Rebel for an Adult Rider - Beginner - Honda Rebel Forum
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post #1 of 51 Old 08-30-2009, 10:34 PM Thread Starter
 
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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.
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post #2 of 51 Old 08-30-2009, 11:22 PM
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Wise words. I got my second bike about the time I had put about 5,000 miles on the Rebel. It's a Kawasaki Vulcan 750. The engine was designed to go in Kawasaki's first crotch rocket back in the early '80's, but that idea was scrapped when Honda came out with a four cylinder in their early sport bike. So Kawasaki built a cruiser around this 750 V twin engine. I'm told that it will beat just about any cruiser in the 1/4 mile, and I believe it. It will put your teeth in your throat and flatten your eyballs if you aren't careful with the throttle.

Frankly, I think I would be seriously injured or dead if that had been my first bike. I shudder every time someone on that bike's forum posts that it is their first bike and even though it is underpowered (their words) and they plan to "upgrade" to a bigger bike within a relatively short period of time, they bought the bike because they got a good deal on it.

Folks, don't fall into the "bigger is better" trap. If bigger comes before your riding skills are better, it is a recipe for disaster.
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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!
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post #3 of 51 Old 09-02-2009, 09:25 AM Thread Starter
 
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I have to append my original review. In Item number 4) I said the suspension stinks. Since I wrote the review, I cruised the forum about the suspension. Some wise rebel posted about the preload adjustment. I didn't have a wrench to adjust it, so I hadn't. I actually was able to turn it with my hand (ME STRONG LIKE BULL!). I adjusted the preload up to 4 from where it was originally at 2. She no longer bottoms out and my butt is thankful. I've changed my mind about the suspension. It doesn't stink!
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post #4 of 51 Old 10-07-2009, 12:02 PM
 
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I am a highly experienced rider, who has ridden dozens of bikes, all different sizes and types, for almost 45 years. I have about 400,000 street miles, with no accidents, but a lot of near misses. Back in '85, when the Rebel first came out, I loved the looks of it so much that I bought one just for kicks (they were only $1200 back then), and wound up loving it, but life goes on, and I sold it after a couple of years. Recently, I got bitten by the Rebel bug again, and bought a nice clean '04 off Craigslist. I also have a Vulcan 750, and love it. In fact, it is my second new one. But there is something fun about a small bike that's different from a larger one. The only thing that I would add to the original review, is the Rebel is not very comfortable for tall people. I'm 6 foot even, and it is very cramped to ride very far. I'm going to put highway bars on it, and see if that helps. Jerry.
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post #5 of 51 Old 05-20-2011, 03:50 PM
 
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Im new to biking and decicided to give the honda rebel 2009 a try. Being just short of 5 feet the bike fiits me well. So far I love it!!! I also have to agree with the post that this bike is forgiving as far as speed. I enjoy the fact that you have to contiously want to gain speed before the bike will take off on you. Its great for the tentative beginner but also seems to hold its own when called upon
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post #6 of 51 Old 05-21-2011, 12:18 AM
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I don't know about that taking off. I fund myself doing 65 in a 50 the day I picked it up after the 38,000 mile tune up
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post #7 of 51 Old 05-28-2011, 01:02 AM
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Hi Flitecontrol,

You have me a bit concerned. My husband and I are new to motorcycles and plan on taking our training course June 4th and 5th. I have a new 2009 Honda Rebel 250 and my husband has a used 2002 750 Vulcan. I don't want to see anything happen to my husband while starting out on the Vulcan. Is the Vulcan really dangerous for a beginner?
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post #8 of 51 Old 05-28-2011, 01:31 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JunkyardDog View Post
I am a highly experienced rider, who has ridden dozens of bikes, all different sizes and types, for almost 45 years. I have about 400,000 street miles, with no accidents, but a lot of near misses. Back in '85, when the Rebel first came out, I loved the looks of it so much that I bought one just for kicks (they were only $1200 back then), and wound up loving it, but life goes on, and I sold it after a couple of years. Recently, I got bitten by the Rebel bug again, and bought a nice clean '04 off Craigslist. I also have a Vulcan 750, and love it. In fact, it is my second new one. But there is something fun about a small bike that's different from a larger one. The only thing that I would add to the original review, is the Rebel is not very comfortable for tall people. I'm 6 foot even, and it is very cramped to ride very far. I'm going to put highway bars on it, and see if that helps. Jerry.
Hi Jerry,

I love my 2009 rebel but felt like you did on the leg room. I just installed the Cobra highway bars and pegs and... what a relief! It is great to have that option and the Cobra bars fit my reach and ergonomics perfectly after a few minutes of adjusting the pegs height and angle. Other brands surely will be as good.

Ride Safe,,

Steve
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"Riding since'65"
'09 Rebel 250 : "BlackBird lll"

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post #9 of 51 Old 05-28-2011, 10:39 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rebella View Post
Hi Flitecontrol,

You have me a bit concerned. My husband and I are new to motorcycles and plan on taking our training course June 4th and 5th. I have a new 2009 Honda Rebel 250 and my husband has a used 2002 750 Vulcan. I don't want to see anything happen to my husband while starting out on the Vulcan. Is the Vulcan really dangerous for a beginner?
Your husband will be fine. You would be fine starting out on the Vulcan. All motorcycles are dangerous if you ride them that way. Take your time, don't ride above your comfort level and have fun. You should enjoy riding them. Put all thoughts of anything bad happening and just ride.

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post #10 of 51 Old 05-28-2011, 12:37 PM
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Thank you

Thanks Mblosch! We plan on being very careful.

Best Regards
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