2024 Honda CB500 Hornet – First Look

Dennis Chung
by Dennis Chung

Stirring up a Hornets’ nest

Honda revealed an updated CB500F model, along with a new name tying it into a suddenly burgeoning range of Hornet models. For 2024, the model will be marketed as the CB500 Hornet, tying the model in with a whole range of Hornets, including the CB750, and the CB1000.

Apart from a matter of branding, the name change is also a reflection of the CB500 Hornet’s new styling direction. The CB500 receives a more modern streetfighter style similar to the other Hornet models, shifting away from the previous “Neo Sports Cafe” look The also recently updated CB650R still retains that modern retro look, with its bronze engine highlights, as does the CB300R, which is why they haven’t been brought into the hornets’ nest.

The bronze highlights are gone, replaced by a completely blacked-out engine. The radiator shrouds are sharper, and now have a hard edge that extends from a similar line on the tank, creating a more forward-weighted silhouette. The LED headlight is new, also with a sharper look while producing a broader light distribution that Honda says increases visibility at night and around corners in particular.

As with the also updated CBR500R and NX500 (née CB500X), the CB500 Hornet gains a five-inch TFT full color display, smartphone connectivity, and new backlit switchgear.

Mechanically, the CB500 Hornet isn’t much different from the CB500F. The suspension still consists of a 41mm Showa Separate Function Fork - Big Piston with 4.7 inches of travel, and a Prol-Link rear shock with five-position preload adjustability and 4.7 inches of travel.

The brakes are also unchanged, with dual 296 mm discs up front matched with Nissin radial-mount four-piston calipers, and a single-piston caliper and 240mm rear disc brake.

The engine is also the same 471cc Parallel-Twin, claiming 46.9 hp at 8,600 rpm, and 31.8 lb-ft. at 6,500 rpm. For 2024, the CB500 Hornet gets Honda Selectable Torque Control, Honda’s version of traction control, plus ECU updates to improve acceleration.

In Europe, Honda will offer three color options: Matt Gunpowder Black Metallic, Grand Prix Red, and Pearl Himalayas White. There is no word at the moment on U.S. availability, but we expect to hear some news soon.

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Dennis Chung
Dennis Chung

Dennis has been a part of the Motorcycle.com team since 2008, and through his tenure, has developed a firm grasp of industry trends, and a solid sense of what's to come. A bloodhound when it comes to tracking information on new motorcycles, if there's a new model on the horizon, you'll probably hear about it from him first.

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2 of 7 comments
  • C w C w on Apr 30, 2024

    When did the CB500 get a Neo Cafe version? I've only seen the 300, 650 and 1000 in such form.

  • David K David K on Apr 30, 2024

    That's why I mentioned the Himalayas. There is a reason why they put that on the bike, and it is not for the USA which is a rider fair weather country. A country that sees motorcycles as a recreation, not a commuter form of transportation, for the most part.