Rebel 250 on Highway? - Honda Rebel Forum
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post #1 of 18 Old 07-09-2019, 12:13 PM Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jul 2019
Location: Northern Virginia/Metro DC
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Rebel 250 on Highway?

As mentioned in my introductory thread, I'm a new motorcycle rider looking to purchase a Rebel 250 as a first bike for getting my feet wet.

I was under the impression that the Rebel 250 is an ideal learning bike, and that while not a touring bike was also capable of short highway hops.

I have located several good candidates within striking distance, and was hoping to work a deal on one of them this week.

The owner of one of these bikes stated to me that it is only for local riding and cannot be safely ridden on the highway. He was fairly adamant about this. Just for clarification, his comment had nothing to do with the condition of his Rebel (it's a late-model/low-miles almost new bike.) He was commenting on the design itself.

I wanted to solicit collective wisdom on this topic from experienced owners. Do you ride on the highway with your Rebel 250? Do you feel it is safe/unsafe at highway speeds?

I am not purchasing this bike for extended highway touring. However, I would like to be able to hop onto the highway occasionally (after gaining sufficient experience) for short jaunts - - probably no more than 60 miles or so.

Thanks in advance for your thoughts on this.

2016 Rebel 250 - - Black
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post #2 of 18 Old 07-09-2019, 12:37 PM
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Not sure where this guy got his information, but if his Rebel is operating properly, and he's not the size of King Kong, it wasn't from riding it. I've made two round trips from Louisiana to Ohio on a Rebel. I put 3,000 miles on it in nine days. Folks have gone from one coast to another on a Rebel. It will do 75-80 mph, all day long, on a flat road. If he is used to riding a Goldwing, the bike will feel small, cramped, and underpowered in comparison.

Given that the Rebel is often used as a learner bike, and the low mileage on his Rebel, I'm wondering how much seat time he put on it. There are a number of fairly easy modification that can be made to accommodate larger riders.
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post #3 of 18 Old 07-09-2019, 01:12 PM Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flitecontrol View Post
Not sure where this guy got his information, but if his Rebel is operating properly, and he's not the size of King Kong, it wasn't from riding it. I've made two round trips from Louisiana to Ohio on a Rebel. I put 3,000 miles on it in nine days. Folks have gone from one coast to another on a Rebel. It will do 75-80 mph, all day long, on a flat road. If he is used to riding a Goldwing, the bike will feel small, cramped, and underpowered in comparison.

Given that the Rebel is often used as a learner bike, and the low mileage on his Rebel, I'm wondering how much seat time he put on it. There are a number of fairly easy modification that can be made to accommodate larger riders.
Thanks - - that is very helpful feedback. And is consistent with what my research had told me.

Yes, this seller is a relatively new rider that bought the 2016 bike brand new about a year ago and has ridden it around 500 miles in the city. He is upgrading to a larger bike now that he has some more riding experience.

Mods for larger riders sound great - - but I don't think I'll need them. I am only 5'7"/150 lbs and I am "all torso" with a short inseam - - the low seat height is good for me. I want to be able to flat-foot whatever starter bike I end up owning.

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post #4 of 18 Old 07-09-2019, 01:30 PM
 
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40 mph side winds as well as passing semi trucks at highway speeds can cause a pucker or two..
I've been pushed across lanes, you get use to leaning to windward side..
Rebel is a stable bike I trust will keep rubber side down if I don't over react in those situations..


she ain't no speed daemon, head winds and 6% grade will cause a down shift or two..
I've had numb hands from the vibration, solved that loosening handle bar mounts..
not having bar end weights doesn't help in my case..

I take my time riding high desert and Sierra Nevada mountains enjoying
and rode the suki 800 if I wanted to get to Tahoe quick...
sold the suzuki, bought a cage, kept the Rebel..

96 VS800 Intruder (sold 2018 ), 87 CMX250C Rebel,
79 CB400 Hawk (sold 93), 75 CB350 (sold 83), 71 CB350 (stolen 74)
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post #5 of 18 Old 07-09-2019, 02:35 PM Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SoakedKarma View Post
40 mph side winds as well as passing semi trucks at highway speeds can cause a pucker or two..
I've been pushed across lanes, you get use to leaning to windward side..
Rebel is a stable bike I trust will keep rubber side down if I don't over react in those situations..


she ain't no speed daemon, head winds and 6% grade will cause a down shift or two..
I've had numb hands from the vibration, solved that loosening handle bar mounts..
not having bar end weights doesn't help in my case..

I take my time riding high desert and Sierra Nevada mountains enjoying
and rode the suki 800 if I wanted to get to Tahoe quick...
sold the suzuki, bought a cage, kept the Rebel..
Thanks. I would have thought 40 mph side winds and semi-trucks could cause pucker on almost any motorcycle?

I'm curious about your statement above in bold. I'm a newbie and have no idea what you're talking about - - what are bar end weights? Thanks.

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post #6 of 18 Old 07-09-2019, 03:32 PM
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Bar end weights are the chrome dohickies that fit into the ends of the bars. They are there to dampen vibration. They can be removed, or just not used on aftermarket bars.

See this about side winds: https://www.hondarebelforum.com/f37/...nds-14914.html

Pass semis as soon as you can so you aren't in their blind spot(s) for extended periods. You get used to the buffeting.

And the PO hasn't put near enough miles in the seat to be "upgrading" to a bigger bike. He doesn't realize it, but he's setting himself up for a fall. Miles ridden on a beginner type bike should be in the thousands, not hundreds, before considering a bigger bike.
VAReb likes this.

Keepin' all the left over parts. Gonna use 'em to build another bike!

'01 & '09 Rebel 250, '06 Ninja 250, '89 VN 750
Putting your bike year and model in your signature helps others help you!
Here's how: https://www.hondarebelforum.com/f19/...re-121087.html
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post #7 of 18 Old 07-09-2019, 04:02 PM
 
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VAReb - I have a 2016, now with 200ish miles. I've owned about 10 days. But I've had lots of bikes. All the bikes I've owned would get blown to the side with side winds. I never had too much trouble with dealing with side winds. But never high plains type winds. Just little Georgia side winds.


I have yet to take the Piglet (too small and wrong OEM to be a HAWG, so just a Piglet) out on the interstate. I was about to, then remembered the bike isn't even broke in yet. I'm supposed to keep it at lower speeds. So I stayed on the back roads.


However, it will do 70 to 80 mph. I've personally done 65 mph on the side roads, and it didn't seem stressed out about it, Piglet had a bit more reserve left in it. I'd be content with 65 to 70 most of the time on the interstate, and get passed by most other traffic. No biggie. I have a 1972 Plymouth Scamp with 14" wheels (24" tires) and a 3 speed auto (no overdrive). The son of a gun does ~3,000 rpm at 60 mph, that's turning pretty fast for an LA360 ( V8 ). So, even in Atlanta I drive 55 - 60 mph. Even with various idiots screaming by at 85 - 90 mph. So far, no problems. Outside of Atlanta, on the interstate in the Scamp, 55 - 60 mph doesn't feel unsafe at all. Course the car is bigger than a Rebel, and I haven't been on the interstate yet with the Piglet. But I will drive the Piglet to my hometown from time to time and that's about 120 miles on the interstate, once the crust has worn off the hooves.

2016 Honda Rebel 250 - The "Piglet."
Totally Stock at the moment.
Bought on 6/29/19 with 44 miles.
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post #8 of 18 Old 07-09-2019, 04:10 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flitecontrol View Post
I've made two round trips from Louisiana to Ohio on a Rebel.
Respect.


Quote:
Originally Posted by flitecontrol View Post
There are a number of fairly easy modification that can be made to accommodate larger riders.

I would love to see a simple bullet list of these mods. Tonight I'm going to be sizing my "Rear Seat Driver's Backrest" brackets, via paper board. Then will optimize the design, dimension it out, and have samples made.


The only other thing I can think of for comfort is

  • Forward controls, and
  • Handlebars. But I raised my handlebars up and I'm happy with them at the moment.
The carrying box I will add later, but it's not a comfort thing. More like a convenience thing.


So yeah, even though I'm not quite King Kong, but very similar in size to Shrek, a list of comfort mods would be great. Thanks.

2016 Honda Rebel 250 - The "Piglet."
Totally Stock at the moment.
Bought on 6/29/19 with 44 miles.
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post #9 of 18 Old 07-09-2019, 06:52 PM Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jul 2019
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flitecontrol View Post
Bar end weights are the chrome dohickies that fit into the ends of the bars. They are there to dampen vibration. They can be removed, or just not used on aftermarket bars.

See this about side winds: https://www.hondarebelforum.com/f37/...nds-14914.html

Pass semis as soon as you can so you aren't in their blind spot(s) for extended periods. You get used to the buffeting.

And the PO hasn't put near enough miles in the seat to be "upgrading" to a bigger bike. He doesn't realize it, but he's setting himself up for a fall. Miles ridden on a beginner type bike should be in the thousands, not hundreds, before considering a bigger bike.
Thanks for the explanations on bar ends. And that's a helpful thread on crosswinds - - thanks for linking.

Yeah, I guess I won't put too much stock in this seller's opinion on the Rebel's suitability for the highway.

Funny, a couple I am acquainted with took the same MSF course as me, then went out that very same week as complete novices and purchased 1000+ cc Harleys. They have been telling me I should skip the starter bike and just move right up. I told them I am a slow learner and need to work my way up gradually.

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post #10 of 18 Old 07-09-2019, 07:54 PM
 
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I don't think "starter bike" is a fair label for a Rebel. It very well may be the bike many start out on but it is a wonderful machine that is reliable, aesthetically pleasing, economical, and is easy to handle in most situations. I've read many testimonials from individuals that had larger machines and they were very happy to sell them off and cruise on their Rebel. There certainly are a lot of identity issues being worked out by some who won't accept anything but the HD icons. The best advice that I could give you is to test ride a number of brands/models/and engine sizes (if you haven't already) and make a decision about what feels comfortable and safe. If you don't have a lot of upper body strength, the 300 + pounds of the Rebel 250 is plenty to handle. Best of Luck!

1986 Honda Rebel 250cc
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