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Honda CBF500 Naked Motorbike Review

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Honda CBF500 motorcycle review - Riding
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MCN overall verdict rating is 4

One of the best value commuter/novice motorcycles around, the Honda CBF500 is a decently quick twin cylinder motorcycle that's well made, reliable and handles predictably. It does everyhting you can ask in a novice-friendly package and holds its resale value too. Compared to the Kawasaki ER-6 the Honda CBF500 perhaps looks a little bit plain, but some folk prefer less flash.

Engine

MCN rating rating is 4
Owners' rating rating is 4

The Honda CBF500 isn't a sportbike, but 56bhp is enough to make life interesting, especialy if you've never been on a motorcycle before, except a CBT 125cc training motorcycle. The Honda CBF500 has a smooth parallel twin motor too, which makes commuting on dual carriagways or motorways less vibey than on some rival twin cylinder 500-600cc motorcycles. 

Ride and Handling

MCN rating rating is 4
Owners' rating rating is 4

The Honda CBF500's chassis is nothing special but it does the job more than adequately and the Honda CBF500 has monoshock rear suspension that's tweakable to an extent, depending on your weight and riding style. The Honda CBF500 also has ABS braking as an optional extra, which is another plus point for novice bikers who want a budget motorcycle that's as safe as possible too.

Equipment

MCN rating rating is 4
Owners' rating rating is 3

The Honda CBF500 is just as well equipped as the average mid-sized commuter motorcycle, with good quality brakes, suspension and a comfortable seat. It also has passenger grab handles, plus a little hugger near the rear wheel to protect the monoshock and mirrors that offer a good rear view. The Honda CBF500's 19-litre fuel tank offers a good range too.

Honda CBF500 (2004-current)

Detail Value
New price £3,900
Dealer used prices
£2,160 (2004) - £3,000 (2007)
Private used prices
£1,940 (2004) - £2,500 (2007)
  View full used price info
Engine size 499 cc
Power 56 bhp
Top speed 125 mph
Insurance group 9 of 17
  MCN ratings Owners' ratings
Overall rating is 4 rating is 4
Engine rating is 4 rating is 4
Ride & Handling rating is 4 rating is 4
Equipment rating is 4 rating is 3
Quality & Reliability rating is 5 rating is 4
Value rating is 5 rating is 4

Quality and Reliability

MCN rating rating is 5
Owners' rating rating is 4

No doubt about it, the Honda CBF500 is a cut above some of its budget rival motorcycles in the 500-600cc twins class, and it has a good reputation for reliability based on its predecessor, the Honda CB500 twin, which is essentially the same motorcycle. Motorcycles like these tend to be ridden in all weathers and the Honda CBF500 is more likely to resist the rigours of wet weather biking than some other machines.

Value

MCN rating rating is 5
Owners' rating rating is 4

You don't get much on two wheels these days for about four grand, so the Honda CBF500, with optional ABS brakes and good potential PX value two years down the line, makes an attractive proposition for any first time biker. More importantly, the Honda CBF500 is genuinely fun to ride - which is what biking should be all about, even if you're just commuting. Find a Honda CBF500 for sale.

Insurance

Insurance group: 9 of 17

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Model History

2004: Honda CBF500 launched.

Other Versions

Honda CBF500 ABS: Fitted with ABS brakes as standard. 

Specifications

Top speed 125 mph
1/4-mile acceleration 13.8 secs
Max power 56 bhp
Max torque 33 ft-lb
Weight 183 kg
Seat height 770 mm
Fuel capacity 19 litres
Average fuel consumption 45 mpg
Tank range 180 miles
Annual road tax
Insurance group 9 of 17
Engine size 499 cc
Engine specification 8v, parallel twin, 6 gears
Frame Steel spine
Front suspension adjustment Preload
Rear suspension adjustment Preload, rebound
Front brakes Twin 296mm discs
Rear brake 240mm disc
Front tyre size 120/70 x 17 in
Rear tyre size 160/60 x 17 in

See all Honda CBF500 motorcycles for sale

Honda
CBF500

12182 miles

£2,495

Honda
CBF500

11138 miles

£2,795

Honda
CBF500

7637 miles

£3,499

Honda
CBF500

7348 miles

£2,999

Honda
CBF500

25132 miles

£1,750

Owners' Overall Rating rating is 4(12 reviews)

  • CBF500 Commuter

    macbean

    Average rating rating is 4

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    Well, this is a replacement for my 2004 GS500F. First things first, the Honda is better, suspension, engine and brakes. The Suzuki is more economical, but sometimes you need just a bit more "go!" than economy. Having used 1200's for commuting, this little 500 has decent punch and handles very sweetly. I'm going to fit a Givi fly screen though to get some of the wind off my chest. Also fitted new mirrors as the old ones were awful. Bolts had corroded through, so they fell off! Nice low weight, good low speed control (yes a perfect DAS trainer bike) and decent brakes means you can have decent fun on it. If you are used to IL4's or a Triple, then it feels a touch gutless and breathless, but as a commuting tool and general runabout, absolutely ideal. Mine has 22600 on the clocks when I bought it, only 3K added in the last 3 years by previous owner. So it is reasonably low mileage for a 2005 reg model. No ABS, but you can squeeze hard and it stops! Needs a hugger and hand guards/heated grips for all weather riding. Get one, you won't regret the fun times.

    12 December 2013

  • Sold my CBF

    Fatbelly57

    Average rating rating is 4

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    This is the 3rd of my reviews on this bike. I bought it new back in 2008 and have reviewed it on here on 3 previous occasions. Over the past 5 years I have done 30,000 miles in all weathers & it has been my only transport. It never missed a beat & was totally reliable except for the battery which I had to replace twice. As a commuter it has been 1st class.

    29 May 2013

  • Great every day bike

    Mattcbf

    Average rating rating is 4.5

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    I have owned a cbf 500 for a year and a half now, it is an absolutely brilliant bike which will get you from A to B with a smile on your face and to work and back. It easily eats up dual carriage ways and motor ways, the only downside to the engine is that it could do with that extra bit of torque so that it would accelerate a bit quicker during overtakes etc, but having said that it still does overtakes quite well. the cbf 500 is built like a tank and can handle being dropped as I have found out riding in the snow. the bike does not rust easily as long as it is protected with ACF50 in the winter. the handling is superb with michelin pilot roads or pilot road 2s fitted and the engine sounds pretty good with a pipewerx hawk exhaust. I also recommend fitting stainless steel down pipes as the standard honda ones rust easily and will need repainting all the time. crash bars are another essential modification for all year riding as if it is dropped the major components will be saved the one I have fitted are from renntech and I recommend them highly. all round a great bike I have covered 25000 reliable miles on mine and it is still going strong. self servicing is cheap and a doddle as everything is so easy to get to and remove. overall a brilliant bike I would recommend to any novice or commuter.

    07 February 2012

  • ok but...

    themightyrick

    Average rating rating is 3.5

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    im not going to say i dont like this bike because there is not much i dislike about it. but at the same time its effortsless handling and superb engine seem so boring, i dont know how but it just is. i do find my self doing silly speeds some times to make in more fun, that could be taken as a bad point i suppose.the other major downside to this bike is doing your own repairs etc are a pain in the ass, evering is in the way of everything else, looped and twisted all around each other like and italian meal. again this doesnt make it hard to do these things just irritating. but ill say it again its not a bad bike, fast for its size, accelerates well, huge rear tyre make cornering at speed to easy.

    06 February 2011

  • CBF500ABS

    Anonymous

    Average rating rating is 4.5

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    I bought a CBF500ABS in December 2009 with the intention of taking it to France for a trip and I would then sell it on my return. It turned out to be a very good purchase indeed, so much so that I have decided to keep it. I did not test ride it when I bought it and I didn't ride it until a week before I went on my trip in April 2010, I thought I had better ride it just to make sure everything was as it should be. My initial impression was that it seemed quite heavy for a small bike although only when moving it around. Once you get moving it is very easy to ride at any speed. The reason I bought this bike was because it was a Honda (my preference) and it was for sale locally (private sale) only 2000 miles on it with 1 owner from new and at a reasonable price. It came with a rack so I just fitted my 1980s Rickman topbox and loaded the bike up to catch the ferry. The bike ran without fault for the whole trip, the tank range was 180 mlies reserve light on, I then on one occasion went to 211 miles and still had 2 litres left, 200 miles on a tank can easily be done. So no complaints on the tank range. Performance is excellent for a small capacity bike, you can cruise comfortably at motorway speeds all day or enjoy riding on nice biking roads however you choose to ride. It copes well with a pillion or luggage however I am not sure it would cope with both at the same time though! My bike does have ABS which I didn't really want but I have to say that it worked very well while riding on a road surface with quite alot of small loose stones. All in all this is a very good alround bike with low running costs that offers the rider pretty much whatever you ask of it. With the exception of ABS this bike is still quite old fashioned mechanically which I like for ease of self maintainence. Just remember that it is only 500cc and a leaner bike really and you will not be disapointed. I recommend a centre stand, Hugger and Scottoiler just for ease of maintainence and keeping it and your boots clean, also a fly screen and heated grips are on my shopping list. On a different note if you fancy going to france by bike but have never been before or do not want to go on your own then take a look at wwww.longwayroundbrittany.co.uk

    01 June 2010

  • CBF500

    jay77

    Average rating rating is 4

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    Fantastic bike every house hold should have one. superb reliability. slight disapointment bout flacking on crankcase, but 10 out of 10 for ride and handling and value.

    02 February 2010

  • NewFan

    smcquoid

    Average rating rating is 4

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    Engine

    I wish Honda was still producing the 500 CBF as it really is a great bike. As a commuter I needed something that was light, reliable and economical - the 500 CBF ticks all the boxes. I ride in all weathers and it is assured and sturdy. It feels like a quality bike even though it comes with a budget price tag. When i take it onto the motorway this 'commmuter' proves to be fun and zesty. With a flick of the wrist I am at 85mph andf the bike feels as if there is pleanty of power still to come. OK it's not a racing bike, but then again I have no intention of going to a track. I just want a bike that will start every morning and get me to work and back. This it does easily and is fun too. Highly recommended! An excellent bike that looks good and workd very well. The resale value is also excellent - I have discovered lots of people want one.

    13 May 2009

  • An update

    fatbelly

    Average rating rating is 4

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    Here is an update, my previous review was in August. I have now done 3,000 miles on my CBF and I do like it. I regularly get mpg in the high 50's with the average about 57mpg. It has never missed a beat which is what you would expect of a new bike. As stated in my previous review as a distance commuter each and every day I need a bike that has a fairing, clock and a fuel gauge. The engine has freed up more since my last review and spins happily. The handling is safe and predictable and I think she looks good. The seat is now a lot more comfy and either my bum or the seat has softened. I like this bike more than I did in my last review, but becuase of my long didstance commute and the things that Honda have left off I wil be changing it next year (2009) for a CBF1000. which has a fairing, clock, centre stand, fuel gauge and as you would expect from a bike twice the capacity more oomph. The CBF500 is a very very good bike for the novice or shorter distance commuter. Or someone who just isn't as critical as me.

    06 October 2008

  • If only

    fatbelly

    Average rating rating is 4

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    I have owned this Bike from new for three months and so far have done 1,900 mile commuting to work every single day. It will be used winter and summer for my 40 mile daily commute. It does exactly what it says on the tin and gets me to work every day and can put a smile on my face. I have been consistently getting 58 - 60 MPG and it beats all the cars in the Traffic Light Grand Prix. The seat is getting more comfy now I have been on it for three months but at first it seem very hard. The riding position is great, but on longer trips I do have slight wrist ache. The bike in my eyes does look good. The brakes are okay and do the job, my friend who has been riding all his life says that the brakes are very good. The fit and finish are good and are better than the Suzuki and Kawasaki's that I liked at before I bought. Some negatives, this bike is designed for commuting and the novice rider (like me) but it does not have any of the following a fairing, a rear hugger, a fuel gauge or a clock. I consider all the these items very important if you like me use the bike every day for your ride to work. So really all the negatives are about what Honda left off the bike as opposed to the actual bike itself, which I suppose shows what a good bike it is. Would I buy one again myself, probably not if my commute was only twenty miles then definitely yes or if I wanted the bike to be my first big bike and break myself in with then definitely yes. But for my 40 mile commute the things that I have listed above that Honda left off will be a pain to me come December and January. For a Summer only or a shorter distance year round commuter or a first big bike to learn your trade on then this bike is great.

    05 August 2008

  • commute and fun

    biaggifan

    Average rating rating is 3.5

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    Having owned 25 bikes in 28 years,this bike is about the best so far, for the combination of commuting and fun riding that I do. however I looking to change,fuel consumption being a big reason,63mpg is the absolute best i can achieve riding like my granny is on the back. Riding at 70mph on my 68 mile round trip to work and back I am only getting 50mpg. Get a grip bike makers,70mpg at 70mph cant be to much to ask can it,riding to work is great even in winter,but sadly car makers are leaving us behind in the economical transport sector which motorcycling once ruled.

    24 March 2008

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Paul Horsman

Paul Horsmansays

better than expected

Ive had my CBF 500 for just over 18 months, from new, clocking up 22000 miles a year. Commuting into Central London daily. I chose this bike for its reputation for reliability and economy which it has lived up to. My ride into and out of work 64 miles a day (at least) is the highlight of the day. Having owned 10 plus bikes over the last 30 years, while the CBF500 is not the most fun, and at 54bhp is low on power, it is still capable of putting a smile on my face. And getting me to my destination at least as fast as a sports bike with 3 times the bhp at a fraction of the cost. Yeah, I'm a sad ol git.

03 September 2007 13:30

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