool for the job. Could you navigate downtown on a Goldwing and park easy? Sure, as long as you have the mindset that it’s heavy and a little cumbersome, and a PITA in stop and go traffic.
That’s very useful, thank you. I suppose 90% of my riding on the Rebel would be short rides. Then on the other 10% I can just throw on some saddlebags and a seat cushion.

Found an interesting article about two ladies taking a small trip on the rebel 500.

https://www.revzilla.com/common-tread/reconnecting-on-the-road-getting-my-sister-back-on-two-wheels
 

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Hello DannyD,

I think rebel is not best bike to do that but it is also reasonably ok. There is blog
No Return Ticket | A blog about jumping off the ladder and finding a new path you should checked that out. She had long distance ride through US with her rebel, i hope it will be helpful and answers your question.

on the other hand, you should apply some modifications to increase comfort for long distance ride. vibration on handlebar, seat comfort,luggage etc. but you can do them all one by one.
 
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