Honda originally teased us with sneak-peak pictures of the 2016 CB500F a few weeks ago to help kick-start rumors and get people excited on all of the changes they were going to throw at the very popular naked sport bike known as the CB500F. With the EICMA show coming to a close we finally have all of the details on changes as well as pictures of the new CB500F in the flesh. The CB500F is the naked and cheaper brother out of the 500 cc trio from Honda that include the CBR500R sport bike and CB500X adventure model.
2016 CB500F Changes: The naked CB500F sport bike gets a hard-edged makeover for 2016 with a more stripped down, muscular look; other upgrades include a larger fuel tank, LED lighting, spring preload adjustable front forks, new lightweight exhaust and adjustable brake lever. Six vibrant paint options complement the aggressive new angles.
2016 Honda 500cc Motorcycle Model Lineup:
- 2016 CB500F (Naked) Review – Click Here
- 2016 CB500X (Adventure) Review – Click Here
- 2016 CBR500R (Sport) Review – Click Here
- 1 Introduction
- 2 Model overview
- 3 Key features
- 4 Pricing / MSRP
The CB500F joined Honda’s mid-sized line-up in 2013. Compact in size but punching way above its weight, it injects the adrenaline and excitement of full-sized motorcycle ownership into every ride for A2 license-holders moving up in size(overseas); at the same time, its all-round agility, punchy performance and sensible running costs make it a great motorcycle with which to commute through the week and ride for pleasure at the weekend, whatever the rider’s experience level.
The 2016 CB500F is a bold evolution that elevates the machine still further, with a shot of naked streetfight style and rider-focussed upgrades that add more fun, pride of ownership and desirability.
2. Model Overview
While its 471cc DOHC engine – producing 49.6 HP / 35kW and returning 71 MPG – and steel diamond-tube frame remain unchanged, the CB500F emerges for 2016 with new aggressively-sculpted lines front to back. The styling shows off the machine’s mechanical forms; LED headlight and taillight are high quality finishing touches.
A larger 4.4 gallon (up from 4.1 gl) fuel tank extends range, and detail improvements such as hinged fuel cap, adjustable-reach brake lever and ‘wave’ style ignition key elevate the overall owning experience.
The riding experience is improved with the addition of adjustable spring preload in the front forks, redesigned shift drum for smoother gear changes and new short exhaust muffler, with tuned internals, that emits a crisp howl in keeping with the engine’s engaging power delivery.
3. Key Features
3.1 Styling & Equipment
The styling concept behind the CB500F’s angular minimalism is ‘Mechanical & Aggressive’ with the compact headlight cowl and seat unit – and downsized bodywork – creating a condensed trapezoid form focused around the engine and frame.
Small but efficient the LED headlight features position lights located in the upper left and right side, creating an assertive front-on presence. A character line and duct are carved into the speedometer case, adding a sharper edged appeal.
The side panels are now smaller and split into two parts, with the upper painted. Likewise the middle shrouds are more compact – with angles interlocking with the fuel tank shape – and expose more of the steel frame and compact parallel twin engine with its new premium bronze crank and cylinder case cover.
Both rider and pillion footpeg hangers have been reduced in size, with die-cast aluminium footpegs for the passenger adding a touch of class. The strikingly compact rear seat unit is finished with a clear-lensed rear LED light and sharply- designed steel fender mount. Detail upgrades for rider benefit include a hinged fuel cap and 5-step adjustable span brake lever. The new ‘wave’ key also gives a smoother, more premium feel.
The comprehensive dash features a digital speedometer, digital bar graph tachometer, odometer, dual trip meters, clock, plus digital fuel level gauge and fuel consumption. HISS (Honda Intelligent Security System) is built in to the ignition; there’s space under the seat to store a U-lock.
2016 Honda CB500F Colors:
- Ross White and Millennium Red (Tri-color)
- Lemon Ice Yellow/Graphite Black
- Candy Energy Orange/Macadam Grey Metallic
- Millennium Red/Macadam Grey Metallic
- Pearl Metalloid White/Macadam Grey Metallic
- Matte Gunpowder Black/Matte Krypton Silver Metallic (USA)
The CB500F’s DOHC, 8-valve liquid-cooled parallel twin layout offers a great balance of physical size and flexible output. 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 both the CBR600RR and CBR1000RR.
Bore and stroke is set at 67mm x 66.8mm; 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.
PGM-FI fuel injection provides superb throttle response; the gas flow route from airbox to exhaust is as straight as possible and a plate in the airbox separates the airflow to each cylinder. Peak power of 49.6 horsepower arrives at 8,500 RPM, with 31.7 lb ft torque delivered at 7,000 RPM.
The engine acts as a stressed member, reinforcing 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 cam chain has the surface of its pins treated with Vanadium, reducing friction with increased protection against dust. Inlet valve diameter is 26.0mm with exhaust valve diameter of 21.5mm.
Bore size of 67mm is identical to that of the CBR600RR. The piston shape is based upon those used in the CBR1000RR 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 CBR600RR and CBR1000RR, an AB1 salt bath process, used after isonite nitriding, forms a protective oxidation membrane.
The crankcase uses centrifugally cast thin-walled sleeves, and the same bore interval as the CBR600RR makes them as compact and light as possible. 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 3.4 quarts.
A six-speed gearbox mirrors that of its RR cousins which uses the same gear change arm structure and link mechanism. In an update for 2016, the shift drum stopper spring load has been revised, along with the shape of the shift drum centre, for smoother, easier gear changing.
The new exhaust muffler design uses two internal chambers, joined by a punched link pipe; it’s physically shorter – aiding mass centralization – 4.4 pounds lighter and delivers a crisp exhaust note as rpm rises.
- 2016 CB500F Horsepower Rating: 49.6 HP at 8,500 RPM
- 2016 CB500F Torque Rating: 31.7 lb ft TQ at 7,000 RPM
- 2016 CB500F MPG Rating: 71 Miles Per Gallon
The CB500F’s 35mm diameter steel diamond-tube mainframe is light and strong, with a tuned degree of yield that gives plenty of feedback to the rider as road surfaces change. The shape and position of the engine mounts, plus the frame’s rigidity balance, reduce vibration.
Wheelbase is 1410mm and rake and trail are set at 25.5°/102mm giving nimble, yet reassuring steering. Mass centralisation, with the engine in very close proximity to the swingarm pivot point, delivers turning agility; optimum front/rear weight distribution ensures stability. Curb weight for the 2016 CB500F comes in at 414 pounds.
Seat height is low at 30.7 inches, making the CB500F very easy to manage and its sporty riding position will comfortably accommodate riders of varying heights thanks to a relatively high handlebar position.
Overall dimensions are 2080mm x 790mm x 1060mm, with 160mm ground clearance. The fuel tank now holds 4.4 gallons including reserve, and combined with the engine’s excellent fuel economy gives a range of over 310 miles.
The 41mm telescopic front fork, with 120mm stroke, delivers a compliant yet controlled ride and gives a great connection to the front tyre. For 2016 the CB500F gains spring preload adjustment and the fork legs are topped with Blue Alumite. Pro-Link monoshock rear suspension features 9-stage preload adjustment and works through a rigid box-section steel swingarm. Final drive is via 520 sealed chain.
Lightweight, 17-inch cast aluminium wheels employ hollow cross-section Y-shaped spokes. Front wheel width is 3.5 inch with a 120/70-ZR17 tire, the rear 4.5 inch and 160/60-ZR17 tire. A single front 320mm wavy disc and two-piston brake caliper is matched to a 240mm rear disc and single-piston caliper.
2016 CB500F Price / MSRP: $5,999
2016 CB500F ABS Price / MSRP: $6,299
In the past, ABS has set you back $500 with Honda on the CB500F. In 2015 the CB500F standard model was $5,799 while the ABS brought the tally up to $6,299. I’d say ABS sales for the CB500F will rise as a lot of customers I’ve dealt with didn’t want to pony up and pay the extra $500 tab for the added safety. This will be the second price increase for the CB500F as it originally started out with an MSRP of $5,499 in 2013 shortly followed by the bump to $5,799. It’s still priced right though and bang for the buck you’ll have a difficult time finding anything to beat it. Especially when you start comparing MPG numbers and maintenance costs etc. That’s where the CB500F and its brothers CBR500R / CB500X all really shines when you look at the complete cost of ownership picture.
CB500F / CBR500R / CB500X Family Photo Gallery