We used to call bikes like the new 2013 Honda CB500F just “motorcycles.” Then the market evolved and got really specialized with sportbikes, adventure bikes, cruisers, etc., to the point that we started calling the plain old all-rounder a “standard,” which then evolved into “naked,” honoring the stripped-fairing sportbike.
Let’s call the CB500F a standard naked, since Honda has segmented its own new parallel-Twin lineup by introducing the CBR500R and CB500X, and the F is a stripped version of the R. The bodywork removal makes the CB500F the least expensive of the trio.
Like its brethren, the CB500F is propelled by a brand-new liquid-cooled, dohc, four valve-per-cylinder, counterbalanced 500cc parallel-Twin with 180-degree crank. Bore and stroke dimensions are nearly square at 67.0 x 66.8mm. Honda’s Programmed Fuel Injection (PGM-FI) delivers fuel through a pair of 34mm throttle bodies. Honda wasn’t talking horsepower, but expect it to be in the 50-at-the-wheel range.
The CBR500F’s steel-tube frame is shared with the CBR500R and CB500X. Suspension consists of a non-adjustable conventional 41mm fork and a Pro-Link single shock with nine stages of preload damping. Chassis geometry is identical to the CBR500R’s: 55.5-inch wheelbase, 25.5-degree rake and 4.05-in. trail. Cast aluminum wheels are wrapped in a 120/70-17 front and 160/60-17 rear tire. A 320mm wave-style front brake disc is pinched by a twin-piston caliper, while out back is a 240mm disc/single-piston-caliper setup. Like the other two models in the five-hundie lineup, an ABS model will be available but price has not been announced (we expect it to be a $500 premium).
A low 30.9-in. seat height should be inviting for a wide range of riders, and the F’s light 420-pound curb weight (with a full tank of fuel) should make it quite manageable. Honda hasn’t released fuel-economy figures for and of the three new 500s, but you can bet mpg will be emphasized as it has been on recent models like the NC700X and CBR250R.
Two colors will be available on the $5499 standard CB500F: Black or Pearl White. The ABS model will only be available in Black.