Honda’s 500cc middleweight duo, the naked CB500F and the sporty CBR500R, fill a mid-size displacement gap between smallish 250cc beginner bikes and larger 600cc supersport weapons. Similarly priced at $5,799 and $6,299 for the F and R, respectively, the bikes represent reliable and fun transportation that’s also economical and attractive. Introduced last year, the CB500F and R have struck a chord with the eco-minded younger generation that are also image-aware and price-conscious.
The main difference between the two siblings is the R’s racy fairing and clip-ons vs the F’s more minimal use of plastic bodywork and standard handlebars. The CBR500R and CB500F share the same 471cc parallel-Twin engine with a nearly-square 67 x 66.8mm bore/stroke configuration. The valvetrain incorporates four valves per cylinder actuated by dual overhead camshafts.
Both are suspended by the same Pro-Link single-shock, with nine-step cam-style spring preload adjustability and 4.7 inches of travel. They also share a front suspension with 4.3 inches of travel, and a wheelbase of 55.5 inches. Honda claims 71-mpg rating, which, combined with its 4.1-gallon fuel tank, could yield a range of more than 250 miles. We’re greedier with the throttle, recording mileage from the mid-50s to as much as 63 mpg.
Also shared between the F and R are details such as rear passenger grab handles, halogen headlights and LCD instrumentation with a digital speedometer and tachometer, clock, odometer, tripmeter, and real-time and average fuel consumption meters. ABS is a $500 option on either.
Designed for more than just entry-level riders, the CB500F and CBR500R are full-size motorcycles for riders of all sizes and experience levels. Both motorcycles function dependably, capably, and economically without being overwhelming, and look good while doing it.
|Honda CB500F/CBR500R Specs|
|MSRP 500F / 500R||$5,799 / $6,299|
|Engine Type||Liquid-cooled parallel-Twin|
|Bore x Stroke||67mm x 66.8mm|
|Fuel System||PGM-FI with 34mm throttle bodies|
|Final Drive||O-ring-sealed chain|
|Front Suspension||41mm fork; 4.3 inches travel|
|Rear Suspension||Pro-Link single shock with nine-position spring preload adjustability; 4.7 inches travel|
|Front Brakes||Twin-piston caliper with single 320mm wave disc|
|Rear Brakes||Single caliper 240mm wave disc|
|Front Tire||120/70-17 radial|
|Rear Tire||160/60-17 radial|
|Seat Height||30.9 inches|
|Curb Weight (claimed)||425 pounds/420 pounds|
|Fuel Capacity||4.1 gallons|
|Colors||Black, Pearl White/Blue/Red, Red|