Thanks to Honda Canada, we were fortunate to test the 2017 Rebel 500 this September. As we are looking to replace our cruiser fleet, this gave us an opportunity to put the new Rebel through the PRS test.
The PRS staff was impressed by the new bobber-inspired styling and once we sat on it, we knew it was going to be good. Even our office administrator Kirsten who only has her MSA learners fell in love with it at first sitting!
To be clear, we are evaluating the 500, as we couldn't get our hands on a 300 as Honda was sold out of both models, however we wanted to see how it would stand up in our parking lot exercises for new riders. We understand that the 300 and 500 share the same 27.2-inch seat height, riding position and close in weight.
The instructors looked at the weight of the bike, rider positioning, and slow speed handling in the lot, and was surprised how well it handled! Slow speed riding using the clutch was smooth and the slaloms were effortless even one-handed! Throttle response and shifting was very smooth and predictable! Major improvements over the Rebel 250 of old and a huge benefit to beginner riders.
The ultimate test was how the Rebel would stand up to our counter-balance exercise, and to our amazement, it blew us away! Well balanced, easy turn in, one-handed, this beast could do no wrong!
On the road, the Rebel 500 demonstrated ample horse power on Highway #1 with a 185 lb rider aboard, yet easy controllable power on the streets of downtown Vancouver, simply a pleasure to ride in all scenarios tested.
The PRS instructors test conclusion; the Rebel is well suited for our MSA course, new riders, experienced riders and those in between. We are very excited to have found a perfect motorcycle to retire our Rebel 250 fleet, and looking forward to get our hands on a 300!