What Wikipedia Can’t Tell You About A Honda Rebel

Valve Cover Off of the Honda Rebel

Wikipedia, in my opinion, is probably the most popular website after Google. It aims to be a bias-free hub of information, and I think, for the most part, it’s successful. Wikipedia’s Honda Rebel page can tell you the tire sizes (3.0-18 and 130/90-15), frame type, that it’s chain drive, and that it was targeted toward a young audience. As it turns out, there’s deep-dark secrets involving the Honda Rebel that an internet encyclopedia can’t divulge!

Maximum Speed

Poor Wikipedia, telling everyone that the maximum speed is 70mph. I get that the tests indicated that when the bikes were made, and with the stock gearing, but a lot of us get a great deal more speed out of our Rebels! I’ve posted about the top speed of the Rebel before, but there’s other people making videos about the Rebel’s speeds, too. This guy, in his video comments, claims 85mph, which I’ve hit before, but he’s running with the 14/27T sprocket combination. There’s other videos out there, and I already posted one, so the Honda Rebel, especially with a different rear sprocket, can go faster than 70mph.

Real Gas Mileage Stats

Since the Wikipedia page relies on the EPA estimates for gas mileage ratings, it doesn’t get what the real world gets. A poll on the Honda Rebel forum shows that most people get between 65 and 80 mpg on their bikes. Fuelly’s averages show that more bikes get 68mpg than any other amount.

Differences between the different years

The old style (1985-87) versus the new style (96 and newer) Rebels share most of the same parts, with the major differences being the side covers, the side the front brake is on, and the valve cover (the new one has ugly fins). Those aren’t the only differences though. On the forum, Mojorisn and Buickguy do a thorough breakdown of what won’t fit between the generations.

Problems within the Clymer’s manual, for when you’re working on it

Extracting broken Cylinder Head Stud on Honda Rebel

When working on the bike, I like to continually check my torque values, since I’ve heard that “pop” sound more than once, with the sinking feeling that accompanies it. The torque values were wrong for the cylinder head bolts and nuts, which led me to breaking one. There’s other problems that pop up here and there, the most “ignorable” one is that it says to change the oil every 600 miles!


Lastly, Wikipedia can’t tell you how much you’ll love the Honda Rebel!

2 thoughts on “What Wikipedia Can’t Tell You About A Honda Rebel

  1. Jon

    I bought a 1987 Honda Rebel 250 with just under 5000 miles on it a month ago and I love it. This is my first bike, I ride it daily and yes I take it on the interstate and cruise just fine. I will keep this forever and hopefully keep it going for my boys to enjoy later on. The bike had a windshield on it when I bought it, after 700 miles or so I took it off and now I don’t think that I will put it back on. Nothing beats the wind in your face, just felt like a car with it on. Best buy for under $1300 having everything cleaned and ready to ride. No problems with it and I have put 1500 miles on it the past 4 weeks.

    • That’s awesome! They’re great distance bikes and are hard to kill. I loved my windshield, but that’s just it moves the wind off your chest. The 87 is the only year where there was a frame option in anything other than black! That’s what my rear swingarm was. 🙂 Glad you love your Rebel though!

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