Honda Rebel – CMX300 and CMX500

The Honda Rebel model badge has been around for decades and finally it’s been given a complete refresh (replaced) and a new name. Welcome to the Honda Rebel 300 and 500 otherwise to be known as either the CMX300 and CMX500 and specification page! The Rebel name is used elsewhere in the world but has been dropped here, likewise the denoting of engine capacity for Australia and only known as the CMX. The Honda CMX is priced at the $8000 mark in Australia but as always you will be able to get ride away deals.

The Rebel model has previously been the smallest engine capacity cruiser motorcycle you can buy made by Honda.  It was also styled in the traditional and mostly North American chrome laden fashion. The new Honda CMX however has been given the blacked out styling treatment that seems to be the vogue in 2010’s. Everything has been blacked out except for the screws and suspension and brakes. As a result quite a different look and I guess worthy of a name change, furthermore the Rebel was never had high recognition or a big seller anyway.

I like the new look of the Honda CMX with it’s throughly modern and yet has a cobbled together look of a Cafe Racer and Custom bike mixed together, often described as a ‘Bobber’ . In fact it reminds me of the Yamaha BOLT but not as refined and without the V-win engine but thankfully not like the Harley Davidson Street 500, the ‘cheap’ Harley Division specifically aimed at learner riders. I think that’s a marketing mistake but when you’re losing market share you have to come up with new and often strangle and innovative ideas.

Technically the CMX frame appears to be bespoke but looks very similar to the CBR250/300 although that doesn’t really matter. I’d have to check them out side to by side. The engine likewise is the same as the CBR300 and CBR500, the next generation of parallel twin liquid cooled engines. Thanks to the refresh it now has DOHC, electronic fuel injection more power, fuel efficiency, however you can expect retuning for more Cruiser class style low end torque rather than top end of the rev counter power for the sportier version in the CBR series. Mind you 8500RPM for peak power isn’t exactly a ‘lazy motor’. Regardless it’s a good choice by Honda not to downgrade the actual engine as there are models out there who like this sort of motorcycle.

The Honda CMX for 2017 does not have any special features I can list although I thought the ‘blue lit negative LCD’ instruments are cool for a Cruiser. The lack of obvious features is the problem for the motorcycling press and marketing as there is nothing to write about. As a result the CMX is a normal sort of motorcycle differently styled and if you like the look, only riding it will you be able to decide whether it will suit you. Unlike cars the motorcycle rider is part of the experience.

The small engine capacity Cruiser class style bike is slowly filling up and the new Honda CMX is yet another model you can choose from regardless of your license status and yes the Honda CMX 500 is learner or LAMS compatible. However as a commuter I would find the CMX annoying as there is simply too much engine to clean.

The Honda CMX will sell on price and looks. For learner and new riders the Honda CMX is a step up from the last generation but the competition is tough with the HD Street 500 priced from a mere $10,000 AUD and the equally appealing Yamaha BOLT around the $11,000 AUD price. Which one I would choose? I’d probably pay a little more for the BOLT as it has the X factor that the Honda CMX doesn’t have. Then again, overall in the naked motorcycle class I will always choose the Honda CB400. Why haven’t I bought a CB400? because they no longer sell them new.

Honda CMX 500 Key Specifications (2017)
Engine: 2 cylinder 4-stroke DOHC (EFI)
Capacity: 471cc
Power/Torque: Approx 33.5 Kw @ 8500 RPM 22 Nm @ 6000 RPM
Gearbox: 6 speed manual
Kerb Weight: 188 kg
Performance: 0-100kph N/A seconds Approx
Max Speed N/A Kph Approx
Fuel Economy: 11.4 litre fuel tank
Approx 4 litres per 100km
Seat height: 690mm
Dimensions: L2190 X W820 X H1090 mm
Wheels/Tyres: 130-90-16F 150-80-16R
Recommended Retail Price: Est $7990 AUD (2017)
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