icking our 2017 Cruiser of the Year should have been a more difficult choice than it was, but when you weigh price, performance, and finish, it really boiled down to one chassis and two engines. The Honda Rebel 300 and 500 were not the fastest, most technologically advanced, or badass bikes released this year. No, they’re much more approachable and friendlier than that. The strength in these models lies in their starting price, simplicity, and ability to put new riders on bikes. Hitting the market at just $4,400, the 2017 Honda Rebel 300 is our choice for the Cruiser of the Year. The Honda Rebel is an icon. The 250s of previous years were affordable, lightweight, reliable, had a low seat height, and were made for 30 years so finding parts is still easy. Honda really checked all of the boxes for beginner riders. To replace that iconic model, Honda offered more options for riders who feel like they might need them. A higher-powered 471cc model allowed an easy step up from the smaller 286cc, with the engine going from one to two cylinders and larger displacement for the 500 model. While the option for a larger model is great, I honestly found the 300 version to be plenty adequate—something that surprised all of my friends for more reasons than one but mainly because I’m 6-foot-4 and everyone had always assumed the Rebel was a small bike for small people.