I fell in love with a little Honda Rebel 250 several years ago. I got to ride a CMX250C when I took the MSF Basic Rider Course
The Honda Rebel 250 was first introduced to the US market in the mid-80’s and was built specifically at attracting new riders to motorcycling. The lightweight, reliable and affordable Honda Rebel 250 makes a great choice for riders looking for a econocruiser, commuter or a first bike.
They are lightweight. Easy to maneuver. They make enough power to be fun but not so much that you have to worry about it getting away from you unless you’re trying too hard. Like my dad used to say. “Any of them are fast enough to get you killed.”
The little Rebel 250 uses a parallel twin-cylinder 234cc air-cooled engine which gives it a smoother ride than it single cylinder marketplace competitors such as the Suzuki GZ250.
The Honda Rebel 250 has a low curb weight of 375 pounds. It’s light weight makes it a good candidate for carrying it on a hitch mounted rack for your RV. Take your motorcycle camping. It’s a great way to do day trips. Leave the truck and camper at basecamp.
I know I’m sorta counter-culture to many bikers with their big V-Twins, and that’s OK. I’ve got nothing against big CC bikes. I’ve got a Goldwing on my want list. Right after a little rebel 250.
Little motorcycles are the gateway to gaining an appreciation of what you and I already know about putting that kickstand up. You don’t have to have 1348cc’s of ground trembling iron between your knees to have a good time on two-wheels. There are plenty of people out there touring the world on small cc bikes that the black leather crowd wouldn’t ride to the corner store.
The Motorcycle Safety Foundation works with State and other agencies to support Rider Training Classes. In Ohio, the bikes are owned by the state. They periodically are replaced, and the older bikes go through the surplus property auctions. They usually thin the herd at the end of the training season.
Right now, I am wishing I could have made a run to Columbus for the state auction this weekend. They had several little cc bikes going up for sale. They are bikes from the rider training classes and have probably never hit 40 mph. They’ve all got 2500 to 5000 miles on them, from riding around the parking lots of community colleges. Some have a few dents and scrapes that come from a decade of greenhorns.
I see these retired rider training bikes as an opportunity to pick up a few inexpensive bikes to tinker with in the cold months with the intention of reselling them in the spring. A Rebel 250 in good condition will easily fetch $1500 to a savvy new motorcyclist. The prices realized from the October 2018 Ohio State Surplus Vehicle Auction ranged from $300-600.
These little bikes have plenty of life left in them. A fresh battery, a carb cleaning, a clutch adjustment and maybe a new turn signal or a fresh set of tires and you’re ready to cruise the backroads or commuting across town or campus.
A little rebel 250 makes a great platform for an budget-bobber build. A great way to get your hands dirty if you you’re new to fabricating or wrenching and want to get in there and see how it works.
What do you ride these days? You probably started off on a smaller bike and worked your way up. I’d love to hear from you.
Do you have a motorcycle endorsement on your driver’s license?
If you don’t, you should. I highly recommend the MSF BRC for starters. The classes are partially funded by grants, so the tuition you do have to pay is minor compared to going to the motorcycle dealership for training. In Ohio at least, they instructors run you through the test at the end of the class. You finish with the certificate. Take it to the Deputy Registrar and they print you a new ID.
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