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Top 10 Value-For-Money Hondas
Honda’s current motorcycle lineup is packed with value
If the test of time is what determines a great motorcycle, then the Rebel wins. When Honda built the first one in 1985, David Bowie’s Rebel Rebel was only 11 years old, Bill Clinton was in his second year being Boy Governor of Arkansas, and it was, sniff, “Morning in America” as Ronald Reagan’s second term was beginning. Yamaha’s newly re-introduced SR400 is about seven years older, but when you’re talking continuous production, no other motorcycle for sale in the U.S. has outlasted the Rebel.
That kind of longevity doesn’t just happen, and the reason why the Rebel’s been around for so long is not just because it’s been the go-to motorcycle for new rider training programs forever. It’s also because it’s a seriously good around-town bike: easy to ride, light and low of seat, fast enough, really cheap to keep. Maybe what’s really kept it around is its styling: For $9 more, Honda’s completely modern CBR250R will run rings around the old Rebel in every performance category including fuel economy – but the plastic-covered CBR doesn’t have that classic American cruiser look that the Rebel’s designers got right from the start.
Small people fit the Rebel best, and even the wee-est among us have no trouble throwing a leg over the 26.6-inch seat and being in complete command of the bike’s 331 pounds, including 2.6 gallons of regular. All controls – clutch, shifter, brakes and throttle – are light and typically Honda precise, and all those factors add up to a motorcycle that’s stupid-easy to ride, quick enough for short freeway hauls (top speed’s right around 80 mph), and about as economical as they come – we’ve logged 55-60 mpg numbers during testing with our greedy throttle hands. Casual riding can net fuel economy closer to Honda’s 84-mpg claims.
- Its picture is under “user-friendly” in the dictionary
- Super-low seat and light weight
- Nearly indestructible
- $4,190 is only $9 less than the way modern CBR250R
- Marginal for mixing it up with fast freeway traffic
- Most of the rebellion has been quashed at age 30
Honda Rebel Specs MSRP $4,190 Engine Capacity 234cc Engine Type Air-cooled SOHC parallel-Twin, two valves per cylinder Bore x Stroke 53mm x 53mm Compression 9.2:1 Fuel System Single 26mm diaphragm-type constant-velocity carburetor Transmission 5-speed Clutch Wet, multi-plate Final Drive Chain Frame Tubular steel double cradle Front Suspension Telescopic 33 mm fork; 4.6 in. travel Rear Suspension Dual shocks with five-position spring-preload adjustability; 2.9 in. travel Front Brakes Single disc with twin-piston caliper Rear Brakes Drum Front Tire 3.00-18 Rear Tire 160/90-15 Seat Height 26.6 in. Wheelbase 57.1 in. Curb Weight (claimed) 331 lb. Fuel Capacity 2.6 gal., including 0.7-gal. reserve Colors Black, Candy Red Warranty One year, unlimited miles
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