RideApart Review: 2013 Honda CB500F

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By

WING0698

Mechanically identical to the new CBR500R, the Honda CB500F ditches the fairing a clip-ons for arguably more practical flat bars and drops $500 from the list price. Just as good?

What’s New:
We really do mean that the CB is identical to the CBR. Same exact steel-tube frame; same exact 471cc parallel-twin making 47bhp and 32lb/ft of torque; same chassis dimensions, non-adjustable forks and preload-only Pro-Link shock; same 320mm single front brake disc with two-piston caliper and optional ABS.

The only changes are in translation from fully-faired to naked. Out goes the fairing to more fully reveal the (surprisingly handsome) engine and the CBR’s fairly high clip-on handlebars are replaced by slightly higher, but much wider flat handlebars.

You sit slightly more upright on the CB500F, but the big difference is that the reach to the handlebars becomes shorter, making this the better choice for shorter riders. In fact, that one little difference makes the whole bike feel more compact. Plus, you get to feel the wind on your face.

Along with the CBR500R and CB500X (riding that one in July), the CB500F completes Honda’s new range of accessible, affordable, economical middleweight bikes. All three are designed to capture the hearts and minds of both novice riders, or someone more experienced just looking for something easy, fun and cheap.

None of these are outright performance bikes; instead of a laser-like focus on going fast (typically achieved at the expense of every other dynamic parameter), they’re broadly applicable, fun bikes that would be good to learn on, good to commute on, good to take trips on or good just to tool around on at the weekends. Motorcycles as exciting transportation, not ridiculous toys.

The Ride:
We rode the CB500F back to back with the CBR500R around Honda’s Torrance, California headquarters. City streets, suburban neighborhoods, a little bit of highway and a few good corners.

The most remarkable thing about both bikes? How at-home they make you feel the second you sit on them. There’s no learning curve necessary to adapt to either, everything is where you expect it to be, everything works exactly how you expect it to work. And it works with you to make riding easy.

That motor is both linear and smooth, but also surprisingly flexible. You can pull away from a dead stop in 3rd gear just as easily as you can full throttle it to the 8,500rpm redline, reaching a top speed of about 115mph.

I was actually surprised to learn the CB weighs 420lbs (wet), it feels no heavier than the 360lbs CBR250R, which itself does an excellent job of feeling like a much lighter bike. It’s utterly unintimidating whether you’re pushing it around in the garage, stopping at a stop sign (often, there’s no need to even put a foot down) or flicking it from left to right through a series of good corners.

Given that welter weight feel, it’s then surprising how stable the bike is at freeway speeds, subject to neither crosswinds nor drafts from the trucks you’ll pass.

The CB500F will simply disappear beneath you, doing anything and everything you ask of it an undramatic, but utterly willing manner. It quickly becomes a two-wheeled extension of your own body.

What’s Good:
Ditching the fairing gives you a greater sense of speed. I passed a cop and immediately slammed on the brakes assuming I was well over the speed limit. When I looked down at the speedometer, I was doing exactly 35mph. The fun I was having was disproportionate to the speed I was going.

Despite the basic spec, the brakes are strong and reassuring. I was one-fingering them like a proper sport bike, using the smooth, predictable throttle response to seamlessly rev-match downshifts in the process. With ABS, they’re particularly good, bringing you to a commanding stop free of any judder or vibration.

Like the CBR500R, comfort is also excellent. You could ride either bike all-day without any aches or pains. Something that should hold true whether you’re 5’ 4” or 6’ 4”.

I also like the naked CB’s styling. It’s no retro round headlight, but it’s fundamentally a motorcycle without being overly aggressive or futuristic.

And, while remaining exceptionally easy to ride, it’s also surprisingly quick. Even on straights only about 100 yards long, I was able to pass one or two cars in able to ensure I had the next corner all to myself.

Like the CBR500R, the CB returns 71mpg in mixed riding and has a tank range of just under 300 miles.

What’s Bad:
Like the CBR, the CB500F’s suspension is underdamped. That’s fine for 90 percent of your riding, but when you really start dialing in some speed in corners, it walks around rather than encouraging you to lean further. It’d be a great bike to learn how to go fast on, but lifelong speedfreaks like me will want a little more from the suspension.

Ground clearance will also limit your lean angle in corners. The pegs are high enough to give you great control over the bike and all day comfort, but just a little to low for very aggressive cornering.

Riders planning distance on this naked model would also do well to fit an aftermarket windscreen. The little headlight cowl does a good job of minimizing turbulence, but sitting at 85mph for hours on end will get tiring without some wind protection.

The Price:
$5,500. Not only is that a useful $500 cheaper than the CBR500R, but it just makes the CB500F uniquely affordable. There’s not really any sporty nakeds around either this price or engine capacity, giving Honda a very strong unique selling point.

Entry-level standards like the Suzuki TU250X or CCW Ace are much slower and much less capable than the Honda. The CB500F is as good outside the city as it is in.

To get a bike of similar capability, you’d have to spend up to the $7,999 Suzuki SFV650. That’s a bit faster, but more or less the same idea.

The Verdict:
Affordable, practical, fun and easy to ride, the CB500F is an astoundingly good all-round motorcycle. It’d make a great first bike for a novice rider, a great commuter for anyone on a budget or just a great second or third bike for someone who doesn’t always need to pull something expensive and difficult out of the garage just to get from A to B. It asks you to make no sacrifices in quality or functionality compared to a bigger or more expensive machine, but all that accessibility and friendliness does, like the CBR500R, ultimately blunt its outright sporting ability. This is a bike for everyone but someone looking for the ultimate in performance.

RideApart Rating: 10/10 (The Buyer’s Guide will update with this new information shortly)

Gear:
Helmet: Schuberth S2 ($700)
Suit: Aerostich Roadcrafter Tactical ($897 before custom work)
Gloves: Racer Sicuro ($240)
Boots: Dainese Cafe ($260)

  • Robotribe

    I prefer this over the ‘R’ version; the full-fairing seems to promise more “sport” than what’s available in reality. Regardless, I find both the ‘F’ and ‘R’ to be attractive and nicely baked. Good job there, Honda.

    Given the overall weight, dual discs up front would have been welcome; that, or shedding some pounds overall. Still, a great bike, and if I were a beginner, this would really have my attention.

  • http://twitter.com/ericcherry Eric Cherry

    I’d really like to see videos of these test rides you guys do. But without all the fancy cuts and lame music that drowns out the sound of the motor like every other road test I find. Just a rider saying whatever he thinks in his helmet while riding rather than seeing a douche squatting pointing at features with more lame music blaring.

  • 200 Fathoms

    Brilliant to bring these out a couple of years after introducing the 250R. Perfect upgrade path.

  • pete bloggs

    If you want a naked bike at a decent price then I don’t think you can go wrong with this. Sure there will be better and faster naked bikes out there but they’ll be twice the price too.

  • Greg

    How does this compare with the NC700X in terms of performance and handling?

    • http://RideApart.com/ Wes Siler

      The NC is torquier and I think actually a little better handler. Not much in it in terms of outright speed though.

    • old blue

      The NC700 has more torque down low, but rev limiter at 6500; engine is annoying.
      It does not handle nearly as well, ride is probably a bit better than the 500.

      The 500 revs very nicely, still has more than adequate low speed response, and
      is easily flickable, deliciously stable and precise.

      This coming from a former 916 and R1 owner, currently an RC51 owner.

      mike

    • Samuel David Ayres

      You should take a look at the CB500X… Same styling and riding position as the NC, but otherwise the same bike as the 500F/500R.

  • http://www.facebook.com/thisisbenji Benjamin Reynolds

    I’m really liking this bike, but I’m having a hard time deciding if it would be worth it considering a used SV650 is a bit cheaper and faster at the same time. I love the styling of this bike, but I don’t know if it would be a big enough step up from my EX250.

    • http://www.facebook.com/reece.bannister.9 Reece Bannister

      I’m having a somewhat similar conundrum. When I step up from my EX250. Do I make the small jump to something like a CBR500R with effectively double the power or do I go for an R6/CBR600R etc with 4 times the power.

      • artist_formally_known_as_cWj

        One would imagine that depends on what your intended use is*. Conventional wisdom points to the 500 if it’s more for transportation. If it’s for the exercise, the sixes. Ride ‘em all.

        *and current skill level

  • jfc1

    …bottom-line this bike doesn’t even match up with the FZ6 or FZ8.
    and how can you call a bike with an engine this weak (a vertical twin no less)
    “astoundingly-good”?

    Did Honda pay you in singles?

    On a “fun” scale of 0-10 this bike would rate about a 3 for me. And as far as ” broadly applicable, fun bikes that would be good to learn on, good to commute on, good to take trips on or good just to tool around on at the weekends. Motorcycles as exciting transportation, not ridiculous toys.”
    …what exactly makes them “ridiculous toys” but not “exciting transportation”, or vice-versa? Could you jam your riding-boot any further into your mouth?

    I can name 10 contemporary streetbikes that I’d rather have than this one.
    “All of which I would enjoy commuting on, taking trips on or just tooling around on at the weekends” more than with this bike.

    The only way that this would compete would be on price alone.

    • http://twitter.com/TheVeeTwin Damo Von Vinland

      Yet it utterly destroys both in price and fuel economy.

      • jfc1

        so does a moped

        • http://twitter.com/TheVeeTwin Damo Von Vinland

          I was referring to to the bikes targeted audience. I am no stranger to long wasteful journeys. I have 20k miles on a Honda RC51 SP2 and it barely gets 35mpg if I play nice.

          I use a CBR250 for commuting.

          I own a car solely for when it snows and making runs to the grocer.

          • jfc1

            why are people here so busy telling me what I “obviously” think?

            • 80-watt Hamster

              Because you’ve told them. Repeatedly. The slowest bike you call out as superior to this one makes 70hp, so one can infer that you’re a fast bike kind of guy. Fine. Ride your fast bikes. But what’s the point of going on and on about how much this bike sucks and stopping just short of calling people stupid for liking it?

              All the machines you keep mentioning get in the low- to mid-40s for mileage. 70mpg is a pretty significant jump from there. At 10,000 miles a year, assuming $4/gal, you’re talking ~$950 vs. ~$575. Not huge, but that’s a set of tires and then some. And for a lot of people, it’s not even about saving the money, but simply using less fuel.

              I haven’t ridden any of the 500s, but simply by RA’s own review I don’t think the 10/10 is justified, as that implies a perfect bike, which even the text shows it’s not. But this weird hate boner you have isn’t justified either. Go ride your R1 or whatever and let people like this bike in peace.

              • http://twitter.com/TheVeeTwin Damo Von Vinland

                The Hamster speaks wisdom.

              • jfc1

                I’ve yet to see anyone actually confirm the CBR500 as getting 70mpg

              • jfc1

                does it not occur to you that there’s a difference between quoting what I’ve written and telling people what you think that I obviously think, that I have not actually said?

      • jfc1

        personally don’t really care if the cb500 gets 70mpg if I have to ride 500 miles for that to be significant. If we’re talking a tank of gas, and one bike gets twice the mpg of the other…so I can go 300 miles on $15 worth of gas vs 150 miles. That’s just not worth half the horsepower.

        I’m sure that there is some number that makes it worthwhile. But a 400lb bike with 40hp that gets 70mpg is not really a good trade over a 500lb bike with 150hp that gets 35mpg unless you absolutely need to go far enough that you’d have to push the latter.

      • jfc1

        so as far as comparing the cb500 to the fz8 even not to mention the fz6r, there’s a negligible weight-savings but both bikes have much more power. Again, is the difference in fuel-economy worth the loss of power?

        Only if you absolutely need that fuel-economy. If not, then you ride the bikes as far as you can afford to ride them.

        And then it becomes a matter of riding a fast bike half as far as you can ride the slow bike. Which to me makes a lot more sense: I can ride it faster, have more fun riding it, but I’m not out on a long ride with a huge chance of the weather turning bad on me. The CB500 makes sense as a commuting bike but a commuting-bike doesn’t make sense.

        • http://RideApart.com/ Wes Siler

          I think you need to read this article: http://rideapart.com/2010/06/motorcyclings-missing-link/

          • http://twitter.com/TheVeeTwin Damo Von Vinland

            He also lost all credibility by never mentioning the SV650. It is the Miata of motorcycles after all.

            • jfc1

              sorry but the Suzuki SV650 has never interested me so I can’t comment on it objectively since I know nothing about it and have no desire or intention to ever

              • Damo Von Vinland

                That is a fair comment. Fun little bike if you ever get a chance to rip one around.

          • jfc1

            nobody needs to do anything

            • Stephen O`Neill

              Actually yes , you need to get lost .

              • jfc1

                right after you blow me

                • Stephen O`Neill

                  Yuk !!

            • Robert Horn

              Nice FJ1200 you got there jfc1, AKA “touristguy87″!
              http://youtu.be/diBb7dGPfhU?t=5m37s

              Hey Wes, this is video motojournalism GOLD!!!
              http://youtu.be/tIrilaCunEo

              • jfc1

                …sorry, I’ve said that I have an FJ1200 many times on motorcyclingusa.com

                they just deleted all my posts.

              • Stephen O`Neill

                Thanks for the links Robert .

                Almost make me feel sorry for the guy having to ride such a wreck , need to get this thing off the road it`s a real safety hazard .
                Now that would explain all his bashing about on smaller bikes , just plain jealousy as he cant afford one.
                Maybe we should do a fund raising to help him buy a new bike.

                • Robert Horn

                  The rider of FJ1200, License Number 018204, couldn’t come within 30 seconds of the stock 250 Ninja lap times here at HPR in Colorado. Would almost want to help pay for the travel and track expenses just to watch that. Crowdfunded troll sponsorship probably won’t succeed.

                  There are a LOT of racers interested in entering these new Hondas in the 500 stock class here. I’m too lazy to look it up, but I think they have been racing these in Europe for a while now.

                • Stephen O`Neill

                  Would be a good investment just to see that.
                  Sorry jfc1 but the fund raising for your new bike does not seem too popular , might have something to do with your attitude.

                • urlordandmaster

                  just as being stupid like you isn’t too popular with those who are smart enough to avoid it

                • urlordandmaster

                  High Plains Raceway: Tracey Schram 2:07.304 08/27/11
                  that’s the record, as far as I can tell through Google, on a 250 Ninja.

                  Are you talking about the record time, or the average 250 Ninja time?
                  Which is probably 5 seconds slower?

                  in any case so a single FJ1200 rider “couldn’t” come within 30 seconds of a 2.10 time at that track. What does that mean?

                • Robert Horn

                  No, Mr License Plate # 018204, YOU couldn’t lap that track on YOUR FJ1200 under 2:40.
                  Same time differential applies to you on any other full roadrace course with a club running a 250 Production class. Or 500 production class (Where the new Honda 500 is being raced now).

                • urlordandmaster

                  bwhahah yea like I couldn’t keep up with a production Ninja 250 on my bike dude get real

                • urlordandmaster

                  gee is it really worth it to negate a guy who is obsessed with my licence plate enough to republish it on a discussion forum

                • urlordandmaster

                  …being stupid explains everything to you, doesn’t it?

                • urlordandmaster

                  lol I’d take my FJ1200 over your Ninja 250 any day of the week
                  any week of the month

                  any month of the year

                  any year of my life or yours
                  You’d have to pay me quite a bit of money to get back on a Ninja 300 much less a 250

        • Peter Kershaw

          For me, it’s not about cost, but tank range. I have a long commute around London, where traffic is awful and commuting by bike actually makes a lot of sense.

          • jfc1

            it would mean that if the bike actually gets what Honda says it gets in terms of mpg

      • jfc1

        correction: it only makes sense if you are absolutely sure that you won’t need a car.

        If we take weather entirely out of the equation, say that comfort and utility are not issues, then it’s a simple question of why are you out riding a motorcycle in the first place? Again, to me, the faster bike wins. I would much rather ride a ZX14R for 200 miles than to ride a 40hp bike for 500 miles, at the same cost. Between the FZ6/FZ8 and the CB500, the $2k or so price-difference is easily made up by buying a used bike. Many used bikes would be a better deal than this bike, many vehicles would be better performers in terms of mpg. If your concern is “utterly destroying” something.

      • jfc1

        but I grant you that it’s a real issue. But the problem is that motorcycles have to operate within a set of realistic bounds. Just as you can only get so much out of the hp and the speed, you can only get so much out of the mpg. The more that you ride a bike to exploit the mpg the more that you are bound to suffer from riding a motorcycle in the first place. Riding a reasonable distance in a reasonable amount of time, there’s no advantage to riding a low-hp bike over a high-hp bike as long as the high-hp bike isn’t outrageously expensive or wasteful in terms of mpg.

        And eve if it is, if you can easily afford it, then so what. You’re riding a motorcycle here, not trading stocks for a major investment bank. Frugality is one thing, but in the end you’re wasting money either way.

      • jfc1

        so, the bottom line is that the more that you ride a motorcycle

        no matter what the hp or the mpg

        the more that you are either wasting money or you need a car and not a bike.

    • Kr Tong

      Size queens don’t get much love on the roads I ride. R1′s are taken on the outside by 250′s all day. SV650′s are kings. These 500′s could definitely hang.

      • jfc1

        maybe you need more kings

      • jfc1

        Seriously why would an R1 which weighs maybe 450lbs (just slightly more than an R6) be “taken on the outside” by a 250 which weighs 350lbs? Seriously give us some solid technical support for this post of yours.

        • Kr Tong

          What?

        • old blue

          It’s called entry and corner speed. Just because someone has a powerful
          bike doesn’t mean that they have the cojones to ride it near the limit.

          • jfc1

            but they probably have the cojones to not try

    • http://RideApart.com/ Wes Siler

      Bottom line is, your comment is clearly biased. The only bike anyone should ride is a Ducati 1199 Panigale R because anything slower is for pansies. Don’t you know that slow bikes are for l0sers????!!!!

      • JimmyDell

        Yes, I agree and you can help, by joining my campaign to stop producing all ice cream but vanilla. All other ice cream in for pansies.

    • http://twitter.com/TheVeeTwin Damo Von Vinland

      “On a “fun” scale of 0-10 this bike would rate about a 3 for me.’

      Says the man who never rode one.

    • http://www.facebook.com/gomer.pyle.718 Gomer Pyle

      all that B/S talk,,,from an idiot that has NEVER rode a CB500F……just great !

      Do you always spout off on stuff you have ZERO experience with?

    • old blue

      You may feel free to get something else, that being said.

      There’s nothing like embarrassing a much more powerful bike while riding a smaller,
      and lighter one.

      • jfc1

        …assuming, of course, that in the process of trying to “embarrass” you don’t make a fool of yourself

        • appliance5000

          Oh irony thow art a surly mistress.

    • artist_formally_known_as_cWj

      Because the banhammer finally came down at Cycle World….

      • jfc1

        …yes and no.
        Apparently they can only ban names.

      • jfc1

        …a site that uses Disqus can ban names even go through and delete posts and prevent a given user from posting on any thread on their site, but they can’t kick them off Disqus itself. And it’s very easy to create new IDs on Disqus. The main issue is that it’s not worth the bother to do that. Arguing with idiots on the Internet is a massive waste of time & energy. However you do meet intelligent people on Disqus and it’s a great avenue for intelligent discussion. Nothing that a stupid mod or petulant editor or author can do about that. As the Japanese say, in trying to exert control over the situation, they lose all control.

      • Piglet2010

        I think this is the jfc1 that got kicked off Motorcycle USA about 5 times in one week (each new account he created was soon deleted).

  • http://twitter.com/TheVeeTwin Damo Von Vinland

    Probably trading in the wife’s CBR250R on a CB500F this week.

  • Kr Tong

    Those sliders look well loved, and look a bit too smooth for chip-seal. You use it at the track at all? Any class restrictions on the 1-piece textiles?

    • http://RideApart.com/ Wes Siler

      Depending on the organizer and track (check ahead of time), the Roadcrafter can be used on-track. I haven’t, plastic sliders just get melty real fast, hence the polished effect.

  • fazer6

    Geez, pander much?

  • The_Doctor

    I enjoy the looks of the F the most out of the 500 range. Want one.

  • http://twitter.com/TheVeeTwin Damo Von Vinland

    “FZ8-FZ1 or R1, Gixxer 750 or 1K….an old Busa, ZX12-14.” None of these bikes would be all that recommendable to a beginner.

    Like I said everyone has different needs and while this bike may make “no sense” to you. It makes a ton of sense to many people. ESPECIALLY people with an A2 license in England. Google it. You’ll see what I mean.

    I have a “go fast” liter bike and love it. But I ride to work and run errands on a CBR250R everyday, because is crowed suburbia I rarely get a chance to rip past 2nd gear on the RC51.

    On the CBR250 I dice up traffic, park on curbs and generally get in and out of anywhere I please quickly and easily.

    Have you ever ridden a tiny, light, low displacement bike? I have been riding a good long time on nothing but high end street bikes and I ASSURE you, it is possible to have fun on these new entry level bikes.

  • fazer6

    Ouch–I guess HFL really is dead–My pandering comment was deleted–I didn’t realize it was “offensive”, except maybe to Honda shills.

  • http://www.facebook.com/drybczynski Dylan Rybczynski

    just did a 150km roadtrip on my cb500f, comfy enough as long as you keep good posture, the wind isnt so bad, even cruising at speed. its my first bike and like wes said its powerband is so friendly and the bike is just so practical that it leaves you very confident. handles like a mountain bike, and leans enough for me, but im green :P the enige sound is very muffled at idle but once you rev past 6k it sounds good enough. its an urban stealth fighter :)

    • Jibu Jose

      hows the seat? was it comfortable on your 150 km trip?

      • http://www.twitter.com/seanmacdonald sean macdonald

        I did a 1,000 mile weekend on it no problem.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001704593815 Terry Smith

    I’m really pleased to see Honda bringing out something modern, reasonably light and practical. I started out riding in the 1980′s and spent my formative (and most fun) years on Honda twins, fours and a single between 250 and 400cc. I still ride regularly on a 210kg 125HP bike, and I do like the easy power and performance, but often find myself wondering whether I am missing out on the fun side of motorcycling. Maybe I am seeing through the rose-tinted glasses of intervening time, but my favourite rides were on non-threatening bikes with standard (day-long comfortable) riding positions and about the same HP and weight as this CB500. I do wish that other manufacturers would look at the size, weight, utility and degree of specialisation of the bikes they are creating. For motorcycling as a sport or hobby to prosper we need fresh riders, and they need machines like the CB500, CBR250 and KTM Duke. Maybe I do too.

  • Titus Chirila

    I think this bike is more fun than a R1 or a K1300R or name it, as long as your road is not a racetrack. I’ll buy one, but I’m not selling the others. Having fun is strictly related to what you expect. I’m having fun driving 50cc scooter, 250cc scooter, 660R enduro, 1100 yamaha or 1200 Ulysses. I wasn’t so happy with supersports so I sold them as there is no track some hundreds of kilometers around my place. And I’m usually faster on twisties than my friends who drive K’s and R’s.

  • Ken Sullivan

    You, sir, must have one very small wang. Either that, or your wife does ;)

    • jfc1

      you care about my wang an *awful* lot. why

    • jfc1

      and you have an odd obsession to say the least

  • Brian Washburn

    I’ve had my CB500F about a month now. I’ve had much bigger bikes (Bandit 1200S, BMW1250GS, Goldwing. I rode a Kawasaki KZ1000 and a Honda ST1100P for work for about ten years. But I’ve been finding myself moving back to the smaller bikes over the last few years. I rode a Bandit 1200S as my daily ride for several years. Frankly, after a long twelve hour day at work I was too tired to want to lane split very much on it. If you’re not paying attention its too easy to launch yourself into something you don’t intend. I started commuting on a KLR650 in 2008. Great bike but the mirrors are in the perfectly wrong spot for lane splitting. Now I’m on the CB500F and the power delivery on this little bike is easier in heavy traffic. True this bike has only 47HP but its enough to get me down the road with now trouble. When I had the Bandit I would frequently look down and discover I was twenty or more miles an hour over the limit. With this bike I can twist its tail a little and not get to crazy. Its more fun to ride a small bike fast than to ride a big bike slow. This bike is like a Honda Civic. Nothing fancy but its just easy to live with. The insurance was dirt cheap and right now I’m averaging 64.5 MPG. Quick. light and cheap….that’s what a motorcycle should be!

    • artist_formally_known_as_cWj

      I was going to question the Civic comparison, then I remembered the Fit.

      Carry on!

  • artist_formally_known_as_cWj

    Dear Suzuki,

    Don’t worry about it that that long overdue re-introduction of the GS500F with the surprise inclusion of the return of the “E”. Honda took care of it.

    Thanks,
    A person who never thought they would ever own an Honda anything. Ever.

  • JimmyDell

    This is a bargain and a puzzle. How does HONDA do a bike this good for this little $$. I 1965 I bought a HONDA 305 Superhawk, I still have one, for $650. If you look that up on a cost inflation calculator you’ll see that this CB500F is nearly that same price. But it’s liquid cooled, 200 cc’s larger, has disc brakes, fuel injection, a superior finish, is much faster and benefits from HONDA’s 48 years of selling many millions of bikes all over the world. Couple that with a YEN that was much lower in value in 1965 than today; I say these HONDA dudes are magicians.

  • Titus Chirila

    Ok – I bought one for my wife. It couldn’t be a better choice, low enough for her to touch the ground keeping the bike straight, engine so smooth and with enough power at any revs, easy to drive, feels like a bicycle with engine. Six speed but I’m searching the seventh after crossing the 60mph. Driving carefully as she is at first hours on this bike she made 300km with 10.6 liters, that means 66.57 mpg. Impressive, last time I saw such numbers was with my CZ175, 30 years ago.

  • T-Bone

    I wish Honda would bring the 2007 CBF500 from Europe to the USA. Much better looking, more power: a better bike all around. :-(

  • Titus Chirila

    My wife did with it less than (actually it came out 2.7 but I take into account differences at filling back up) 2.9 liters /100km out of town – that’s more than 80mpg, at a round trip of 160km (100 miles). My Ulysses took for the same trip exactly double.

  • Sonic66

    I’m looking for a good, long term bike to replace my entry level 500 (a 2010
    Buell Blast). I haven’t found a place where I can test ride one of these yet, so,
    I am worried that I’ll outgrow this bike as well. I’m mainly looking
    for a commuter bike that’s fun to ride and has some punch on the
    highway. I’m average height, so that’s not an issue for this bike, for
    me at least. I’m a commuter/recreation rider and I have no interest in going 100mph.. anywhere.. But I dont want to be red-lining a bike on the freeway. Anyone think this will have the punch I’m looking for, for passing and such at freeway speeds?

  • Guillaume Béliveau

    So… who wins, the R or the F ?

    • http://RideApart.com/ Wes Siler

      The X.

  • Von

    Wes, this is probably an apples to oranges question, but how would you compare this bike to the Moto Guzzi V7 Stone? They’re obviously two completely different bikes stylistically. They’re both highly rated for beginners. I’m looking for a first bike and am pretty set on the V7 after you posted my question pitting it against the Triumph Bonneville. I’m 5’6″ 160 lbs. so a short and light bike like the CB500F or V7 is desirable. I love the retro look of the V7, but the naked sport look of the CB500F is awesome too. The only thing that I’m second guessing about the V7 is the V-twin motor if I drop it, which I’m sure I will while learning to ride street. I just picture that motor cracking and there goes my ride. The CB500F is more forgivable in that aspect, as well as less expensive. Besides aesthetics, I’m wondering how each of these bikes would serve my purpose. I’m just looking for a bike to ride around town on the weekends and drive east an hour or so away from the city of San Diego or up PCH. Maybe I’ll also commute 15 miles a day to work if I get comfortable enough riding street (I grew up on dirt bikes). It will probably come down to test riding both bikes to decide for myself, but just curious how you would compare them with your experience. Thanks, Levon

  • lysdexia

    Okay, nicer than my Super Cub. I’ll admit it.