Showcasing a classic, timeless look, but imbuing it with a forward-looking, contemporary style all of its own, the CMX500 Rebel was an instant hit on its introduction for the 2017 season and has continued its popularity ever since, becoming the best-selling European model in the ‘custom’ category in both 2021 and 2022.
Since its introduction, the CMX500 Rebel has undergone a number of regular updates. For 20YM, it received more comfort and practicality thanks to a revised seat and suspension settings, plus a gear position indicator. Both the headlight and taillight were new, and the addition of LED indicators meant all lighting became LED. A refined exhaust system, including new exhaust sensor, ensured EURO5 compliance.
21YM saw the Rebel family expand across Europe with the introduction of the CMX1100. It took the essence of what’s made the CMX500 Rebel so special and added more performance, more character and a wealth of Honda’s most advanced technology. Accessible, easy to ride and easy to live with, the CMX500 Rebel goes its own way but is also a blank canvas, ready for whatever its owner’s imagination has in store. It carries on mechanically unchanged for 24YM but gets two brand new – and suitably cool – standard paint choices and a new stealthy colour for the ‘S’ Edition.
Development of the Rebel began in North America, with an outlook geared toward firing the imagination of a younger generation of riders in a different way to traditional cruiser motorcycles. Powered by a 471cc parallel twin-cylinder engine, with strong bottom end torque and a smooth, linear power delivery, the Rebel is A2 licence friendly. It’s also slim, with a low seat height and therefore easy to manage at low speeds. The riding position is relaxed and neutral, with gently outstretched arms matched to mid-mounted footpegs.
The CMX500 Rebel’s tubular steel frame draws fresh, contemporary lines into stripped-back, fat-tyred ‘bobber’ style. Blacked out to the maximum, with the minimum of paint, it switches from solo-only to pillion-possible via two bolts. The 24YM CMX500 Rebel will be available in the following colour options:
Seal Silver Metallic **NEW**
Matt Laurel Green Metallic **NEW**
Mat Gunpowder Black Metallic
The 24YM CMX500 Rebel ‘S’ Edition will be available in the following colour option:
Pearl Shining Black **NEW**
Two key words ran headlined throughout the Rebel’s development programme: ‘SIMPLE’ and ‘RAW’. But to do so much with so little is an art form in itself, an exercise in minimalist design where every detail matters. And the Rebel does not disappoint; rolling on fat tyres, its low and lean ‘bobber’ silhouette – crowned by the steeply raked 11.2L fuel tank and fat handlebars – sits the rider firmly ‘in’ the machine. From every angle of its stripped form, it expresses an off-beat individuality.
Everything that can be is blacked out, which highlights the Rebel’s lithe design as well as underlining the subtle paintwork. All lighting is LED, and the evocative round headlight features a compact 175mm diameter lens and die-cast aluminium mount. The ultra-thin oval tail-light and licence plate light match the Rebel’s low-down stance; mini circular LED indicators measure only 55mm in diameter, with a circular position light included in the front indicators.
The speedo is a compact 100mm dial with negative LCD display and white backlight and is both striking and effective and features a gear position indicator and fuel consumption display. The ignition is housed below the left side of the fuel tank The pillion pad and rear footpegs are easily removed and the accessories line-up includes a rear rack, backrest, tank pads and flyscreen, a nylon saddlebag also available alongside the leather items.
An ‘S’ edition – now finished in new stealthy Pearl Shining Black paint for 24YM – comes complete with factory-fit headlight cowl with smoke screen, retro front fork covers and gaiters and a special brown diamond-stitch style seat and bronze wheels.
The Rebel’s 471cc 8-valve, liquid-cooled parallel twin-cylinder engine is drawn from the sporty CBR500R. For cruising duties, revised PGM-FI fuel injection mapping and different valve and ignition timings mean its character is shifted away from the high rpm-focused performance of the CBR to a torque-heavy bottom-end output, with smooth and linear delivery throughout the rev-range. Punchy maximum torque of 43.3Nm torque @ 6,000rpm combines with peak power of 34kW @ 8,500rpm.
It’s a power unit that strikes a great balance between physical size and flexible output. Bore and stroke is set at 67mm x 66.8mm with compression ratio of 10.7:1. Internally the cylinder head uses roller rocker arms; shim-type valve adjustment allows them to be light, for lower valve-spring load and reduced friction. A silent (SV Chain) cam chain has the surface of its pins treated with Vanadium, reducing friction with increased protection against dust. Inlet valve diameter is 26.0mm with exhaust valve diameter of 21.5mm.
Friction is reduced by the addition of striations on the piston skirt (a finish that increases surface area, introducing gaps in which oil can flow for better lubrication). An AB 1 salt bath process, used after isonite nitriding, forms a protective oxidisation membrane. The crankshaft pins are phased at 180° and a primary couple-balancer sits behind the cylinders, close to the bike’s centre of gravity. The primary and balancer gears use scissor gears, reducing noise. The crank counterweight is specifically shaped for couple-balance and its light weight allows the engine to spin freely, with reduced inertia.
The crankcases use centrifugally cast thin-walled sleeves. Their internal design reduces the ‘pumping’ losses that can occur with a 180° phased firing order. A deep oil sump holds 3.2L. Slick to use up or down the six-speed gearbox is designed to offer effortless changes, especially around town. An assist/slipper clutch makes the shift lighter and smoother, and controls rear wheel ‘hop’ on rapid downshifting. The 2-1 exhaust scrubs spent gases in its catalyser, which then speeds them through its first chamber into the second resonator chamber; the sound produced has a heavy-duty pulsing feel that fits the torque delivery. A Linear Air Flow (LAF) sensor and internal adjustments to the 120mm diameter ‘shotgun’ style muffler help the engine’s EURO5 compliance.
To support the Rebel’s low-slung, look its attractive tubular steel frame grips the engine in three places and is designed to be as narrow as possible around the rider’s inseam. The fork spring rates and oil volume are optimised to give compliant damping and a smooth ride. Trail is set at 110mm with 28° rake; the 30° off-set of the forks, combined with 1490mm wheelbase, allows a low 690mm seat height. Mid-mounted footpegs help ensure a natural riding position, with balanced and neutral steering. The frame includes an innovative rear loop that separates the thicker seat from the textured metal mudguard; the bolt-on cast aluminium subframe provides further scope for customisation.
At 230mm apart the 41mm front fork stanchions are set wide for handling rigidity, comfort and style. The tubular steel swingarm has a 45mm diameter and works twin, nitrogen-charged shock absorbers that feature 5 step preload settings. Dunlop tyres are fitted as standard sized 130/90-16 front and 150/80-16 rear. The style of the 16-inch cast aluminium wheels is crisp and simple, with the 296mm front disc acting as mirror to the spoke pattern. A twin-piston front caliper is matched by a single-piston rear.
As a motorcycle born to be accessorised, there is an extensive range of Honda Genuine Accessories available both individually or as part of a specially developed pack, that are ready to bolt straight on to the CMX500 Rebel.The Comfort Pack is intended to enhance the practicality of the Rebel, by adding the following accessories:
Adjustable Brake Lever
The Travel Pack increases the carrying capacity of the Rebel and includes
Right & Left Nylon Saddle Bags
The Special Pack is available in two colours and includes accessories that emphasize the “rebel” style:
Tank Pads (Centre & Side)
Front Fork Covers & Gaiters sets (standard fitment for the ‘S’ edition)
Headlight Cowl (standard fitment for the ‘S’ edition)
Custom Rider & Pillion Seats (available in black or Brown (standard for the ‘S’ edition)
The following accessories are also available
Leather ‘throw-over’ Saddle Bags,