By John Burns Editor Score: 83.5%
2020 Honda Rebel 500
Editor Score: 83.5%
Our pal Chrissy Rogers was excited and jumped at the chance to get her riding permit last year at Honda’s rider training center, but slightly bummed to learn that she’d been assigned a PCX150 scooter when the fateful training weekend came. It only made sense, as that’s what we were “testing” at the time. She was jealous of all the other students, mostly all on Rebel 300s. A large dog could learn to ride the full-auto PCX in about a minute, if it had thumbs, and Chrissy had really wanted to learn to use a clutch and shift gears.
More pointedly, the whole first day of the MSF course consists mostly of paddling your motorcycle around at walking speed, and for 5-foot-zero Christine, that would’ve been far easier from the 27.2-inch seat of the Rebel than from sliding on and off the 30.1-in one of the PCX. There was a chafing issue, best not mentioned again. In any case, she’s been jonesing for a Rebel ever since. How convenient that Honda just souped up the Rebels for 2020, then, and fixed us up with a new Rebel 500 test unit.
A 27.2-inch seat is a good thing when you’re learning to shift for yourself.
It sat in the garage for a week while I procrastinated, putting off a potential bout that could escalate rapidly when it came time to mansplain her how to use a clutch. When the day came, in a big empty parking lot behind a Sears that may or may not be closed, all I had to do was show her where neutral was, between first and second gear, and the little …read more