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Ciaran1602

CB500F short review - if I've been musing over one I'm sure someone else has!

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Rocker66

I seriously looked at the CB500F especially as they currently do it in the ideal colours for me of dark blue and white. However I decided to get the X version for 3 reasons two of which you mention 

1) The riding position somehow just didn’t feel “right” for me.

2 The uncomfortable seat. I remember Sue complaint about this when she had one. The seat on the X is far from perfect but certainly better than that on the F in my opinion

3) No screen something I have got used to having.

Having/said all that should my foot cause me to find the X feeling too tall I would certainly try a F again.

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alhendo1

Nicely written post with some very valid points Ciaran...have you ever considered a post in automotive journalism?👍

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Tex

Good write up, Ciaran. And interesting. Even to those of us with no particular interest in the model. Your summation exactly matches my experience of the 500X (2019 model) I used in Gran Canaria in January. If I lived over there (I wish!) and spent my days hustling through the endless- and I mean really bloody ENDLESS - hairpin bends the 500 would be perfect. Beautifully light clutch, enough power, nice handling and brakes and good economy and fuel range, all good so far. Except the seat. Piss poor, that. I note that Rocker says the X seat is the better one, so I can’t imagine how bad the F seat must be.. :( 
 

Using the 500X on faster roads, I found it lacking, though (clam down, you 500 boys, it’s just my opinion after all) and one wouldn’t be my first choice for use in the UK. Squirting it hard between hairpin bends, often with a sheer drop off to the side, was frenetic fun, but having to do the same to pass a Transit van wouldn’t be. 

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Ciaran1602
Posted (edited)

All familiar comments those, I think Rocker. 
 

If I were to speculate, I think they’ve designed the F version to not only be A2 licence compliant but to be aimed specifically at the kids hitting the A2 age bracket for the first time. They’re going to be young enough that discomfort is irrelevant and probably mostly doing city riding with short motorway hops to the next city, going on longer tours solely when they and the lads are intending to get far too drunk in a tent near the Brecon Beacons. It’s not a touring bike but a my first big bike that can handle those youthful adventures (I realise I’m only 6 years on from A2 licence age but in body and spirit I’m well into my 50s, hah!). 
 

I would further speculate Honda knows the more mature or advanced riders will go for the X because of its size and presence, the touring pretensions and whatnot. Course we all know both bikes will do whatever the hell we want of them but designers love a target audience!

 

As it happens @alhendo1 I used to write reviews on a site named Ciao that paid cash back based on positive feedback. Never made much but most have banked a couple hundred squids or so over the years from them and it cost me nout but time. Unsurprisingly they ran out of money :lol:

 

 

Edited by Ciaran1602
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alhendo1
15 minutes ago, Tex said:

matches my experience of the 500X (2019 model) I used in Gran Canaria in January.

You ran it in well for me😅...as you say perfect for those routes....I came back from my day beaming....I've done the NC 500/750/1000 twice on mine and had an absolutely brilliant time. ..lots of twisty roads👍

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Ciaran1602
Posted (edited)
22 minutes ago, Tex said:

Good write up, Ciaran. And interesting. Even to those of us with no particular interest in the model. Your summation exactly matches my experience of the 500X (2019 model) I used in Gran Canaria in January. If I lived over there (I wish!) and spent my days hustling through the endless- and I mean really bloody ENDLESS - hairpin bends the 500 would be perfect. Beautifully light clutch, enough power, nice handling and brakes and good economy and fuel range, all good so far. Except the seat. Piss poor, that. I note that Rocker says the X seat is the better one, so I can’t imagine how bad the F seat must be.. :( 
 

Using the 500X on faster roads, I found it lacking, though (clam down, you 500 boys, it’s just my opinion after all) and one wouldn’t be my first choice for use in the UK. Squirting it hard between hairpin bends, often with a sheer drop off to the side, was frenetic fun, but having to do the same to pass a Transit van wouldn’t be. 


Spot on I’d say. Genuinely Simon you’d be ashamed of that seat, I actually got off it at one point to check I was sat on the seat and not on the metalwork And somehow I’d not noticed the seat was missing. It’s...it’s a plank. 
 

The CB series seem to have enough power to be comfortable, where the NC just scrapes enough power to be effortless. It’s only when you ride bikes of that ilk back to back you appreciate the difference. 

Edited by Ciaran1602
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Rocker66
29 minutes ago, Tex said:

Good write up, Ciaran. And interesting. Even to those of us with no particular interest in the model. Your summation exactly matches my experience of the 500X (2019 model) I used in Gran Canaria in January. If I lived over there (I wish!) and spent my days hustling through the endless- and I mean really bloody ENDLESS - hairpin bends the 500 would be perfect. Beautifully light clutch, enough power, nice handling and brakes and good economy and fuel range, all good so far. Except the seat. Piss poor, that. I note that Rocker says the X seat is the better one, so I can’t imagine how bad the F seat must be.. :( 
 

Using the 500X on faster roads, I found it lacking, though (clam down, you 500 boys, it’s just my opinion after all) and one wouldn’t be my first choice for use in the UK. Squirting it hard between hairpin bends, often with a sheer drop off to the side, was frenetic fun, but having to do the same to pass a Transit van wouldn’t be. 

As I’m limite to around 200 mile days the seat on the X is adequate although in the really hot weather this week I started to feel it around 125 miles. I don’t know what it would be like on a motorway haul up to my favourite riding areas of Yorkshire Scotland or Ireland though. Sue did take her CB500F to Wales  but found it uncomfortable. For the sort of riding I’m limited to these days the 500 is fine around 95% of the time. On the odd occasion I take it on the Motorway it feels OK keeping with the majority of traffic..

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Spindizzy

I had a 500 as a loaner a little while back. I agree the gearbox is lovely, brakes and suspension are better than the NC.

 

Coming from the era of two strokes I was more than happy wringing its neck. But yeah the bikes a bit cramped for my 6'2".

 

I see the attraction to many, but its not for me.

 

 

 

 

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Tex
Posted (edited)

 

8 hours ago, alhendo1 said:

You ran it in well for me😅...as you say perfect for those routes....I came back from my day beaming....I've done the NC 500/750/1000 twice on mine and had an absolutely brilliant time. ..lots of twisty roads👍

 

Yes, it was new when they handed it over to me. Be interesting to see how it is next time.. ;) 

 

Quote

The CB series seem to have enough power to be comfortable, where the NC just scrapes enough power to be effortless. It’s only when you ride bikes of that ilk back to back you appreciate the difference. 

 

Exactly! Back in the day (yawn) I used to love a thrash on the Honda CB400F, a little ripper with one of the first six speed boxes, nice flat ‘bars and rearward footrests. It was (by the standards of the day) a genuine scalpel. And one that rewarded a ‘determined’ approach. The contrast between those and the CB900F (another favourite of mine) was night and day. The bigger engine just made everything so bloody easy. In a perfect world I would have had one of each instead of one or the other.. ;) 

 

The CB400F. Still handsome after half a century.. (and I thought Ago was wearing well).

 

F86-FBD5-A-3-BA2-410-C-B9-CD-5770-B7-DBA

Edited by Tex
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Andy m

I have one for sale if anyone is interested. PM me. 

 

Spot on with the write up. 

 

I had a screen fitted which cures the motorway wind blast. I had a gel pad under the dead thing on the seat. The pillion is of course useless so remove the pegs. It has all the other usual style issues like mudguards that don't and useless mirrors too. Even I see the styling as hideous. I don't care, but the designer needs to give up the comic books. 

 

I disagree about touring it. I've done 400 mile days. It is simply the mindset to know its perfectly happy at autobahn speeds. Earplugs and a decent helmet and forget all you know about mechanical namby pambyism on ancient brit bikes. Treat it like the washing machine it is, switch to spin cycle as required. No idea why they bother with a gauge to tell you this stuff it just goes. 

 

14500 miles in 28 months. Failed to break anything unless you count a match head sized stone ship near the left front indicator. 

 

Guess what's replacing it. 

 

Andy

 

 

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Mr Toad
7 minutes ago, Andy m said:

I have one for sale if anyone is interested. PM me. 

 

Spot on with the write up. 

 

I had a screen fitted which cures the motorway wind blast. I had a gel pad under the dead thing on the seat. The pillion is of course useless so remove the pegs. It has all the other usual style issues like mudguards that don't and useless mirrors too. Even I see the styling as hideous. I don't care, but the designer needs to give up the comic books. 

 

I disagree about touring it. I've done 400 mile days. It is simply the mindset to know its perfectly happy at autobahn speeds. Earplugs and a decent helmet and forget all you know about mechanical namby pambyism on ancient brit bikes. Treat it like the washing machine it is, switch to spin cycle as required. No idea why they bother with a gauge to tell you this stuff it just goes. 

 

14500 miles in 28 months. Failed to break anything unless you count a match head sized stone ship near the left front indicator. 

 

Guess what's replacing it. 

 

Andy

 

 

 

Another one.........

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Ciaran1602
Posted (edited)
20 minutes ago, Andy m said:

I disagree about touring it. I've done 400 mile days. It is simply the mindset to know its perfectly happy at autobahn speeds. Earplugs and a decent helmet and forget all you know about mechanical namby pambyism on ancient brit bikes. Treat it like the washing machine it is, switch to spin cycle as required. No idea why they bother with a gauge to tell you this stuff it just goes.


Fair comment. There’s very much a mental thing about the noise and pleasure of revving the nuts off something - I don’t doubt Hondasan built the bike to sit just off the redline all day every day if that’s what your riding demands.

 

20 minutes ago, Andy m said:

Guess what's replacing it. 

 

Oh this is a fun game, I’ll laugh if it’s an NC...:lol:

Edited by Ciaran1602
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Spindizzy
11 minutes ago, Andy m said:

Guess what's replacing it. 

BMW GS

 

🤣

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Andy m
1 minute ago, Spindizzy said:

BMW GS

 

🤣

I did write out the spec and the 310 is a good effort. Fortunately for both my blood pressure at the dealers and reputation on here the 500X edges ahead on things like already owning the manual and not having a weak frame round the stand weld. Finished in third on the list. 

 

Andy

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Tex

Ooh! And there was me convinced you were going with the Himalayan.. ;) 

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slowboy
32 minutes ago, Tex said:

Ooh! And there was me convinced you were going with the Himalayan.. ;) 

 

I was betting on the Himalayan as well.😂

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Andy m
20 minutes ago, Tex said:

Ooh! And there was me convinced you were going with the Himalayan.. ;) 

Close but the humidor remains closed. 

 

For every advantage there is something else that goes to balance it. It's £1700 cheaper but with trade in and value next time (can you imagine what they trade for at Honda dealers, three years old and 20000 miles!) the difference is less. The lower seat is the thickness of my boot sole. The lower weight is eaten into by carrying tools to deal with tubes. A couple of days doing valves is still hours lost regardless of if it's seven goes at screw adjusters or one trip under the PITA electrics tray.  Tyre choice is better but I can still get what I want for the CB. For every engine bar I have to buy to get a grip on a fallen over CB I have to buy an LED headlight for the Himalayan to release power for my jacket. 

 

If I was riding to the Cape I would go for Enfield. When in reality I'm going to get weekends in Wales and an Elefant rally the ability to plan less and attempt to get flashed on the motorway remains useful. I unfortunately doubt carnet costs need worry me. 

 

My suggestion to Enfield is to tweak that motor to 450cc for 30HP, fit an LED running light, raise the price by 500 quid to pay for some serious testing, TL tyres and lighter materials (lose 25 kg) and come back in 2023.

 

Andy

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slowboy

All good stuff Andy. And 20,000 miles is a bit of a beggar isn't it. My CRF is just about to hit that milestone and dealers won't touch it for a trade in (Local dealer offered £1200 against a 500X).

Nothing wrong with the bike as you'd expect with a Honda. My plan is now to keep the thing until one of us is too decrepit to ride anymore. I suspect it will still be going strong when I am not.

There are some who would, rather unkindly I think, suggest that has already happened 😂😂😂😂

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Ciaran1602

So it is another 500F? :ahappy:

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Andy m
Posted (edited)
13 minutes ago, Ciaran1602 said:

So it is another 500F? :ahappy:

CB500X subject to making a deal. 

 

I want to get back to even smaller roads so need knobblies that they won't make in a 17-inch front. 

 

Even I would MOT it rather than buy basically the same bike with a lighter clutch and gear position indicator (but still no external temp 😕). For how I've used it'll easily go to another 15000 miles and the same after that. The valves at 12000 were spot on, so just keep changing the oil once a year until it's 6 or 7.

 

Andy

Edited by Andy m
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Ciaran1602
11 minutes ago, Andy m said:

CB500X subject to making a deal. 

 

I want to get back to even smaller roads so need knobblies that they won't make in a 17-inch front. 

 

Even I would MOT it rather than buy basically the same bike with a lighter clutch and gear position indicator (but still no external temp 😕). For how I've used it'll easily go to another 15000 miles and the same after that. The valves at 12000 were spot on, so just keep changing the oil once a year until it's 6 or 7.

 

Andy

 

That's why I sought clarity - I did think your good self wouldn't trade for a newer bike for a number plate and trinkets :lol:

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Tex
Posted (edited)
37 minutes ago, slowboy said:

All good stuff Andy. And 20,000 miles is a bit of a beggar isn't it. My CRF is just about to hit that milestone and dealers won't touch it for a trade in (Local dealer offered £1200 against a 500X).

 

I’ll do a mate a favour and take it off your hands for £1300... :niceone:

 

Quote

Nothing wrong with the bike as you'd expect with a Honda. My plan is now to keep the thing until one of us is too decrepit to ride anymore. I suspect it will still be going strong when I am not.

 

My Bonnie will certainly out live me (unless some dick crashes it! Or steals it :( ).

 

Quote

There are some who would, rather unkindly I think, suggest that has already happened 😂😂😂

Edited by Tex
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alhendo1
1 hour ago, Spindizzy said:

BMW GS

Oh I really wanted this to be true😂😂

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Andy m

I've only ever killed one bike due to old age and abuse. My 2004 Bonneville after 8 years, two Elefant rallys, a bit of the TET, running with a sidecar in the winter etc. needed rewiring and the wheels sorting out. A winter off the road and 500 quid would have given it another 8 years. It landed with the beard oil brigade and hasn't been MOT'd since 2013 😔

 

Andy

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