Model updates: Honda’s A2-compatible mini-streetfighter receives major performance-focussed improvements led by new Showa 41mm Separate Function Fork Big Piston (SFF-BP) USD forks, dual disc front brakes and radial-mount callipers. Front tyre grip is heightened with more forward weight bias; handling is further improved by the new swingarm, which is lighter with more lateral flex. The rear shock has new settings to complement the new forks. Redesigned wheels and a lighter radiator save more weight and new fuel injection settings improve engine character. More powerful headlight LEDs and front indicator position lights offer greater visibility.
- Grand Prix Red
- Matt Axis Grey Metallic **NEW for 2022**
- Pearl Smokey Grey **NEW for 2022**
- Model overview
- Key features
- Technical specifications
That formula? An entertaining twin-cylinder engine wrapped in a simple, lightweight, sporty chassis, which is as much fun for an experienced rider as it is for those still building their riding career. And while a 35kW peak power output makes it suitable for A2 licence holders, the CB500F offers so much more than ‘entry level’ performance.
While its compact dimensions and welcoming manners make it an easy machine to manage, ride and learn on, those same attributes also make it a genuine pleasure for those – whether stepping up from a 125 or coming down from a bigger machine – who want to explore just what it can do at the weekend. Sensible running costs, whatever the situation, add strongly to the appeal.
In 2019, the CB500F was redrawn with uncompromising lines that elevated its technical and mechanical aspects and in 2020 it was homologated for EURO5. Having proved its continued popularity, for 2022 it receives high-quality suspension in the form of Showa 41mm SFF-BP USD forks, dual front discs, new lightweight wheels and swingarm and other detail updates including three striking new colours.
- Model Overview
Styling is updated with a new front mudguard, inherited from the CB650R, and sporty aluminium footpegs are now also standard fit. As before, LCD instruments feature a Shift Up and Gear Position function. All lighting is LED, with optimised high/low headlight beam from the new headlight and position lights.
- Key Features
- New 41mm Showa Separate Function Fork Big Piston (SFF-BP) USD forks
- New dual 296mm discs matched to Nissin radial mount two-piston calipers
- Lighter weight wheels and swingarm, plus aluminium footpegs
- More forward weight bias for enhanced front tyre grip
- Revised LEDs for the headlight for improved high/low beam
Immediately obvious is a brand-new front end set-up. With the aim to heighten sporty handling performance the 41mm telescopic forks of the previous design have been replaced by Showa 41mm Separate Function Fork Big Piston (SFF-BP) USD forks, clamped by new top and bottom yokes. By dividing the functions – Big Piston pressure separation damper in one leg, spring mechanism in the other – reaction and ride quality are both improved. The four-cylinder CB650R uses the exact same set-up.
In a further effort to improve the ride quality, the 2022 CB500F features new lighter wheels with 5 Y-shaped spokes rather than the 6 of the previous model. The front wheel width remains 3.5inch with a 120/70-ZR17 tyre and the rear 4.5inch with 160/60-ZR17 tyre.
A redesigned swingarm also shaves grams; it’s now constructed from 2mm steel (rather than 2.3mm) and employs a hollow cross member and crisply redesigned chain guard. Stiffer rotationally, the new swingarm is also more flexible laterally to improve handling. The single-tube rear shock absorber (as found on larger capacity sports bikes) with its large-diameter piston ensures excellent response and temperature management; it features 5-stage preload adjustment with spring rate and damping settings optimised to match the forks.
In line with the dynamic improvements to the chassis and suspension, the braking performance has also been improved. The single 320mm and two-piston caliper front brake from the previous model has been replaced by dual 296mm discs and Nissin radial-mount, two-piston calipers. The introduction of the smaller discs not only keeps any additional weight gain to a minimum, but also reduces the required pressure on the lever when braking.
The new CB500F’s kerb weight remains 189kg, but it places more weight on the front wheel than the previous model to promote more nimble handling and improve front end grip: front/rear bias percentage is now 49.7/50.3 (compared to 46.8/53.2). Wheelbase remains 1410mm with rake and trail of 25.5°/102mm.
The naked form exudes aggression. Led by the sharply-chiselled headlight – now even more piercing with extra-powerful LEDs and a new stronger cluster arrangement, plus high-visibility front indicator position lights – the machine’s stance is low-set and ready for action; the side shrouds interlock with the fuel tank and fully emphasize the engine, while the side covers and seat unit continue the theme of muscular angularity. The compact front mudguard is drawn directly from the CB650R.
Tapered handlebars offer intuitive feel and leverage. Seat height is low at 789mm, making the CB500F very easy to manage and its neutral riding position comfortably accommodates riders of any height. More purposeful-looking aluminium footpegs replace the previous rubberised parts; between the pair they save a further 104g. Overall dimensions are 2080mm x 800mm x 1060mm, with 145mm ground clearance.
The fuel tank holds 17.1L including reserve and combined with the engine’s excellent 3.5L/100km (28.6km/litre) fuel economy, gives a range of over 485km.
- Lively twin-cylinder powerplant delivers usable power and torque across the rev-range, plus sporty sound from its dual-exit muffler
- New PGM-FI settings improve torque feel and character
- New radiator design more stylish and lighter
- Assist/slipper clutch eases upshifts and manages downshifts
- Homologated for EURO5
Feeding the PGM-FI fuel injection is a more-or-less straight shot of airflow through the airbox and throttle bodies and for the 2022 year model, new settings improve torque feel and character without compromising performance. The exhaust muffler features dual exit pipes, giving a sporting edge to each pulse, and a rasping high-rpm howl. A new more aesthetically pleasing radiator design contributes a 100g weight saving, with no loss of cooling efficiency.
Bore and stroke are set at 67mm x 66.8mm and compression ratio is 10.7:1; the crankshaft pins are phased at 180° and a primary couple-balancer sits behind the cylinders, close to the bike’s centre of gravity. The primary and balancer gears use scissor gears, reducing noise. The crank counterweight is specifically shaped for couple-balance and its light weight allows the engine to spin freely, with reduced inertia.
Acting as a stressed member, the engine complements the frame’s rigidity with four frame hangers on the cylinder head. Internally the cylinder head uses roller rocker arms; shim-type valve adjustment allows them to be light, for lower valve-spring load and reduced friction.
A silent (SV Chain) cam chain has the surface of its pins treated with Vanadium, reducing friction with increased protection against wear. Inlet valve diameter is 26.0mm with exhaust valve diameter of 21.5mm.
Piston shape is carefully designed to reduce piston ‘noise’ at high rpm. Friction is reduced by striations on the piston skirt (a finish that increases surface area, introducing gaps in which oil can flow for better lubrication). The ‘triangle’ proportion of crankshaft, main shaft and countershaft is efficiently compact. The crankcases uses centrifugally cast thin-walled sleeves; their internal design reduces the ‘pumping’ losses that can occur with a 180° phased firing order. A deep sump reduces oil movement under hard cornering and braking; oil capacity is 3.2L.The slick-changing six-speed gearbox is managed by an assist/slipper clutch.
- 35L top box
- Rear carrier
- Tank bag
- Seat bag
- Smoke windscreen
- Heated grips
- 12V/USB Type-C sockets
- Seat cowl
- Wheel stripes
- Tank pad
- Main stand