cruiser motorcycles

Honda Rebel 300 Vs Honda Rebel 500: Which is Better?

Honda Rebel 300 Vs Honda Rebel 500: Which is Better?

Not every experiment turns out to be successful and most of the time people usually don’t accept something different from normal. However, what defines this concept is the Honda Rebel motorbikes that are truly unconventional and distinguished from what you call a cruiser. The Rebel bikes are more like a naked bike due to their exposed machinery, frame, and trimmed elements. The Honda Rebel series still falls under the cruiser category, equipped with a parallel-twin engine.

Despite being cruisers, the Honda Rebels are a preferred road bike for daily commutes and weekend rides. Considering their design and geometry, you must not expect the Honda Rebel to take you long miles comfortably. Only if you make certain changes to this bike with useful aftermarket parts, it become good to go for long-distance rides. This article provides you with a detailed performance comparison of two of the most popular Rebel models, widely renowned as the best modern-day beginner bikes in the market, the Honda Rebel 300 and the Honda Rebel 500.

Honda Rebel 300
Photo credit: @Honda Powersports
Honda Rebel 500
Photo credit: @Honda Powersports

1. Specs Comparison: Honda Rebel 300 Vs Honda Rebel 500

Specs Comparison: Honda Rebel 300 Vs Honda Rebel 500
2024 Honda Rebel 300 2024 Honda Rebel 500
General Info
Manufacturer Honda Honda
Model Rebel 300 Rebel 500
Model ID CMX300 CMX500
Motorcycle Type Cruiser Cruiser
Introduced in 2017 2016
Current Production Status Still Produced Still Produced
Warranty One Year Limited Warranty with Unlimited Mileage One Year Limited Warranty with Unlimited Mileage
Base MSRP Non-ABS: $4,849
ABS: $5,149
Non-ABS: $6,499
ABS: $6,799
ABS SE: $6,999
Displacement 286 cc 471 cc
Engine Type Single-Cylinder; Four-Stroke Engine Parallel-Twin; Four-Stroke Engine
No. of Cylinders One Two
Valve Train Four-Valves Per Cylinder; DOHC Four-Valves Per Cylinder; DOHC
Engine Cooling System Water-Cooled Water-Cooled
Stroke 63 mm 66.8 mm
Bore 76 mm 67 mm
Compression Ratio 10.7:1 10.7:1
Fuel Delivery System Programmed Fuel Injection (PGM-FI) with 38 mm Throttle Body Programmed Fuel Injection (PGM-FI) with 34 mm Throttle Body
Exhaust Single Blacked-Out Exhaust Two-Into-One Blacked-Out Exhaust
Ignition Full Transistorized Ignition Full Transistorized Ignition
Starter Electric Electric
Peak Power Output 27.6 hp / 20.3 kW 46.9 hp / 34.3 kW at 8,500 rpm
Peak Torque 28.74 Nm / 21.2 Ib-ft 43 Nm / 31.7 lb-ft at 7,000 rpm
Fuel Economy 78 mpg (Claimed) 67 mpg (Claimed)
Top Speed 88 mph 105.63 mph
Gearbox Six-Speed Six-Speed
Final Drive O-Ring-Sealed Chain O-Ring-Sealed Chain
Sprocket Teeth (Size) 14T/36T 15T/40T
Clutch Multi-Plate Wet; Slipper & Assist Clutch Multi-Plate Wet; Slipper & Assist Clutch
Frame Steel Diamond Frame with Die-Cast Aluminum Rear Sub-Frame Steel Diamond Frame with Die-Cast Aluminum Rear Sub-Frame
Front 41 mm Front Fork 41 mm Front Fork
Adjustability (Front) No No
Front Wheel Travel 4.8 in 5.5 in
Rear Dual Rear Shocks Dual Rear Shocks
Adjustability (Rear) No No
Rear Wheel Travel 5.5 in 3.7 in
Front 296 mm Single-Disc Brake 296 mm Single-Disc Brake
Rear 240 mm Single-Disc Brake 240 mm Single-Disc Brake
ABS Optional Optional
Wheels & Tires
Wheel Type Cast Aluminum 10-Spoke Wheels with Black Rims Cast Aluminum 10-Spoke Wheels with Bronze-Finished Rims
Front Wheel (Size) 16 in 16 in
Rear Wheel (Size) 16 in 16 in
Front Tire 130/90-16 130/90-16
Rear Tire 150/80-16 150/80-16
Dimensions & Measurements
Seat Height 27.2 in 27.2 in
Wet Weight Non-ABS: 364 lbs
ABS: 370 lbs
Non-ABS: 408 lbs
ABS: 414 lbs
ABS SE: 416 lbs
Wheelbase 1,491 mm / 58.7 in 1,491 mm / 58.7 in
Ground Clearance 149.86 mm / 5.9 in 136 mm / 5.4 in
Fuel Tank Size 3 gal 3 gal
Rake 28° 28°
Trail 4.3 in 4.3 in
Height 1092.2 mm / 43 in 1,094 mm / 43.1 in
Length 2207.26 mm / 86.9 in 2,188 mm / 86.1 in
Width 822.96 mm / 32.4 in 820 mm / 32.3 in
Instrument Features
Speedometer Digital Digital
Fuel Gauge Digital Digital
Tachometer Digital Digital
Odometer Digital Digital
Trip Meter Digital Digital
Clock Digital Digital
Engine Kill Switch Yes Yes

2. Engine & Performance: Honda Rebel 300 Vs Honda Rebel 500

A displacement size difference of 200 cc may not feel too much if you are talking about middleweight or large-displacement high-powered motorbikes. Still, in the entry-level segment, 300 cc and 500 cc bikes are poles apart in terms of power and performance.

The performance comparison and review between the Honda Rebel 300 and the Honda Rebel 500 is important because there are so many people looking to start riding a motorcycle and take a start from somewhere. Undoubtedly, they must come across the situation of whether to pick the Rebel 300 or Rebel 500. Make sure to go through this comparison if you are confused about which bike to choose and which of these two will suit you the best.

2.1 Engine & Performance: Honda Rebel 300

You may probably not find a 300 cc motorcycle in the cruiser segment and this is because a functional and realistic cruiser machine may not perform what is expected from it if it is equipped with a 300 cc engine. This is the reason why a Rebel is considered more of a road bike and not a highway cruiser.

The Honda Rebel 300 is powered by a 286 cc single-cylinder engine which is highly uncommon on a cruiser bike. The single-cylinder engine is water-cooled and comes with a programmed fuel injection to provide a noteworthy fuel economy of 78 mpg (Claimed). The 286 cc engine produces 27.6 hp of horsepower and 28.7 Nm of torque. With this base-level performance, as you would expect from a 300 cc bike, the Rebel 300 can touch a top speed of 88 mph. However, this does not mean that it can cruise at this speed.

The 286 cc engine feels underpowered and if you have previously ridden a bike that is more than the 300 cc, you will immediately notice its power getting maxed out at around 55 mph. Also, at the point when you have used all the engine power while riding at its top limit and still looking for more push, you will get frustrated and bored. This is why the Rebel 300 is not a suitable bike for highway riding.

2.2 Is the Honda Rebel 300 Too Slow?

It depends on the rider and his/her skill level to decide whether the Rebel 300 is a slow bike or not. Generally, a 300 cc bike is considered slow for most riders except if you have only started learning how to ride a bike and you are nervous and intimidated by bigger bikes.

Considering the type of bike it is and its sporty nature, the Honda Rebel 300 is not as slow as you expect from a 300 cc bike. This bike has adequate throttle response and speed for beginners who want to use it for daily commutes and riding within the city. However, you will want to switch to the next bike shortly once you get used to a 300 cc bike.

2.3 Engine & Performance: Honda Rebel 500

Riding a Honda Rebel 500 feels great as you have a more responsive engine with a comparatively much better throttle response and power delivery. The Rebel 500 houses a 471 cc parallel-twin water-cooled engine which is quite reputable for its strong power delivery, better acceleration, and high power-to-weight ratio. The 471 cc engine generates a decent horsepower of 46.9 hp and a torque of 43 Nm. With its spontaneous nature, this bike can be ridden more aggressively than the Rebel 300.

The 500 cc engine fits perfectly in the chassis and frame and is also more suitable for highway cruising and riding within the city. The Honda Rebel 500 is also a beginner-friendly bike with almost similar dimensions and size to the Rebel 300. There is only a 44 lbs weight difference between the two bikes if you are looking for the ABS model. The size and power of the Rebel 500 are easily manageable and it will not intimidate you if you are not a nervous rider who does not have even the basic know-how of motorcycle riding.

3. Cruising Capability: Honda Rebel 300 Vs Honda Rebel 500

3.1 Highway Cruising with Honda Rebel 500

The Honda Rebel 500 may not be an extremely powerful bike, but compared to the Rebel 300, it has more thrust and torque to offer in the manageable range. Talking about cruising capability, the Rebel 500 can comfortably cruise at 85 mph constant speed without running out of power. The bike maintains stability and smoothness while cruising on highways. With the addition of a windscreen, your cruising experience can be made comfortable and distraction-free.

You must not expect the Honda Rebel 500 to be as great as other high-performance classic cruisers, but being a 500 cc bike, it does a great job.

3.2 Why Is the Honda Rebel 300 Not Suitable for Highway Cruising?

The Honda Rebel 300 feels sluggish and low-powered as soon as you take this bike to a highway. This bike starts to vibrate excessively, mainly due to being fitted with a single-cylinder engine. The handlebars start to buzz a great deal when you are accelerating at above 50-60 mph, making it unsuitable for highway cruising and long-distance riding.

Another major reason why the Honda Rebel 300 is highly unsuitable for highway cruising is its low weight. Having low weight is considered a plus point in a motorcycle, but if you are talking about an extremely lightweight 300 cc bike, it will become highly unstable even if it has a planted design and a low center of gravity like the Rebel 300. Such lightweight bikes like the Rebel 300 find it difficult to stay planted and stable on the road when they face a gust of wind in an un-parallel direction.

4. Sound/Exhaust Note: Honda Rebel 300 Vs Honda Rebel 500

4.1 Honda Rebel 500

The Honda Rebel 500 undoubtedly produces a better and throaty rumble due to being fitted with a twin-cylinder engine. Although the sound is not as cool and satisfactory as a V-Twin, it can still put a smile on your face.

4.2 Honda Rebel 300

On the contrary, the Honda Rebel 300, being a single-cylinder engine bike, screams more but it is not satisfying to hear. It is not deep and probably can only attract beginners who are new to motorcycling.

5. Gear Shifting & Clutch Pull: Honda Rebel 300 Vs Honda Rebel 500

5.1 Clutch

Both the Honda Rebel 300 and the Rebel 500 are equipped with assist & slipper clutch functions, making the clutch pull and gear shifts quite easier. You do not get to hear the clunk sound every time you shift a gear like in most classic cruisers. The smoothness stays throughout the ride, doesn’t matter even if you are riding at slow or high speeds.

5.2 Gear Shifting

Despite being entry-level bikes, both the Honda Rebel 300 and the Rebel 500 feature six-speed transmission. This may be a positive aspect if you are considering a bike with a large-displacement engine but for a 300 cc bike, a six-speed transmission means that you have to keep shifting the gear throughout the ride in very short intervals. Therefore, the Honda Rebel 300 becomes difficult to ride if you find it hectic to shift gears almost thrice every minute.

6. Fuel Efficiency: Honda Rebel 300 Vs Honda Rebel 500

Honda has done a great job in manufacturing one of the most fuel-efficient bikes in the form of the Rebel series. If you are a beginner and looking for your first bike that provides everything including reliability, smooth performance, and above all, superb fuel mileage, you should take a test ride on either the Rebel 300 or the Rebel 500. The Rebel 300, being a smaller bike, provides 78 mpg of fuel efficiency. Meanwhile, the Rebel 500 is equally a fuel-efficient bike, ensuring a fuel economy of 67 mpg thanks to Honda’s proven Programmed Fuel Injection (PGM-FI) technology.

7. Handling & Maneuverability: Honda Rebel 300 Vs Honda Rebel 500

When it comes to handling and maneuverability, both the Honda Rebel 300 and the Rebel 500 are incredibly lightweight and fun-to-ride motorbikes except that the Rebel 500 is slightly heavier than the Rebel 300. Overall, both the bikes are highly nimble, agile, and flickable, making them one of the best beginner-friendly options.

8. Riding with a Passenger: Honda Rebel 300 Vs Honda Rebel 500

With a bigger and more powerful engine, the Rebel 500 is a better choice if you love to ride with a passenger. However, you will have to add the passenger seat and footrests if you do not want to ride solo. On the other hand, the Rebel 300 is not suitable for two-up riding.

Note: If you ride more often with a passenger on longer rides, you must consider buying the Honda Rebel 1100.

9. Looks: Honda Rebel 300 Vs Honda Rebel 500

Look-wise, there is little difference as both the Honda Rebel 300 and the Rebel 500 are the same bikes with different engines. However, the Rebel 500 is more compact due to being installed with a bigger engine. The 500 cc engine also fits perfectly inside the Rebel’s frame compared to the Rebel 300. The compactness of the Honda Rebel 500 makes it look more trendy, complete, and neatly designed.

Looks: Honda Rebel 300
Photo credit: @Lazer Helmets

The Honda Rebel is quite a unique bike in terms of its design and structure. To start with, this bike’s most distinctive physical feature is its gas tank which is positioned slightly diagonally, ensuring a hump look. Though the bike is quite low and you can easily flat foot this bike, it has a taller front end thanks to the skinnier long-stroke front fork. The Rebel has a light bobber-style front fender and a mid-size chopped full rear fender, providing a full view of the rear tire. The bike comes with all LED lights, including a punched-face style headlamp with four LED bulbs and a chrome round-shaped bezel. The tail light is also integrated smoothly with the rear fender, providing a modern touch.

Looks: Vs Honda Rebel 500
Photo credit: @Reddit

The Honda Rebel 300 and the Rebel 500 have adequately fat and wide tires wrapped around stylish ten-spoke wheels. The Rebel 300 has blacked-out rims and the Rebel 500 has bronze-finished rims, giving it a more high-end look.

Both bikes come with a solo rider seat in the stock form with average padding, comfortable enough for daily use and city traveling. However, you may require a more cushioned saddle if you want to use these bikes for longer rides.

10. Comfort & Riding Position: Honda Rebel 300 Vs Honda Rebel 500

Both the Honda Rebel 300 and the Rebel 500, being similar bikes in terms of design and size, offer similar riding positions and ergonomics. The seat height of both these bikes is 27.2 inches, making it easier for riders to balance this bike with both feet flat on the ground. Due to its sportier stance, the Rebel bikes has mid-mounted foot controls that are slightly ahead of the seat position.

If you are taller or even an average-sized rider, you will have to sit with kinked-up knees. If you try to sit a little back on your seat to give some rest to your legs, you probably will find it difficult to grab the naked bike-style flat handlebars with a little bend in your arms to make turns.

11. Weight: Honda Rebel 300 Vs Honda Rebel 500

The weight difference of 44 lbs between the Honda Rebel 300 and the Rebel 500 may sound big to some people but due to being lower to the ground and having a low center of gravity, the difference doesn’t feel that much. The Rebel 500 feels equally light and nimble to ride as the Rebel 300.

12. Recap: Honda Rebel 300 Vs Honda Rebel 500

Performance Comparison: Honda Rebel 300 Vs Honda Rebel 500
Performance Characteristics Honda Rebel 300 Honda Rebel 500
Daily commuting
  • Both bikes are perfect for daily use
City traveling
  • Good for city traveling and riding in stop-and-go traffic
  • More capable of versatile riding and city traveling
Highway cruising
  • Not designed for highway cruising
  • It starts to vibrate excessively
  • Runs out of power at 85 mph
  • Less stable for cruising, especially when it is windy
  • A better option for cruising on highways
  • Can be ridden at a constant speed of 85 mph without any issue
  • Extremely lightweight
  • Also feels light while riding this bike due to being lower to the ground
  • Both bikes are admiringly nimble and flickable
Beginner-friendly Good for new riders who:
  • have no prior know-how of riding a motorcycle
  • feel nervous to get on the road
  • are intimidated by bigger bikes
  • Good beginner-friendly bike for riders that are bigger and have a little knowledge of riding a motorcycle
Easy to outgrow
  • You would want to upgrade to a more powerful bike after a few months
  • You can ride it for years without getting bored
  • Highly affordable bike, especially if you are looking for a used model
  • Not as affordable as the Honda Rebel 300
Exhaust note
  • Doesn’t sound satisfying
  • Screaming single-cylinder sound
  • Satisfying throaty sound
  • Not extra loud for the ears
Riding with a passenger
  • Not suitable
  • A better option for riding with a passenger
  • Not ideal if you ride a lot with a passenger
Better looks
  • The bike looks awesome except for the small engine does not seem to fit in perfectly in the frame
  • Looks great and the engine seems to fit perfectly, ensuring a more compact look
More Capable
  • Less capable due to being slow and underpowered
  • More capable of versatile riding (multi-purpose use)
  • Less versatile
  • Adequately versatile
Clutch Pull
  • Both bikes feature slippers & assist clutch for a light clutch operation that can be pulled with even a finger
Gear Shifting
  • Smooth but requires constant gear shifting
  • Offers smooth gear-shifting experience
  • Produces excessive vibrations as you accelerate
  • Smooth and comfortable to ride

13. 2024 Color Options: Honda Rebel 300 Vs Honda Rebel 500

2024 Honda Rebel 300 Color Options
Color Options Model Availability
Nitric Orange Available for Both ABS & Non-ABS Trims
Pearl Black Available for Both ABS & Non-ABS Trims
2024 Honda Rebel 500 Color Options
Color Options Model Availability
Pearl Black Available for ABS & Non-ABS Trims
Matte Laurel Green Metallic Available for ABS & Non-ABS Trims
Pearl Smokey Gray Only Available for ABS SE Variant

14. Pros & Cons: Honda Rebel 300 Vs Honda Rebel 500

Pros & Cons: Honda Rebel 300
Honda Rebel 300 Pros Honda Rebel 300 Cons
Extremely lightweight Easy to outgrow
Highly flickable Underpowered
Nimble Unsuitable for highway cruising
Good for daily use and city traveling Produces excessive vibrations
Lower to the ground The exhaust note is not satisfactory
Low center of gravity Not ideal for two-up riding
Ideal entry-level bike The engine looks smaller compared to the motorcycle’s body
Highly affordable Requires constant gear shifting
Comes with an assist & slipper clutch

Pros & Cons: Honda Rebel 500
Honda Rebel 500 Pros Honda Rebel 500 Cons
More powerful Not ideal for comfortable two-up riding
More capable and versatile The rider triangle is not spacious
Perfect for city traveling Not ideal for touring
Far better cruising capability The rear suspension is not good
Lightweight Slightly overpriced
Nimble Could come with better tech features
Planted design Not a very comfortable seat
Smooth power delivery
The engine sounds better and deep
Fun to ride
Easy to customize

15. Which One Should You Get: Honda Rebel 300 Vs Honda Rebel 500?

The Honda Rebel 500 is a more capable bike than the Honda Rebel 300 in terms of style, performance, value for the money, and longevity. Though the Rebel 300 has a similar build, frame, and chassis, the difference in the engine size results in a tremendous difference in the overall performance, sound, comfort, and smoothness of the ride. If you do not have a budget issue and you are not intimidated by a 500 cc bike, it is better to go with the Rebel 500.

If you have a little know-how of how to ride a motorcycle and looking for a versatile bike that can keep you moving within the city and take you on motorcycle tours, the Rebel 500 is a go-to option. It is also suitable for a smooth two-up riding experience. Also, if you are a bigger rider, you will fit better on a Rebel 500.

16. Luggage Bag Options

Looking to customize your Honda Rebel to improve the motorcycle’s look and storage capacity, Viking Bags provides you with the perfect solutions for carrying luggage to go on long-haul tours. The most in-demand item available at the online store is the saddlebags especially manufactured for your Honda Rebel 500 ABS, Rebel 500, Rebel 300 ABS, and Rebel 300. In the cruisers category, the company also produces sissy bar bags, tank bags, backpacks, tool bags, and tail bags.

In addition, we recommend you install sissy bars on your Honda Rebel 500 ABS/Rebel 500 and backrests to make your riding experience more comfortable.

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