cruiser motorcycles

Honda Rebel 500 Vs Honda Rebel 1100: Which Rebel Should You Buy?

Honda Rebel 500 Vs Honda Rebel 1100: Which Rebel Should You Buy?

If you are intrigued to know whether the Honda Rebel 1100 is manageable for a rider of your size and skills or if you should restrict yourself to the Rebel 500, you can find the answer in this article. The Rebel series is considered one of the best beginner-friendly and simple motorcycles in the market that are easy to ride. The company initially released the 250 cc, 300 cc, and 500 cc Rebel motorbikes. All of these bikes were primarily manufactured for beginners.

After when the Rebel series became a renowned brand, Honda decided to make something for the intermediate and experienced riders looking for more power and modern technology. As a result, the company introduced the Rebel 1100 in 2021. It also became one of the premium bikes to receive Honda’s approved DCT technology. Even though the Rebel 1100 is bigger and better in terms of performance and technology, the Honda Rebel 500 is still considered the most efficient and balanced model in the Rebel series. Continue reading this article to learn about the detailed performance comparison of the Honda Rebel 500 vs the Rebel 1100.

2024 Honda Rebel 500

Honda Rebel 500
Photo credit: @Honda Powersports

2024 Honda Rebel 1100

Honda Rebel 1100
Photo credit: @Honda Powersports

1. Specs Comparison: Honda Rebel 500 Vs Honda Rebel 1100

Specs Comparison: Honda Rebel 500 Vs Honda Rebel 1100
2024 Honda Rebel 500 2024 Honda Rebel 1100
General Info
Manufacturer Honda Honda
Model Rebel 500 Rebel 1100
Model ID CMX500 Non-DCT: CMX1100
Motorcycle Type Cruiser Cruiser
Introduced in 2016 2021
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: $6,499
ABS: $6,799
ABS SE: $6,999
Non-DCT: $9,549
DCT: $10,149
Displacement 471 cc 1,083 cc
Engine Type Parallel-Twin; Four-Stroke Engine 22.5° Parallel-Twin; Four-Stroke Engine
No. of Cylinders Two Two
Valve Train Four-Valves Per Cylinder; DOHC Four-Valves Per Cylinder; Unicam SOHC
Engine Cooling System Water-Cooled Water-Cooled
Stroke 66.8 mm 81.5 mm
Bore 67 mm 92 mm
Compression Ratio 10.7:1 10.1:1
Fuel Delivery System Programmed Fuel Injection (PGM-FI) with 34 mm Throttle Body Programmed Fuel Injection (PGM-FI) with 46 mm Throttle Body
Engine Management System (EMS) None Throttle-By-Wire System
Exhaust Two-Into-One Blacked-Out Exhaust Two-Into-One Blacked-Out Exhaust
Ignition Full Transistorized Ignition Full Transistorized Ignition
Starter Electric Electric
Peak Power Output 46.9 hp / 34.3 kW at 8,500 rpm 85.8 hp / 64 kW at 7,000 rpm
Peak Torque 43 Nm / 31.7 lb-ft at 7,000 rpm 98 Nm / 72.28 lb-ft at 4,750 rpm
Fuel Economy 67 mpg (Claimed) 48 mpg
Top Speed 105.63 mph Electronically Restricted to 99 mph
Without Speed Limiter: 128 mph
Gearbox Six-Speed Non-DCT: Six-Speed
DCT: Six-Speed Automatic DCT with Reverse
Final Drive O-Ring-Sealed Chain O-Ring-Sealed Chain
Sprocket Teeth (Size) 15T/40T 16T/42T
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 Trellis Frame
Front 41 mm Front Fork 43 mm Conventional Telescopic Front Fork with Dark Titanium Oxide Coating
Adjustability (Front) No Preload Adjustable
Front Wheel Travel 5.5 in 4.8 in
Rear Dual Rear Shocks Dual Showa Rear Shocks with 12.5 mm Shafts and Piggyback Pressurized Reservoirs
Adjustability (Rear) No Preload Adjustable
Rear Wheel Travel 3.7 in 3.7 in
Front 296 mm Single-Disc Brake 330 mm Single-Disc Brake with Radial-Mount Four-Piston Caliper, ABS-Equipped
Rear 240 mm Single-Disc Brake 256 mm Single-Disc Brake, ABS-Equipped
Wheels & Tires
Wheel Type Cast Aluminum 10-Spoke Wheels with Bronze-Finished Rims Cast Aluminum 10-Spoke Wheels with Blacked-Out Rims
Front Wheel (Size) 16 in 18 in
Rear Wheel (Size) 16 in 16 in
Front Tire 130/90-16 130/70-18
Rear Tire 150/80-16 180/65-16
Dimensions & Measurements
Seat Height 27.2 in 27.5 in
Wet Weight Non-ABS: 408 lbs
ABS: 414 lbs
ABS SE: 416 lbs
Non-DCT: 487 lbs
DCT: 509 lbs
Wheelbase 1,491 mm / 58.7 in 59.8 in
Ground Clearance 136 mm / 5.4 in 4.7 in
Fuel Tank Size 3 gal 3.6 gal
Rake 28° 28°
Trail 4.3 in 4.3 in
Height 1,094 mm / 43.1 in 1,115 mm / 43.9 in
Length 2,188 mm / 86.1 in 2,242.82 mm / 88.3 in
Width 820 mm / 32.3 in Non-DCT: 853.44 mm / 33.6 in
DCT: 833.12 mm / 32.8 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
Tech Features
ABS Optional Standard
Slipper & Assist Clutch Standard Standard
Cruise Control No Standard
Throttle-By-Wire No Standard
Honda Selectable Torque Control (HSTC) No Standard
Riding Modes No Four Riding Modes:
Dual-Clutch Transmission (DCT) No Standard
Wheelie Control No Standard
Under-Seat USB-C Terminal No Standard
All-LED Lighting Standard Standard

2. Key Differences: Honda Rebel 500 Vs Honda Rebel 1100

Key Differences: Honda Rebel 500 Vs Honda Rebel 1100
2024 Honda Rebel 500 2024 Honda Rebel 1100
471 cc parallel-twin engine 1,083 cc parallel-twin engine
Simple suspensions Comparatively better suspensions
Simple chrome-coated front forks Extremely stylish dark titanium oxide coating on front forks
Transparent tail light cover Red tail light cover
Four main LED bulbs in the headlamp Tube-style LED lights on both sides around the four main LED bulbs
Overall slim silhouette Comparatively wider
Narrow gas tank design with a bigger hump on top and only 3 gals of fuel tank capacity Wider gas tank design with comparatively better fuel tank capacity of 3.6 gals
Very simple and basic motorbike with no advanced tech features except for the optional ABS More advanced motorbike with several modern tech features
16-inch front wheel 18-inch front wheel
Fat and wide front tire Comparatively slimmer front tire
Small and basic instrument screen Comparatively larger and better instrument screen
Small-sized digital meter cover Comparatively bigger digital meter cover
Only manual transmission Comes with optional DCT variant
No storage space Under-seat small storage space
Footpegs/controls are closer to the engine which can be a problem during the ride Footpegs/controls are wider and at a good distance from the engine

3. Looks & Design: Honda Rebel 500 Vs Honda Rebel 1100

The Honda Rebel 500 and the Rebel 1100 are two similar motorcycles with several common elements, including the frame and chassis. The styling elements that are identical on both these bikes include the solo rider seat, punched face-style round retro headlamp cover with chrome bezel, and four LED bulbs.

3.1 Looks & Design: Honda Rebel 500

The Rebel 500 is one of the simplest bikes on the market with an overall narrow physique and stripped-down look. This bike features a flat-style less-cushioned solo rider seat and a stylish gas tank installed diagonally adjacent to the inclined frame. The Rebel 500 comes with an exposed engine and machinery, providing it with a naked look. This bike has skinnier long-stroke front forks, providing this bike with a taller front end. However, as you move towards the rear, the height of this bike gets lower due to its slant-shaped frame’s backbone.

The front and rear mudguards on the Honda Rebel 500 are quite light and small. The tail light is smoothly integrated with the rear fender with a bit extended shape. One thing that highly distinguishes both the Honda Rebel 500 and the Rebel 1100 is the size of the front tire which is smaller in the Rebel 500. The Rebel 500 has same-sized front and rear wheels of 16 inches. However, this does not drop the front of this bike as the rubber installed is quite fat and wide, maintaining an overall balanced look. The 10-spoke wheels on the Rebel 500 look quite attractive with bronze-finished rims. Overall, the Honda Rebel 500 looks quite decent and simple with its stripped-down style and minimum elements.

3.2 Looks & Design: Honda Rebel 1100

Due to being built around the same chassis and belonging to the same Rebel lineup, the Honda Rebel 1100 gives a similar striking look as the Rebel 500. However, as it is bigger and more compact, this bike looks complete and more attractive than its smaller siblings.

Dimension-wise, the Honda Rebel 1100 is wider, bigger, and beefier. It has heftier front forks and a wider frame to neatly fix the 1100 cc engine, along with the other equipment. The Rebel 1100 also has an exposed engine and machinery, ensuring a naked look but it is more compact than the Rebel 500.

The front and rear mudguards are also broader than the ones installed on the low-powered variant. The other distinctive elements of the Rebel 1100 include the wider and bigger gas tank, more functional and bigger instrument panel with a slightly bigger shield covering it from the front, and uniquely designed 10-spoke wheels. Unlike the Rebel 500, the Rebel 1100 has an 18-inch front wheel with a comparatively slimmer tire.

The dark titanium oxide coating on the Rebel 1100’s front forks makes it look phenomenal and premium. If you see the headlight closely, you will also find it more stylish on the Rebel 1100 due to the tube-style LED lights on both sides, along with the four main LED bulbs. The tail light on the Rebel 1100 also has a transparent cover, unlike the red-colored tail light cover on the Rebel 500.

3.3 Verdict

Look-wise, both the Honda Rebel 500 and the Rebel 1100 are cool and clean-looking motorbikes. There are not many differences between the two bikes but when you see them up close, you will find several differences. Though the Rebel 1100 is more compact and is available in attractive paint job options, it will still be unfair to declare it a winner as the Rebel 500 also attracts a wide range of motorcycle riders with its smooth and slender looks.

4. Engine & Performance: Honda Rebel 500 Vs Honda Rebel 1100

4.1 Engine & Performance: Honda Rebel 1100

The Honda Rebel 1100 is the powerful most variant in the Rebel series with a 1,083 cc engine. This 1,083 cc water-cooled, 22.5° Parallel-Twin engine is a renowned and proven engine technology by Honda, previously used to power the Honda Africa Twin. This engine is well known for its esteemed reliability, character, and top-notch performance. The Rebel 1100 is undoubtedly the more powerful bike in the Rebel range with the capability to produce 85.8 hp of horsepower at 7,000 rpm and 98 Nm of torque at 4,750 rpm.

The rated output produced by the Rebel 1100 is more substantial and it can easily outrun the Rebel 500. The quick throttle response and rapid acceleration it produces are not easily manageable for new riders. You need to have the required riding skills, and experience, and make sure that all precautions are duly followed to take this bike on the road.

The exhaust note is also more addictive and deeper than the Rebel 500. Performance-wise, the Rebel 1100 is way above the Rebel 500 thanks to its muscular character. However, one thing that may bother trained and experienced riders is the installation of an electronic speed limiter in this bike as the engine is managed by a throttle-by-wire system. Though the bike accelerates quickly and reaches peak power in less time, the top speed is electronically restricted to 99-100 mph and it cannot go above it unless tuned. According to several speed tests performed on the Rebel 1100 after removing the speed limiter, this bike is reported to attain a top speed of 128 mph.

Being more powerful and heavier, the Honda Rebel 1100 is a perfect choice for highway cruising and long-haul rides. You will barely feel any major vibrations at the handlebars or footpegs even if you open full throttle. This bike stays planted and stable at most speeds and does not run out of power. Also, if you prefer riding a lot with a passenger, the Rebel 1100 is a better choice to go with than the Rebel 500.

4.2 Engine & Performance: Honda Rebel 500

If you are not after a large-displacement engine and aren’t concerned about the experienced riders in your circle questioning your riding skills, the Honda Rebel 500 does not compromise on performance. It is still the most popular Rebel model thanks to the 471 cc water-cooled, parallel-twin engine which is not only reliable but also quite smooth and responsive. The reliable 471 cc power-plant makes the bike quite punchy on the road. The bike does not shy away from accelerating as you open the throttle. The throttle response is not as quick as the Rebel 1100 but it is satisfactory for most riders.

The Rebel 500 is not only restricted to the city, it can easily take on highway challenges. Though the engine of the Rebel 500 is 612 cc smaller than the high-powered variant, it is still very much capable of smooth highway cruising and long-distance rides. The engine does not lack power and can comfortably cruise at a constant pace of 85 mph without getting breathless. Also, if you ride infrequently with a passenger within the city and on highways, the Rebel 500 is perfect for it.

The 471 cc engine generates a horsepower of 46.9 hp at 8,500 rpm and a torque of 43 Nm at 7,000 rpm. The Rebel 500 is also a more economical motorbike with an exceptional fuel mileage of 67 mpg thanks to its programmed fuel injection system and fuel-efficient engine.

5. Handling & Ride Quality: Honda Rebel 500 Vs Honda Rebel 1100

5.1 Handling & Ride Quality: Honda Rebel 500

The one thing exceptional about the Honda Rebel 500 that makes it stand out from the rest is its simplicity. This simple and clean-looking bike is one of the easiest-to-ride bikes for beginners. While riding, it feels lighter than it actually is thanks to its planted layout and low center of gravity. The Rebel 500 stays stable and planted during the ride to provide confidence to new riders.

Due to its lightweight character and confident-inspiring ride quality, the Rebel 500 also makes turning corners easier for all riders. The suspensions on this bike are quite stiff which can make riding over bumpy roads a challenge. However, the overall ride quality of this bike is smooth as you maneuver on paved roads. Being basic, there is nothing complicated about the Honda Rebel 500 which makes it a perfect choice for beginners.

5.2 Handling & Ride Quality: Honda Rebel 1100

The most exceptional thing about the Honda Rebel 1100 is that it feels quite lighter when you are riding it. Regardless of being substantially heavier than the Rebel 500, the Rebel 1100 is still reasonably easy to manage while riding it at moderate speeds or when stopped at traffic signals due to being lower to the ground. The same is the case with the other Rebel variants which makes these bikes perfectly nimble.

Unlike the Honda Rebel 500, the Rebel 1100 features better-performing front and rear suspensions with preload adjustability. However, the wheel travel they offer is not ideal for riding over bumpy roads.

The handling and turning corners are easier on the Rebel 1100 and astonishingly, the weight of this bike does not interfere much during the ride if you are experienced. It feels lighter as you lean this bike while turning corners but still, it is heavier and can be intimidating for a beginner rider.

6. Comfort & Ergonomics: Honda Rebel 500 Vs Honda Rebel 1100

The slight differences between the Honda Rebel 500 and the Rebel 1100 make both bikes provide almost similar riding styles and ergonomics. The foot controls are slightly forward than the mid-mount position, ensuring decent legroom, perfect for city travel and daily commutes. However, the legroom isn’t quite as wide and comfortable for relaxed cruising and touring as offered by most conventional-style cruisers.

The seat height on the Rebel 500 and the Rebel 1100 is also quite low which makes both these bikes approachable and easy to operate for most riders. However, a low seat height and mid-mounted foot controls are not a perfect combination in most cases as it can be highly uncomfortable for taller riders as they will have to sit with kinked-up legs and their knees will be positioned higher than the hip level.

The seat and handlebars positions on the Rebel 500 and the Rebel 1100 make riders sit in a sportier style with their back leaning towards the bars, to make sure their arms are curled enough to turn corners with ease.

7. Customization: Honda Rebel 500 Vs Honda Rebel 1100

The Rebel series, particularly the Honda Rebel 500 and the Rebel 1100 are highly modifiable thanks to their stock features and frame design. The Rebel bikes are capable of becoming better tourers and ideal cruisers by installing a few add-ons, including the windshield, sissy bar, and backrests.

Want to give a more premium look to your bike? Viking Bags offers specially designed sissy bars for your Rebel 500 and Rebel 500 ABS. The brand specializes in manufacturing saddlebags, one of the hot-selling items on the list to provide an exclusive look and improve the storage capacity of your bike. You can choose from a range of supreme quality tailor-made saddlebags for your Rebel 1100, Rebel 500, and Rebel 500 ABS.

On top of saddlebags, Viking Bags manufactures dozens of specialized versatile luggage bags for cruisers, including swingarm bags, tank bags, backpacks, roll bags, and much more.

8. Transmission: Honda Rebel 500 Vs Honda Rebel 1100

8.1 Transmission: Honda Rebel 500

Unlike the Honda Rebel 1100, the Honda Rebel 500 only comes with a six-speed manual transmission, coupled with a slipper & assist clutch, offering smooth gear shifting. The clutch feels extremely light to pull even with a finger thanks to the slipper & assist function. Unlike conventional cruisers made by Honda, the company used the chain final drive. Some riders would love to see the maintenance-free shaft or belt final drive on the Rebel series for a clean look. Also, some riders wish to have a Dual-Clutch Transmission (DCT) on the Rebel 500 to make it the ideal-most beginner bike. However, to make these changes, several upgrades will be required and resultantly, the Rebel 500 will not stay simple and affordable.

8.2 Transmission: Honda Rebel 1100

The Honda Rebel 1100 is available in two different trims:

Honda Rebel 1100 (Non-DCT)

Like the Honda Rebel 500, the non-DCT Rebel 1100 features a six-speed manual transmission and chain final drive, along with the slipper & assist clutch.

Honda Rebel 1100 DCT (Dual-Clutch Transmission)

The DCT is a reliable, proven, and tested Honda technology to resolve several issues and make riding easier for motorcycle riders. This technology was first introduced in 2009 and was successfully installed in the 2010 Honda VFR1200F. Later, the Honda Gold Wing, Honda Africa Twin, and the Rebel 1100 also featured the DCT technology.

There are diverse opinions regarding whether a bike, particularly the Honda Rebel 1100, should come with a DCT or not. Most riders in the U.S. prefer the conventional styling and elements on a motorcycle, particularly cruisers. However, the number of riders looking for high-end features and advanced tech options on a motorcycle is increasing.

The DCT feature on the Rebel 1100 provides riders with smooth, distraction-free, and clutchless rides. The Rebel 1100 DCT has no clutch lever and foot-controlled gear shifter. However, the rider can still switch between Automatic and Manual Modes with a single push of a button even during the ride. While riding in the automatic mode, the rider does not need to worry about shifting gears or engaging the clutch, the DCT system automatically shifts gears as you open and close the throttle. Meanwhile, when the rider switches to manual mode, the rider can manually shift between gears with the help of the padel shifter installed on the handlebars.

9. Pros & Cons: Honda Rebel 500 Vs Honda Rebel 1100

9.1 Pros & Cons: Honda Rebel 500

Honda Rebel 500 Pros Honda Rebel 500 Cons
Lightweight Stiffer suspensions
Affordable Not an ideal cruiser
Ideal beginners bike Not a good-looking bike for most riders
Smooth ride quality Not ideal for frequent and long two-up rides
Easily manageable Not highly comfortable
Suitable for highway cruising Not a great option for motorcycle touring
Suitable for two-up riding Foot controls are close to the engine
Easy to handle
Does not vibrate at highway speeds
Low to the ground
Easily customizable

9.2 Pros & Cons: Honda Rebel 1100

Honda Rebel 1100 Pros Honda Rebel 1100 Cons
Adequately high powered Not an ideal cruiser design
Fun to ride Suspensions are hard
Agile Not ideal for touring
Nimble Complicated construction
More compact Does not offer an upright riding posture
Easy to handle and maneuver Electronically restricted top-speed
Feels lighter
Low to the ground
Addictive sound
Accelerates well
Quick throttle response
Comes with advanced tech features
Unconventional modern cruiser
ABS is standard
DCT variant is also available
Perfect for riding with a passenger

10. Color Options: Honda Rebel 500 Vs Honda Rebel 1100

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
2024 Honda Rebel 1100 Color Options
Color Options Model Availability
Gray Metallic Available for DCT & Non-DCT Trims
Metallic Blue Available for DCT & Non-DCT Trims

11. Final Verdict: Honda Rebel 500 Vs Honda Rebel 1100

If you are in the market to buy a motorcycle that suits your size and riding skills perfectly and you are confused between the Rebel 500 and the Rebel 1100, you should go for the Rebel 500. Most probably you are considering the Rebel 500 as an option because you are either new to motorcycling or you are riding a smaller bike than a 500 cc. If that’s the case, the Rebel 500 will suit you more because it is extremely lightweight, affordable, and powerful enough to keep you satisfied, and the best bike to learn new riding skills. The Rebel 500 does not disappoint you when it comes to cruising on highways and traveling within the city. Once you get used to a 500 cc bike, only then you should switch to the Rebel 1100.

On the contrary, the Rebel 1100 is a more advanced, modern, and powerful option between the two. This bike accelerates quicker and responds smoothly as you open the throttle. The power and weight difference makes the Rebel 1100 better for those riders who have adequate motorcycle riding experience. It also makes the perfect option for a more often two-up riding experience.

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