Honda Rebel 250 Specs and Review

The Honda Rebel 250 motorcycle has introduced road riders to the sport of motorcycling than most other bikes. It is a novice-friendly motorbike that is fuel-efficient and great for cruising down the highway. This article will describe the Honda Rebel 250, including all of its specs and features.

The Honda Rebel 250 is a production model motorcycle, produced from 1985 until 2016.  Made by Honda Motor Company Ltd., the Rebel 250 is very maneuverable when making low-speed turns. It performs well when negotiating a big sweeper.

This motorbike is not only great for a new motorcyclist but is also very reliable and fuel-efficient. Honda ceased production of the Rebel 250, but its legend still lives on. There are still a few Rebel 250 survivors that are roaming around the streets as bobbers.

Read on to learn more about the Honda Rebel 250, its background, its specs and features, and its pros and cons.

About the Honda Rebel 250

honda rebel 250

Honda Motor Company Ltd. is the maker of Honda Rebel 250. This company started building the Rebel 250 in 1985. But its engine dates back earlier. The engine was borrowed from the Honda CM-250, a lightweight motorbike with the UJM style of the 19800s.

The Honda Rebel 250 became known as a small, economical, and reliable novice-friendly motorbike in the city. This bike gained critical acclaim from the general public and the motorcycle media right after it was released.

Ideal Bike to Cater to the MTV Generation

According to a motorcycle magazine, it was the ideal bike to cater to the MTV generation. During that time, Honda was bent on capturing the young riders trying their first motorbiking steps.

Honda’s marketing efforts proved profitable because the market found the Honda Rebel 250 affordable and a dependable cruiser for those who are just learning to be riders. The engine provided a smooth ride but is also powerful.

In its early days, the Rebel 250 was powered by a 234 cc straight-twin engine. It provided enough power that is exactly what beginner riders need. The bike was typically used by the MSF (Motorcycle Safety Foundation) to teach certified motorbike training courses.

This motorbike had the best fuel efficiency during the period of 1985 to 1996. It was achieving 310 kilometers for every full tank of gasoline. At that time, it offered the best in fuel economy in its class and among the competitor motorcycle brands.

Standard Motorbike for the Metropolitan Police Department of the District of Columbia

The Rebel 250 was the standard motorbike for the Metropolitan Police Department of the District of Columbia. Previously, the MPD DC police force was using Vespa scooters. With more market penetration, Honda continued producing the Rebel 250 and produced and released bigger variants of the model series.

The Honda Rebel 250 continued to be a production model until 2016. That means Honda ceased its production after that. Some of its remnants exist today, along with its bigger siblings, the 300 and the 500 models.

The Honda CMX 250 Rebel is one of the models of this series. It is a Cruiser Class motorbike powered by a 234 cc, two-cylinder, four-stroke, air-cooled engine. This engine is capable of producing 19 horsepower at 6,500 revolutions per minute. It can achieve its maximum torque of 19 Newton meters at 5,500 RPM.

Honda Rebel 250’s Revival

The Honda Rebel 250 has a revival of sorts in March 2020. Three models were unveiled during that time, along with two other Honda motorcycle models. The upgraded models came with a slipper clutch. This clutch upgrade made the shifting of gears smoother and easier.

Also included in the upgrades are a new LED headlight, turn signals, and taillight. There was also a gear indicator added in the retro-style instrument cluster. But the motorcycle still was not fitted with a tachometer.

Along with the standard variant, an S variant was also launched. Both variants are equipped with a 249 cc DOHC liquid-cooled, single-cylinder engine. It can produce 26 hp. and 22 Nm of torque.

Ideal for Smaller Riders

The Honda Rebel 250 was ideal for smaller riders because of its small and lightweight design. Its seat height is about 27 inches. The weight of this motorbike is around 77.3 pounds or about 170 kilos.

Many riders who owned Honda Rebel 250s have opted to turn them into bobbers. Many companies offer bobber conversion kits. Such kits include many transformation items such as bobber sit, suspension, and other accessories.

These kits can transform a stock motorcycle into a particular bobber model. The Honda Rebel 250 is a good bobber candidate because it is a sturdy and durable motorbike. Its performance is great, and its physical features are great for transformation. Many attractive bobbers that you see around the world are originally stock Honda Rebel 250s.

Honda Nighthawk Specs and Review

Honda Rebel 250 Specs and Review

The Honda Rebel 250 is a good bike because it is very durable and reliable. It is also very maneuverable at low-speed turns and is great for cruising down the highway when leaning into a big sweeper.

For a novice biker, the Honda Rebel 250 is ideal. It is best if you are after a reliable, fuel-efficient, strong, and cruiser-style motorbike. The Rebel 250 was a production model of Honda that was launched in 1985 and continued its production run until 2016.

Honda Motor Ltd. no longer produces this bike model, so you won’t see many of them roaming the streets. Perhaps there are still a few stock models left around. But most of the units you will see on the streets are probably bobbers of the original stock model.

The Honda Rebel 250 is a bit too small for bigger riders. It is great for smaller riders. But it does not mean that taller people can’t ride them. But generally, those who are 5’10” will experience leg cramps after about an hour of riding.

If two persons ride it, the power and braking distance of the Rebel 250 are reduced considerably. Its soft suspension also bottoms out when carrying a passenger who is tagging along with the driver.

Honda Nighthawk 750 Specs and Review

Honda Rebel 250 Features

honda rebel 250 top speed

If you examine the features of the Honda Rebel 250, you will understand why it attracted the new motorbike riders during its heyday:

1. Novice-friendly

The best feature that Honda Rebel 250 offered the market is its beginner-friendly nature. In fact, there was no other motorbike in its day that was friendlier to beginners than this motorbike. Its power delivery is tame, so you can easily manage it.

This motorcycle has a long wheelbase of about 57.1 inches. Combine that with a low seat height of around 26.6 inches and a manageable weight of 331 pounds, and you get a very agile but stable platform that you can ride with confidence – even if you are a beginner.

If you add its ease of maintenance, low operating costs, and proven Honda reliability, you can understand why it became a best seller during its time. But for its own reasons, Honda decided to stop its production when the company introduced the all-new Rebel 300 in 2017.

2. Smooth but Powerful Engine

The original Rebel 250 is propelled by an air-cooled 234 cc V-twin gasoline engine. This engine has proven itself for decades. At this point in its production, Honda engineers claim that this engine is bulletproof.

When installed in the bike’s frame, this engine looks quite small. But that smaller size enabled the motorbike to have a low vehicle weight. When it is fully gassed up, this motorbike only weighs around 329 pounds.

This overall weight made it the powerhouse in its class of motorbikes. It also has a quick take-off and can sustain its power even if it is cruising at 60 to 70 miles per hour. This bike is also able to conquer the steeps. But you may have to downshift fast to keep the engine happy.

3. Great Performance

The Honda Rebel 250 engine can generate a maximum power of 18.7 hp. At 6,500 RPM, and a maximum torque of 19 Nm at 5,500 RPM. All things considered, the Honda Rebel 250 top speed can reach up to 110 kph. 

This motorbike is very frugal in using gasoline, consuming just 1 liter for every 22 kilometers traveled. Meaning that’s about 51.7 miles per gallon. With a top speed of 110 kph, this motorbike is also quick since it can attain 100 kph. in just about 11.86 seconds

4. Good for Short Riders, Still Ok for Taller Riders

With its low seat height and its low weight, the Rebel 250 is very easy to maneuver at low speeds. And new riders usually drive at low speeds. So, this is the reason why the Rebel 250 is friendlier to novice motorbike riders.

Novice bikers tend to drop their bikes at low speeds. So, they only need to put their feet flat on the ground to avoid dropping this bike. Its low seat height also helps very much when backing down or parking the bike.

Some say it is not very ideal for taller riders. While that may be true, some tall drivers said they still felt comfortable sitting on the Rebel 250. Generally, taller and heftier drivers will find themselves cramped in the seat of this bike.

Honda Nighthawk 250 Specs and Review

Honda Rebel 250 Specs

Here are some of the key Honda Rebel 250 specifications:

  • Engine type: 234 cc., Air-cooled, four-stroke vertical twin gasoline engine
  • Seat height: 26.6 in.
  • Overall length: 83.3 in.
  • Wheelbase: 57.1 in.
  • Wet weight: 329 lb.
  • Gross Vehicle Weight Rating: 675 lb.
  • Handlebar width: 32.0
  • Rake/trail: 30 degrees / 4.4 in.
  • Final drive: Chain, 33/14
  • Average range: 172 miles
  • Fuel mileage: 66 mpg
  • Fuel capacity: 2.6 gal.
  • Front suspension: 33mm stanchions, 4.6 in. travel
  • Rear suspension: Two dampers, 2.9 in. travel, adjustable for preload
  • Wheels: Wire-spoke, 1.85 x 18 in. front, 2.75 x 15 in. rear
  • Suggested base price: $2999

Honda VFR 800 Specs and Review

Full Specifications of the Honda Rebel 250

The following table will give you the full specs of the Honda Rebel 250. It includes everything from the details of the engine up to the description of the other parts of the motorcycle:

Model NameRebel 250 ED, Rebel 250 G, Rebel
Bike TypeCruiser
Production1985 to 2016
Engine Type250cc Air-cooled 4-stroke, Two-cylinder
Displacement (cc)234 cm³ (14.2 cu in)
Maximum Power18.7 hp. (13,8 kW) / 6500 rpm
Maximum Torque19.0 Nm (1.94 kgf*m) / 5500 rpm
Ignition SystemCDI
Bore x Stroke53.0 x 53.0 mm
Starting SystemElectric
Fuel SystemCarburetor. single 26mm diaphragm-type constant-velocity (cv) carburetor
Fuel TypeGasoline
Recommended OilHonda GN4 10W-40
Cooling SystemAir-cooled
Mileage and Performance 
Top Speed110 km/h (70 mph)
0-100 Kph11.86 sec
Fuel Capacity10.5 liters / 2.8 US gallons
Fuel economy62.6 miles per US gallon
Wheels and Tires 
Front Tire Size90/100-18
Rear Tire Size130/90-15M/C (66P)
BrakesDisc & Drum
Front BrakeSingle disc, 240 mm, 2-piston caliper
Rear BrakeDrum
Chassis and Suspension 
Front SuspensionTelescopic fork 33 mm, 120 mm / 4.7 in
Rear SuspensionSwingarm with twin-shock, 74 mm / 2.9 in
Frame typeAdjustment: 5-way spring pre-load, Tubular steel double-cradle
Gear Box5-speed constant mesh
Final DriveChain
Chain520X108 ’85-87; 520X120 ’88+
ClutchWet, multi-plate, cable operated
Dimension and Weight 
Seat height675 mm / 26.6 in
Overall height1100 mm / 43.3 in
Overall width815 mm / 32.1 in
Overall length2115 mm / 83.3 in
Ground Clearance150 mm / 5.9 in
Dry weight136 kg / 300 lbs.
Curb Weight150.1 kg/ 330 lbs.

Honda Rebel 250 Pros and Cons

honda rebel 250 specs

This review will be incomplete without discussing the pros and cons of the Honda Rebel 250. Overall, this motorcycle is good. However, it also has a few drawbacks:


  • Engine performance is great
  • Its light weight makes for easy maneuverability
  • It makes low speed turns safe and easy


  • Suspension is a bit on the soft side
  • Not very accommodating to taller riders
  • The overall style is somewhat dated

Conclusion: Honda Rebel 250 Review

The Honda Rebel 250 is a production model motorcycle that was introduced in 1985. Its production run lasted until 2016.  Made by Honda Motor Company Ltd., this motorbike is very maneuverable when making low-speed turns. It is perfect for cruising down the highway when it leans into a big sweeper.

You may be able to see a few Honda Rebel 250 units running down the streets. But most probably, they are already transformed into bobbers and not the original stock models.

Read next:

Honda Reflex Specs and Review