Petrol Pinchers: Honda Rebel 250 - First Look

The Chopperette.

Petrol Pinchers: Honda Rebel 250 - First Look

Petrol Pinchers: Honda Rebel 250 - First Look

Cards on the table, I'm not much of a cruiser guy, so the Honda Rebel, as cute a little ¾-scale chopperette as you'll find, is not something I'd usually choose to be seen on. The standard-style Nighthawk 250 (same engine) would be more like it, but Honda says it gets outsold 10 to 1 by the Rebel so what do I know? An indictment of our culture, in my opinion.

Here we have Honda's impeccable engineering, with a quiet inline-Twin and all the modern features (okay, no radiator but that's not always an advance) mixed/cursed with stepped seat, high and wide bars, forward controls, all the accoutrements of the 20-year-old cruiser fad.

This is a shame. The Rebel will walk away from traffic, will cruise at 70 indicated with plenty of buzz but no apparent damage or risk or loosened parts. It fires right up, runs cool in traffic, has good brakes, should be low-maintenance and the fill-up showed 78.3 mpg. Wow!

But the overdone bars force a posture that hurts my neck, and the seat is too close to the controls for me, an average-size guy. In sum, excellent mechanicals and astonishing economy that for me don't quite overcome the goofy styling, but if you're under 5-foot-7 and like the mini-Low Rider looks, God bless and have at it.

Update: American Honda still has the Rebel, now priced at $3199.