Hey, our CB500s are all getting new swingarms, Showa 41mm SFF-BP inverted forks, lighter wheels, dual front discs and revised FI settings!
These bikes are hugely popular, says Honda, who claim to have sold over 106,000 of these CB and CBR500 units across Europe since their introduction in 2013. The CB500F roadster accounts for nearly half of those sales, the racy CBR500R gets about 18% of the credit, and the adventurous CB500X accounts for 35% of the total.
“Inherited from the four cylinder CB650R and CBR650R middleweights,” says Honda, “new Showa 41mm SFF-BP USD forks are the highlights of the new front end set up, delivering improved handling and ride quality. These are now matched to lighter Y spoke aluminum wheels on the CB500F and CBR500R, complete with new dual 296mm wavy front discs and radial mounted Nissin calipers. The adventure focused CB500X shares the same new brake and suspension updates as its siblings and also features longer front suspension travel and a lighter, larger 19in front wheel.”
The new, lighter swingarm on all three bikes is said to be stiffer rotationally, but more flexible laterally for improved handling and cornering performance. “The punchy 500cc engine at the heart of each machine still produces the maximum 35kW allowed for the A2 licence holder, but for 2022 it now features new PGM-FI settings to further enhance both torque feel and overall character.” (We tested and dyno’d a CBR500R here in 2018.)
For 2022 the naked CB500F will be available in three paint schemes on the Continent: Pearl Smoky Gray, Mat Axis Gray Metallic and Pearl Dusk Yellow. The CBR500R will be Mat Gunpowder Black Metallic with new graphics befitting its racetrack heritage. The CB500X adventure machine comes in Mat Gunpowder Black Metallic and Pearl Organic Green. All three will also be available in Honda’s classic Grand Prix Red.
Also: “Honda’s research of a representative sample of customers shows the breadth of appeal of the three machines across different rider demographics. Figures show that 45% of CB500F and 37% of CBR500R owners are new riders, with 45% and 60% respectively under the age of 34, illustrating how instrumental they have been in bringing new young riders to the world of two wheels.
“Conversely, over 75% of CB500X owners are experienced riders, with a further 15% having been drawn back to motorcycling by the all-round appeal offered by the compact adventurer with its rugged styling, long travel suspension and upright riding position.”
We can vouch. Will US-bound CBs get the same goods? Probably.