2018 Honda Rebel 300 Review and Test Ride
Written by The Duke of DC.
The Rebel 300 is a Great Beginner Bike at the Right Price
As an entry level motorcycle enthusiast, one of the first questions you find yourself asking is, what is the right bike for me?
Companies are catering to the entry level rider more than ever before, and as a by-product, there are some amazing new and refreshed bikes on the market in 2019. As someone that’s been fortunate enough to ride not only some of the most expensive bikes, like the Honda Gold Wing, but also the fastest bikes on the market such as the Ducati Panigale, I can say with excitement that the technology and design pedigree is flowing down the production lines and into the veins of these new entry-level machines.
Standing at the top of many a riders’ lists is the Honda Rebel 300, and at a very wallet-friendly $4,500 price tag, I can understand why. The Honda Rebel 300 bridges the gap between the 800+ pound monster cruisers and the entry level riders that hope to one day own them. If the Sons of Anarchy recruited from high school, the Honda Rebel 300 would be the bike they first gave you. With specs that include 27.4 horsepower, 19.9 lb/ft of torque, a top speed of 85mph, and a staggering 71 miles per gallon average, the Honda trades thrilling power for the utilitarian dream.
Something I do truly love about the Honda is it’s complete and utter friendliness to riders of all skill levels. The Honda Rebel 300 is that comfy one-size-fits-all la-z-boy in your parent’s basement. It’s a bike for the people, by the people. The 286cc single cylinder, taken from both the CBR300R and CB300F, finds itself a perfect match for the low-slung cruiser chassis. You’ll find the 364-pound weight and 27.2-inch seat height effortless to maneuver both in slow speed parking lot situations and navigating more thrilling twisties at high speed.
How does the Honda Rebel 300 ride?
The Honda Rebel 300 seems like a clear-cut winner when you’re looking at the spec sheet but how does it actually ride? First thing I think about when I throw a leg over a bike is comfort. The Rebel 300 has achieved slightly above average comfort with a supportive seat and decent bar placement, but the mid located foot controls leave a little to be desired. You’ll find yourself wishing that full forward controls had been fitted to satiate both the true cruiser style and be able to stretch your legs on those long highway stints. As I’m not a tall rider (5’9”) this was not an issue for me, however, I’d say riders over 6” might experience issues with the control placement.
Watch The Duke Of DC’s Honda Rebel 300 test ride:
The Rebel 300 power delivers as expected
Ergonomics aside, the power delivery is as expected, with a linear throttle progression as you move through the rev range. Power is lacking a little, but you would have no problem cruising down the highway and certainly no issues in stop and go city riding situations. Brakes are on the softer side upon initial pull, but once you find the sweet spot you’ll have no issues taking this bike from 60 to 0 with confidence. Suspension is fixed in the front with preload adjustability in the rear. Feel is soft as would be expected on a cruiser style bike, but the front feels planted in the turns and the extra travel is much appreciated on bumpy stretches of highway.
2018 Honda Rebel 300 Features
Let’s talk about features! A fan favorite of any new motorcycle purchaser, there is no better feeling than discovering new little bits and bobs about your bike long after you’ve purchased it. The Rebel 300 certainly won’t leave you hunting for long, but with a digital speedometer, standard bar switches, and some under seat storage, you’ll have plenty of beeps and boops to mess around with. There is something that is shockingly missing… the tachometer! No digital or analog, it’s simply not there… perhaps given up in lieu of the fuel tank gauge, but still. On a beginner-focused, entry-level motorcycle, I’ve grown to expect three display essentials: 1)a tachometer, 2) fuel gauge, and 3) a gear indicator. The Rebel 300 is 1 for 3 here, and I have to admit I am disappointed.
How much does the 2018 Honda Rebel 300 cost?
The 2018 Honda Rebel 300 comes in two trims: the 300 (Base) and the 300 ABS, which includes the anti-lock brakes. The anti-lock brakes typically cost an extra $300 if you want that included. The pricing ranges from an MSRP of $4,449 to $4,749 on the 2018 models. The 2019 Honda Rebel 300 is $50 more expensive, at $4,499 and $4,799. Based on data from Rollick, the most popular trims are:
- 2018 Honda Rebel 300
- 2018 Honda Rebel 300 ABS
This corresponds closely with the available inventory, as 90% of Rebel 300s sitting on dealership lots don’t include the anti-lock brakes. You can get a price and see specs on the Honda Rebel 300 using the Rollick Buying Program.
In conclusion, the Honda Rebel 300 is a niche motorcycle in a niche category. With entry level bikes like the Kawasaki Ninja 400 stealing the show and premium brands like BMW catering to the ever-growing category, Honda is relying too heavily on its cruiser styling to draw in potential buyers. In a perfect world, this would be a 500cc liquid cooled twin, with a touch more focus on performance, albeit a slightly more expensive price tag, and man, would they have something. Oh wait, they already do. (See Honda Rebel 500)
About the Duke of DC
You know, my father tells me that one of my first words was “carburetor” and after my 8th car and 5th motorcycle in my relatively short time on this earth, I’m starting to believe him. I’ve been riding motorcycles since I was 15 years old, and when I started DukeOfDC it was during a really difficult time in my life. I’m just an average Joe that loves anything on two wheels and wants to share that passion with the world. Check out my YouTube channel and follow me on Twitter.