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.
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.
The parallel twin motor 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.
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.
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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.