What to say about Honda’s new standard that hasn’t already been spelled out? Low MSRP? Check. Solid package? Check. Great mileage? Check. The CB500F is, quite simply, a spectacular value.
The CB500 platform contains the most affordable bike released in 2013 from a major manufacturer, the CB500F. The F’s classic aesthetics and a more neutral riding position should appeal to a wider audience than its brethren (the athletic R and the tough X), and its simple and tasteful style isn’t as polarizing. Factor in all the amenities and modern technology a commuting rider could want – ABS is only a $500 mark-up – and you’ve got yourself a bargain bike with room to move.
The CB’s closest rival is likely Suzuki’s SFV650 – a bike with a base MSRP of $7999. Surely, Kawasaki’s Ninja 300 is a great little sportbike that expands the 250 class, but even it starts at $4799, just $500 less than the CB500F.
For anyone who’s ever tried to get a buddy, sibling or spouse into motorcycling, the CBs are diminutive but powerful enough for a newbie of any size to handle, and large enough to grow with them as they gain experience and confidence. Now that’s real value. You won’t get more for your money at any showroom in 2014.
Best Value Honorable Mention: Aprilia RSV4 R APRC
Best value doesn’t necessarily mean the lowest price, but rather what you get for your dollar. In the case of the Aprilia RSV4 R APRC, for $13,999 you can own an exotic European literbike for less than the cost of a Kawasaki ZX-10R ($14,299) or Yamaha YZF-R1 ($14,290).
The Aprilia RSV4 is one of our favorite sportbikes because of its razor-sharp handling. Its V-Four powerplant, while not the heaviest hitter in the class, still pumps out an impressive 160 horses to the wheel while emitting one of the sweetest exhaust notes ever to be pumped out of an engine. Couple that with the APRC package which includes traction, wheelie and launch control, plus one of the best quick-shifters in the business, and the RSV4 R is competitive even with bikes twice its price.