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2020 Honda Rebel 300 / 500

2020 Honda Rebel 300 / 500

Honda’s iconic Rebel, now with a slip-and-assist clutch

Honda rolls into the new decade with the first overhaul to its newest-generation Rebel range. It has only been a few years since the classic Rebel line was replaced by the current iteration, and the added features are largely due to feedback from the new rider base. New suspension components improve the ride along with upgrades to the lighting and clutch pack to increase overall safety and expand its buyer base.

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2017 - 2019 Honda Rebel 300 / Rebel 500

2017 - 2019 Honda Rebel 300 / Rebel 500

It Has A Sportier Look And A New Attitude

Honda brought one of its most recognized model families into the 21st century with a complete overhaul of the much celebrated Rebel range in 2017. Available as the Rebel 300 and 500, this reworked line features water-cooled mills and fuel-injection induction control to meet modern and near-future emissions standards. A sportier look greets the eye this time around, though the Rebel still targets the same small-[cruiser-mot392], entry-level market.

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2015 - 2019 Honda Shadow Aero / Shadow Phantom

2015 - 2019 Honda Shadow Aero / Shadow Phantom

Vintage American Cruiser Style

Honda made an honest attempt to capture that look and feel of yesteryear with the Shadow duo, the big brothers to the Rebel range. Maybe just a little too honest – is that a mechanical drum brake I see? Still with a 745 cc engine and a wide-ratio transmission, the Shadow Phantom and the Aero fill the "cruiser" slot quite adequately for Honda.

Continue reading for my review of the Honda Shadow Phantom and Shadow Aero.

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2016 - 2019 Honda Fury / Stateline

2016 - 2019 Honda Fury / Stateline

That Stretched, Custom Look In A Production Bike

The Honda designers targeted the outlaw chopper culture of the ’60s and ’70s, and managed to turn out a fairly faithful interpretation in the Fury, which is carried into 2019 though we lost its stablemate, the Stateline, from the lineup in 2017. The deep saddle and cut-down rear fender combined with the sweep of the fuel tank give it that stretched, custom look. For the American market, the 52-degree V-twin fits right in with a 1,312 cc engine that isn’t so big as to be intimidating. Join me as I critique Honda’s attempt to recapture our glory days.

Continue reading for my review of the Honda Stateline and Fury.

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2014 - 2018 Honda CTX700 / CTX700N

2014 - 2018 Honda CTX700 / CTX700N

Equipped With The DCT Transmission

Honda’s CTX700 siblings brings flexibility and rider-friendliness to the table with a laid-back cruiser attitude. The 670 cc, parallel-twin engine delivers manageable power, and a choice of transmissions lets you choose how involved you will be in the shifting process, even to the point of full-automatic functionality. This allows the family to cover a range of experience levels from the entry level on up to veteran commuters.

The fairing and optional bags on the CTX700 (non-N) model place it right into the weekender/tour bracket as well. Best of all, Honda priced the bike to be accessible, and this combination has the potential to appeal to folks who may have otherwise passed on the joys of fists in the wind and bugs in their teeth. Today I’m going to take a look at the specifics of the CTX700 and 700N and see what all Honda packed in that makes this bike so popular with its owners.

Continue reading for my review of the Honda CTX700 and CTX700N.

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2015 - 2018 Honda NM4

2015 - 2018 Honda NM4

Decidedly Unconventional Styling

Honda has been in the game for a long time now, but so has its competitors, and theirs has become a competition of inches with minor shifts in momentum here and there, but nothing very dramatic. The NM4 — absent in 2017, but back for 2018 — represents Honda’s attempt to increase its footprint by creating a new market segment geared toward drawing in new riders that might otherwise never have bought into the two-wheel lifestyle. I suppose that’s one way to do it; if you can’t attract as many customers as you’d like, just grow new ones. The factory packed in features that make it new-rider friendly and provide relaxed, easy-mode cruising for experienced riders. Won’t you join me while I take a good look at this rather unusual looking ride and see what Honda is using to bait the table in its bid to convert cagers to more of a two-wheel persuasion.

Continue reading for my review of the Honda NM4.

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2016 - 2017 Honda Gold Wing / Gold Wing F6B

2016 - 2017 Honda Gold Wing / Gold Wing F6B

Honda revealed its original GL 1000 “Gold Wing” in 1974 to compete directly with Harley-Davidson for a slice of the American tour-bike market, but it was a tourer in name only. More of a big cruiser by American standards, the fairingless, bagless Gold Wing found a toehold on U.S. shores, and Honda went to work perfecting its new platform.

The GL1100 Interstate, released in 1980, was really the first proper tour-bike version of the Gold Wing with a full fairing, windshield and baggage — features that catapulted the GL series to the top of the U.S. import-tour market. Honda carries that style all the way through to 2017 with its GL1800 Gold Wing, and the less-tourtastic, but definitely boulevard bruiser-esque, Gold Wing F6B and F6B Deluxe from 2016. The popularity of Gold Wings is undeniable, evidenced by its legions of loyal fans, so join me as I take a look at what Honda has in store for U.S. shores this year.

Continue reading for my review of the Honda Gold Wing, Gold Wing F6B and Gold Wing F6B Deluxe.

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2016 Honda CRF1000L Africa Twin

2016 Honda CRF1000L Africa Twin

Having won four successive Dakar Rallys with its NXR-750, Honda launched the original XRV650 Africa Twin in 1989. It was a lighter, higher-spec version that preceded the XRV750 Africa Twin — a dual-sport bike more closely modeled on the NXR-750 — which Honda produced until 2003. With the renewed and growing interest in the adventure-bike market, Honda is back with the CRF1000L Africa Twin.

In order to carry the legacy of the "Africa Twin" name, the designers focused hard on what made the original XRV750 Africa Twin such a great bike: off-road performance, on-road touring comfort, and the nimbleness and agility to be an all-purpose, everyday bike.

Released in the UK in late 2015 and slated for its U.S. debut in early 2016, the CRF1000L Africa Twin pays homage to its predecessors as well as embraces modern technology by offering Honda’s exclusive automatic Dual Clutch Transmission (DCT) technology, specifically developed and programmed to provide the off-road ability the Africa Twin legacy demands.

Continue reading for my look at the 2016 Honda CRF1000L Africa Twin.

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2016 Honda Rebel

2016 Honda Rebel

Honda got it right when it released the original CMX250 back in 1985, evidenced by the fact that the overall design has changed so little in the past three decades. I look at the 2016 Rebel — a straight-up carry-over model from 2015 — and it takes me right on back to my youth and an ’87 Rebel that I bought for a girlfriend.

The first thing she did was to drive that Rebel into my Sporty, breaking a few pieces off, so I was obliged to ride the undamaged Rebel for a while. I don’t blame the bike (much); it was much lighter and less powerful than my Harley. Still, it was still fun to ride, and the maintenance such as valve and point adjustments were easy to perform. Ever since then I have regarded the Rebel as good fun and reliable around-town transportation, so let’s take a look and see if it upholds the family name.

Continue reading for my review of the 2016 Honda Rebel.

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2015 - 2017 Honda Shadow Phantom

2015 - 2017 Honda Shadow Phantom

In its promotion of the Shadow Phantom, Honda wants me to embrace my dark side; but I already do embrace it. I have a safe word and everything. Of course, the “Red Riders” aren’t talking about whips and chains inside a ten-foot-tall leather tent (though one can always hope...), and I don’t expect to see any gimp suit-style riding apparel anytime soon, but I do see what the factory means.

The Phantom certainly carries a dark panache that raises the specter (forgive the pun) of the outlaw blackout look that has been picking up popular momentum over the last five years or so. Will Honda offer anything in the Shadow Phantom to make me use my safe word?

Continue reading for my review of the Honda Shadow Phantom.

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2015 Honda Grom

2015 Honda Grom

I’ve always chuckled any time the name “monkey bike” is mentioned. The fact that “monkey” is attached to “bike” has always been pretty funny to me. But for what it’s worth, Honda’s new Grom bike is not only the perfect representation of the company’s history of monkey bikes but it’s also a modern-day machine that comes with all the technological bits and pieces to come out of the Japanese brand.

The diminutive Grom first burst into the scene in 2014 and in the short time that it’s been around, it’s become defined as a fun bike with a capital “F”! It’s the perfect start-up machine for somebody who’s just breaking into motorcycles and for those looking for a bike that’s not only a rollicking ball of fun to ride, also economical and affordable enough to be considered as an everyday commuter.

If scooters aren’t your thing, the Honda Grom is the perfect alternative. Or is it the other way around? Either way, the Grom is a veritable pocket rocket whose fun factor is quite simply put, off the monkey charts.

Click “continue reading” to read more about the Honda Grom.’

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2015 Honda Stateline

2015 Honda Stateline

If there ever was a motorcycle that embodies everything I like about a cruiser, the Honda Stateline is that bike. Classy, elegant, and downright comfortable, the Stateline is what I want my cruiser to be like.

Don’t get me wrong; I still love me some Harley-Davidsons, and for the most part, Harley still builds some of the best cruisers in the business today. But I can’t just sleep on the Stateline, either.

It’s got that retro-progressive styling that looks sexy as heck. It’s got a good engine that can serve its purpose. It’s got a grocery list of advanced accessories that really brings out its new-age capabilties. And most of all, it’s got a pretty affordable price tag that won’t burn holes in your pockets.

I’m well aware that the cruiser market is incredibly competitive these days. A lot of motorcycle companies have put serious emphasis on being major players in the business. But for what it’s worth, the Stateline is probably one of the nicest cruisers to look at. I can’t get enough of it, and I have a feeling that I’m not the only with this kind of sentiment.

Click past the jump to read more about the Honda Stateline.

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