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At a special engagement in the speakeasy basement of the Federal Bar gastropub in downtown Long Beach, CA, Honda surprised attendees with the reintroduction of a classic. The Honda Rebel can trace its roots back to 1985, but these new-model Rebels are far removed from their predecessors.

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Like the original 250 and 450 Rebels, the 2017 iterations come is two sizes, 500 and 300. The Rebel 500 utilizes the 471cc liquid-cooled DOHC parallel-Twin powering the CB/CBR500s, while the Rebel 300 uses the 286cc liquid-cooled DOHC Single found in the CB/CBR300s. And that is, largely, the only difference between the two except for tentative pricing: $5,999 and $4,399 for the 500 and 300, respectively. Both come in ABS models, with prices to be determined for those.

The Rebel 500 comes in Matte Silver (tank and rear fender), Bright Yellow (tank only), Black (pictured), Red (tank only), the ABS model is available only in Black. The Rebel 300 swaps Bright Yellow for Matte Pearl White (tank only), but is otherwise available in the same color combinations.

From there, the two Rebels share everything. Same tubular steel frame, same 296mm single front disc brake, same 27.2-inch seat height, same 41mm telescopic fork, and twin rear shocks, same 16-inch front and rear wheels, same three-gallon fuel tank, etc. Claimed curb weights vary from a low of 364 pounds of the non-ABS Rebel 300 to 414 pounds of the ABS-equipped Rebel 500.

Because the two bike share everything, except for engines, it’s difficult telling the Rebel 300 (above) from its 500 counterpart in the previous image (dual exhaust pipes on the 500 are the obvious giveaway). Note how the brake rotor carrier matches the spokes of the front cast wheel. Nice touch!

The Rebel’s new profile is unmistakable, with a severely sloped fuel tank first grabbing your attention. The way in which designers wrapped the tubular steel frame around the outside instead of in a backbone manner is also glaringly different from tradition. The rear subframe follows the contour of the rear fender for an eye-pleasing effect. The rear fender and subframe are also removable for creating a customized look, with the ability to easily return to stock form.

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In stock trim both Rebels come with only a solo saddle. A pillion and passenger footpegs will be offered as accessories, as will other bolt-on equipment. According to Honda the new Rebels will be available for purchase by early Spring. Prior to that time look to Motorcycle.com for a full review of both models.

This custom Rebel 500 has the rear fender and subframe removed, but uses only bolt-on equipment and paint to achieve its one-off stature.

2017 Honda Rebel Specs
Model Rebel 500 ABS Rebel 500 Rebel 300 ABS Rebel 300
Engine Type 471cc liquid-cooled parallel-twin four-stroke 286cc liquid-cooled single-cyilnder four-stroke
Bore x Stroke 67.0mm x 66.8mm 76.0mm x 63.0mm
Compression Ratio 10.7:1
Induction PGM-FI; 34mm throttle bodies PGM-FI; 38mm throttle bodies
Ignition Computer-controlled digital transistorized w/ electronic advance
Transmission Six-speed
Final Drive Chain; 15T/40T Chain; 14T/36T
Valve Train DOHC; four valves per cylinder
SUSPENSION
Front 41mm telescopic fork; 4.77 in. travel
Rear Twin shock; 3.77 in. travel
BRAKES
Front Single 296mm disc w/ hydraulic calipers; ABS Single 296mm disc w/ hydraulic calipers Single 296mm disc w/ hydraulic calipers; ABS Single 296mm disc w/ hydraulic calipers
Rear Single 240mm disc w/ hydraulic calipers; ABS Single 240mm disc w/ hydraulic calipers Single 240mm disc w/ hydraulic calipers; ABS Single 240mm disc w/ hydraulic calipers
TIRES
Front 130/90-16
Rear 150/80-16
Rake (Caster Angle) 28º
Trail 110mm (4.3 in)
Seat Height 27.2 in.
Ground Clearance 5.4 in. 5.9 in.
Wheelbase 58.7 in.
Fuel Capacity 3 gal.
Color Black Matte Silver, Bright Yellow, Black, Red Black Matte Silver, Matte Pearl White, Black, Red
Curb Weight* 414 lbs. 408 lbs. 370 lbs. 364 lbs.

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