Personally, I like it.
It may not be the Rebel that everyone has been used to seeing for the last several decades.
But I feel a lot of time and engineering went into this new model, and especially with all the modern upgrades over the older models, I feel it could become a viable contender in the lower priced, starter bike category.
I also feel that re-engineering the old style with all the modern features might have been a sales bomb. Without aggressively advertising the old style model with modern features would have hurt sales tremendously, as most of the younger crowd would look at the bike as the same old, same old that was sold for the last 30 years and never looked further into the modern upgrades.
For the older folks, nostalgia is important and change is hard, and that is ok, because there is 30 years of the same bike to choose from in any condition.
Today's youth have very short attention spans and the appeal has to be something that looks new, hip and modern. And that is exactly what Honda did with this newly styled Rebel.
Kids love sport bikes and anything that even looks sporty and fast, even if it isn't....it's all about eye candy to the mass audience.
And Honda also knows that there is a vast number of cruiser style bikes on the market, so why make another?
In the long run, I believe that the new Rebel might be a pretty good selling bike that may be owned longer and ridden further than the old style, just because of the fresh new styling alone, along with the larger displacement engines.
Case in point, just look at the vast number of older Rebels that can be had with almost no miles on them, no matter what year they are...
Only time will tell, but I believe Honda made a good move with this model.
Personally, I am interested in test riding the Rebel 500 and just may buy one.....it would be a vast improvement overall to the Rebel I bought new in '09, and I think it would be more fun to ride!
The only downfall is the lack of having a passenger, but what the hell, just buy two and get out and ride!
Loud pipes save lives...Nah, they just sound cool.
2009 Honda Rebel-Ultra Blue, the fastest color. (Now residing in Illinois!)
2012 Harley Davidson Sportster XL1200 Custom.