cruiser motorcycles

Honda CMX 250 C Rebel 250; Specs, Background, Performance, and More

Honda CMX 250 C Rebel 250; Specs, Background, Performance, and More

Riding a bike is a thrilling experience. But as a beginner, the rider is more inclined toward a comfortable and user-friendly machine that is easy to control and maneuver. Thrill and adventure come later. Based on its features and qualities, every bike has its own niche. With a wide range of cruisers available, choosing the right training bike as a beginner can be a tough choice.

Honda with its lightweight novice bike will help you start your bike training journey. Under the philosophy of “building products close to customers,” Honda has provided products that have catered to the real-life needs of its global community. The same aim compelled Honda to become the training partner of every new biker. Read on to find out why Honda CMX 250 C Rebel 250 is the perfect ride to hone your riding skills.

1. A Brief History of Honda CMX 250 C Rebel 250 Series

In 1985, when the Honda CMX 250 C Rebel bike hit the retail floor, it had a 234 cc straight twin engine. The motorcycle company then added the Rebel 250 to their CM cruiser series and replaced the 234 cc engine with the Honda Nighthawk 250 standard engine. The bike was also known as the Honda CMX 250, Honda Peronist, or Honda Rebel 250.

The Motorcycle Safety Foundation replaced the Nighthawk with the Rebel 250 in 1982. For 11 years from 1982 to 1996, it had the highest fuel economy in the market, reaching up to 52-62 mph.

Trainers and young riders were not the only ones who preferred this bike. The police force also chose this bike to help them in their duties for several years.

In the early 1980s, the Police Department of the District of Columbia replaced their outdated Vespa scooters with this cruiser. For about 20 years, this bike served the police with its durability, power, and visibility. Afterward, they shifted to the Harley Davidson Sportster.

Back in the day, it was evident from the relentless marketing campaigns that Honda made this bike exclusively for new riders who were just starting out. Regardless of its popularity among the fresh bikers, the company discontinued the manufacturing of this machine for Americans in 2016. However, it still launches newer models for Japan every year.

The 1984 Honda CMX 250 C Rebel 250

The 1984 model of the Rebel 250 cruiser came with some standard specifications (details supra). It was available in only one color: black with red highlights on the tank and side.

The 1985 Honda CMX 250 C Rebel 250

The 1985 model of Honda CMX 250 C Rebel 250 came in two colors: candy supreme red and pearl stellar black. The fuel tank wing decal was orange, yellow, and brown. With chrome-plated side covers, a stylish black frame, and control levers, this bike was a dream ride for every enthusiast. The 234 cc four-stroke OHC parallel engine with a five-speed transmission from the previous year continued to be manufactured because of its high performance.

The 1986 Honda CMX 250 C Rebel 250

The 1986 model of the Rebel 250 was available in two colors. Due to its growing demand, the classic pearl stellar black made an appearance again with an exciting choice of candy Eigar blue.

The blue bike’s tank decal had the following color variety: black, gray, and silver. Moreover, the design “Rebel” was silver and black. The frame and control levers of the blue bike were black. This color scheme added to the aesthetic appeal of the cruiser.

In the same year, a limited edition model of the Honda CMX 250 C Rebel 250 was also launched. A pearl stellar black bike looked extremely luxurious with gold stripes on its gas tank and rear fender.

The cylinder head covers, headlight, and speedometer were gold. The chrome-plated engine cases, fork legs, handlebar levers, and side covers were chrome plated. The chrome plating revamped the whole look of the otherwise simple-looking bike.

The 1987 Honda CMX 250 C Rebel 250

In 1987, Honda rolled out these cruisers in two basic colors: black and candy wineberry red.

The tank design (decal) of the black bike was dark, medium, and light brown. While the Red bike showcased a red frame with chrome-plated side covers and gray, white, and silver tank design.

The 1996 - 1999 Honda CMX 250 C Rebel 250

After the 1987 launch, Honda introduced its next best machine after nine years. The Rebel 250 was sold in a Magna red color in 1996 in the USA.

The 1997 models came in two colors: black with enamel cream and pearl shining yellow with white highlights. The year 1998 did not see an addition in the Honda Rebel 250 line-up. However, the 1999 cruisers were given a black color scheme.

The 2000 - 2002 Honda CMX 250 C Rebel 250

In 2000, the company experimented with the styling of the bike for future models. The air-cooled parallel twin technology, five-speed transmission, and disc front brakes of the Honda CMX 250 C Rebel 250 made it an ideal choice for beginners looking to enter the two-wheeled world. These economical bikes were popular for their enigmatic black paint finish and sleek look.

The 2003 - 2005 Honda CMX 250 C Rebel 250

Usually a more suitable ride for shorter people, the 2003 Rebel 250 cruiser offered the best ergonomics for tall riders as well. A simple mini-cruiser, the 2003 model of this bike was available in two colors: pearl blue and black, while the 2004 model fashioned red or black frames.

In 2005, Honda got more creative and introduced a vivid orange color to the CMX Rebel 250 range.

The 2006 - 2016 Honda CMX 250 C Rebel 250

The young riders and their never-ending love for the machine ensured the continued production of the Honda CMX 250 C Rebel 250 series. Lightweight, efficient, easy-to-handle, and economical, Honda made sure that its bikes held up to the standards and continued to meet the expectations of their users.

They maintained high quality and surprised their customers with stunning paint finishes and eccentric colors. Every now and then, the Honda cruisers would showcase an appealing silver-matte finish, candy gray graphics, and intriguing vivid blue paint. The happy riders couldn’t ask for more.

2. Honda CMX 250 C Rebel 250 at First Glance

With its cruiser styling, the Honda Rebel 250 boasts many remarkable features in terms of looks and performance. With its powerful 234 cc engine in the front, wire-spoke wheels, rear swept handlebars, chrome-plated side covers, and amazing decals, this bike is a complete package for beginners and experienced riders.

Over the decades, Honda has left the Rebel 250 engine completely unchanged because it is bulletproof and performs well. In terms of performance, the bike has much to offer. The 234 cc motor produces maximum (16.8 Nm) torque from 3000 rpm to 8000 rpm before it declines gradually. This ensures you stay in control even when the rear wheel shifts to upper gears, decreasing the need for frequent transitions. The attribute is a must-have in a cruiser.

Another perpetual feature of the bike is its drum rear brake. In addition to this, the engineers stuck a disk brake towards the front to maximize the stopping power in that section of the motorcycle.

For added comfort, the seat has plush padding and a wide platform.

Features & Innovations

  • 234cc SOHC Engine

When a single cam-shaft governs both intake and exhaust valves the setup is called a single over-head cam engine (SOHC). A SOHC engine is more fuel-efficient since its power consumption is low. The Rebel 250 engine is robust, smooth, quiet, and easy to maintain. The automatic cam-chain tensioner and solid-state CD ignition are maintenance-free.

  • Screw Type Valve Adjusters

Screw-type valve adjusters are durable and simplify engine work.

  • Automatic Cam-Chain Tensioner

Maintenance-free automatic cam-chain tensioner makes an already low-maintenance bike more affordable

  • Solid-State CD Ignition

Maintenance-free, solid-state CD ignition is durable and barely requires adjustment.

  • Constant Velocity Carburetor

Constant Velocity carburetor provides excellent throttle response and enhances the estimated 84 mpg fuel efficiency.

  • Chassis

Semi-double cradle frame allows for a long wheelbase and low seat height.

  • Suspension

Hydraulic front fork with dual bushings and dual rear shocks with five-position spring pre-load adjustment ensure a smooth ride.

  • Front Disc Brake

Front-disc brake with a twin-piston caliper is self-adjusting and provides great, predictable stopping power.

  • Spoke Wheels

The 2016 Honda CMX 250 C Rebel 250 boasts stylish spoke-type wheels with chrome rims.

  • Electric Starter

Simple push-button electric starter is more convenient and quicker than the traditional pedal starting mode.

  • Battery

The 2016 Honda CMX 250 C Rebel 250 comes with a maintenance-free battery.

  • Security

Rebel 250 has a key-operated steering lock for increased security.

  • Style Accentuations

Custom-styled chrome-plated headlight case, taillight, and turn signal casings add to the bike’s appeal. Pull back handlebar, teardrop fuel tank, two-piece custom seat, and bobbed fenders add to its charm.

3. Honda CMX 250 C Rebel 250: A Buyer’s Guide

3.1 Honda CMX 250 C Rebel 250 Handling Guide

Honda CMX 250 C Rebel 250 Handling Guide
Photo Credit: @hondanews

The bike has a simple system, with one speedometer as a gauge, standard transmission, and a single disc brake in the front and a drum in the back. The user-friendly bike is maneuverable at low-speed turns and allows the rider to change lanes easily while cruising on a highway. Its smooth engine makes for a comfortable and fun riding experience.

3.2 Honda CMX 250 C Rebel 250 Engine Guide

The Rebel's engine is the highlight spec of this machine. Unlike other motorcycles in the 250 cc category that feature a single-cylinder engine, this bike comes with a two-cylinder engine. More cylinders enhance endurance and comfort at highway speeds.

In the front, Rebel 250 possesses an air-cooled 234 cc V-twin engine that generates sufficient power to help achieve a high speed of 60-70 mph with ease. The engine is good for your daily commute and long weekend highway rides. The small engine also keeps the weight balanced. The bike has a wet weight of 329 lbs. On a full tank, the bike weighs around 329 lbs. Over the years, the manufacturers have perfected the durability of the bike and have made it bullet-proof.

Compared to larger cruisers, the engine of this bike seems exaggeratedly small, but its size is not without purpose. The bike owes its excellent balance, high speed, and low weight to its small engine. However, if you are traveling up the steep hills, you may need to downshift for a smooth performance.

3.3 Honda CMX 250 C Rebel 250 Top Speed

Featuring a single disc pin and a pin-side two-piece precast caliper, the Honda CMX 250 C Rebel 250 can move at an estimated maximum speed of 70 mph.

3.4 Is Honda Rebel 250 Ideal for Short Riders?

Though the bike is more than equipped to carry around a taller rider, its seating position and handling bars leave much to be desired. This detail makes it a more suitable ride for short riders. With its 27-inch tall seat and 329 lbs weight, the bike is easy to handle at low and high speeds. The short seat also makes parking the bike effortless.

3.5 Is Honda CMX 250 C Rebel 250 a Good Training Bike?

Any bike enthusiast who wants to learn how to ride a bike has to take an MSF course. For this course, your training bike is none other than Honda CMX 250 C Rebel.

In the early 1980s, Honda began a noble mission of manufacturing a cruiser-style bike for beginners. The engineers came up with the CMX 250 C Rebel 250. Over the years, this bike has stood the test of time and become an ideal training bike. Today, it is commonly used in the Motorcycle Safety Foundation Certified Rider Training Courses.

But those who learn how to ride this bike often fall in love with it. Therefore its role in a biker's life is not restricted to training only. This great bike will stay by your side for a long time.

3.6 Pricing & Buying a Used 2016 Honda Rebel 250

The reason new bikers end up buying this bike is because of its affordability. Even though Honda stopped manufacturing the Rebel 250 after 2016, the bike is a favorite among both young and experienced riders. With the extended production and low $ 2999 base price, buying a well-maintained, used bike should not be a problem.

Due to its low engine capacity, owners of the bike don’t take it on frequent highway ventures; most second-hand motorcycles would have a mileage of fewer than 3,000 miles.

3.7 Should You Buy 2016 Honda CMX 250 C Rebel 250?

Every bike comes with a few cons. Before you jump the gun and buy one, it is important to take the downsides of the Honda Rebel 250 into consideration.

Other than its size (discussed above), the bike barely satisfies its users in terms of suspension and touring capacity.

The soft suspension complements the lightweight Rebel 250, making it easy to handle. However, the non-adjustable front forks and preload-only adjustable rear shocks fail to allow sharp cornering.

Tall people are not the only ones who would have a hard time riding comfortably on this bike. The bulkier riders may face the same problem. The Rebel is designed to support up to 350 lbs of weight, but it is still not recommended to put this claim to the test. It can carry around a rider weighing 300 lbs at maximum speeds and for long hours, but the weight will overwork the engine. Therefore, it limits the touring capacity of the bike.

Moreover, the bike starts to vibrate above 65 mph.

4. Detailed Specifications

4.1 Dimensions

Length 2115 mm / 83.3 in
Width 815 mm / 32.1 in
Height 1100 mm / 43.3 in
Wheelbase 1460 ,, / 57.5 in
Rake 30.4 Degree
Ground Clearance 150 mm/ 5.9 in
Seat Height 675 mm / 26.6 in
Dry Weight 136 kg / 300 lbs.
Curb (wet) Weight 150.1 kg / 331.0 lbs.
Trail 120 mm / 4.72 in
Fuel Capacity 2.8 US gal

4.2 Chassis

Type Tubular steel double-cradle
Front Suspension Telescopic fork 33mm, 120 mm/4.7 in
Rear Suspension Swingarm with twin shock, 74 mm/ 2.9 in.
Adjustment: 5-way spring preload
Front Tire Size 90/100-18
Rear Tire Size 130/90-15M/C (66P)
Front Brake Single disc, 240 mm, 2-piston caliper
Rear Brake Drum

4.3 Engine

Type Air-cooled four-stroke
Cylinder Arrangement 2-cylinders in-line
Bore & Stroke 53.0  x 53.0
Displacement 234 cm (14.2 cu in)
Compression Ratio 9.2:1
Valve Train Chain-driven SOHC, two valves per cylinder
Fuel System Single 26mm diaphragm-type constant-velocity (CV) carburetor
Fuel Control Single Overhead Cams (SOHC)

4.4 Performance

Maximum Power 18.7 hp (13.8 kW) / 6500 rpm
Maximum Torque 19.0 Nm / 550 rpm
Acceleration 0 to 100 km/h (0-60 mph) 11.86 seconds
Top Speed 110 km/h (70 mph)
Fuel Economy/Consumption 62.6 (US mpg)

4.5 Drive Train

Clutch Wet, multi-plate, cable operated
Transmission Five-speed constant mesh
Final Drive Chain
Primary Reduction 3.632
Final Reduction 2.357
Gear Ratio  1st 2.846
Gear Ratio  2nd 1.778
Gear Ratio  3rd 1.333
Gear Ratio  4th 1.083
Gear Ratio  5th 0.913

4.6 Electrical

Ignition Capacitor Discharge Ignition (CDI)
Alternator 190W at 5000 rpm
Battery Capacity 12V-9Ah
Starter Electric

4.7 Others

Security Key-operated steering lock
Colors Black, Candy Red
Pricing $ 4190

5. Aftermarket Luggage Options

Honda Rebel 250 bikes are not suitable for long highway trips, but they are excellent cruising bikes. Like any other bike, Rebel 250  can be made more comfortable through aftermarket work. The Rebels don’t need much, but you can install some high-quality accessories to improve style and function.

Honda CMX 250 C Rebel 250 looks super-cool with installed saddlebags . They help you carry around your luggage and enhance the look of your bike. For better comfort, you can easily find affordable sissy bars in the market that can be installed to your Rebel without extra work.

6. Takeaway

Considering the pros and cons of the Honda CMX 250 C Rebel 250 series, the advantages of this bike outweigh its downsides. As a beginner, the main features you should consider are the engine performance, affordability, and last but not least, the fuel economy. Being a small displacement bike, the Honda CMX 250 C Rebel 250 boasts reaching the 70 mpg mark. Most bikes of this size barely cross the 50 mpg mark and if comfort worries you, then you can always add sissy bars and luggage bags for comfort. Hence, you will not regret buying this bike!

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