Honda’s 500cc parallel-twin platform is quite popular overseas and the range has just received a Euro 5 update. This bit of news has positive implications for India. Read on to know why that is.
Honda CB500F, CB500R and CB500X are now all Euro 5-compliant
Upgrade also brings in new colour schemes
Emissions compliance means these bikes could be brought to India, if Honda chooses to do so
The Honda 500cc platform consists of the naked CB500F, the faired CB500R and the ADV-touring CB500X. There’s also the Rebel 500 cruiser, but that was launched as a Euro 5 model earlier this year and isn’t included in this latest announcement. The three aforementioned CB bikes received a major update in 2019 that brought design tweaks as well as revisions to the engine. The latest update is not as major. All three are now Euro 5-compliant, though the Honda CB500F and CB500X have also received new colour schemes.
The three bikes are powered by the same 471cc parallel-twin that makes 46.5hp and 43Nm and use steel tubular frames. The CB500F and CB500R get 17-inch wheels at both ends while the CB500X runs a 19-inch front wheel. The CB500X also gets more suspension travel, but with 150mm of front travel and 135mm at the rear, this is more oriented towards effortless comfort rather than serious off-road ability. The CB500F is the lightest of the trio at 189kg; the CB500F weighs in at 192kg and the CB500X weighs 197kg.
While the 2020 update may seem minor, what’s interesting is that these bikes will now be able to meet the BS6 emission standards in India. Honda can now bring the bikes here if they decide to. Last year at EICMA, Honda announced that it had plans to expand its big bike business in India and that 5 brand new products were on their way to our market. We’ve already had the new Honda CRF1100L Africa Twin Adventure Sports go on sale, and the company recently opened bookings for its range-topping 2020 CBR1000RR-R Fireblade and Fireblade SP. While those two bikes are on the expensive side of the spectrum, the 500 family will be far more affordable and could be priced below Rs 5 lakh. If Honda can get the pricing right, these middle-weight machines will have no real rivals and could prove to be a hit in our market, particularly the CB500X.
There is talk of Honda bringing the four-cylinder CB650R retro-naked here as well, but when and which of all these models eventually get launched in India this year is not presently clear.
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