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Honda has a reputation for making excellent motorcycles, and many consider the Rebel 500 a good Honda beginner bike. This fallacy is likely due to the cruiser’s relatively small engine displacement, diminutive size, and affordable pricing. Unfortunately, although the Honda Rebel 500 offers some elements of a good beginner motorcycle, it fails that mission in five key areas. 

The Honda Rebel 500 is too small for taller riders

The Rebel 500’s low 27-inch seat height makes it easy for “pretty much anyone” to plant both feet on the ground while straddling the bike, HotCars reports. Reaching the ground with both feet is essential for a beginner Honda bike, but taller riders will find this bike too small. 

The Honda Rebel 500’s seat lacks support

In a list of pros and cons, AutoTrader says the Rebel 500’s seat is “not comfortable for long distances.” In addition, it has a single seat, so if you want to take a passenger, you’ll need the optional second seat. Aftermarket seats are available for the Honda Rebel 500, but adding to the price and complexity of buying a bike reduces its beginner-friendliness. 

It has a small gas tank

The Honda Rebel 500’s tank holds less than three gallons of gas, which equals about 180 miles between fill-ups. Although that’s a short distance in a car, you’ll likely be thankful to stop for gas on the Rebel 500, thanks to its uncomfortable seat. However, frequent fill-ups create a safety concern for beginners because gas stations are typically busy and full of distracted drivers. Another strike against this so-called Honda beginner bike.

This bike is heavy for new riders

Weighing just over 400 pounds, the Honda Rebel 500 isn’t necessarily heavy for a 500cc cruiser. But it’s weighty enough to catch a beginner off-balance. Other lighter-weight, smaller-displacement bikes allow a lower center of gravity, making tipping less likely. In addition, if a beginner’s motorcycle ends up on the ground, a lighter bike reduces the chance of injury if it falls on someone and when uprighting it. 

The Honda Rebel 500’s non-ABS option might confuse beginners

The 2023 Honda Rebel 500 comes in three trim levels:

  • Rebel 500, $6,449
  • Rebel 500 ABS, $6,749
  • Rebel 500 ABS SE, $6,949

The best Honda beginner bikes include the ABS and ABS SE, but the $300 difference for the non-ABS base model might entice consumers unsure about motorcycles in general. However, bikes with antilock braking systems reduce accidents.

What motorcycle is best for beginners?


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The best motorcycle for a beginner depends on individual taste. Style options include cruisers, sportbikes, scooters, open-frame naked styled, and dual-sport or adventure bikes. 

The 2023 Honda CB300R is less low-slung than the Rebel 500. The CB300R uses a 286cc liquid-cooled single-cylinder four-stroke and a six-speed manual gearbox. With a 31.6-inch seat height, it’s taller than the Rebel but weighs only 316 pounds with a full 2.6-gallon gas tank. 

For commuting around campus or town, the 2023 Honda Grom is a good first bike. It weighs only 223 pounds and boasts excellent fuel economy at 166 mpg. In addition, the Grom has a 30-inch seat height and a low $3,499 MSRP.