2013 Honda CB500F and CBR500R Review – First Ride
Time for a new Standard
As the average age of motorcyclists rises, the industry is scrambling to find a way to attract new riders to the street. How do you turn curious bystanders into devoted consumers?
Honda thinks it has the answer. In addition to the recent launch of the new shift-free CTX700s, Honda has now pulled the wraps off of two of its new trio of 500cc middleweight motorcycles: the naked CB500F and the sporty CBR500R. The adventurish CB500X is dragging its tail over from Japan; expect it by summer.
The CB500s fill a mid-size chasm in an industry too long enamored of flash, power and dash, hoping to strike it rich with high-dollar product rather than build a customer base using reliable and fun transportation that’s also economical and attractive. Those elements are all hallmarks of the Honda brand, so these new entry-level motorcycles should strike a chord with an eco-minded younger generation that’s also image-aware and price-conscious.
Each of the Honda CB500s has its own look and personality. Despite their distinct characteristics, the bikes (along with the new X version) share the same basic chassis, including the frame, fuel tank and engine. This helped Honda reduce development and production costs, and results in a remarkably low price point.