Honda Unveils the CB 500 F NakedHonda unveiled three new motorcycles this week featuring its all-new, 500cc liquid-cooled parallel twin – the CBR500R, the CB500X and the CB500F.
The CBR500R caters to those sport riders who seek the bike in between the CBR250R and the CBR600RR. The CB500X, well it’s basically an entry-level adventure bike, though mannered more towards the street.That leaves the CB500F. After the release of the CB1100 and its retro look, many thought Honda would follow along the same design. But instead, the CB500 F is basically a stripped-down CBR500R, helping to crave society’s craze for the “naked” bike.Could Honda be targeting the crowd who likes the Kawasaki Ninja 650, the Yamaha FZ6, or Suzuki Gladius, but wants something just a bit smaller?From the CB500F’s press material, it appears Honda is: “This modern and sporty 500cc naked bike not only carries a full load of attitude and style, it also delivers a gratifying level of performance and versatility. Whether you’re riding on your daily commute, headed for a weekend back-road blast or just hanging out with your riding buddies, the CB500F serves as a great option for just about any kind of street ride.”Style…versatility…daily commute…weekend back-road blasts..these are all terms used when these other nakeds are mentioned.Though not as big as the F6, Ninja 650 or the Suzuki Gladius, though, the CB500F fits nicely into a modern naked category, what many once considered a standard. And fitting into modernity means fitting the CB500F with the latest technology.Honda starts with a DOHC parallel twin with Programmed Fuel Injection (PGM-FI) for crisp throttle response in all weather conditions. To provide smoothness, Honda also uses a counterbalancer on the 500cc twin.Regarding suspension, the CB500F uses a larger, 41mm fork that provides for a comfortable 4.3 inches travel. Out pack the CB500F absorbs the road through a Pro-Link single shock with nine-position spring-preload adjustability, the setup providing 4.7 inches of travel. Honda kept things simple with wheel choices, also, providing a set of 17-inch rims that take easy-to-find tires (120/17 17 up front, 160/60 17 out back).Stopping the 2013 CB500F is a single 320mm wave disc up front squeezed by a twin-piston caliper, and a single 240mm wave disc squeezed by a single-piston caliper. And like Honda’s other new 500cc motorcycles, ABS is optional.And besides the looks of a naked standard, and the modest 30.9-inch seat height, the design naturally lends itself to lightness – the CB500F has a wet, ready-to-ride weight of 420 lbs., or 424 lbs. with ABS.Then there’s the other attractive quality – price point. The 2013 Honda CB500F retails for $5,499, or $5,999 with ABS, making it the cheapest of three new models with this 500cc twin (CBR500R, CB500X).It’s nice to see Honda releasing new bikes…we just hope there’s a retro CB500F similar to the CB1100 in the works for 2014.Following are the highlights, specs, color options and MSRP for the 2013 Honda CB500F.2013 Honda CB500F Highlights:
Neutral naked-bike seating position makes for easy maneuvering and keeps the rider comfortable on short rides or longer trips.
All-new 500cc liquid-cooled parallel-twin DOHC engine is thoroughly modern in design and produces a broad power spread for enjoyable and economical riding.
Four-valve cylinder head design uses lightweight rocker-arm valve actuation with shim-type valve adjustment.
Programmed Fuel Injection (PGM-FI) continuously monitors several variables to ensure the correct fuel mixture is delivered for the existing riding and atmospheric conditions for crisp throttle response throughout a wide variety of riding conditions.
Engine counterbalancer and 180-degree crankpin reduce engine vibration for superior rider comfort.
Preloaded, scissors-type gears for the primary drive and engine counterbalancer gears help reduce engine noise.
Diamond-shaped 35mm steel tube frame is lightweight and rigid for responsive sport handling.
Stout 41mm front fork with 4.3 inches of travel returns a plush yet controlled ride.
Sophisticated Pro-Link single-shock rear suspension offers nine-stage spring preload adjustability and 4.7 inches of controlled travel.
Lightweight cast aluminum wheels, 120/70-17 in front and 160/60-17 rear, return sporting feel and handling traits.
Front 320mm wave-style disc brake and 240mm rear provides strong stopping power.
ABS version available for enhanced braking characteristics in less than ideal conditions.
Blue-tinted instrument display features speedometer, tachometer, odometer/A&B tripmeters, fuel gauge, clock, mpg, average fuel consumption, and current fuel consumption.
This week we ride two genre-departing motorcycles from the established American manufacturers. Jess McKinley gives us his thoughts on the all new Harley-Davidson Pan America Special, and Ron Lieback gives his on Indian’s latest version of the FTR 1200 S.