HONDA CB500F (2016 - 2018) Review
At a glance
|Owners' reliability rating:|
|Annual servicing cost:||£140|
Overall ratingNext up: Ride & brakes
The styling upgrades bring the F right up to date, but the suspension and air flow tweaks also provide enough to keep it engaging, fun and incredibly easy to use. The CB500F isn’t just a brilliant beginner bike, it's brilliant full stop.
Ride quality & brakesNext up: Engine
The wider bars and slightly more upright riding position on the naked F model really make you feel in charge of the bike and make it much more responsive to inputs through the bars. It feels much less serious than the R and can be ridden surprisingly fast in the twisties. The slightly reworked suspension never crashes over bumps, it simply soaks them up with little fuss, feeling solid and planted all the way to the pegs touching down.
EngineNext up: Reliability
The A2 licence-friendly 47bhp engine provides enough go to get you up to speed quickly and motorway cruising isn’t a problem. Top speed is limited to 112mph and vibes are minimal throughout the entire rev range. Improvements to the air flow make it more efficient, sharper and more enthusiastic to rev. There’s just about enough torque to keep progress swift if you find yourself one gear too high.
Reliability & build qualityNext up: Value
The Honda CB500 range introduced in 2014 was the first 'big' multi-cylinder Honda tp be built in Thailand, but the CB500F still retains that solid, Honda build quality.
Value vs rivalsNext up: Equipment
Priced at £5099 the CB500F is only £100 cheaper than Yamaha's 74bhp MT-07, and it's more expensive than smaller capacity A2 bikes such as the Kawasaki Z300 or KTM 390 Duke. But for the extra cash you get something that feels much more like a 'proper' bike compared to the smaller capacity A2 bikes.
When it comes to equipment the CB range is pretty basic. ABS is standard as is preload adjustable suspension. The fuel cap is now hinged, so you don't have to find somewhere to set it down when you fill up anymore.
|Engine type||liquid-cooled, DOHC, 8v, parallel twin, 6-speed chain drive|
|Frame type||Tubular steel diamond, box section swingarm|
|Fuel capacity||16.7 litres|
|Front suspension||41mm conventional forks, preload adjustable|
|Rear suspension||Prolink monoshock, 9-stage preload adjustable|
|Front brake||Single 320mm wavy disc, two piston caliper|
|Rear brake||160/60ZR- 17M/C|
|Front tyre size||120/70ZR - 17M/C|
|Rear tyre size||Single 240mm disc, one piston caliper|
Mpg, costs & insurance
|Average fuel consumption||-|
|Annual road tax||£73|
|Annual service cost||£140|
|Used price||£3,500 - £4,700|
How much to insure?
Top speed & performance
|Max power||47 bhp|
|Max torque||31 ft-lb|
|Top speed||112 mph|
|1/4 mile acceleration||-|
Model history & versions
2014: Model introduced
Honda CBR500R - sportier version with clip-on handlebars and full fairing
Honda CB500X - adventure model with taller seat and more rugged looks
Owners' reviews for the HONDA CB500F (2016 - 2018)
8 owners have reviewed their HONDA CB500F (2016 - 2018) and rated it in a number of areas. Read what they have to say and what they like and dislike about the bike below.
Summary of owners' reviews
|Ride quality & brakes:|
|Reliability & build quality:|
|Value vs rivals:|
|Annual servicing cost:||£140|
I am eighty one years old, so bear it in mind. I am in the downward slope in respect to size from a Suzuki GSX1400 to my current Honda 500F. This bike confirms one does not need such large models to have lost of fun. OK down the straights I have to work hard to catch up but around the corners I can poke the exhaust pipes of the desperadoes. This a good looking model and delivers all that one could ask for, it handles beautifully, sounds a ripper and I can't find anything to produce any major criticism. Two things I would mention are the style where years ago the lip of the rear mudguard was just about level with the top of the Tyre where as now there is a ton of room which for me makes it very difficult to get my leg over (no joke please). The pillion seat is much too high. The gear ratio between first and second is too wide and first gear should be changed up after ten feet! The gear is so low and the throttle response so quick it is extremely hard to manage in slow traffic.
I live in country Australia and local roads are terrible for my wonky old back and the suspension on this model is too sporty for with the front forks in particular are too short a stroke and to stiff.
I am a retired mechanic and have been riding for over sixty years and have always service my own motorcycles
This is one of the best engines of have ever owned and I have had lots, it super smooth sound beautiful and goes like the clappers and its redline is only 8500. The engine is very torque loaded. Its one of the only bike that I have used the redline performance occasionally. I have ridden 15Kms. in fourth gear of six on a motorway due to the smoothness of the engine before glancing at the tacho. and realizing my error
Buying experience: The deal was so much cheaper in a dealership 120Kms. away I saved $1500
Annual servicing cost: £150
A god bike, would recommend as a commuter / run about. Appears very reliable and incredibly frugal on fuel with good build quality whilst some cheaper parts appear to have been used.
Quite limited feel / harsh suspension I guess given pricing. Adequate though whilst I done like the Dunlop Sportmax, never have got on with them, seem wooden to me. Going to replace with Avon 3D XM’s when worn more, should be much better for all weather riding and confidence. Front end lacks feel, again, think limited suspension ability. Brakes are ‘ok’ for commute, too weak for very spirited riding.
It’s a parallel twin so never going to set the world alight. Usual parallel twin unhappiness if laboured at low revs and slight rock left/right at lights when stood still. Still, you can tell that Honda have tried to make it as refined as they can and it’s got good enough power / torque for a middle weight 500.
Feels solid, whilst solid in a 2018 Honda Way; not in any way as you’d have expected from a, say, 1990’s Honda. Dash is a bit buzzy at certain revs, clutch is heavy and (a super seen reported on net) the gearbox is very agricultural. Extremely noisy gear changes and not at all slick. Appears nothing wrong, just the quality level, understand sorted for 2019 bikes.
Wow, the most frugal bike I have ever owned. 88.5mpg, it’s sssoooooooo cheap. Easy access for servicing and relative simplicity should help here too. Again, wow, so cheap on fuel.
Nice little lcd dash, displays / works well, fly screen on my cb helps a bit with wind, would suggest a hugger as does not have one as standard and throws mud / muck everywhere. As mentioned earlier, I don’t like Dunlop Sportmax, they feel hard / wooden....or it could be the OE ones that they come with from factory are often said to be never as good as replacements are.
Buying experience: Bought from friendly smAller dealer in Bristol. Nice bunch, bought from them before, bike only 1 owner with 1300 miles on it in as new condition so was never gonna be an issue. Price was good / fair too.
Annual servicing cost: £100
Excellent first "big" bike, even with the bike just sitting inside the A2 category. Keeps the costs low for tyres, brakes, servicing etc. but still has plenty of grunt for both low revs filtering and high revs riding.
ABS as standard front and back, and the grab from the single brake on the front is more than enough at any speed, add in the back brake with ABS and the stopping power is brilliant for the light bike. The suspension is super comfy and has adjustable preload on both the front forks (individually) and the rear shock. Changing either takes a matter of seconds with the under-seat toolkit.
Pretty torquey for it's small displacement, but limited to 8.5k revs (probably to keep within the A2 class!) so not masses of power on top. Besides that, the bike is very easy to ride and cruising along at 30mph, the bike is as comfortable in 2nd gear as it is in 6th!
My bike is now over 3 years old with 16 months of it being mine, and it's had zero issues at all and shows no signs of any major wear. Servicing is cheap and quick, regular maintenance is super easy, besides the engine access, and customizing (i.e. added screen, seat cover, exhaust muffler) is so so quick, just a few screws.
Super super cheap to service, just the couple of cyclinders, small amount of oil and filter, tyres are smaller than A class bikes (160 rear vs a 180 size from the norm) and single brake back at front saves on brake costs too.
Not much equipment really, comes with ABS but no TC or rider modes, dash is an older style LCD, has basic trip computer, revs, speed, lacking a gear indicator for newer riders.
Buying experience: Bought used from a local independant dealer, very fairly priced and was a doddle to go see, test etc.
Annual servicing cost: £120
I've had the bike 2 years and do not regret it. It was my first big bike and was very easy to get started on. However i've no plans to change it soon. As a commuter bike its quick, nimble, quick off the mark, slim enough for easy filtering yet large enough to have some road presence. Fuel economy is 70-80 mpg. It handles the motorway with easy and can easily overtake traffic. I can spend a few hours in the saddle without a numb bum.
The seats not bad. I can manage a few hours before I get numb bum. Have done 300 miles in a day with just 3 stops. The brakes are reassuring and ABS is rarely needed, even with hard braking. As the bikes quite light the single front disc is sufficient. The rear is fine for slow braking around town. The bikes great on twisty roads, it handles corners with confidence. Its very easy to flick the bike around.
The bike is surprisingly nimble and agile. While the engine isnt giving out masses of BHP, its enough to be fun as its a light bike. The engine is very smooth with no vibration as its a parallel twin. Unlike some V twins i've ridden. Occasionally its jumped out of 2nd gear into neutral if i've not engaged it hard enough. Someones 1st and 2nd gear can sound rough when selecting.
Its a very cheap bike to own. The service is normally cheap and not much gone wrong in 2 years (20,000 miles) Usual tyre, brakes change etc.Needed a head baring change at 10k which did cost a bit in labour. The only downside is that the engine is hard to work on without removing a lot of accessories. So for valve clearance checks etc, theres added costs for labour in taking tank off and panels.
A standard MOT and service is around the £120 mark I believe. (Valve clearance check can add quite a few hours labour) Due every 16k miles I think. Normal service is every 8K. 1st valve check is just after a few hundred miles. The bike has great fuel economy with usual returns of 60-70mpg with day to day riding. I've had 90mpg once on a run.
Its quite a basic bike. The display works fine and have had no problem viewing the display in daylight. Theres a little space under the pillion seat for tools etc. I've added a small from screen (Puig) to stop the wind hitting my chest on motorways. (Works well). Also added heated grips (Oxford) as I ride this all year round. Have a pannier at the back which is useful for commuting. Front and rear cameras linked to unit in storage space. Very easy to route the wiring.
Buying experience: Bought from dealer 2nd hand. About 1 year old with 3000k. I will certainly buy another CB500 if im using it to commute as well. Its a brilliant work horse with low running costs and reliability. May look at CB500X next time as it has better protection with added screen.
Annual servicing cost: £200
Excellent seating position great mid-range power for a 500. Amazing brakes.
bike is best in sharp to moderate corners but also great on the highway. I commute on mine 40 miles daily and will often ride all day on 2 or 3 breaks. recently did 400 miles on 3 breaks
Could rev a bit higher but all around excellent. EXTREMELY smooth for a twin. power is smooth and predictable from idle to limiter
Based on what I can work on and what needs to be dealer serviced. haven't owned a full year yet
Needs a windscreen for highway speeds. Puig is the best fit. looks factory foam grips or slip on for large hands
Buying experience: It's a Honda. Excellent dealer service.
Annual servicing cost: £160
Mostly excellent quality build for the price let down by a poor quality press steel sidestand (sidestand safety cut off had to be fixed under warranty). No gear indicator on dash also a pain, there is the constant search for seventh
Decent all round bike with good handling. Seat requires work as you have about 50 miles before the backside pain becomes excruciating. Brakes work, you are however pretty unlikely to lock it up or even provoke the ABS into working. Experienced riders might prefer more bite.
Engine appears to be very under stressed. Probably a lot more performance available within the motor. Useful overtaking power between 30mph and 70mph in 3rd and 4th gears. It will cruise at 70mph but it feels like you your having to make it work.
Failed to start once in 8000 miles, due to sidestand cutoff issue.
There was a deal on when I got mine so a full set of hard luggage was thrown in by Honda. A brilliant freebie. I ride all year round and have fitted a hugger, heated grips and an MRA screen. I think the hugger or something like it should be standard to prevent crap from the back wheel fouling the shock. As its basically a commuter machine a centre stand would not be out of place as well.
Buying experience: Bought new from Dealer 2 years ago on PCP deal. This has proved a bit disappointing as 2 years on there is zero equity in bike despite it being well looked after. Will need to keep it for the 3 years and then will probably need extra funds for deposit on next machine. Dealer also claims 4000 miles per year is high mileage despite this being what the pcp is based on.
Annual servicing cost: £100
Excellent bike , perfect reliability , plenty of power on the motorway .
Buying experience: Did it by email and over the phone posted a cheque and a week later she was mine .
So what's new with the 2016 CB500F? Loads !! It's now made in Thailand and has had loads of styling and performance improvements. The exhaust is new and has a new snappy sound which develops into a nice deep rumble when on the move. It sounds ace when coming off the revs. The bike keeps all the legendary Honda build quality, this mid sized parallel twin really can do it all. With a strong torquey engine the bike can pull very easily from low speed. It is stable at higher speeds too and can really pick up pace when it's needed. I've just been on a solo A road afternoon ride and the Honda provides constant smiles. It's stable and handles the twisties wonderfully with the Dunlop Sportmax tyres providing sure footed handling. Mileage is around 70 mpg and the styling is sharp and edgy. All equipment is tip top (it's a Honda so no surprise there!) Honda HISS security as standard is great snd enables insurance discounts. The display is clear backlights blue and provides precise information exactly when you need it. I've Returned to bikes after 14 years and the CB500F has been a really great machine to return on. It really is a great all round smile provider and will no doubt hold its own with any larger sports bike on twisty roads. Any down sides? The only two I can mention are no gear indicator and the side stand can be a bit tricky. Maybe that's just me? Overall I'm So glad I went for the F which is a cool looking street bike, plus the X and R versions are £500 more, (I personally still prefer the F though !) fantastic Honda finance deals mean ownership is very easy to achieve. This bike offers so much for little money. A great bike I will be keeping for a few years of fun.
Honda quality so second to none
No gear indicator, side stand can be tricky due to positioning.
Buying experience: Dealer £5100 Honda PCP X 36 months.