HONDA CB500F (2019 - on) Review

At a glance

Owners' reliability rating: 3.5 out of 5 (3.5/5)
Annual servicing cost: £100
Power: 47 bhp
Seat height: Medium (31.1 in / 789 mm)
Weight: Medium (417 lbs / 189 kg)

Prices

New £5,559
Used £4,000 - £4,800

Overall rating

Next up: Ride & brakes
4 out of 5 (4/5)

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.

Buy tickets to the 2020 Carole Nash MCN London Motorcycle Show here

Ride quality & brakes

Next up: Engine
4 out of 5 (4/5)

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

Next up: Reliability
4 out of 5 (4/5)

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.

Reliability & build quality

Next up: Value
5 out of 5 (5/5)

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.

Value vs rivals

Next up: Equipment
5 out of 5 (5/5)

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 (3/5)

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.

Specs

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

Mpg, costs & insurance

Average fuel consumption -
Annual road tax £67
Annual service cost £100
New price £5,559
Used price £4,000 - £4,800
Insurance group -
How much to insure?
Warranty term -

Top speed & performance

Max power 47 bhp
Max torque 32 ft-lb
Top speed 112 mph
1/4 mile acceleration -
Tank range -

Model 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 for the HONDA CB500F (2019 - on)

2 owners have 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: 3.5 out of 5 (3.5/5)
Ride quality & brakes: 4 out of 5 (4/5)
Engine: 4.5 out of 5 (4.5/5)
Reliability & build quality: 3.5 out of 5 (3.5/5)
Value vs rivals: 4.5 out of 5 (4.5/5)
Equipment: 3 out of 5 (3/5)
Annual servicing cost: £100
2 out of 5 Good bike to ride but bad quality
01 July 2020 by Andrew Woodford

Year: 2019

I have had this bike for 1year and it’s a really nice to ride and love it but have had issues with corrosion after explaining to the dealership I purchased it from that I need something to use all year round. It wasn’t explained that Honda don’t cover corrosion issues even tho the bike is garaged when not used and is cleaned with proper bike cleaners and been serviced twice in the first year and cleaned regularly to honda’s recommendations on their website.

Ride quality & brakes 4 out of 5
Engine 4 out of 5
Reliability & build quality 2 out of 5

Corrosion issues with headlight mount and bottom yoke

Value vs rivals 4 out of 5

Bike has amazing mpg and isn’t to expensive to buy new

Equipment 3 out of 5

Not to much with it but it’s functional

Buying experience: Dealership was great when it can to buying the buy but have had bad after sales with them and Honda haven’t been much help

5 out of 5 Best CB500 yet
21 October 2019 by DanB

Year: 2019

Annual servicing cost: £100

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

Reliability & build quality 5 out of 5

Honda. Need I say more?

Value vs rivals 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

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