Honda has either ruined or saved the Rebel, depending on your tastes.
When I first read about the upcoming 2017 300 & 500 Rebels, I was quite excited... after all, the little 250 has needed a bit more displacement since - well - forever. It’s a great little bike, but just a wee bit too underpowered for interstate highway speeds.
Then I saw the pics. Egads!
OK, taste is subjective, and being a middle-aged man (boy? dude? I don’t know...) who turned 16 in the 1980's, who wanted and then bought an original 250 Rebel, the new offerings are just... ugh.
Now, I know they will appeal to some. I don’t pretend to be trendy, hip or whatever phrase you whippersnappers are using these days (and get off my lawn!). So it was that I was lamenting the downfall of the wonderful little Rebel to my wife - whom I started dating while I had a red mid 80's version of the Rebel - and we decided to see if the local dealer still had any of the
old classic Rebels in stock. Which they did. In red.
Nostalgia took over, and at the urging of my dear wife, I decided that I WOULD NOT let the opportunity to own a brand new red 250 Rebel slip away. Of course, the deep discounts from the dealer trying to clear out stock of an obsolete motorcycle didn’t hurt, either...
Oh yeah, that is much better! Just as I remembered. Yes, it is underpowered. But, it is economical and comfortable. And it still has the classic Rebel look. So, Honda, bring on the new and improved Rebels. I’m sure the engines and handling are superior in every way to the outgoing model. But they can’t hold a candle to the style of the one in my garage.