Honda CMX 250 Rebel




Make Model

Honda CMX 250 Rebel




Four stroke, parallel twin cylinder. SOHC. 2 valve per cylinder


234 cc / 14.3 cu-in
Bore x Stroke 53 x 53 mm
Cooling System Air cooled
Compression Ratio 9.2;1
Lubrication Wet sump


Single 26mm diaphragm-type constant-velocity (CV) carburetor


Digital CDI
Starting Electric

Max Power

18.5 hp / 13.5 kW @ 8250 rpm

Max Torque

18.6 Nm /  @ 5500 rpm
Clutch Wet, cable operated


5 Speed 
Final Drive Chain

Front Suspension

33mm Telescopic fork
Front Wheel Travel 117 mm / 4.6 in

Rear Suspension

Dual shocks with five-position spring preload adjustability
Rear Wheel Travel 74 mm / 2.9 in

Front Brakes

Single 240mm discs 2 piston caliper

Rear Brakes

230mm Drum

Front Tyre

3.00 -18

Rear Tyre

130/90 -15
Rake 30°
Trail 113 mm / 4.4 in
Wheelbase 1450 mm / 57.1 in
Seat Height 676 mm / 26.6 in

Dry Weight

141 kg / 331 lbs

Fuel Capacity

10 Litres / 2.6 gal

The Rebel 250 has wandered in and out of Honda's lineup for several years. For 1996 the Rebel is in, and Honda will probably find it in their heart to forgive you if you didn't notice this while drooling over the CBR900RR or the Valkyrie.

Yes, the Rebel is back to fill a small but stable market niche for a lightweight novice bike with a low seat. There's only one way to say it: This bike was made for short people.

Very short people, actually. At a relatively stubby 5'6", our shortest tester was barely small enough to fit on the bike. The suspension didn't bottom out and his elbows didn't touch his knees, but it would have been much more comfortable if the bars, pegs, and seat had all been about an
inch further from each other.

The only normal-sized feature of the Rebel is its handlebar. The wide, flat bar puts your hands far apart. It also makes lane-splitting slightly more difficult than it should be: if the bar was a few inches narrower this 250 could be the ultimate commuter bike. But that same tiller allows you to push the front end around with ease. The bike is very flickable at low speeds.

This flickability makes the Rebel an entertaining ride. It has more ground clearance than most cruisers, and the light weight actually makes riding the local canyons fun. There is sinful pleasure in pushing this little bike through a corner with the peg grinding away.

For a rider with any experience, the lack of power from the air-cooled twin would be a problem. Tucked in as tightly as we could get, we saw an indicated 80 mph on the speedometer. To its credit, the bike was quite happy to deal with this sort of abuse, and displayed no scary traits at speed. Of course, Honda hasn't aimed this bike at experienced riders, and novices will find the power output unintimidating.

"If you're looking for a novice-level motorcycle and can't find another bike on the market that will fit you, then the little Honda could work out nicely."

As you would expect, this 250 is built to a price. Unfortunately, it shows. Most of the fit and finish of the bike is up to a high standard. But little details, like a missing oil light (never mind the lack of a tach), budget OEM tires, and a weak non-halogen headlight stick out. Also, the transmission was always balky, and we had trouble getting into neutral while stopped and experienced occasional false neutrals while moving through the gearbox.

All nitpicking aside, the only real problem is that Honda hasn't priced this motorcycle as cheaply as we would like to see. At $3999, it is a hundred dollars more than a Yamaha Virago 250, and only a hundred dollars less than Suzuki's GS500E. So who wants a Rebel? If you're looking for a novice-level motorcycle and can't find another bike on the market that will fit you, then the little Honda could work out nicely.