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Discussion Starter #1
To anyone looking at other bikes and aren't 100% sure on either the Rebel 300 or 500, what other bikes are you looking at?

If you had seat time on any of the bikes you're considering, that feedback is welcome here.



To start, I was at one point considering the Harley Street 500 but after sitting on both, that alone took some points away from the HD. Coming from a sport bike and naked sport background you'll understand why! Still, in for hearing what you guys have to say since this comparison alone can go on for days by talking about things like; chain vs belt, v-twin vs parallel twin, the list goes on...
 

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To be honest, considering I'm extremely new to riding, this thread should give me some options to consider. But I haven't really seen anything other than the Rebel that I really like at all.
 

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There isnt a lot to compair to the Rebel - that is one reason I like it - it is different. With that in mind you could compair through two different points of view.

The first is simply the bike size and feature set. The most obvious here would be the CB300/CB500. There are some made in China bikes out there that would count but I personally wouldn't waste my money. The new BMW G310r and the Duke 390 would be in this class although sportier in design. The Yamaha VStar 250 could be counted against the Rebel 300 but they don't have a cruiser in the 500cc size. In fact no other Japanese brand has a 500 or near size cruiser and few other bikes for that matter.

On the design side which I will call "fully modern cruiser"{for lack of a better term}we have the Yamaha Bolt and the Kawasaki Vulcan S. Both of these are bigger however and more expensive. Perhaps you can include the HD Street 500 in this catagory as well. Past that almost all other cruiser bikes are old school styled. Some customs have been done that are very modern or even futuristic however but that wouldn't really factor here.
 

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You pretty much hit the nail on the head there. Because it's kind of like the only one of it's kind, that's another push for me really. The HD street 500 doesn't really appeal to me much at all.
 

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There aren't a lot of Bobber style bikes out there like the Rebel to compare to, especially when it comes to the 300 variant. I think Triumph has one that looks similar and it's called the Street Scrambler, but it costs a lot more than the Rebel.
 

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For me there a few bikes I am considering.

1. Honda Rebel 500
2. Yamaha Bolt
3. Truimph Bonneville t100
4. Harley Street 500

Now I will say the Rebel would be the only bike I would be buying NEW, every other model I would get a year or two old to get a better price.

These are currently the only bikes I am considering. I will give a little upside and downside for them.

1. Honda Rebel 500
Cost US Dollars: $6000 or $6300 with abs
Engine Size: 471cc
Horse Power: 45hp
Torque: 32
Weight: 408LBS
Build Quality(opinion): Bike is the cheapest bike here, but also the cheapest as far as build quality. There is nothing really high end on the bike, that really isn't a bad thing. It is just there is nothing crazy high end or really any parts at all on the bike. Gas tank and 2 fenders and thats it. It has the cheapest seat out of the group and the cheapest exhaust. But while its engine is the smallest, and also likely the cheapest build wise, it is performs quite well against the others. The bike is quite a bit lighter than the others and has very close power ratings. The weight of the bike means it will probably get even or better performance than the others except for the real low end torque.

2. Yamaha Bolt
Cost US Dollars: $7999 or $8399 for R-Spec
Engine Size: 942cc
Horse Power: 46HP
Torque: 52
Weight: 540lbs
Build Quality(opinion): This varies greatly. There are a few models of this bike the base model is still nice but when you get into the R-Spec a lot of details improve. There are nice seat options currently available for it it. The shocks on the R-Spec are the best in the group. And the build quality overall just seems very nice. The brake lights are nicer than the hideous one that comes on the Rebel. The engine while having a little less top speed as the rebel has quite a bit more torque. The biggest downside to this bike is the weight. At 540lbs it is going to feel like a tank compared to the others.

3. Triumph Bonneville T100
Cost US Dollars: $10,000
Engine Size: 865cc
Horse Power: 55hp
Torque: 59
Weight: 506lbs
Build Quality(opinion): There are a lot of nice features on the bonneville. I have not gotten to ride one though. I will say it doesn't seem like they skimp much as far as build quality goes, but from a lot of reviews the bike isn't quite as fun of a ride as the others here. And it cost quite a bit more. It has more power but doesn't translate into a very fast bike. It is probably the nicest built bike in this group but it just doesn't shine anywhere on performance.

4. Harley Street 500
Cost US Dollars: $6849
Engine Size: 494cc
Horse Power: 35hp
Torque: 30
Weight: 480lbs
Build Quality(opinion): Well this is a hard bike to rate. Comparing it to other harleys and it is clear that they skimped on the build. But comparing it to the others in this group, it seems to be one of the better built bikes. Good forks, nice seat, pretty decent stock exhaust. It seems out of the group it would be the bike you would most likely keep stock parts on.
But it does seem to have a flaw. The engine just is not producing what the other bikes are. The other bikes actually outperform Harleys with much bigger engines so that is actually not unexpected. When compared to the Rebel directly it does make the choice a bit difficult. The harley appears to be of higher build quality, and like it was put together a bit better than the rebel as well, and the cost isn't actually much higher. But then you look at the bike weighing 70lbs more than the rebel, with less HP and less torque, it would appear to come down to a choice of more performance with a little bit less bike actually there. With that being said the Rebel is likely to have people adding more customizing accesorries so the end product may have the same quality.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Your last point about customization is what i'm really after here. For the short term, no, but as the market picks up then that will be up for consideration.
Already there has been some examples of customized 500's and 300's, pictures section of this forum has them.

If it wasn't for the HD Roadster being received better by the public, i'd be riding one right now.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Since i'm seeing some good amount of mentions of HD are any of you concerned with the problems they have? Its far more than Japanese motorcycles. Some guys I know have gone from HD to Honda, Yamaha, and the like just because of those problems.
 

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Part of the appeal is the size of these bikes. There just isn't a lot to choose from in the sub-500 range. As a commuter, even a 650 is starting to get a bit heavy.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I'm trying to decide between the 300 and 500 as well, if I get a bike. But the BMW G310R seems pretty nice for the price, too:

BMW Motorrad USA

Different style, of course.
If you're really interested in the G310, what's going to make it harder is all the other similar bikes to it coming out or already out these days, starting to see a rise of them. I think even Honda has something similar in the works.
 

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I haven't actually seen the G310R in person, but saw it discussed on some other forum and it looked interesting. I haven't had the chance to pursue it yet though. But I like the cruiser styling of the Rebel more.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I haven't actually seen the G310R in person, but saw it discussed on some other forum and it looked interesting. I haven't had the chance to pursue it yet though. But I like the cruiser styling of the Rebel more.
i feel the same way about the rebel since in recent times we haven't had anything similar, its times like this I don't taking a different direction away from going sporty and Honda probably knows this. on that note it will be interesting to see what bikes people are coming from, i might not be the only one going from sport to cruiser.
 

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.....If it wasn't for the HD Roadster being received better by the public, i'd be riding one right now.

Gotta' ask what you mean by that. :confused:
It sounds like you're saying that the Roadster was received well by the public, and that makes you not want it?

There are several leftover 2016 Roadsters around here, and it seems most people prefer the usual HD cruiser
style over the way the Roadster is set up.
I'm not sure how well received it's been.
 

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In all honesty for this style of bike, there are four contenders in the new market:

> Harley Street500/750
> Honda 300/500 Rebel
> Kawasaki Vulcan 650S
> Yamaha Bolt (various trims)

Of the four I would lean towards the Vulcan, more so if they brought back their first model year green.

Realistically I'd go used and buy the bike Harley copied for the Street: a mid-80's VT500 Ascot:

 

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You'd be surprised at how insignificant the "beginnerability" differences are with the 650S.

492 pounds wet, 84 pounds more than the 500 but still well in the safe & sane zone for newbie riders (the typical recommendation is max 500 pounds & 50HP)

The seat is about a half inch higher.

The front tire is a hair skinnier and the rear is a hair wider.

3/4 gallon more fuel capacity, while the 650 sips a bit more juice it still offers a bit more in range as such.

A bit longer in wheelbase but similar frame geometry.

Available in ABS trim just like the 500.

Positive Neutral Finder, this is an awesome feature that I wish other OEMs offered.

Superior mono-shock rear suspension.

First bike ever to be offered in multiple ergonomic configurations: you pick the seat/pegs/bar position that fits your body right.

For a mere $1K difference you really get a lot more.




Still, I prefer the VT500 Ascot. When you get right down to it, it's a VT500 Shadow at heart. ;)
 
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