The Bobber segment is still a very niche and high-end segment in India. While riders have always fancied owning a premium bobber in our country, the cost of owning one is pretty high which isn’t suitable for mass-market buyers.
Honda is trying to bring a fresh change in this segment by introducing a bobber which is affordable yet has every element of this segment and comes with the ride and handling of a traditional cruiser bike. The Rebel 500, Honda’s take on a mid-sized neo-retro cruiser, might step foot into India pretty soon. In this article, we look at what we can expect from the upcoming motorcycle when it lands in India.
Styling & Features
The Rebel is a blank canvas for one’s self-expression. But unlike the canvas one buys at the art store, this one’s not boring white. As is, its blacked-out engine pieces, frame, and bodywork elements look great during the day and even better at night. It’s fairly simple to look at with bobbed fenders and fat chunky tyres. It features LED lights all around, a circular negative LCD display backlit in white and a comfortable riding posture.
The Rebel’s blacked-out exhaust system blends perfectly with the bike’s overall look. Another critical item in motorcycle design is the headlight. The lamp is bright and precise, while the round nacelle shape, aluminium cast headlight mount and glass lens give the Rebel a character that exudes class. Another iconic element combining traditional and new, the Rebel’s instruments take a classic shape and fill it with totally up-to-date digital LCD information. New for 2020, the instruments now include a gear-position indicator and a fuel-consumption display.
The new Rebel 500 is powered by a 471cc, liquid-cooled parallel twin-cylinder engine that’s seen on the CBR500R. The motor makes 46.2PS at 8500rpm and 43.3Nm at 6000rpm, mated to a six-speed transmission and a slipper clutch. Fuel tank capacity is rated at 11.2 litres. The Honda Rebel 500 comes with a claimed mileage of 26kmpl. A seat height of 690mm should be ideal for short riders.
In terms of hardware, the bike comes equipped with a low-slung tubular frame, a 41mm telescopic fork and twin rear shocks from Showa. Its braking setup comprises a single 296mm disc up front and a single disc at the rear. Its 16-inch tyres come wrapped in a 130/90-section front and 150/80-section rear tyre. The entire package weighs in at 191kg kerb.
Honda has also launched a Bobber Special Edition variant of the Rebel 500 in Thailand which will be produced in a limited run of 100 units and it is around Rs 29,000 more expensive than the standard version in Thailand.
Expected India Launch
Although there is no confirmation from Honda Motorcycles and Scooters India about launching the Rebel 500 in India, industry experts believe that it will arrive in India more or less along the same time as CBR500R, i.e., towards the end of this year or early next year. As far as prices go, it is expected to be priced around Rs 4.50 lakh(ex-showroom, India). Due to its competitive price point, its direct rival in this segment will be the Jawa Perak which is the most affordable bobber currently in this segment in India.