Honda’s highly popular mid-capacity learner machine, the CB500F was launched back in 2013 alongside the CBR500R and CB500X and has since gone on to strong success
Now for 2019 the CB500F has further evolved, with the addition of aggressive bodywork, tapered handlebars, a new LCD dash featuring a Shift Up and Gear Position functionality and all LED indicators – to match the rest of the lighting.
While the CB500F already reaches the A2 (and similar LAMS) limit of 35kW, Honda have been able to tune the bike for more more power and torque in the low to mid range thanks to revisions to the inlet, exhaust and valve timing, contributing to a 4 per cent boost.
A new dual exit exhaust muffler also emits a heartier exhaust note making for a more enjoyable experience, while the engine also features an assist/slipper clutch.
The chassis remains unchanged as a testament to the quality of the existing spec, while a new rear singletube shock absorber has been added, aiming to deliver even more consistent damping performance and improved control.
2019 Honda CB500F new features
New aggressively styled bodywork
Tapered handlebars for control and feel
New LCD instrument display
Gear Position and Shift Up indicators
LED indicators (now all LED lighting)
Revised inlet, exhaust and valve timing
4% more midrange power and torque
Sportier sound from the new dualexit muffler
Assist/Slipper clutch eases upshifts and manages downshifts
Revised styling & updated shock
For its 2019 evolution the CB500F’s naked styling has evolved from front to rear, with an eye catching headlight design and lowset stance, including side shrouds which interlock with the fuel tank and emphasise the engine. Side covers and the seat unit also contribute to the angular theme.
Tapered handlebars add leverage for the rider, while a new LCD dash features a Gear Position and Shift Up indicator, which is set to a default 8750rpm but can be adjusted in 250rpm increments.
The 35mm diameter steel diamond tube mainframe is unchanged for 2019 and the wheelbase is 1410mm and rake and trail are set at 25.5°/102mm, giving nimble but
confidence inspiring steering. Mass centralisation, with the engine in close proximity to the swingarm pivot point, delivers agility and an optimum front/rear weight distribution, while kerb weight is 189kg.
The seat height remains low at 785mm, making the CB500F easy to manage and the
neutral riding position lends itself to comfort and riders of any height. Overall dimensions
are 2080mm x 790mm x 1060mm, with 145mm ground clearance.
The fuel tank holds a generous 17.1L including reserve, and Honda claim that combined with the engine’s strong fuel economy gives a range of up to 480km.
The 41mm preload adjustable telescopic front forks have 120mm stroke, for a
compliant yet controlled ride, with strong feel for front tyre grip. The new single tube rear
shock absorber is as found on larger capacity sports bikes and replaces the outgoing double-tube design of the previous model.
The new shocks larger diameter piston ensures excellent suspension response and temperature management. It also features 9-stage spring preload adjustment and works with a rigid boxsection steel swingarm, which now features pressed steel chain adjustment endpieces. Final drive is via sealed 520 chain.
Lightweight 17inch cast aluminium wheels employ hollow cross section Y shaped
spokes, with a front wheel width of 3.5inch and a 120/70ZR17 tyre, while the rear is a 4.5inch with a 160/60ZR17 tyre. A single front 320mm wavy disc and two piston brake caliper is matched to a 240mm rear disc and single piston caliper. ABS is fitted as standard.
The CB500F will be available in the following colour options: Grand Prix Red; Matt Gunpowder Black Metallic; Pearl Metalloid White; Candy Energy Orange.
Lively LAMS twin cylinder
The CB500F’s learner eight-valve liquid-cooled parallel twin-cylinder layout offers a
balance of physical size and enjoyable power output, with an high revving character and top end. The target for 2019 was faster acceleration through a boost in low to mid range power and torque. The 4% improvement comes via altered valve timing – with ‘close’ timing accelerated by 5° – and lift increased by 0.3mm to 7.8mm.
Feeding the PGMFI fuel injection is now a straight shot of airflow through the
airbox and throttle bodies. The battery has been repositioned further away (44.1mm
versus 13.4mm) from the rear of the airbox intake duct to allow greater airflow; the exhaust muffler now features dual exit pipes, adding a sportier sounding edge to each pulse. Peak power of 35kW arrives at 8,500rpm, with 43Nm torque delivered at 7,000rpm.
Bore and stroke is set at 67 x 66.8mm and compression ratio remains 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. The piston shape is based upon those used in the CBR1000RR Fireblade to reduce piston ‘noise’ at high rpm. Friction is reduced by the addition of striations on the piston skirt (a finish that increases surface area, introducing gaps in which oil can flow for better lubrication). As with the CBR1000RR, an AB 1 salt bath process, used after isonite nitriding, forms a protective oxidisation membrane.
The ‘triangle’ proportion of crankshaft, main shaft and countershaft is very similar to that of Honda’s four-cylinder RR engines and much of the internal structure and engineering is
taken directly from the CBR1000RR.
The crankcase uses centrifugally cast thin walled sleeves; their internal design reduces
the ‘pumping’ losses that can occur with a 180° phased firing order. Using the same
internal relief structure as that of the CBR1000RR, the oil pump features improved
aeration performance, with reduced friction; a deep sump reduces oil movement under
hard cornering and braking. Oil capacity is 3.2L.
The CB500F’s six-speed gearbox is very close to that of its RR cousin and uses the same
gear change arm structure and link mechanism. New for 2019 an Assist/Slipper clutch
enables lighter upshifts and smooths out any hard downshifts.
Liquid cooled, parallel twin
Bore & Stroke
67mm x 66.8mm
10.7 : 1
Max. Power Output
35 kW @ 8600 rpm
43 Nm @ 6500 rpm
Fuel Tank Capacity
17.1 L(inc reserve)
Fuel Consumption (WMTC)
Dimensions (L ́W ́H)
2080 mm x 790 mm x 1060 mm
Conventional telescopic front forks,
41mm, preload adjustable
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