The Honda Rebel 250 is one of the first motorcycles I ever got a chance to ride. This is because they are often times the bike you get to learn on while taking the MSF course. This isn't just a motorcycle to learn on though, it's a great bike that can keep you happy for a very long time.
For a long time there were only a few 250cc bikes to choose from if you were buying a bike in that class. If you wanted more of a sportsbike you would choose the Kawasaki Ninja 250. If you wanted more of a cruiser style bike then the Honda Rebel was your best option. Even though it was one of the only options for a long time, it's still one of the best to this day.
Engine and weight
The Rebel is powered by an air-cooled 234cc V-twin engine that has proven itself for decades. The engineers at Honda have perfected this little powerplant and I would venture to say it's practically bullet proof at this point. The engine looks a little small in the frame of the bike, especially when compared to a larger cruiser. That small engine really helps to keep the weight of this motorcycle extremely low. Filled up with oil and gasoline this bike only weighs around 329 lbs.
The weight is just one of the reasons that makes the Rebel a powerhouse in the 250 class. It's also quick off the line while still having the power to cruise at 60-70 mph. If you are going to be traveling up some steep hills in your journey though, you may notice that you have to downshift to keep the bike happy and cruising along at a respectable speed.
The one caveat to this bike is it's not ideal for taller motorcycle riders. If you are 6'0 or taller you may find yourself a bit cramped on this machine. Although it will still have the power to pull you around, you may find the controls and seating position less than ideal.
What that really means is this bike is amazing for short riders. When you combine it's low seat height of 27 inches with it's low weight of 329 lbs, you get a motorcycle that is easy to move around at low speeds. That is the time when most new riders tend to drop their bikes. Many people will be able to flat-foot while sitting on this bike, which really helps with balance when you are parking or backing up.
All in all i think this motorcycle is really nice, it is one of the bikes I learned on while taking my Motorcycle Safety Foundation course. In fact it was frequently one of the most sought after bikes for its ease of use and wide power band. Its very maneuverable when negotiating low speed turns, and is great when cruising down the highway leaning into big sweepers.
When all is said and done I think this motorcycle is one of the best you can get if you are looking for a cruiser style, reliable, fuel efficient beginner motorcycle.
- Great for low speed turns
- Light weight
- Engine is bulletproof
- Looks a little dated
- Taller riders may find it too small
- Suspension is a little soft
- Suggested base price: $2999
- Wet weight: 329 lb.
- GVWR: 675 lb.
- Seat height: 26.6 in.
- Wheelbase: 57.1 in.
- Overall length: 83.3 in.
- Rake/trail: 30 degrees / 4.4 in.
- Handlebar width: 32.0
- Fuel capacity: 2.6 gal.
- Fuel mileage: 66 mpg
- Average range: 172 miles
- Engine type: Air-cooled, four stroke vertical twin
- Final drive: Chain, 33/14
- Front suspension: 33mm stanchions, 4.6 in. travel
- Rear suspension: Two dampers, 2.9 in. travel, adjustable for preload
- Wheels: Wire-spoke, 1.85 x 18 in. front, 2.75 x 15 in. rear