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If you can share a few things about your ownership of the Honda Rebel 300/500, what would it be? The most liked or hated, share them with every one I am sure you won't be the only one. :)
This is an early review of the 2020 CMX500ABS. I might add more as time and the miles creep on. My comments are based on owning and riding all sorts of bikes over many years from BSA’s to Ducati and all in between including various Hondas.

First the bad and some are very bad.

The oil level window on the 2020 model is truly appalling. The designer should be taken out and whipped! It is almost covered by the brake bracket. It’s impossible to see while sat on the bike. It needs two people, one to hold the bike level and one to view the window oil level. One could add some packing to the side stand to make it more upright but then there’s the risk of it falling over. It would not have been that difficult to fit the filler cap with a dipstick level or at least make it more visible.

The same goes for the radiator coolant level. The window is a kind of opaque white plastic. Almost impossible to see any liquid.

The owners manual is cheap and nasty. Not up to Honda’s usual standard. It looks like it has been photocopied! The illustrations are very poor. I pity somebody not familiar with motorcycles because Honda don’t say which side which part is on!

As mentioned by another member, the rear brake pedal is a parts bin special. It would look better on a tractor.

Now for my biggest beef. Honda EU are going to get a long letter - as are many motorcycle reviewers about the absence of a centre stand or bobbins for a paddock stand. In the manual, it says: raise the wheels off the ground for long term storage e.g. winter. Sure, I’ll get myself on a magicIan’s levitation course and with a few chants of Abracadabra and some hand movements the bike will lift itself up unaided. What idiots!

As for the so called motorcycle reviewers. They get up my nose. They are great at pouring out garbage such as BHP, Torque, Aerodynamics, Valve Configuration and such like but rarely do they see it from an owner’s point of view., e.g. the real world of maintenance and doing basic jobs.

There is no business/manufacturer in the EU that makes a stand or suitable paddock stands. ABBA and Hepco Becker are not interested. The only centre stand manufacturer on this planet is T-Rex in Dallas. To import one to the U.K. Is mega expensive with all the taxes and duties.

This is a big mistake by Honda. Owners should not be expected to ‘walk the bike’ in order to simply oil the chain. If they can fit a factory centre stand as standard on the Super Cub, there’s no reason why they couldn’t do the same on the Rebel - bean counters at it again!

The last negative comment - for now - is the location and fitting of the battery. A simple job as fitting a battery tender takes a long time and a lot of fiddling about in a confined space. You’ve got to remove connectors, relays, pegs that fall down inside the frame and so forth. It really is a pain in the butt to install a flying lead. So bad, my dealer doesn’t want anything to do with installing extras like USB/tender leads/alarms/trackers.

Now the good.

It’s fun to ride. If you are of short stature it is the perfect bike. Both feet down allows you to stand up when at a stop junction - especially when your butt aches from the seat.

The gear box is typical Honda - brilliant! Slick and quiet. No false neutrals and now with the slipper clutch, changing gear is a doddle. Compared to changing gear on a Moto Guzzi it is heavenly.

Its weight is perfectly balanced. It’s easy to push around because of its low centre of gravity. Similarly, it hugs the road surface. No skittishness on bends or corners. Almost like a V twin, in slow, out fast. The frame and suspension set up makes counter steering very easy - useful for beginners. If you overcook a bend it can be corrected.

The torque for a 500cc engine is excellent. No problems with hills or when you need to get out of a sticky situation.

If, like the bike, you are slim, it becomes a great asset when filtering or weaving through tight spots.

The mirrors are top notch - depending on your size - you can see everything behind and there’s no blurring.

The instrument gauge is excellent. It tells you all you need to know. I particularly like the large mph/kph display. Easy to see at a glance - unlike the Cub which needs a magnifying glass! Only time will tell how the modern electric gizmos stand up to a few bad winters.

And finally - sheesh! - it’s not as boring as many of the old model Hondas. Hopefully, it will share the same feature as almost all other Hondas - reliability, and good at holding market value.

Enjoy it while you can!

;)
 

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I agree with most of that in relation to my 2017 model. I have previously managed to lift the rear wheel with a stand but the last time I could not do it with impinging on the can. Poor effort by Honda. You must be saving 'the seat' for next issue.
 

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Just got a 2020 Rebel 500. The seat height is perfect for me since I’m a pretty short guy. Being able to flat foot is giving me a lot of confidence. I was looking at a few other models and brands but did some research and went and sat on a Rebel and I knew it was the one! So far nothing really to dislike. I may want to swap out my seat later for something with more cushion but other than that I’m in love!
 

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Just got back into riding after a 25 year hiatus. My first motorcycle was a Rebel 250 I bought in 1987.
I got a new 2019 leftover Rebel 500 in Black. I like most things about it. The Rebel handles well, has good performance for a re-beginner. It's "mostly" comfortable. So far has been pretty good on fuel.
Here is a few things that I dont like so much.
-Speedometer is crap. I would prefer a white analog on this bike.
-Foot position for me is a bit awkward. I'm 5'11" 170lbs.
I would prefer pegs a bit forward or the seat 2" higher.
I added padding to the seat and this helped. Otherwise pretty happy
 

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It is not perfect but mostly good. You get used to oddities like the right foot position. The seat is the first candidate for change, so you could get an upholsterer to get it to what you want.
 

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I loved the look of the Rebel and the fact that it borrowed the engine from the CBR500R. After just over a year on the Rebel it's made me really miss the CBR. Still like the Rebel, but its surprising just how different they are and how much cheaper everything feels on the Rebel. Its completely outclassed by the CBR and CB's that share similar DNA. I was excited by the look and purchased without doing a ton of research since I've been a long time Honda devotee, but in retrospect there are many better bikes in the rebels price range.
 

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2020 CMX500 ABS

Update a few miles later. See post #62 for other comments.

Digital speedometer.
In a word it is crap. Are you reading this Honda UK/EU? And no, this is not just my opinion. A reviewer from Bennett’s Insurance says the same.

”Once thing that I did find annoying though was that the angle of the speedo, combined with its moody grey-on-black colour scheme made it difficult to read in even modest sunshine – especially when wearing a white lid which reflected perfectly off the gloss screen.”

The Review
A2 compliant bike with bobber attitude

This is a serious mistake by the fool that designed the speedo. Serious insofar as if you value your licence you will struggle to check your speed under certain light conditions - as noted above. One should not have to stare at the speedometer to see what speed one is doing, a quick glance is all that should be required. Why in the hell didn’t they use a large white analog dial with a red or black needle as in their old school bikes? If you only go out at nighttime it is great but don’t go out on a sunny day - even with the speedometer light turned up full.

The Seat
I have a feeling it was designed in consultation with the Marquis De Sade. I share the same views as the Bennett’s reviewer. I’m working on a design for a water seat. One that can be plumbed in to the cooling-heating system to keep one’s butt warm in the winter.

Conclusion
I have thought about this very carefully. There are lots of things I like about the Rebel - and it certainly attracts positive comments from onlookers. But, and it is a big BUT...I find it unforgivable that Honda made no arrangement for the bike to be jacked up - centre stand or bobbins for a paddock stand. I like to change my own tyres. I don’t know of a single non motorcycle garage in the EU that will remove a wheel to change a tyre - liability etc. You would therefore need to get a breakdown truck to take it to a motorcycle dealer to get a new tyre or a puncture fixed. Bad, very bad. If this is some scam by Honda to rip off owners by hoping they will take it to a Honda dealer to get a repair or replacement they can stuff it. No doubt the dealer would also charge a labour rate - minimum £50.00 an hour plus the cost of a new tyre at their inflated rate. Maybe there is a case here of anti-competitiveness the EU could look at?

That’s it. I think I’ll look around now for a new bike that has no serious issues before adding any extras. If I can’t find something suitable I’ll wait until I see what comes along in 2021.

Yours, disappointed.
 

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Love my 500 Rebel, but there are a few bad points.
No1 is the suspension, it's very poor on the front and not much better on the back. Got my 500 booked in next week for the YSS fork upgrade kit to be fitted.
No2 Rear lights look . . . just bad.
No3 Seat, numb bum after about 45mins.

It's a cheap bike that's well made and can do with a few aftermarket addons BUT there are very few around to upgrade the bike with. Will get the Solo tripper seat when I can and do the rear suspension over the winter.

Overall the bike is great and it's just right for me in size and power, just need to do a few upgrades to get it better :)
 
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