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Wes and Sean are off to watch the US Grand Prix at Laguna Seca this weekend, riding up through the best roads in the world on the new Honda CBR500R and Honda CB500F. Follow us at RideApart’s Instagram and Twitter and Facebook pages and use the hashtag #Honda500RoadTrip.

Why the Honda 500s? We think they’re among the most fun, versatile and capable bikes out there at any price. But that the CBR goes for $5,999 and the CB for $5,499 also makes them extremely accessible for any rider. We’re going to have an epic weekend and you could too, all for less money than ever before.

Maybe we’ll see you there. Or pass you on your more expensive bike on the way up.

Follow RideApart’s adventures on Instagram and Twitter and Facebook and don’t forget to use the hashtag #Honda500RoadTrip

  • stever

    Leave 101 and take Indian Valley Road to Peach Tree Road to Hwy 25 to Bitterwater Road or Hwy 198 from San Miguel to King City.


    • http://RideApart.com/ Wes Siler

      Nice suggestion. We’ll see how tired we are. Remember it’s 100 degrees plus out there right now!

  • Conrad

    Would love a review of the CB500X. I’m going to test ride one next Saturday. Would love your input and opinions of it. Enjoy the trip!

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

      We’re taking the CB500X to Washington in a few weeks. Look for a detailed review then.

      • Conrad

        Awesome! Looking forward to it!

      • Kamenashi

        Washington state or DC?

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


          • Kamenashi

            … Please come visit Tacoma!

    • AdvApe

      You will love it. I bought one and its so easy to ride, good power, and light as all get out!

  • C.Stevens

    Love these 500′s. These are bikes that are actually a good starter.

    On a sort of related note – I can’t believe Yamaha actually states on their website that the FZ6 “offers features that make it easy for beginning riders to get started” and that “it all adds up to the ultimate first sporbike” I always thought that bike had like 60 horsepower. Nope, 90. A 90HP beginners bike – let that sink in for a bit. They even show the model riding it wearing skinny jeans. Glad to see that Honda is refocusing a bit.

    • 80-watt Hamster

      I think that’s the spec for the old FZ6, whose motor was in a much closer state of tune to that of the R6. On the FZ6R, Motorcyclist reported 64 rwhp, and motorcycle-usa.com 66. That puts it on par with or slightly above other bikes sometimes considered beginner material, like the Ninja 650 or SV/SFV650, although I suppose one could also debate whether those are noob-appropriate as well.

      • C.Stevens

        Ah, that makes more sense. Thanks

        • Svizzero

          Dude I had a Fz6 S2 naked for a first bike. 98hp and it is a HOOT! The thing about that bike and that is very mild at low and mid RPM. and then it starts sending you signals (at around 7k rpm) that is gonna kick your sorry a** and it sends you flying like an R6 if you continue to twist the throttle. But you really have to squeze that power out of it. The nice thing is that the power is there when you need it. But at low speeds the throttle is grabby and the clutch is weird, but the bike handles like a bicycle.

    • Jordan

      Yamaha is taking note of Honda’s new inline twin line up:


  • Jeremy

    Have fun guys. Wish I could join you.

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

      we wish you could too!

  • EAPaez

    I will do this trip someday. maybe next laguna seca. Have a safe trip!

  • Brian

    $4.20 a gallon for 87 ?!?!?!?

    • C.Stevens

      Yeah, it gets expensive out in Ojai. It’s an upscale ranch/horse community. Cheaper gas is available down in Santa Paula

  • akvamme

    awesome i’m going too. getting pumped. unfortunately, i’m not riding there.

  • appliance5000

    Honest noob question: How do swing your legs over the rear bags?

    • stever

      you kinda just put it over sole-first with your leg in front of you instead of roundhousing it shin-first over the back

      • appliance5000

        Many thanks

    • Jeff Jones

      You guys need to learn from the dirt riders. Stand on the left peg and then lift your leg over.

      Its always fun to watch guys try to do the “straight leg in front of you” dance.

      • appliance5000

        I’ll compromise and stand on the peg but do the straight leg.

    • http://metabomber.com/ Jesse

      Just jump backwards over the front fairing. (Please dont try this.)

      Or, stand on the peg before you swing the leg. I find it helps to bend the knee, and bring it up your chest, if needed.

      • appliance5000

        Please supply video.

  • Dan

    Nice to see the red north face duffel repurposed as a tail bag. I love those things – They’re on that list of purchases that you spring for once and it makes you happy for like a decade.

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

      Macy’s online has insane deals on them. Apparently no one thinks to buy them there. We got ours like half off.

  • Ayabe

    Love my CB500F, except for the transmission. It’s done a few wonky things like get jammed in 3rd gear a couple times. Others have complained of this as well. I’m gonna have it checked out when I do my breakin service.

    You guys had any weird tranny problems with either of these?

    • AdvApe

      I have a cb500x and mine does the same. All you have to do is downshift brake more. Just pulling in the clutch and dropping it from 6th to 1st wont work. Just take it down one at a time and let out on the clutch a little to let things spin and you will never have the issue.

      • Ayabe

        Yeah that’s what it is, thanks man.

        The tranny overall has loosened up quite a bit over the 600 mile breakin period, feels great now.

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

      I had zero problems on the way here. it’s a fantastic bike, far more comfortable and capable than I thought it would be for this trip.

  • John

    A 500X Adventure sure would be nice. Just a 19″ or 21″ front tire, an extra inch or two of clearance, etc. I don’t know why all the bikes that try to go off road are also big and heavy.

    • Ryan

      They make one. Same engine as the F and R, but 1″ taller suspension, bigger tank and more upright riding position. I’m planning on getting one next spring.

      • John

        Ummm, no, that would just be a 500X.

        • Ryan

          now that I re-read the initial post and get what you are saying, I agree 100%

  • Frick

    I pulled up next to a Red CBR500R today on the way to work. Have to admit it was a nice looking bike!

    • http://RideApart.com/ Wes Siler

      It’s just about perfect actually. All day comfortable, plenty of room for luggage, a hoot to ride at sane speeds and the fuel bills are just non existent.

      • Ryan

        Do you have any experience on the 500X, I’m seriously thinking of getting one as a good all around bike.

  • Mark D

    Curious to see how the CBR500 works as a light-weight tourer. Seating position looks comfy enough, at least.

  • JerseyRider

    I think it’s awesome you guys are chronicling your trip. It’s like we’re there with you. Thanks.

  • dypeterc

    all honda (or anyone else) needs to make is a track-focused version/package:

    -track bodywork (no lights, mirrors, signals, etc)
    -aftermarket exhaust (SS not Ti) w/ accompanying ECU changes
    -uprated brakes (monoblock, SS lines)
    -uprated tires
    -crash bungs

    do that for $6k and you’d see these flood trackdays

    • dypeterc

      stg 2 would include:

      -adjustable rearsets (Attack preferably)
      -Ti exhaust

    • Hooligan

      Here in England a few years ago on the racing circuit there was a popular race series
      for the old CB500. Cheap racing. You just bought a standard ex
      commuter/courier bike – they were very popular for that. Strip it down,
      put rearsets on, tune it quite a bit – and have fun.

  • JP

    Saw the new 500′s at the Honda Tent. It would be really hard to buy one after seeing the NC700x with that huge compartment for your helmet @ $7500.

    I know you guys are big on the NC700x. How does that compare to the 500′s?

    • grindz145

      I was actually under the impression that Wes hates the NC700…

      • JP

        I’m pretty sure he loves it. He raved about it in his review, and also compares it very favorably against motorcycles like the F800GS Adventure.

  • chupa

    These 500s sounds like awesome bikes but stylistically, I wish they would put this engine into a retro styling ala the CB1100! I don’t need an CB1100 but I would buy a CB500 Retro tomorrow!

    • Ryan

      That would make two of us.

      • Lee Scuppers

        Three. And I’d pay the $500 extra for orange or gold metalflake instead of ABS.