Honda’s eagerly-awaited new 500 is currently being tested for the first time by MCN’s Phil West on the roads around Tarragona, near Barcelona - and also at the Parc Motor Circuit, these are his first impressions:
“We are getting to ride the sport version, the CBR500R and the roadster CB500F on this launch, the adventure styled X version will become available in a couple of month’s time. I have just ridden the sport version on the road, and on track, and first impressions suggest Honda could be on to a winner.
“As you would expect, being a Honda, it’s easy to get on with and novice friendly, a doddle to ride, the power delivery will never catch anybody out – it’s brisk rather than fast but the pleasing surprise is that if you want to give it a good fistful of revs it’s truly engaging and fun, in a way that reminds me of the old and much loved CB500, which these bikes are designed to carry on the tradition of.
“The other surprise is that it is a proper little grown up bike in its own right and is not a pastiche in any way, like maybe the CBR600F is. It is also great value for money at just under £5000, with very few other budget giveaways we feared from a bike that is built in Thailand.
“I’ll be riding the Roadster version this afternoon and my full report will be in the February 27 issue of MCN.”