Rebel for an Adult Rider - Beginner
I researched many bikes. I originally wanted a middleweight cruiser as my first bike. I looked around and read a lot on the subject of beginning riders and middleweight bikes. I read Chuck Hawk's Column, Why 600 cc's is too big for a beginner. This had an affect on me.
I am a married man of 48 years with 4 children ranging in age from 9 to 19. I wanted a larger bike, but as a beginner, I chose to be safe and get a bike on which I could get myself into trouble [I]accidentally.[I] If you read Chuck's article, he makes the case that a smaller displacement bike is best for a beginner because it is forgiving of mistakes by not having much power.
As it turns out, I bought a 2008 Honda Rebel. I believe Chuck Hawks knows of what he speakes after having this bike for a month. Safety for a beginning Rider is at the heart of the design of this little baby.
If you are a new rider, buy a 250 cc bike of some kind. I am familiar with the Rebel, so I will give you a rundown of its capabilities.
1) The Rebel has plenty of power for city driving. Get all of the talk out of your head about this bike being slow. It is not. Once you learn how to shift it smoothly and work the throttle/gearing correctly, the bike has no problem getting out of the way in urban traffic and is actually fairly quick at redlights if you ar willing to wind her out a bit.
2) The Rebel is a decent bike on the Highway> Again, don't believe these people who say that the Rebel can't maintain highway speeds. I weigh about 210 pounds at 5'10" and have NO Problem maintaining 65 mph on the highway. If you stick her at 55 she cruises COMFORTABLY!
3) The Rebel's Power Band is set up and is perfect for a beginner: First Gear on the Rebel is almost useless. You have to get out of it at around 15 MPH and it is herky jerky to ride in it. But from 10 mph to about 25 mph, second gear is smooth as silk. You can even start out in secondgear without stalling her out. 3rd gear is also very wide so that if you are driving at 22 to 40 mph you can drive around in 3rd gear. A wide 2nd and 3rd gear power band makes the Rebel very City Friendly. The best thing about the Rebel';s power band for a beginner, is the fact that it will go fast, but you have to go fast ON PURPOSE. You have to put significant effort into getter her up to 65 70 mph. You can't get there by accident. Therefore she is set up so that the Rider can decide to push his/her own limits, the bike won't do that by accident.
4) The suspension stinks: The only thing in which I'm dissappointed about the Rebel is the suspension. I get a major butt ache riding her in my commute. Maybe I'll get used to it, maybe not.
5) She is rock solid dependable: The rebel starts every day, and faithfully executes the commute. No Problems. I love this about her.
6) She gets 75-77 mpg!
All in all, I am happy with my choice of the Rebel. She is a very good beginner bike. She looks pretty good too.