Honda’s versatile 471 cc parallel-twin 500 platform receives some significant upgrades for model year 2022 and will arrive in Australia later this year, the last quarter of 2021.
The pricing for the updated range will be announced closer to the release date and while in recent COVID times the prices of the CB500F, CB500X and CBR500R have crept up a little, as of now they are still all well under the 10k mark, and we hope they continue to stay under that marker.
We are big fans of the 500 Honda models, the sporty looking CBR500R, stylish CB500F naked and practical CB500X are all great motorcycles, but for us older blokes the practicality and ergonomics of the CB500X make it the stand out of the range. It is a ripper of a do-it-all motorcycle that is far more enjoyable than the uninitiated would expect.
In some ways we also prefer the 500 twins over the comparable four-cylinder 650 cc offerings in the Honda range. The 650s really feel nobbled to meet the Australian LAMS registration scheme for new riders, thus they can feel a bit unnatural, while in contrast the little parallel twins work their hearts out and provide a more rewarding ride as a result as their power delivery feels more fluid.
For 2022 the 500 models score 41 mm Showa big-piston inverted forks (SFF-BP) to raise their suspension credentials while the rear shock has a new spring rate and damping settings to match the new forks and offers five-stage pre-load adjustment.
Brakes also go up in spec’ with the single 320 mm rotor now replaced by a pair of 296 mm discs and radial-mount Nissin two-piston calipers.
Honda claim this means there is now effort required through the lever which is a change that will be most appreciated.
CBR500R and CB500F chassis geometry has been changed to a more forward weight bias for sportier handling response. All three models score stiffer new swing-arms.
But of course in the youth focussed learner market looks can be everything, and here Honda have also gone to work and updated the styling of the range.
It is unclear as yet as to whether Honda’s very popular CMX500 learner legal cruiser will also score any significant updates for 2022.
We look forward to experiencing the new chassis and braking package on the CBR500R, CB500F and CB500X when the machines arrive late this year. We are big fans of the current models so I am sure they will not disappoint.
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