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HONDA CMX500 REBEL (2017-on) Review

Published: 19 April 2017

Updated: 16 January 2020

A2-licence friendly, unique, fun and good value too - you even get a fuel gauge!

Honda CMX500 Rebel static front three quarters

A2-licence friendly, unique, fun and good value too - you even get a fuel gauge!

Overall Rating 4 out of 5

The Honda CMX500 Rebel is a surprisingly fun bike to ride with a unique look and easy-going nature.

It won’t be to everyone’s tastes, but those it appeals to will absolutely love it and for A2 licence-holders wanting something a bit different it certainly stands out from the norm.

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Ride Quality & Brakes 4 out of 5

Tipping the scales at 190kg, the Rebel is pretty light on its wheels at slow speed and has an excellent turning circle, making U-turns a doddle. It’s an easy bike to manoeuvre at walking pace and this, combined with its low seat height, makes it reassuring, easy-going and perfect for less experienced riders.

However up the pace and the Rebel really surprises. Through tight and twisty bends it is an absolute blast, far more competent than it has any right to be and a machine that makes you grin from ear to ear.

Yes, the suspension and brakes are a bit basic, but you can’t half hurl it around from one rather low footpeg to the other and on a twisty set of bends it is an absolute blast. I never thought it would be as much fun as it was and that’s what left me so surprised – it’s a genuinely entertaining bike to ride and that’s something that should be applauded.

Engine 4 out of 5

The beating heart of the Rebel is a 471cc parallel twin taken from the CB500, but retuned for more bottom end torque. The final result is 44.6nm at 6,000rpm and 44bhp at 8,500, which makes it ideal for A2 licence holders. Honda say the linear power delivery and strong bottom end torque makes it perfect for city riding. The twin has a 180 degree firing order that Honda say, combined with the 2-1 exhaust and shotgun muffler, gives it a heavy duty pulsing feel that befits the bike.

The CB500 engine is what it is and with just 45bhp on tap it is never going to spring any nasty surprises. It’s refined, smooth and has enough grunt to get the Rebel above the national speed limit while remaining extremely versatile in town. The clutch is light, the gearbox a touch clunky but hard to fault in its operation, and the throttle response is nice and precise.

Build Quality & Reliability 4 out of 5

The parallel twin motor - retuned from the CB500 - has been around for a while with no major mechanical woes and the Rebel is well built considering its price point. It’s a budget bike but does appear well built and the styling is funky and different.

Our Honda CMX500 Rebel owners' reviews show a handful of very happy people, and an overall rating of five stars.

Insurance, running costs & value 4 out of 5

The Rebel is bang on the money for the A2-legal market. It’s a touch more than some rivals, but its unique look sets it aside from run of the mill machines and helps justify it price tag. It has an 11-litre fuel tank and will hit a claimed 73.4mpg according to Honda.

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Equipment 2 out of 5

Preload adjustment only on the rear and ABS is the only other highlight. The Rebel is built to a price and you can’t expect too much in terms of extras. It does, however, have a fuel gauge, which is pleasing.

Clearly style is everything on the Rebel, which is why it has been blacked out where possible, with the minimum amount of paint used. Completing the bobber look is a steeply raked 11l fuel tank and fat tyres rolling on 16” cast aluminium wheels. Amid the old-school looks does live some modern technology such as a one-button LCD speedo, hidden ignition and ABS.

Honda say one of the key elements of the Rebel is customisation. The pillion pad can be taken off with the removal of just two bolts and the rear footpegs are just as easy. There is a range of tailor-made accessories such as a rack, saddlebags, screen and 12v socket. The Rebel is available in three colours: graphite black, matte armoured silver metallic and millennium red.

Facts & Figures

Model info
Year introduced 2017
Year discontinued -
New price £5,399
Used price £4,000 to £5,600
Warranty term 2 year unlimited
Running costs
Insurance group 10 of 17
Annual road tax £66
Annual service cost £200
Max power 45 bhp
Max torque 33 ft-lb
Top speed 100 mph
1/4-mile acceleration -
Average fuel consumption 73.4 mpg
Tank range 160 miles
Engine size 471cc
Engine type Four-stroke, liquid-cooled DOHC parallel twin
Frame type Tubular steel
Fuel capacity -
Seat height 690mm
Bike weight 190kg
Front suspension 41mm conventional forks, -non-adjustable
Rear suspension Twin shocks, adjustable spring preload
Front brake 1x264mm discs two-piston caliper, ABS
Rear brake 240mm disc, one-piston caliper. ABS
Front tyre size 130/90X16
Rear tyre size 150/80x16

History & Versions

Model history


Other versions

Other Honda CMX reviews on MCN

Owners' Reviews

2 owners have reviewed their HONDA CMX500 REBEL (2017-on) 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 CMX500 REBEL (2017-on)
Summary of Owners' Reviews
Overall Rating 5 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 4 out of 5
Engine 5 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 4.5 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 5 out of 5
Equipment 4 out of 5
5 out of 5

Surprisingly willing and fun to ride

29 June 2019 by Simon

After returning to riding motorbikes I was looking for a good re-introduction. Having started riding at 16 on a Honda MT-5 and had various motorbikes and scooters the highlight of which was an Aprilia RS250 Max Biaggi Race rep I wasn't sure which direction to go. That's when I saw the CMX500 Rebel. I was sold on the style and low seat height (I am only 165cm tall) and easy going nature. On the test ride I was surprised by the willingness to respond to being pushed and comfort speeds 'around' the legal limit. I have done 3000 miles in 9 months and am about to embark on a nearly 1000 miles 1 week tour and am really looking forward it. Comfortable, eager to please and great to customise. I've already put a yellow headlight lens, headlight grill, bar end mirrors, Craft ride saddle bags and shortened levers on it. I also can't say I'd like more power, it is what it is and whilst in a year or two I aspire to get an Indian Scout Bobber, for the time being this is really just what I wanted.

Ride Quality & Brakes
3 out of 5
Only marked down because the rear brake is a little vague and disc had to be replaced, but this bike is light and the brakes specified do a good job.
5 out of 5
Willing and surprisingly swift to reach speed limits and can easily be pushed well beyond. Sounds good and is very responsive.
Build Quality & Reliability
4 out of 5
Great, but let down by a rear disc which badly corroded shortly after getting the bike which was replaced quickly under warranty by the dealer.
Value & Running Costs
5 out of 5
Cheap to insure and run and gives good MPG. Purchase price is a bargain for me, really good value bike. Parts and accessories also cheap and plentiful, although many come from Malaysia \ Asia but are generally very good quality.
3 out of 5
There isn't much. ABS, a basic digital speedo, with usual warning indicators, trip computer but with a nod to more classic origins (round dial). But what there is feels of a good quality and works well.
Buying experience

The dealership I got this from were excellent, fitting a Scotoiler and helping me get back on the road again.

5 out of 5

12 November 2017 by Rupert

The look is what sold me. After riding over 4000km's so far, it's excellent value for money, great fuel economy, very good on twisty roads (was kind of surprise to me, after general appearance of bike). Was reading about vibrations, It's not issue at all (that's me), clutch cover could be issue. And seat, most complaints is about seat, ok, it could wear you out, but, after many 500 and more km's in one day, for me works as intended. Would recommend this bike to a friend? Every time.

Ride Quality & Brakes
5 out of 5
In today's manner this bike is commuter and "round-block-runner", but it's more than capable for longer trips. Up to three hours riding time possible (and then refuelling time comes, too). Not very pillion friendly bike.
5 out of 5
Smooth running, after coming from BMW boxer, is little bit to revvier motor for my taste, but when you got used to this feature, power comes out of motor nice, smooth and predictable.
Build Quality & Reliability
5 out of 5
Some rust on hardware, otherwise nicely built
Value & Running Costs
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Buying experience

Buy from dealer, demo ride, loaded with all accessories, asked price was €6750, negotiated to €6250

Photo Gallery

  • Honda CMX500 Rebel static front three quarters
  • Honda CMX500 Rebel range line-up
  • Honda 500 Rebel motor is originally from the CB500 but retuned for the Honda CMX500 Rebel
  • Honda CMX500 Rebel exhaust can
  • Honda CMX500 Rebel throttle, kill switch and ignition switch
  • Honda CMX500 Rebel tail light
  • Honda CMX500 Rebel clocks and fuel gauge
  • Honda CMX500 Rebel headlight
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