Honda has launched three new 500cc motorcycles in International markets, the CBR500R, CB500F and the CB500X. The CBR500R is a fully faired sportsbike for track and sports touring purposes that shares design cues with the full size CBR1000RR. It uses a set of headlights, a split seat, chrome exhaust and an engine finished in black.
The CB500F inspired by the CB1000R is a naked sportsbike sans fairing, apt for cutting through city traffic. The CB500F deploys a single headlight, with a split seat, chrome exhaust and black engine just as on the CBR500R.
The CB500X is an adventure touring variant made for long distance travelling, a scaled down 1200cc V4 Crosstourer. This X variant comes with a windshield, broader seat and larger fuel tank that can take in 17.3 litres, where the CBR500R and CB500F use 15.7 litre tanks.
This Honda trio use the same engine and gearbox, tuned to match their unique roles, a four-stroke, 471cc, parallel-twin, liquid-cooled, fuel-injected engine with six-speed gearboxes. Maximum power output is 47.6bhp at 8500rpm, with peak torque 4.38kgm at 7000rpm.
All three are equipped with 17 inch rims, 41mm telescopic fork front suspension and a single adjustable shock absorber at rear, the CB500X relying on longer travel suspension for better off-road prowess. The CBR500R seats riders in a relatively sporty riding position, with a pronounced lean into the handlebars, while the CB500F has a more comfortable, upright riding position better suited to a naked sportsbike. The CB500X similarly has an upright riding position, but with wider handlebars, improved ground clearance, a saddle height of 31.9 inches where the other two bikes settle for 30.9 inches. Stopping power on all three models are via a 320mm front disc brake, however at the rear the CBR500R gets a larger240mm disc over the 220mm rear disc brake seen on the CB500F and CB500X. ABS is optional on all three.
Although we don’t have any confirmation from Honda regarding when they can bring their new 500’s to India, the time is ripe to bring in 500cc motorcycles like these, with motorcycling enthusiasts beginning to accept and warm up to big capacity multi-cylinder motorcycles, several of which are already sold here, including the Kawasaki Ninja 650, Ducati Monster 796, Monster 795, as well as Hyosung’s GT 650R, GT 650N and the ST7.