HONDA CMX250 (1996 - 2000) Review

At a glance

Owners' reliability rating: 4.8 out of 5 (4.8/5)
Annual servicing cost: £200
Power: 17 bhp
Seat height: Low (26.6 in / 675 mm)
Weight: Low (311 lbs / 141 kg)


New N/A
Used £1,800

Overall rating

Next up: Ride & brakes
3 out of 5 (3/5)

For laid-back cruising, miniature style, you can’t get much better than the Honda CMX250 Rebel. The engine’s been around forever and the light weight makes for a gentle learning curve. The lack of power can soon become a problem, however, although cruising through town is a right giggle. Just don’t try too much touring if you buy a Honda CMX250 Rebel.

Ride quality & brakes

Next up: Engine
3 out of 5 (3/5)

Comfortable and laid-back, the Honda CMX250 Rebel is tiny and manoeuvrable, making it a handy motorcycle for fidgety town riding. The brakes and suspension do the job although the front brake can be over effective: progressive, rather than a handful, is the way forward! Good stability and handling but the Honda CMX250 Rebel can be a bit unstable and buzzy at higher speeds.


Next up: Reliability
4 out of 5 (4/5)

The Honda CMX250 Rebel uses the same engine that ran Honda’s CB250, it has an ancestry dating back over thirty years. Safe to say it’s a reliable and long-lasting motorcycle engine. Grunty around town but take it up to faster speeds and it soon runs out of puff. The power’s enough for a new rider but the Honda CMX250 Rebel will soon prove too little once confidence develops.

Reliability & build quality

Next up: Value
4 out of 5 (4/5)

The Honda CMX250 Rebel's engine is a smooth little corker, even if it is a bit gutless, whilst the bodywork’s well finished and major problems are rare. If things do go wrong, parts are relatively easy to come by and won’t break the bank. The Honda CMX250 Rebel is still hugely popular in the States; even some early 1980s motorcycles are still on the road…

Value vs rivals

Next up: Equipment
4 out of 5 (4/5)

The Honda CMX250 Rebel is easy to work on, keeping maintenance costs down, and cheap to run with low insurance and healthy mpg figures. They were fairly pricey motorcycles when new but you can pick one up at a great price if you look carefully. The Honda CMX250 Rebel is a toughie: keep it for ever as a cheapo commuter motorcycle. Find a Honda CMX250 Rebel for sale.


3 out of 5 (3/5)

The Honda CMX250 Rebel has a basic dash with a large, analogue speedo, housed in chrome. There’s a lot of that: pipes, bars, shocks, headlight, fuel cap and grab rails all gleam. The mirrors are wide and effective. The Honda CMX250 Rebel's seating position is traditional cruiser motorcycle style: low down, feet forward. It’ll suit all but the absolutely tiny or the positively vast.


Engine size 234cc
Engine type 4v parallel twin, 5 gears
Frame type Steel cradle
Fuel capacity 10 litres
Seat height 675mm
Bike weight 141kg
Front suspension None
Rear suspension Preload
Front brake 240mm disc
Rear brake 130mm drum
Front tyre size 3.0 x 18
Rear tyre size 130/90 x 15

Mpg, costs & insurance

Average fuel consumption 75 mpg
Annual road tax £52
Annual service cost £200
New price -
Used price £1,800
Insurance group 5 of 17
How much to insure?
Warranty term Two year unlimited mileage

Top speed & performance

Max power 17 bhp
Max torque 5 ft-lb
Top speed 75 mph
1/4 mile acceleration 16.8 secs
Tank range 10 miles

Model history & versions

Model history

1986: Original Honda CMX250 Rebel introduced in the UK. Honda discontinued it after a year.
1996: Honda CMX250 Rebel reintroduced to the UK.
1998: Updated logos on the tank.
2000: Honda CMX250 Rebel discontinued.

Other versions

Other Honda CMX Rebel reviews on MCN

Owners' reviews for the HONDA CMX250 (1996 - 2000)

4 owners have reviewed their HONDA CMX250 (1996 - 2000) and rated it in a number of areas. Read what they have to say and what they like and dislike about the bike below.

Review your HONDA CMX250 (1996 - 2000)

Summary of owners' reviews

Overall rating: 4 out of 5 (4/5)
Ride quality & brakes: 3.8 out of 5 (3.8/5)
Engine: 4 out of 5 (4/5)
Reliability & build quality: 4.8 out of 5 (4.8/5)
Value vs rivals: 4 out of 5 (4/5)
Equipment: 3.2 out of 5 (3.2/5)
Annual servicing cost: £200
5 out of 5 I wish every bike I owned was as bulletproof as this one!
03 May 2023 by Shadow Shack

Version: VIN# 0034, one of the earliest re-release models in North America

Year: 1996

Incredible bike for what it is. As long as you realize it's NOT a crotch rocket, it's a real treat to ride. Excellent in town commuter for the thick and heavy traffic grind!

Ride quality & brakes 4 out of 5

The bike develops confidence, possibly too much confidence...I feel like a pro every time I ride it. A blast to toss around the curves and great stopping power when you need it. The 33mm pogo sticks on the front don't misbehave at sane speeds, and this is a bike that is very shy when it comes to insane. It's tough to grind the pegs in a curve because that's when the front end gets sloppy, but it's still doable. In other words you can still get aggressive in curve duty with a good degree of confidence and feedback.

Engine 5 out of 5

Again, just shy of 145K miles before the first major work was needed. I can't praise it enough for its simplicity and how can I even consider complaining?!?

Reliability & build quality 5 out of 5

Just under 145K miles on my 96 model before it finally suffered the first major issue: the clutch plates wore out. Prior to that (139K) the CDI was overheating but that was a very quick and simple fix.

Value vs rivals 5 out of 5

Basic consumables (gas, oil, lube, tires, batteries, brake fluid)...that's all I had to deal with for 139K miles. One CDI box at that point and the clutch plates finally went out 5000 miles later. 144,800 miles before the first major bit of work, and that's for a bike that I rode the snot out of on a daily basis for two+ decades.

Equipment 3 out of 5

It's cramped for a taller rider, even at 5'8" & 30" inseam I had to tilt the handlebars up/forward to prevent them from pinning my knee to the tank in a tight full-lock turn. For a forward control footpeg position, it's not too far off from a standard stance...standing figure-eights are a breeze.

Buying experience: Bought used from a dealer, original owner traded it in at 45K miles. $2600 in 2002 was a great price for a bike that went 100K more before any hiccups.

3 out of 5 1999 rebel 250
07 July 2018 by Jake

Year: 1999

Annual servicing cost: £200

Not my first bike but by far the smallest. I commute 40 miles a day on it but I stay off the highways. Bike is too small, light, quiet and slow for busy interstates. It handles very well and sets the bar for reliability and fuel efficiency. Clean smooth operations and a joy to scoot down back roads. I bounced mine off the pavement at 65 mph, picked up unharmed, fired it right up and rode out of there with only a broken mirror and a scar on my eye.

Ride quality & brakes 4 out of 5

It rides great smooth easy and fun. The brakes are sufficient.

Engine 2 out of 5

A little gutless but fun to ride bar to bar in town, don't split for the coast on it.

Reliability & build quality 5 out of 5

Starts and rides every time and puts wind on your face. Very reliable, this bike is hard to kill.

Value vs rivals 4 out of 5

Nothing goes wrong, reliable even when abused.

Equipment 4 out of 5

I disliked the blinker switch.

4 out of 5 Great
11 April 2013 by sa1988

I think this bike is brilliant. I enjoy being a bit of a cheapskate/economiser, so it's the perfect balance of power with mpg. It's got enough pull to get you away at the front of the traffic light queues (this always bugged me on my 125!) yet is still amazingly economical - 77mpg! I have no idea how much more powerful a bigger bike is, but the step up to the Rebel 250 from my GN125 was phenomenal. Even if it's only 17bhp, I finally feel like I'm riding a real motorbike. I suppose it would be nice if it could go that tiny, tiny, tiny bit faster on the motorway, but to be honest I don't care - it can hit 75 on a good day, and that's fast enough for me anyway. I'm a young rider but have no desire to go hurtling along at breakneck sportsbike speeds. I had to replace the clutch about a week after I bought the bike, but I guess this is just down to the previous owner, or old age, or something. The bike makes a funny noise when the gears are engaged, but I've been assured this is nothing. In general, great bike, I won't be changing to a new one anytime soon that's for sure. It's great on fuel and powerful enough to ride on any road, including the motorway, easily. Super easy to balance as well.

Ride quality & brakes 4 out of 5
Engine 5 out of 5
Reliability & build quality 4 out of 5
Value vs rivals 3 out of 5
Equipment 4 out of 5
4 out of 5 Love everything but the name!
11 July 2009 by charlesq_70

Had a Rebel as my first bike for a couple of years. Never let me down mechanically in over 10,000 miles riding. It is a great town bike but it's also highly capable on longer trips on country roads thanks to easy steering and decent torque. Only limited on long motorway runs as you'd expect, but even then it will run wide open throttle all day without overheating or burning oil. Great bike for a learner mechanic too -- air-cooled, only four valves, easy access to everything. Tank is small but then again you'll easily get 70mpg+ out of it. Obviously most riders will want more power eventually, as I did, but I'm glad I chose the Rebel as a first bike. I'd certainly recommend it over most other mini-cruisers. Note: There's a CA250T Rebel too, made for Japanese and other eastern markets. Virtually identical to the CMX but with staggered pipes and twin carbs, making about 21hp. The CMX's finish is probably better though.

Ride quality & brakes 3 out of 5
Engine 4 out of 5
Reliability & build quality 5 out of 5
Value vs rivals 4 out of 5
Equipment 2 out of 5
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