Honda CB500F Review
Honda CB500F review by Wayne Vickers – Images by RBMotoLens
Honda’s sweet little 500 cc twins have received our praise for a while now – and for good reason – as there’s a lot to like about the triumvirate of models that are powered by Honda’s 471 cc parallel twin.
Recently I had the chance to spend some time on the latest CB500F, the naked street bike variant, to get a fresh feel for how this year’s updates from Big H translate in the real world.
It’s worth pointing out that the F variant sits alongside its two siblings, the CB500X (soft-roader/adventure bike), and the CBR500R (fully faired sports styling), as an impressive small capacity naked-bike offering.
For 2022 the 500 family received a number of updates. For our CB500F in question, that means changes to chassis, forks, brakes and styling, bumping things slightly more aggressively into the ‘street-fighter’ bucket.
Not to sure whether I’d be labelling it a street-fighter, but there’s some juicy new fruit. We’re talking:
- 41 mm USD Big Piston forks from Showa
- Rear shock with pre-load adjustability
- Twin 296 mm Nissin wave rotors with radial calipers
- Updated swing-arm and styling
- 17.1 L fuel tank for over 350 km range
- Low 789 mm seat height
Step over and down on the bike (the seat really is nice and low) ,and you’re immediately struck by how small and light the bike feels. It feels nothing close to the 189 kg kerb weight the spec sheet lists, and that feeling carries over on the move.
It’s super nimble and manoeuvrable in traffic and is a lane filtering dream. As a point to point urban tool, the CB500F is in its element.
That little twin cylinder engine continues to be a ripper. Pumping a smidge under 50 hp and peaking at around 6500 rpm, it’s wonderfully smooth and surprisingly eager right through the rev range.
The fuelling is dialled in nicely, throttle action is sweet and the power curve is linear from idle to redline. The fact that it’s not going to rip your arms off only serves to encourage you to open the taps all the way, more often.
The CB500F is super frugal with its drinking habits too – I was seeing just over 3.5 L/100 km from it which gives a theoretical range of past 400 km.
I didn’t ever see that, purely because of where my servo stops were located, I kept topping it up around the 350 km