Hi There Fellow Rebel Enthusiasts!
My name is Pete Buckingham, and I am one very proud owner of a '96 CA125 Rebel... Currently based in the West Midlands, UK; I have owned my Rebel since new (October '96). Purchased from the now defunct "Ideal Garage" in Birmingham, I have honestly never looked back since choosing my motorcycle! Just seeing it sitting in the showroom was enough to convince me that I wanted one.. Having only ridden a moped and bicycles beforehand, I was just a bit nervous when I picked up my new toy. Once the legal CBT was completed (1 day course), I was on the open road on my cruiser! What an experience it was to be riding a brand new motorcycle after being a car owner for so many years previously!
Motorcycling has certainly changed my life forever, which has really taken me by surprise. I fully understand the appeal of two-wheels now, and I ride my Rebel at every opportunity - whether to work or just for the hell of it!
One thing seemed to be missing though, after riding alone for a couple of years? I had seen other Rebels on the roads around me, but never had the chance to chat to fellow owners... After getting onto the World-Wide Web, I started to search online for information about Rebels, just out of curiosity really... I found a great site in America (Dale's "UnOfficial Rebel Online") which had a discussion forum page on there, so I left a message one day in early '99...
I didn't have to wait long before getting a reply to my question "Are there any fellow UK Rebel owners online?"... A chap called Ian answered, and was surprised to find someone else online with another 125 Rebel in the UK! He was looking for the same as me, as he had acquired his bike from his son, and wanted to find out more about the bike, etc... The surprises continued when we discovered that despite using the World-Wide-Web to find each other, we actually lived only 4 miles apart!!!!! Meeting up for the first time at a local bar, we chatted about the bikes, and about where all the other Rebels were? Ian had never seen any others about, so I suggested that maybe we ought to start looking further afield? The idea of starting a club came about in conversation, as we had both experienced 'bigger' bike clubs, and felt that by offering something to riders of smaller cc cruisers, we might be onto a good thing? So the Honda Rebel Owners Club was formed in March 1999, and we sat back and waited (well actually we didn't, as we had to spread the word about our brand new club!). Soon we started to receive enquiries from around the UK, from males and females alike (actually our first proper member was a lady from the up North); and from learner riders and experienced ones too! The membership soon spread across the UK, from Scotland to Kent, Wales to East Anglia, and we've even received enquiries from around the world (we wish we could have world-wide membership, but it's not practicable at this time).
As time has gone on, so the club has expanded to cope. We offered several perks of membership right from the start, including an exclusive badge for the bike, a Newsletter, and several discounts from various UK suppliers. Once we had sufficient members, we started to appear at shows around the UK, including the famous BMF Shows at Peterborough! We now have a travelling Club Stand which apart from the website is a major advertising tool for us.. Talking of the website - I started off the original site almost as soon as the club was formed, and expanded it so much that it rivalled several really big firms for webspace capacity!!! The bubble burst though when most of the site was removed by our server (well it was free, and I did have some colossal sized pages on there!!!), so we lost the site for quite a while during 2002.. One of our longest serving members happily volunteered to use up all his spare time to construct a new site for us back in May 2002, and ever since he has been working really hard to get something useable on a new server address... As you may have noticed, the original homepage address hasn't changed, but it now links right into the 'new look' site! Having tasks like this carried out by other members has made my life a bit easier these days (for which I am eternally grateful), because as the club expanded it became too much for a only a two-man operation to cope with.
The club is proud of it's evolution, as we take onboard new ideas from our members, and add to the 'perks' available... I am truly amazed that we have come so very far since those early days back in '99... I know Ian is equally proud of our little club, and we seem to attract equally proud Rebel owners too! Long may we continue to promote the Honda Rebel...
Riding with Pride
Webmaster note: The HROC is no longer in existence but I'd like to thank Pete for his tireless dedication to all things Rebel. All of us look back at the golden days with fond memories and hope that all is well with you :)