Should you suddenly have the desire to embrace the romance of the open road (or street for that matter) via two-wheeled transport, but lack the confidence and/or ability, or if you’re already a motorcycle rider and would like to introduce someone close to you to the freedom offered by the sport, have I got a bike for you – the 2012 Honda Rebel CMX250C.
The Honda Rebel, which seems to have been around forever, and for good reason – is 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, you can ride the Honda Rebel with minimal coaching.
Soichiro Honda was a racer, businessman and manufacturer, but first and foremost, he was a dreamer. In 1948, with $3,200 and a dream at age 41, Mr. Honda teamed with financial guru Takeo Fujisawa to start the Honda Motor Company. Together, they built an empire — in 1949, the company built its first production motorcycle, the 1949 D-Type Dream. In 1959, the American Honda Motor Company was formed in California, and in 1979, Honda of America Manufacturing was established.
We’re not sure exactly when the first Rebel appeared on the scene as part of Honda’s motorcycle inventory, but good things that work well and serve a definitive purpose tend to last.
Let’s look at what the 2012 Honda Rebel CMX250C has to offer….First off, 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 just the right amount of power for a novice, just 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” newbie” 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 rebel rolls on Bridgestone rubber – 3.00-18 up front, and 130/90-15 in the rear, both mounted on lace-chrome spoke wheels. The suspension consists of Inverted front 35 mm forks with 4.6-inched 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. The chrome lace spoke wheels add a nice touch as well. 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. After dealer prep and handling. My test bike was finished in the Candy Red metallic.
SUMMARY: The 2012 Honda Rebel CMX250C is a very attractive compact, street bike that displays a somewhat retro flavor retro cool, but performs smoothly and reliably. The exhaust is pretty quiet and would
benefit from a little rumble – 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 more vertically challenged rider, while my long legs “longed” for controls a little further forward. Short rides were okay, but longer rides required stretching occasionally. The speedometer is mounted above the headlight in an attractive retro 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 quality is very comfortable.
Bottom-line, the 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 it were mine. The Rebel is quite popular for training purposes with the Motorcycle Safety Federation because of its ideal size and handling characteristics. It’s definitely a Rebel with a cause.
On The Fast Lane Car’s rating scale of:
• Buy It.
• Rent It
• Lease It.
• Forget It.
Buy It for an excellent entry bike with a fun and easy to handle ride.
Price: $4,340 *Estimated dealer prep and handling costs vary.
SPECIFICATIONS: 2012 Honda Rebel CMX250C
Base Price: $4,190.
Price as Tested: $4,340.
Engine Type and Size: 234 cc SOHC, 4-valve air-cooled, four stroke
parallel twin-cylinder with 26 mm diaphragm-
type CV Carburetor.
Horsepower (bhp): N/A*
Torque (ft./ lbs.): N/A*
*Honda does not provide power output figures.
Transmission: Five-speed sequential manual.
Drive Train: Final drive – O-ring sealed chain.
Suspension: Front – 35 mm forks with 4.6-inched of travel.
Rear – Dual shocks with 5-position preload adjustability and 2.9-inches of travel.
Brakes: Single disc front with twin-piston caliper / rear drum.
Tires: Bridgestone Mopus 3.00-18 front / 130/90-15
rear mounted on lace-chrome spoke wheels.
Wheelbase: 57.1 inches
Length Overall: 83.3 inches
Curb Weight dry: 331 lbs. (dry)
Fuel Capacity: 2.6 gallons including 0.7 gallons reserve.
Seat height: 26.6 inches
0 – 60 mph: Not Tested.
Review by Arv Voss, Auto Impressions