Picking One Up This Weekend...
Long time rider here. I actually road raced motorcycles back in my 20's. I've ran the gamut of motorcycles and now working my way back to the optimal small bike. I think what has drawn me to the Rebel is, back when I was a pre-teen, my dad came home with a Honda Rebel sales brochure. I read and looked that brochure over from front to back, time and time again. He never did buy that bike. Nor have I. Then recently, a friend here at work rode in on a well used, but in great shape prime example Rebel … and I fell in love all over again.
I've owned sport bikes, dual sports and currently have a Burgman that I'm not in love with. The Burgman is a 650, plenty of power, but is sort of a gas hog of a 2 wheeler. 47 mpg is about as good as I can achieve. But I got the Burgman cheap, so I can get right back out of it for nothing. I found a late model Rebel with almost nearly no miles on it. And I'm getting it for a steal as well, so I thought, what the heck. I don't need a drag bike, or a canyon carver any more. I want simplicity and efficiency. And I'm going to enjoy doing a few somewhat simple mods to it. I may add a tach, but more likely I may add an AFR gauge. I've fell in love with carburetors after tuning the carb on my 1972 Plymouth Scamp … using the feedback from my AFR gauge. And my Scamp with it's old school carbureted V8 runs like a son-of-a-gun. But fuel efficient and very powerful at WOT. It gets good mpg in cruise mode, but will absolutely melt the tires off at WOT. I've become proficient at carburetion, and hope to learn and experiment with the Rebel.
So … I want to know at what AFRs the Rebel carburets and see if maybe I could make some incremental improvements to it. For example, I'm guessing at and/or near top speed (70+ mph) the AFRs are probably not optimized for power … but probably optimized for emissions. OEMs sort of have their hands tied and have to tune for emissions … at least to a degree. And if that's the case, I'm betting it would be fun to tune the carb for the optimal AFR at WOT, and maybe get a few more mph out of it. Not that I or anyone else *needs* 5 more mph out of a Rebel … but it would be a fun project. I also surmise that Honda sells the Rebel with a carb in a "one size fits all" kind of jetting set up. Which means a few tweaks based on my locale could only lead to even better performance (whether it be mpg or power … maybe both).
Other than that and maybe some mod(s) related to carrying around some cargo, I think I will leave the bike stock.
Most of my buddies are telling me, "you're gonna hate it, not enough power, you're gonna sell it in 6 months, blah blah blah." But, I don't think so. I already know it's a 16 ~ 19 hp bike. That's part of the appeal to me. I no longer need 200 hp to blaze the interstates looking for trouble. It's the same red color as the rebel pictured at the top of this forum page.
Looking forward to getting to know you all, and hopefully becoming a valued contributor.