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Honda Rebel CMX250C is Rebel with a Cause: 84 MPG

By Arv Voss, March 24th, 2012

If you have the desire to embrace the romance of the open road via two-wheeled transport, but lack the confidence and/or ability or, if you're already a rider and want to introduce someone else to the freedom offered by motorcycling, then I got a bike for you.

It's the Honda Rebel, which seems to have been around forever, and for good reason -- it's an ideal beginner bike or a most sensible ride for a person of smaller stature. The Rebel is one of Honda's riding jewels. If you can ride a bicycle, then you can ride the Honda Rebel with minimal coaching.

Let's look at what the 2012 Rebel CMX250C has to offer. It's just the right size for someone with a shorter inseam, and it's manageable in terms of weight, tipping the scale at only 331 pounds dry. The seat height is low too -- only 26.6 inches. It also delivers the right amount of power for a novice, perfecting their riding skills.

Power comes from a 234 cc SOHC, 4-valve air-cooled parallel twin-cylinder with a simple 26 mm diaphragm-type CV Carburetor. Exhaust exits via chrome dual side pipes. Honda traditionally does not publish horsepower or torque output figures, but the power curve of the bike serves up sufficient power for a fun ride, and without overwhelming the new rider. Another plus is that the fuel economy is awesome at 84 mpg, which means fewer stops at the gas pump and big savings.

In terms of styling, the Rebel represents your basic standard-type motorcycle. It serves up a comfortable upright riding position with mid-placed foot controls and handlebars that are positioned favorably for longer jaunts.

The Honda rolls on Bridgestone rubber mounted on lace-chrome spoke wheels. The suspension consists of inverted front 35 mm forks with 4.6 inches of travel and dual shocks in the rear with a 5-position preload adjustability and 2.9 inches of travel. Bringing the Rebel to a halt is a single disc in the front with a twin-piston caliper, and a rear drum.

Visually, the Rebel borders on old school styling with a teardrop tank, small cycle fender up front closely hugging the larger and narrower front wheel and tire, and a bobbed-style rear fender. There is a nicely padded saddle for the rider and a modest passenger pillion with a hand strap. Foot pegs are provided for both.

Instrumentation includes lights for neutral, high beams and directional signals, which are not self-canceling. The Rebel is available in two paint schemes: Matte Silver or Candy Red metallic. The base price amounts to $4,190, with an estimated total tag of $4,340.

The 2012 Honda Rebel CMX250C is a very attractive compact, street bike that displays a somewhat retro cool look and performs smoothly and reliably. The exhaust is pretty quiet and could benefit from a little rumble -- but at least you're not likely to offend neighbors and set off car alarms.

Acceleration response is quite good, and the riding position will prove to be more comfortable for shorter riders, however, my long legs "longed" for controls a little further forward. My brief rides were okay, but longer rides required stretching occasionally.

The speedometer is mounted above the headlight in attractive old-style chrome housing, along with other instrument lights and informational readouts. The large, integrated taillight provides a custom look and is highly visible. The Rebel is well balanced and handles easily, with a nimble response to rider input; due in part to the larger 18-inch front wheel at virtually any speed, and the ride/handling quality is very comfortable.

Honda Rebel CMX250C makes for a satisfying and entry-level bike at an affordable and attractive price, with low maintenance and fuel costs. There are quite a few chrome goodies already on the bike, but there are available accessories to increase the size of one's investment.

The Rebel is a bike that's right for these economic times. It's a little small for me, and I would certainly raise the handlebar angle to clear my knees in tight turn maneuvers if I were to purchase one. The Rebel is quite popular for training purposes with the Motorcycle Safety Federation because of its ideal size and handling characteristics. Yep, it's a rebel with a cause.

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