– Detailed 2018 CB500F Review / Buyer’s Guide | Specs: Horsepower & Torque, Price, Release Dates, Accessories and More! –
It seems like it was just yesterday we were going over last year’s naked version of the 500cc CBR, the CB500F and now it’s already time to go over the 2018 model-year streetfighter. In my experience, the CB500F has been the 2nd most popular bike of the 500cc trio from Honda losing to the CBR500R but slightly edging out the CB500X. It’s rather surprising too as naked sport bikes or naked motorcycles for that matter were all but dead leading into this decade when all we had here in the USA as far as that type of bike goes was the CB919 and CB599. Saying their sales were dismal at best, is being kind. Thanks to the CB500F and its little brother the CB300F and their all-new big brothers: CB650F & CB1000R – sales started to increase year by year. Pair that up with Honda taking an already awesome bike that was introduced originally in 2013 and made it even better with new styling changes, larger fuel tank, LED lighting, adjustable front forks, new exhaust and more back in 2016 and it’s easy to see why the naked sport bike / streetfighter motorcycle segment has continued to grow by leaps and bounds.
Key 2018 CB500F Info (for those in a hurry):
- 2018 CB500F Model Options / Variations:
- Option 1: Standard Brakes
- Option 2: ABS / Anti-Lock Brakes
- 2018 CB500F Price: $6,099
- 2018 CB500F ABS Price: $6,399
- 2018 CB500F Release Date: January 2018
- 2018 CB500F Colors: Candy Blue / Matte Black (USA) | * other Europe colors listed below
- 2018 CB500F Horsepower: 49.6 HP @ 8,500 RPM
- 2018 CB500F Torque: 31.7 ft/lb TQ @ 7,000 RPM
- 2018 CB500F Miles Per Gallon: 71 MPG
- 2018 CB500F VS 2017 CB500F Changes? None.
2018 CB500F Review Contents:
- 1. | Introduction
- 2. | Model Overview
- 3. | Key Features
- 3.1 | Styling & Equipment
- 3.2 | Engine
- 3.3 | Chassis / Suspension
- 4. | Accessories
- 5. | Photo Gallery / Pictures
- 6. | Technical Specifications
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 (overseas) moving up in size; 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.
What is the 2018 CB500F exactly? It is one of (3) 500cc motorcycles that share the same platform for 2018, originally introduced in 2013. You have the CB500F which is the naked ‘streetfighter’ style also commonly referred to as a ‘standard’ motorcycle or naked sport bike. Next, you have the CBR500R that shares the same engine, Frame and transmission but has fairings and lower handlebars to give it that ‘sport bike’ style. Last but not least, you have the CB500X which is an ‘adventure’ style motorcycle. Which is better between the 2018 CBR500R, CB500F and CB500X? None. They all perform the same when it comes to performance but they will shine slightly better than the next when compared against the type of riding you’ll be doing whether it be blasting up the mountain or commuting in town versus hitting that dirt road you’ve always wanted to explore. It all boils down to personal preference on which one feels more comfortable to you as they all sit differently and which one you like the ‘looks’ of more than the next. Here’s a few links to blog posts I’ve done in the past on all of the 500cc models:
Honda 500cc Motorcycle Model Lineup:
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 with 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 gal) fuel tank extended range, and detail improvements such as hinged fuel cap, adjustable-reach brake lever and ‘wave’ style ignition key elevated the overall owning experience from its rather large update back in 2016.
The riding experience was 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.
For 2018 on the CB500F, you have (2) model options:
- 2018 CB500F (standard brakes)
- 2018 CB500F ABS (Anti Lock Brakes)
Quick Overview of Features / Details:
Engine / Drivetrain
- Liquid-cooled 471cc DOHC parallel-twin engine has good torque and a broad spread of power for maximum versatility.
- Four-valve cylinder head design incorporates a roller rocker arm for a compact layout along with minimal friction.
- Short muffler allows mass centralization and has a healthy exhaust note.
- Smooth-shifting six-speed transmission.
- Shim-type valve-adjustment system allows incorporation of a light rocker-arm setup that in turn allows for a low valve-spring load to further reduce power losses through engine friction.
- Programmed Fuel Injection (PGM-FI) continuously monitors several variables to ensure the correct fuel mixture is delivered for the existing riding and atmospheric conditions for crisp throttle response throughout a wide variety of riding conditions.
- Engine counterbalancer and 180-degree crankpin reduce engine vibration for superior rider comfort.
- Preloaded, scissors-type gears for the primary drive and engine counterbalancer gears help reduce engine noise.
Chassis / Suspension
- Neutral riding position makes for easy maneuvering and keeps the rider comfortable.
- Aggressive bodywork creates a sharp, edgy character.
- LED headlights and taillight have a unique look and provide great visibility.
- User-friendly hinged fuel cap.
- Die-cast aluminum passenger foot pegs for a sporty feel.
- Front-brake lever has a five-step adjustment mechanism to suit rider preference.
- Fork has an external preload adjuster to allow adaptation to the situation (i.e., riding with passenger, cargo).
- Diamond-shaped 35mm steel tube frame is lightweight and rigid for responsive sport handling.
- Big 41mm front fork with 4.3 inches of travel returns a plush yet controlled ride.
- Sophisticated Pro-Link® single-shock rear suspension offers nine-stage spring preload adjustability and 4.7 inches of controlled travel.
- Lightweight cast-aluminum wheels, 120/70-17 in front and 160/60-17 rear, return sporting feel and handling traits.
- Front 320mm wave-style disc brake and 240mm rear provide strong stopping power.
- ABS version available for enhanced braking characteristics in less-than-ideal conditions.
- Blue-tinted instrument display features speedometer, tachometer, odometer/A&B trip meters, fuel gauge, clock, real-time and average fuel consumption.
- Low seat height helps build rider confidence.
CB500F Warranty: One-year, transferable, unlimited-mileage limited warranty; extended coverage available with a Honda Protection Plan.
2018 CB500F Changes / Updates: None. Well, no changes were made other than new color options for 2018 on the CB500F.
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.
The small side panels are split into two parts, with the upper painted. The middle shrouds are also very compact – with angles interlocking with the fuel tank shape – and expose the steel frame and compact parallel twin engine with its premium bronze crank and cylinder case cover.
Both rider and passenger footpeg hangers have been reduced in size, with die-cast aluminum 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 (not available in USA); there’s space under the seat to store a U-lock.
The CB500F will be available in one color option for the USA in 2018 and three color options in other countries around the world.
2018 Honda CB500F Colors:
- USA Colors:
- Candy Blue / Matte Black
- Europe / Misc other country colors:
- Candy Cromosphere Red / Force Silver Metallic
- Candy Caribbean Blue Sea / Matte Black
- Force Silver Metallic / Lemon Ice Yellow
For 2018, the CB500F engine remains the same as last year’s model. 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 center 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 dating back to 2016, the shift drum stopper spring load has been revised, along with the shape of the shift drum center, for smoother, easier gear changing.
The newer 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.
- 2018 CB500F Horsepower Rating: 49.6 HP at 8,500 RPM
- 2018 CB500F Torque Rating: 31.7 lb ft TQ at 7,000 RPM
- 2018 CB500F MPG Rating: 71 Miles Per Gallon
3.3 Chassis / Suspension
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 centralization, 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 2018 CB500F comes in at 414 pounds and 419 pounds for the ABS model.
The 2018 CB500F’s seat height comes in at a low 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 81.8 x 31.1 x 41.7 in (2080mm x 790mm x 1060mm), with 6.29 in (160mm) worth of ground clearance. The fuel tank now holds 4.4 gallons including reserve thanks to its latest round of upgrades, 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 tire. In the last round of updates to the CB500F, it gained spring preload adjustability 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 aluminum 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 wave disc and two-piston brake caliper is matched to a 240mm rear disc and single-piston caliper.
4. CB500F Accessories
Here are the OEM accessories available for the 2018 CB500F from Honda:
- Heated grips
- Carbon-look front mudguard
- Seat cowl
- Sports tail pack
- Rear hugger
- Tank pad
- AC charging socket
5. CB500F – CBR500R – CB500X Family Pictures / Photo Gallery
6. 2018 CB500F Technical Specifications
|Type||Liquid-Cooled, parallel twin|
|Bore & Stroke||67mm x 66.8mm|
|Compression Ratio||10.7 : 1|
|Max. Power Output||49.6 HP (35kW) @ 8500 RPM|
|Max. Torque||31.7 lb/ft TQ (43Nm) @ 7000 RPM|
|Oil Capacity||3.38 qt (3.2L)|
|Fuel Tank Capacity||4.4 gal (16.7L) (including reserve)|
|Fuel Consumption (WMTC)||71 MPG (29.4km/L)|
|Battery Capacity||12V 8.6AH|
|Clutch Type||Wet multiplate|
|Transmission Type||6 speed|
|Dimensions (L´W´H)||81.8 x 31.1 x 41.7 in (2080mm x 790mm x 1060mm)|
|Wheelbase||55.5 in (1410mm)|
|Caster Angle||25.5 degrees|
|Seat Height||30.7 in (785mm)|
|Ground Clearance||6.29 in (160mm)|
|Curb Weight||414.4 lb (187kg) | ABS 419 lbs (190kg)|
|Type Front||Conventional Telescopic Front Forks, 41mm, pre-load adjustable|
|Type Rear||Prolink mono with 9-stage Preload adjuster, steel square pipe swingarm|
|Type Front||Multi-Spoke Aluminum Cast|
|Type Rear||Multi-Spoke Aluminum Cast|
|Rim Size Front||17 x MT3.5|
|Rim Size Rear||17 x MT4.5|
|Tires Front||120/70ZR – 17M/C|
|Tires Rear||160/60ZR – 17M/C|
|ABS System Type||N/A / 2-Channel|
|Type Front||Single Wave Disk, 320mm, 2 piston caliper|
|Type Rear||Single Wave Disk, 240mm, 1 piston caliper|
|INSTRUMENTS & ELECTRICS|
|Instruments||Digital Speedometer, Digital Bar Graph Tachometer, Dual Trip Meters, Digital Fuel Level Gauge & Fuel Consumption Gauge, Digital Clock|
|Security System||HISS (Honda Intelligent Security System) *European Models|
|Headlight||Low 4.8W. Hi 12W x 1 lights|