My 1986 Honda CMX450 Rebel

1986 Honda CMX450 Rebel, originally uploaded by evanfell.

The Honda CMX450 was only made for a couple years in the mid 1980’s. It was essentially the big brother of the Honda CMX250 Rebel. The 450 uses the same motor as the CM400 with with a few extra cc’s. The CMX450 as has a sixth gear so it can cruise effortlessly down the highway.

These bikes are fairly difficult to come by and hold their value extremely well.. These bikes are popular among women who like cruisers because they are a physically compact bike with a low seat height. I am 6’3” and looked like an orangutan riding this thing. My knees pointed straight up and hit the handlebars when I cornered.

These bikes are also very popular because of their smooth road manners. The motor runs like a watch and is buttery smooth when setup properly. They pull even through all the gears and are comfortable putting around or wicked open. I was extremely impressed by the performance of this bike – for what it is, it goes well.

I’m not particularly a fan of the aesthetics of any of the Honda CM style motors. They look a little funky to me with the squared valve covers. They are also anodized rather than plain aluminum like the previous Honda CB motors. The anodizing tends to bubble up and crack a bit over time and there is simply no good way to fix it. Once oxidation sets in the only way to clean these motors up is to send them off to be re-coated – though you could probably paint it reasonably well if it started to get real bad.

The other problem I have with the CM motors is that they don’t have a kick start backup. By the 80’s electric starting systems on motorcycles had long been common place, and the components were much less prone to failure than ten years earlier, but I love kick starting bikes. There is something great about having to use manual force to get a bike churning.

All in all the Honda CMX450 is a great little cruiser. It doesn’t fit me well at all, but I very much enjoyed cruising around on it for a while. It makes a great bike for a new rider, or an experienced rider of small stature. Purrs like a kitten.


By ef

Hey, I'm Evan and this is one of my motorcycle sites. You can find more about me on my homepage, or visit me on Google Plus: +Evan Fell


  1. I’m really hoping you can help me… I am looking for the decals for a honda rebel 1986′ blue 250. Alot of people are telling me the tank decals are no longer made but I would really like to restore my bike back to a more original comdition. Any ideas?


  2. Hi Valerie,

    OEM stickers for the Rebel are probably going to be hard to come by. David Silvers Spares may (I doubt it though) have them, and you can check Parts’n’More as well – both are linked to on the right. Outside of that you’re probably going to have to watch Ebay or reproduce them on your own. Good luck! If you find some please post back and let us know where.

    Thanks -Evan.


  3. Hope you can give me some advice. I bought an 1986 cmx 450 last autumn. I love it, but its a bit noisy and doesnt have that much mpower. Its has just failed the mot. Apparently the baffles are missing, or so the mot guy suggests.( this might eplain the lack of power) Ive looked on ebay. There are loads of ‘baffles’. What kind do I need and how do I go about getting them fitted. I’d have a go myself if its not too complex, but where do i get them?


  4. I will probably be sorry I asked this, but there used to be someone over around Apopka, FL (I think) that rebuilt Honda Rebel 450s and sold them. Can anyone tell me if they are still in business??



    Evan Fell Reply:

    If there is such a builder still operating in the Apopka area I’m sure he could be found by keeping your eye on the local Craigslist as well as the Honda Rebel Forum.


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