Since I am seriously considering getting the 450 I have yet another question. I have an 85 250 and when riding it vibrates the foot pegs noticeably and it can be felt in the seat as well, most everywhere really. Does the 450 vibrate as much as the 250 when its wound up running down the road? It it more comfortable to ride than the 250?
The 450 is way more comfortable, but it is not a practical motorcycle due to a serious lack of parts. The 250 was made from '85-'87, then from '96-'09. The 450 was made only in '86 and 87. Not that many were made, it was on the expensive side when new, and Kawasaki, Suzuki, and Yamaha had cheaper 450's. There are still a few 450s around, most of them need work, and parts. Go to bikebandit.com or cheapcycleparts.com, and see just how many parts are still available. Not many. Even simple things like head gaskets, base gaskets, and manifolds are no longer available. I suggest going with the Rebel 450s replacement, the VLX600. Very nice bike, and parts are plentiful. It was made for 20 years, longer than the Rebel 250. Jerry.
Jerry you really know how to burst my balloon!!! Thanks for the good info. Im a realist so I will have to start looking at other bikes. I really do like some of the Triumph models (dont chuck your spears at me). Whats your opinion of the Suzuki Intruder 800?
The Suzuki Intruder 800 is an excellent bike with no known problems. I used to have an Intruder 750 (same bike) It does have limited cornering clearance even for a cruiser, because of the large steel bracket the footpegs are bolted to. This bracket is very substantial, and if you drag it on the ground in a turn, it will literally lift the front wheel right off the road. I never had that problem because I rode mine like a cruiser, but I have heard a lot of people complaining about it. The Intruder also has the advantage of shaft drive, which is clean and almost maintenance free. It has been in continuous production since 1986, and is well proven. It is also a very lightweight bike for it's displacement, with a low seat. IMO an ideal starter bike for a larger rider.
The Vulcan 500 is also a very nice bike, a bit smaller than the Intruder, about the same size as a Rebel 450. It is just about as fast as the Intruder 800. The Vulcan 500, Intruder 800, VLX600, Yamaha Virago 750, and Suzuki Savage/S40 all make great beginner bikes, they are all reliable, easy to handle, and parts are available. Jerry.
The 450 Reb is one of most comfortable bikes I've ever ridden. No vibration unless/until you go WOT and are heading towards pegging out the speedo. A normal ride for me would be 130-140 miles round trip in a day. Have also ridden 180 miles one way, got up the next day and rode 180 miles back home, no problems whatsoever. If that ain't a daily runner, I don't know what is.
Am in agreement with the info on "most" of the other makes/models mentioned in this thread, but please don't count the 450 Rebel out. Not by a long stretch. Many 450's are owned by more seasoned riders who haven't ridden the life out of 'em. They've probably been well-maintained and have PLENTY of good miles to run. Figure on average, many 450's have between 15K-25K miles on 'em, which leaves a lot of good miles to go.
Parts availability ? Sure, there's some parts that are no longer available, other than used, but there's also probably not very many parts that one is going to need. I bought this one in 2005 or 2006 (will have to check the maintainence log) and other than needing a new CDI, which Jack was righteous enough to find (Jack literally spared the 450 Reb from extinction when the CDI's were no longer available from Honda, but Jack found another source)....I haven't needed anything other than oil filters and spark plugs......
"Ridin' Ain't A Hobby, It's A Lifestyle"
I have had a few 450's and I have been riding them for years.
The one I ride know is a great bike. It had been sitting for 10yrs in a carport close to the beach. Almost all the rust and dirt came off. I took the bike mostly apart and cleaned everything and did the valves on the engine, and had the carbs cleaned by a person who new what to do to get all the passages clean.
I have been riding it for over two years and no problems. I have taken mine on 150 mile rides and had no problem with it at all.
I wouldn't hesitate to get 450 to ride. They are a easy bike to ride or work on and with the 6 speed they don't have any trouble on the freeway doing 75mph.
They are indeed nice bikes, and I would love to have one if only parts were available. But I tend to ride thousands of miles, (I put more than 5,000 miles on my 250 Rebel in less than a year, and that is with riding my other four bikes as well). It is possible to get lucky, but check out all the stories on here about people with 450s that can't find parts for them. Check the online parts places. Call Jack. Most parts just don't exist anymore. If you stumble on an almost new condition super low mileage 450 for a decent price, it might be worth taking the chance. But I want a bike that I know I can go to BB or CCP and get any part I need for it. Or like Harley, there are a zillion aftermarket companies making parts for Harleys all the way back into the early 1900s. Consider a Sportster, any year, and you will never need to worry about parts, you will just have to decide which of the myriad of aftermarket companies to get them from.
In short, the 450 Rebel IS a great bike, but it no longer has any support, either from Honda or the aftermarket. That will eventually happen to the 250 as well, but since they were made through '09, it should be somewhere around '19 before parts start drying up for the '96 and up models. Jerry.
Jerry, Am aware of and agree with you about the dwindling parts availability for the 450's, but I'm not suggesting buying one that has been ridden into the ground. I check eBay every day to check out 450's as I've seriously considered owning TWO, LMAO! Please check out the latest 3 listings below. Check out the mileage, condition & pricing. These 450's are CLEAN and have tons of miles left to put on 'em. At the prices they're asking, one could probably ride any of these literally for years and not need to even buy any parts......Parts availability getting scarce ? Absolutely. But one could probably buy & run one of the below bikes until it stopped running altogether and not have lost any $$$. I'd say at least 75% of the 450's being offered for sale on eBay are close to this quality and I'd wager that the owners aren't selling them due to lack of parts, but sadly, probably due to having to pay the bills in today's unkind economy.......Ride Safe.......oh, and BTW, are you saying that Honda discontinued manufacturing the 250 last year ? I haven't followed the 250 for years and am surprised to hear this, if I'm reading your post correctly.
'09's are the last year of production. If you were to walk into a dealer today, there would be an '09 on the floor. There seems to be a surplus. I don't know if Honda plans to start up production on the Reb or not once the economy gets better.
Some days beer tastes good...other days beer tastes better!
'07 Rebel 250 42,500 miles
'00 Rebel 250 6,000 miles
'86 Rebel 450 9,000 miles