For many riders in their early 20s – Generation Y, who have grown up through the digital age – motorcycles mean so much more than just transport. They need to represent a lifestyle, an attitude, and to allow them to express their own individual identity. These riders’ expectations are different to those of the motorcycling mainstream and the machines that speak to them reflect this. They have to fit in with their life but must also contain the potential for further individualisation.
Mr Keita Mikura, Large Project Leader (LPL) of the innovative NM4 Vultus* understands this. He likes to play with the rules, creating machines that fuse tradition with groundbreaking new ideas and perspectives. Mikura-san is the Large Project Leader of the new Honda Rebel. His team has produced a custom motorcycle that showcases a classic, timeless look but is also imbued with a forward-looking, contemporary style all of its own. Accessible, easy to ride and easy to live with, the Rebel goes its own way but is also a blank canvas, ready for whatever its owner’s imagination has in store for it.
Development of the Rebel began in North America, with an outlook geared toward firing the imagination of a younger generation of riders in a different way to traditional cruiser motorcycles. Powered by a 471cc parallel twin-cylinder engine, with strong bottom end torque and a smooth, linear power delivery the Rebel is A2 licence friendly. It’s also slim, with a low seat height and therefore easy to manage at low speeds. The riding position is relaxed and neutral, with gently outstretched arms matched to mid-mounted footpegs.
The Rebel’s tubular steel frame is brand new and draws fresh, contemporary lines into stripped-back, fat-tyred ‘bobber’ style. Blacked out to the maximum, with the minimum of paint, it also switches from solo-only to pillion-possible via two bolts.