Think of an ideal world where motorcycles are pitted against each other for ‘the perfect’ class of motorcycles honors and the 500cc class takes home the accolades. Here’s the deal; 500cc motorcycles are the kind of bikes that you can grow into as a beginner and still find it difficult to grow out of after you have earned your stripes as an experienced rider. Sadly, we live in a far-from-perfect world where 500cc bikes are dying out as the 600cc-650cc became more popular.
However, Honda has made sure to keep the 500cc engine class alive through their 471cc twin-cylinder engine that currently powers four of their models. Read on to find out why the Japanese manufacturer’s 500cc motorcycle lineup is so awesome.
10 One Engine, Four Different Motorcycles
How many times have you read positive reviews about an engine on a certain motorcycle, but can’t get to experience it because you have a different taste in motorcycles? Just like everything in life, people have their preferences in motorcycles. It’s an innocent and valid bias, and that’s why there are many classes of bikes to cater to different people’s needs.
Honda made one engine and used it to power four bikes in different class options: the CBR500R sport, the CB500F naked, the CB500X adventure tourer, and the widely popular CMX 500 Rebel cruiser. With these, Honda can satisfy the needs of a variety of riders with one reliable power plant.
9 Smooth, Powerful, And Responsive Engines
As previously mentioned, all these Hondas are powered by the same 471cc parallel-twin liquid-cooled engine, producing 47 hp and a peak torque of 42.3 Nm. The engine is mated to a 6-speed transmission that comes with an assist and slipper clutch for smooth power delivery. In addition, Honda has introduced a new feature called PGM-FI which helps enhance the feel of the torque delivery.
The CB500 lineup engine is tuned to provide you with enough torque everywhere you need it for the smoothest riding experience.
8 Impeccable Braking And Handling Across The Lineup
Remember the popular phrase ‘with great power comes great responsibility?” In the Automotive world, great power comes with the need for matching stopping power. If you can trust your bike’s brakes to stop your machine every time upon request, it means you have good control, and good control results in better peace of mind and a better riding experience. This is exactly what the brakes in this lineup offer.
For the 2022 model year, Honda equips the bikes with the enhanced dual 296mm wavy front disc brakes which are powered by radially mounted Nissin calipers, with ABS. This results in improved braking compared to previous generations which had a single disc set up.
7 Inverted Forks Suspension (For The 2022 Models)
Honda’s newest 500cc models come equipped with new Showa 41mm SFF-BP inverted forks. These forks have been borrowed from the manufacturer’s more powerful middleweight bikes; the CB650R and the CBR650R. This has helped upgrade the ride and handling experience of the bikes from their older models.
Inverted suspension systems are superior to traditional suspension in that they are more rigid, lighter, and they reduce un-sprung mass, resulting in a more responsive suspension. That said, having inverted forks can only make these bikes more desirable to ride. Safe to say, they also help enhance the bikes’ looks.
6 Heavier Bikes Allowing For Added Freeway Stability
Small bikes tend to feel squirrely once you get to high speeds: a tolerable but unpleasant experience. This is mostly due to their low weight and thin tires. Honda’s 500 bikes weigh between 403 lb. and 430 lb.
These bikes aren’t the heaviest around, but they are heavier than most 250cc or 300cc bikes, meaning they are easier to ride at higher speeds and will not be pushed around easily by the wind. Also, the wider wheels add to the stability of the bikes at highway speeds.
5 Agile Bikes That Favor Both Novices And Pros
The 500cc bikes from Honda are some of the most agile motorcycles money can buy. They all have the power and agility to maneuver safely and effectively. Further, the bikes strike the balance as the median bike between the 250cc and 600cc classes, making them the sweet spot for both the riders upgrading from smaller bikes or those downgrading from more power bikes.
The bikes are narrow and easy to ride, making them great city bikes. Jump on a Honda Rebel 500 and you will be turning into tight spaces and doing scooter-like lane splitting on a cruiser.
4 Honda’s Reliability And Build Quality
Honda bikes are synonymous with reliability. Honda’s CB500 range is no different, since the bikes are robust and mechanical problems are rare. Honda consistently ranks in the top three in terms of reliability in almost every consumer report. Add that to the fact that the bikes in the 500cc lineup are cheap to buy and economical to run, and you have a dream bike.
These are bikes that will seldom break down on you or force you to keep making visits to your mechanic. As long as you take good care of them, they will take good care of you.
3 Value vs Rivals
All the Honda bikes in the 500cc lineup are priced between $6,100 and $6,999. Not only are these bikes bargains by their right, but they also have low running costs. The bikes ship with a claimed 78 mpg and a tank range of 305-mile. Additionally, Honda advises servicing the bikes after every 8000 miles.
The Bikes in the Honda 500cc lineup are great options for those seeking a fun, comfortable bike, with excellent fuel economy, and enough power to take you down highways and backroads alike.
2 Great Starter Bikes (Especially For The Taller Guys)
From first impressions, the bikes in Honda’s 500cc lineup appear much larger than the competitors in the beginner class. For example, the CBR 500R ships with much wider tires and with more legroom than most sub-600cc bikes. Add these to their better seat height and riding position, and you have a bike that people of larger stature can comfortably learn on.
The torque curve in these bikes is very flat compared to competing bikes. This is important since the rider has access to most of the power no matter how slow or fast they go. You can then easily learn how to manage the power of the machine without having to rev high like with the Ninja 300 and this can be a big confidence factor for novice riders. This makes the CB500 Honda’s awesome beginner bikes.
1 Excellent All-rounder Bikes
Pick one of the bikes in the lineup, and it could be your only motorcycle for years, and you would be happy with it. For instance, the CB500X is designed to haul you through any terrain you throw at it. It has all the capabilities of an off-road bike packaged in a compact, easy handling bike that is as well suited for the daily commutes as it is for trail riding.
Novice adventure riders will love the Honda 500cc bikes because they are comfortable, powerful but not intimidating, and economical without sacrificing the fun factor. Also, they are capable of taking you anywhere, which can’t be said of most motorcycles.
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