World Debut Of 2017 Honda Rebel 500 And Rebel 300

Tom Roderick
by Tom Roderick

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 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


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



PGM-FI; 34mm throttle bodies

PGM-FI; 38mm throttle bodies


Computer-controlled digital transistorized w/ electronic advance



Final Drive

Chain; 15T/40T

Chain; 14T/36T

Valve Train

DOHC; four valves per cylinder


41mm telescopic fork; 4.77 in. travel


Twin shock; 3.77 in. travel


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


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





Rake (Caster Angle)



110mm (4.3 in)

Seat Height

27.2 in.

Ground Clearance

5.4 in.

5.9 in.


58.7 in.

Fuel Capacity

3 gal.



Matte Silver, Bright Yellow, Black, Red


Matte Silver, Matte Pearl White, Black, Red

Curb Weight


414 lbs.

408 lbs.

370 lbs.

364 lbs.

Tom Roderick
Tom Roderick

A former staffer who has gone on to greener pastures, Tom Roderick still can't get the motorcycle bug out of his system. And honestly, we still miss having him around. Tom is now a regular freelance writer and tester for when his schedule allows, and his experience, riding ability, writing talent, and quick wit are still a joy to have – even if we don't get to experience it as much as we used to.

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4 of 51 comments
  • Harry_Wild Harry_Wild on Nov 21, 2016

    Beginner just don't want to spend the extra cost for ABS brakes. They probably will never reach 200 mph on the 500 so why buy this option? I going to buy this for my motorcycle license and not planning on buying the ABS model either since I doubt I will be going past 100 mph on it! After I past the motorcycle license exam, I am going to take my 500 to a custom muffler shop to install a much louder muffler e.g. performance muffler, on it so it rides like a more powerful motorcycle. I will eventually buy a big "Easy Rider" looking Harley that I will be going over 120 mph on it like I do with my daily driver SUV!

    • See 1 previous
    • Ian Parkes Ian Parkes on Jan 10, 2017

      Really? You still have a built-up oil in the centre of every lane? Surely not. I've noticed you have a lot of Japanese cars now, like us in NZ, and oil on the road has been very rare here for 20 years. We get the occasional diesel trail from dickheads but not oil slime.

  • 40mmtrsmith 40mmtrsmith on Nov 30, 2016

    Ok Honda how about $2500 for one of the many leftovers you'll have in 2018.