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HONDA CB500F (2019-on) Review

Published: 14 January 2019

Updated: 22 February 2019

Honda’s new CB500F is anything but a cheap and cheerful, new rider workhorse

Honda CB500F

Honda’s new CB500F is anything but a cheap and cheerful, new rider workhorse

Overall Rating 4 out of 5

With its extra grunt, weight loss, big-bike build quality and refinement the new Honda CB500F is anything but a cheap and cheerful workhorse, or stepping stone to better things.

Whether for the daily commute, weekend fun or your first taste of life without L-plates, it’s a simple, but vibrant, involving machine in its own right - practical, easy to ride, fast and thrilling.

It’s not lacking in power on everyday roads, or poise in the corners and is thoughtfully lavished with the kind of touchy-feely quality and detailing that makes you realise that Honda really does care.

Ride Quality & Brakes 4 out of 5

Arms, legs, wrists, neck and bum (knees and toes) all get a easy time on the long haul and with a seat height of just 785mm and squishy suspension, it’ll be easy for most to get their feet anchored down at a standstill.

A new slip and assist clutch is the smallest ever fitted to a Honda and is 45% lighter at the lever. Gears now feature nine smaller ‘dogs’ instead of six for a slicker changes, but it sometimes finds a false neutral if you hammer the revs between first and second.

Showa forks have new progressive springs (soft at the top and bottom, hard in the middle) and there’s a new single tube rear shock. Ride quality and overall balance is spot on and the CB500F manages to keep its composure when pushed hard. Michelin Pilot Road 5 tyres are grippy, wet or dry.

A single disc front brake set-up is friendly and won’t have you rolling over the bars when you yank on the lever, but stopping power is there when you really need it, especially if you stamp on the back brake too. A new ABS pump has less intrusive settings and automatically flashes the hazards as it starts to lock.

Engine 4 out of 5

Peak power remains at the allotted A2 licence-friendly 47bhp, but beneath that power ceiling is a bubbling cauldron of grunt…relatively speaking, of course. A 4% gain in power and torque comes from new inlet cam timing, a bigger airbox and straighter inlet tracts.

The extra midrange boost is amplified by new mapping that’s slightly less ‘top-endy’ than the 2019 CBR500R’s and a 2kg weight loss, gained from lighter gears and subframe, a smaller battery, ABS pump and thinner plastics.

A wider, friendlier spread of power gives the parallel twin cylinder motor the feel of a bigger bike, but its delivery and soft throttle pick-up would make a Blade’s green with envy. Newer riders will feel immediately at home, but it’ll impress with those who just want a light, fun, sub-six grand naked, too.

Build Quality & Reliability 5 out of 5

Check out our CB500F online owners’ reviews and you’ll see just how reliable and easy to live with it is. Problems are few and far between.

Insurance, running costs & value 5 out of 5

With its aggressive creases and sharp edges the CB500F’s new bodywork, drenched in deep paint, has more than a sophisticated air of Italian design about it. The general finish, including the engine and Autosol-shiny exhaust headers, are more like you’d get on a 10 grand super naked, let along a machine costing nearly half that.

Equipment 3 out of 5

How’s this for detail? The back edge of the front mudguard is lipped to deflect air over the Euro 4-compulsory reflectors. Honda fits a normal mudguard to non-reflector bikes. An aggressively angled new exhaust can features revised internals and twin exit pipes.

It gives the parallel twin cylinder engine a dark, rumbling soundtrack on the throttle and a gentle race bike-like pop and bang on the overrun. All 2019 CB500 models get the same new digital dash, but on the CB500F it also acts as your only defence from the wind (it doesn’t do a bad job). A gear position indicator has been added for the first time, along with fuel consumption info.

Facts & Figures

Model info
Year introduced 2019
Year discontinued -
New price £5,559
Used price £3,500 to £5,600
Warranty term -
Running costs
Insurance group -
Annual road tax £66
Annual service cost £100
Performance
Max power 47 bhp
Max torque 32 ft-lb
Top speed 112 mph
1/4-mile acceleration -
Average fuel consumption -
Tank range -
Specification
Engine size 471cc
Engine type liquid-cooled parallel twin
Frame type Tubular steel diamond
Fuel capacity 17.7 litres
Seat height 789mm
Bike weight 189kg
Front suspension 41mm Showa forks, adjustable for preload
Rear suspension Showa shock, adjustable for preloa
Front brake 320mm petal disc with twin-piston calipers. ABS
Rear brake 240mm rear petal disc with single-piston caliper. ABS
Front tyre size 120/70 x 17
Rear tyre size 160/60 x 17

History & Versions

Model history

2013: Original parallel twin-cylinder CB500F launched to take advantage of new 47bhp A2 licence regulations.

2016: Styling, suspension and airflow tweaks, wider bars, larger fuel tank, hinged fuel cap, adjustable front brake level, redesigned seat, LED lights and preload adjustable suspension.

2019: Sharper styling, 4% more grunt, new slip and assist clutch, revised fork internals and new rear shock, refined ABS settings, new LCD dash and exhaust can.

Other versions

CB500X (adventure), CBR500R (race replica)

Owners' Reviews

1 owner has reviewed their HONDA CB500F (2019-on) and rated it in a number of areas. Read what they have to say and what they like and dislike about the bike below.

Review your HONDA CB500F (2019-on)
Summary of Owners' Reviews
Overall Rating 5 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 4 out of 5
Engine 5 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 5 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 5 out of 5
Equipment 3 out of 5
5 out of 5

Best CB500 yet

21 October 2019 by DanB

Would defiantly recommend, passed my test on the ‘16 and purchased the ‘19 the difference in weight is night and day! And the way it sounds when it hits the power band is phenomenal even with a stock exhaust.

Ride Quality & Brakes
4 out of 5
Brilliant through twisties and great acceleration, gets you to 70 without even trying and I’d say easily capable of 100+ even with my 18st frame. Only gripe is brakes can fade a little on faster rides but reel the lever in with the stock adjustable dial and your all good.
Engine
5 out of 5
So smooth compared to my friends ninja 400
Build Quality & Reliability
5 out of 5
Honda. Need I say more?
Value & Running Costs
5 out of 5
Once a year or every 8000 miles.
Equipment
3 out of 5
Only downfall if it can be called one is wind blast Over 50, get a screen!
Buying experience

Purchased from a Honda dealer, premium service

Photo Gallery

  • Honda CB500F
  • Honda CB500F cornering right
  • Honda CB500F on the road
  • Honda CB500F left side
  • Honda CB500F above
  • The 2019-on CB500F
  • Styling tweaks bring the CB500F up to date
  • The CB500F is powered by a parallel twin motor
  • The CB500F is available in multiple colour schemes
  • A neat LCD dash displays all the key riding information
  • Conventional forks suspend the CB500F
All related reviews
All HONDA CB500F for sale
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