Here, totally undisguised, we see the new Honda CBR500, CB500 and CB500X, three new models that make up the affordable-but-desirable push from Big Red. The CBR is obviously the full-faired one (seen here sporting styling that’s nearly identical to the CBR1000RR), the CB500 is a nake styled like the CB1000R, but the Honda CB500X is new, mimicking the just-released NC700X. What you’re seeing here is a transformation in both corporate philosophy and in the market place. These aren’t premium-priced luxury goods targeted at boomers, they’re intended to be practical, economical, fun transportation for you, the kids of America.
Previously, we exclusively brought you leaked specs of the new bikes:
- 470cc liquid-cooled, parallel-twin
- Six-speed manual
- 30lb/ft of torque
- 401lbs (dry)/430lbs (wet)
- 105mph top speed
- 31-inch seat height
- 120/70-17 (front)/160-60-17 (rear)
That might not be the stuff of race-replica dreams, but it is a formula for a fuel efficient, accessible, affordable motorcycle. Now with the strong styling seen in these pictures, this is starting to looking like a very complete package. Or, well, three packages.
Holy hell does this thing look sporty…at least from 10 yards. Get up close and the big chrome exhaust, low pegs, big seat and high bars kinda ruin that effect. Still, this is a good-looking, practical sportsbike.
If it weren’t for the white paint and big ‘X’ on the side, you’d be hard pressed to tell this thing apart from the NC700X. Like that bike, it’s not quite a tourer, not quite an ADV, it’s just a practical, comfortable, upright bike that’s capable of commuting, distance, sport riding, you name it.
All three of these bikes use the same frame, same engine, same tail, same seat, same tank, etc etc etc. The naked version will be popular in European cities, but nakeds traditionally don’t sell in the American market. Will it even be imported? We’ll know very soon.