The Honda Rebel 500’s Top Speed & Performance Capabilities

Honda Rebel 500’s Top Speed

The new Honda Rebel 500 cruiser motorcycle delivers an unexpected level of power and acceleration in its class. With its 471cc parallel-twin engine, can the Rebel 500 reach highway speeds of around 95 mph and keep up with traffic?

In short – yes. Although the Rebel 500 emphasizes style and comfort over straight line speed, its updated liquid-cooled engine offers livelier performance than you’d expect from a middleweight cruiser. We’ll take an in-depth look at the Rebel 500’s specifications, real world top speed of approximately 95 mph, acceleration time from 0-60 mph in 4.8 seconds, and expert and owner reviews on its highway performance.

Factors impacting the Rebel 500’s maximum speed capabilities, best ways to customize or modify the bike’s power, and top alternative bikes in its category will also be covered. By the end you’ll know everything about maximizing speed and enjoyment on the versatile Honda Rebel!

Honda Rebel 500 Key Specs

Price$6,449 USD
ColorsCandy Blue, Matte Black Metallic, Titanium Metallic
Engine Type471cc liquid-cooled parallel-twin four-stroke
Bore x Stroke67mm x 66.8mm
Compression Ratio10.7:1
Valve TrainSOHC; 4 valves per cylinder
Induction SystemProgrammed Fuel Injection (PGM-FI); 34mm throttle body
Final DriveO-ring-sealed chain; 15T/40T
Front Suspension41mm fork; 5.5-inch travel
Rear SuspensionDual shocks; 3.7-inch travel
Front BrakesSingle 296mm disc
Rear BrakesSingle 240mm disc
Front Tire Size130/90-16
Rear Tire Size150/80-16
Fuel Tank Capacity3.0 gallons
Wheelbase58.7 inches
Seat Height27.2 inches
Curb Weight408 pounds
Top Speed*Around 95 mph
0-60 mph Time*Around 4.8 seconds

How Fast Can the 500cc Engine Propell You Forward?

how fast can the 500cc engine propell you forward

The Rebel 500’s motor provides ample mid-range punch but tapers off up top compared to true performance bikes. Wide powerbands focused under 7000 rpm suit these cruisers well, providing strong roll-on torque rather than screaming redline power.

Don’t mistake the Honda Rebel 500 as slow or underpowered though – far from it! The little 500cc mill churns out up to 45.9 horsepower paired to an equal 29.9 lb-ft of torque. That muscle combines with the Rebel’s low 408 pound curb weight for a thrilling power-to-weight ratio in the middleweight cruiser segment.

What Is The Actual Top Speed of the Rebel 500?

what is the actual top speed of the rebel 500

Real world top speed testing reveals the Rebel 500 maxes out around 95 mph when ridden solo. Factoring in slight variations per individual bike and testing conditions, that puts top speed on par with competitors like the Kawasaki Vulcan S.

The Rebel 500’s top end matches its surprisingly punchy acceleration…

Quick Off The Line: Rebel 500 0-60 MPH Times

The parallel twin packs rapid acceleration off the line for a middleweight cruiser. Tank-empty tests by Riders Magazine clocked the updated liquid-cooled 500 hitting 60 mph in just 4.8 seconds.

Torque focused gearing sees the Honda reaching 30 mph in a mere 2.96 seconds, which rivals the torquey output of bigger cruisers! Power stays linear into triple digit speeds rather than falling off sharply like the previous generation 300cc Rebel models.

Honda Rebel 500 Top Speed by Model Year

Model YearTop Speed0-60 mph
202395 mph (152.8 km/h)4.8 seconds
202295 mph (152.8 km/h)4.8 seconds
202195 mph (152.8 km/h)4.8 seconds
202095 mph (152.8 km/h)4.8 seconds
201995 mph (152.8 km/h)4.8 seconds
201895 mph (152.8 km/h)4.8 seconds

2023 Honda Rebel 500 Top Speed

The 2023 Honda Rebel 500 has a top speed of 95 mph (152.8 km/h).

Honda Rebel 300 Top Speed

The Honda Rebel 300 has a lower top speed of around 95 mph (152 km/h) due to its smaller 286cc engine.

Honda Rebel 1100 Top Speed

The larger 1,083cc engine in the Honda Rebel 1100 boosts its top speed to over 128 mph (205 km/h).

Now let’s examine what engine characteristics, gearing, aerodynamics and other factors allow the 471cc Rebel to reach triple digit speeds…

What Determines The Rebel 500’s Top Speed?

what determines the rebel 500's top speed

A motorcycle’s maximum speed stems from an equilibrium point balancing output from the engine/transmission and resistant forces including aerodynamic drag, rolling resistance from the tires and drivetrain losses.

Higher revving engines with more peak horsepower produce faster top speeds. But real world conditions vary greatly. Let’s break down key areas determining the Rebel 500’s velocity capabilities:

Powerplant Output

The Rebel 500’s engine spins up quicker and delivers more mid-range torque than previous generation air-cooled Rebels. Redline sits around 7000 rpm, a bit short of high performance bikes but providing a wide sweet spot between 6000-6500 rpm where acceleration feels strongest.

There’s still room for more top end power through factory improvements or modifications detailed later. But overall the 471cc parallel twin supplies plenty of highway capability.


A six speed transmission keeps the engine’s rpm in the right zone for cruising stability or aggressive acceleration when called for. Lower ratios provide stomp and go thrust from a stoplight. Tall 5th and 6th gears let the Rebel cruise highways without excessive vibration.


The Rebel 500’s wide handlebars and low 28 inch overall height exacerbate wind resistance at high speeds. Riders may notice the front end getting blown around on particularly gusty days. Still, Honda’s styling tweaks improved airflow over previous generations.

Overall it’s impressive how composed the 500 remains even nearing 95 mph!

Rider Impressions on The Rebel 500’s Highway Performance

The Honda Rebel 500 garners widespread praise as an unexpectedly quick and smooth running middleweight cruiser. Both new and experienced riders enjoy the responsive low end power and capabilities even for highway touring. Some owner testimonials:

“This bike is fast enough to ride on any highway. It handled a 400 mile trip with no problems keeping up with traffic going 80 mph.”

“For a 500cc the top speed of around 95 mph exceeded my expectations. Acceleration is really smooth thanks to the slipper clutch.”

“I was worried it would feel underpowered as a new rider. But the engine has tons of torque and it’s so light and nimble.”

Experienced riders switching from larger machines also found the performance pleasing:

“It’s plenty fast with great torque off the line. Hitting 6000 rpm it really takes off compared to my old Shadow 750!”

The Rebel 500 strikes an excellent balance between engine output and lighter weight handling. Now let’s see how it stacks up to the competition…

Rebel 500 vs. Rival 500cc Cruisers

The Rebel’s liquid cooled parallel twin stacks up well compared to other middleweight cruisers:

Kawasaki Vulcan S – Nearly identical horsepower and acceleration.

Yamaha Bolt – Slightly lower horsepower and peak torque than the Honda. Traditional air cooled v-twin limits rev range.

Suzuki Boulevard C50 – More torque focused power delivery but 8 more horsepower.

Each bike has its unique strengths and trade-offs. The Rebel 500’s engine configuration provides a good mix of power and efficiency, while the Vulcan S offers more horsepower and torque but at the cost of increased weight. The Yamaha Bolt’s air-cooled engine gives it a classic cruiser feel, but with limited revs. The Suzuki Boulevard C50, being the heaviest, might not be as nimble but offers a torque-rich riding experience. Ultimately, the best choice depends on the rider’s preferences for power, handling, style, and comfort.

Unlocking The Rebel 500’s Top Speed Potential

unlocking the rebel 500’s top speed potential

While the Rebel delivers ample acceleration for around-town cruising or highway trips, what’s the best way to push it to higher velocity limits? Let’s examine pro tips to eke out every last bit of speed.

Advanced ECU Tuning

Aftermarket engine control modules like the Power Commander V tap into the 500 parallel twin’s potential for substantially more power upstairs. ECU tuning combined with a free flowing exhaust system boosts rear wheel horsepower over stock levels.

Careful fuel mapping balances low end torque and emissions compliance while letting revs climb higher in the band before fuel/spark is cut off.

Experienced riders could expect to see top speed extended to around 100 mph after professional dyno tuning – not bad for a “middleweight” cruiser!

Gearing Changes

Adjustable rear sprockets fine tune power delivery for riders wanting more thrust off the line or higher maximum velocity. Simple sprocket changes only cost around $100-150. Going up one tooth on the rear adds mechanical leverage for faster acceleration.

Weight Reduction

Aftermarket parts shaving pounds amplify the Rebel 500’s power to weight ratio. Carbon fiber bodywork, lightweight wheels and Deleting passenger accommodations trims heft for a quicker, more agile machine.

Safety Features Allow Confident Speeds

Ample speed doesn’t mean sacrificing confidence or safety. The Rebel 500 provides excellent stability and handling for a cruiser thanks to:

ABS Brakes – Optional ABS maximize braking force in slippery conditions without lock up or skidding. Combined with Honda’s radial mount calipers and 296mm discs up front, stopping power stays strong even at higher velocities.

Neutral Handling Chassis – A low center of gravity, wide handlebars and balanced suspension geometry gives the Rebel reassuring cornering manners. 41mm front forks feature stiffer springs and tweaked damping settings over earlier models for superb road holding ability.

Riders can push into twisty backroads without the Rebel 500 feeling unstable or out of its comfort zone.

Any Drawbacks To The Rebel 500’s Performance?

any drawbacks to the rebel 500's performance

For all its strengths maximizing power from a 500cc platform, what are some downsides to consider?

Peaky power delivery – While low end torque pulls hard, power can fall off rapidly approaching 7000 rpm redline as the rev limiter cuts fueling. Peak output hits at a relatively lofty 6500 rpm – tricky to reach and maintain.

Buzzier parallel twin – The 270° crankshaft yields uneven firing pulses compared to a smoother 90° V-twin. More vibration comes through nearing redline or at prolonged highway speeds. The prior generation Rebel 300/500 with 360° twins felt noticeably smoother.

Those drawbacks seem minor given the level of usable power and daily enjoyment the updated Rebel 500 provides. No bike is perfect, but this mini power cruiser hits the sweet spot on pricing, size and thrilling acceleration!

Great Alternative 500cc Cruisers To Consider

The Honda Rebel 500 makes an excellent choice for entry level or shorter riders wanting classic cruiser style with ample real world speed. But it’s not the only option for those seeking highway capable performance in a smaller package. Two other bikes merit consideration:

Suzuki Boulevard C50 – This middleweight uses a time tested 805cc V-twin to generate torque-rich acceleration superior to the Rebel 500. Beefier chassis and styling skew towards veteran riders though.

Kawasaki Vulcan S – Nearly a dead ringer for Rebel 500 performance, but with slightly revvier power delivery. Adjustable ergonomics provide better adaptation for shorter or bigger riders. More touring comfort than the bare bones Rebel as well.

Conclusion – Surprising Speed Wrapped in Style

In a world of overpowered superbikes, the Honda Rebel 500 cruiser provides a refreshing level of usable power. Strong acceleration, triple digit top speeds and torque rich flexibility maintain excitement both around town and out on the highway. Beginners appreciate the unintimidating nature and comfy ergonomics while veterans admire the improved performance over earlier Rebels.

While straight line speed lacks compared to specialized speed demons, there’s plenty of punch for spirited backroad runs when the twisties call. Effortless cruising power matches perfectly with this mini cruiser’s charming throwback style – it’s a Goldilocks package not too big, not too small, but just right!

The Honda Rebel 500 continues Honda’s legendary reputation for building quality, innovation, reliability, and value right into the core of every kind of Honda bike they make.

So if you’re looking for rebel style without feeling underpowered or overwhelmed as a new rider, the surprisingly swift Rebel 500 hits a sweet spot. Timeless styling and ample real world speed merge wonderfully with Honda’s refined fit and finish. Discover why riders everywhere are falling for this mighty mini cruiser!

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