2022 Honda CB500F

Entry-level, sure, but are the improvements enough to appeal to experienced riders?

Honda extends the shelf life of its naked-streetfighter middleweight hitting its CB500F with a battery of new improvements. Powerful new LED lights join with new suspension components and a reworked swingarm assembly. Plus, a handful of weight-saving measures lighten the load and shift the balance point even further forward for sharper handling.

  • 2022 Honda CB500F
  • Year:
    2022
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Engine:
    Parallel Twin
  • Displacement:
    471 cc
  • Top Speed:
    112 mph
  • Price:
    6699
  • Price:

2022 Honda CB500F Design

  • LED lighting
  • Naked sportbike styling
  • Color LCD display
2022 Honda CB500F
- image 1078147
2022 Honda CB500F
- image 1078146
Overall, the CB500F more or less maintains its original look, and has thus far been exempt from the café racer treatment used elsewhere in the range.

The factory kept to the same basic naked-streetfighter design on the CB500F that has proven popular since its inception back in ’13. Honda migrated certain elements from the up-range CB650R, starting with the molded front fender that pairs a minimal-windage layout with foil-shaped uprights that shuts the incoming air outboard of the inverted front forks.

While an unfaired bike like this will never achieve laminar flow along the sides, the uprights do keep the bulk of the wind away from the leading elements close behind to improve penetration and lower drag. The compact front fairing is barely big enough to call it such, it’s more of a chubby headlight housing with a vestigial deflector up top that is unlikely to protect the pilot very much, even with your chin on the tank.

Both the headlight and the front blinkers were on the receiving end of an LED upgrade with brighter emitters to lead the way and ensure adequate two-way visibility. Short handlebar risers push the top leg of the rider’s triangle closer to the pilot which strikes a balance between tucking into an aggressive posture and pushing off for a more relaxed, upright riding position.

A color LCD screen handles the instrumentation all in one location, right along with an upshift prompt and gear indicator that are sure to be valuable to the beginners and A2 license holders for which this bike is mainly intended. The pilot’s seat is recessed nicely for effective rider-machine integration, and it’s followed by a slightly lofted pillion perch with fold-up aluminum footpegs to finish out the passenger’s goodies.

Overall, the CB500F more or less maintains its original look, and has thus far been exempt from the café racer treatment used elsewhere in the range.

2022 Honda CB500F Chassis

  • CBR650R-derived front suspension
  • New inverted Showa SFF-BP forks
  • Agile handling
  • All-around twin-channel ABS
2022 Honda CB500F
- image 1078143
2022 Honda CB500F
- image 1078140
Weight-saving measures and new inverted Showa SFF-BP forks from the CBR650R contribute to decidedly more agile handling.

The diamond-type chassis on the CB500F is a direct carryover from last year. It relies on 35 mm steel tubing for much of its strength with the engine itself acting as a stressed unit to complete the structure. This eliminates a large chunk of the frame to keep weight down. Out back, the swingarm was subjected to some new weight-saving measures with a reduction in the stock thickness from 2.3 mm down to an even 2 mm with tuned lateral flexion baked in and a hollow cross member for improved feel and cornering confidence.

Like the front fender, the front suspension also comes from the CB650R. It runs with Showa’s SFF-BP stems that separate preload and damping functions between the two inverted, 41 mm stems and a new tripletree to establish a rake angle of 25.5 degrees from the vertical. Once the lightened, five-spoke, 17-inch wheels are factored in, we are left with four inches of trail to collectively put this model at the agile end of the handling spectrum.

The balance point was shifted forward by almost three percentage points to settle at 49.7 percent and 50.3 percent on the front and rear respectively. This helps keep that front wheel planted and the contact patch nice and fat.

A large-bore, Pro-Link rear shock takes care of the rear end with a nine-position preload adjuster as the only suspension adjustment. Suspension stroke measures at 4.3 inches of travel up front followed by 4.7 inches out back, which is typical for a strictly road-bound machine.

Nissin supplies the brakes with twin-piston calipers that bite dual, 296 mm discs ahead of a 240 mm disc and single-pot anchor out back. All-around, twin-channel ABS comes stock to help you keep it dirty-side down, which is a nice feature for the entry-level riders for which this bike is built.

Front Suspension/ Travel: 41 mm Showa SFF-BP fork/ 4.3 inches
Rear Suspension/ Travel: Pro-Link® single shock with nine-position spring preload adjustability/ 4.7 inches
Rake (Caster Angle): 25.5°
Trail: 4.0 inches
Front Brake: Twin four-piston calipers with 296 mm discs; ABS
Rear Brake: Single-caliper 240 mm disc, ABS
Front Tire: 120/70R-17 radial
Rear Tire: 160/60-17 radial

2022 Honda CB500F Drivetrain

  • 471 cc liquid-cooled parallel-twin engine
  • 47 hp & 31 lb-ft of torque
  • Newly re-tuned PGM-FI settings
  • Slip-and-assist clutch
2022 Honda CB500F
- image 1078145
2022 Honda CB500F
- image 1078142
Newly retuned fuel-injector settings deliver smooth power especially in the low- to mid-range.

The twin-cylinder beating heart on the CB500F delivers smooth power though its 180-out firing order and counter-balancers that tune out the rocking couple inherent with this sort of configuration. Plus, the use of scissor gears ensures quiet operation, same with the Vanadium cam-chain pins that reduce friction, noise, and wear.

Dual over-head cams time the 8-valve head, four per bore, with lightweight shim-and-no-bucket valve-lash adjustment and roller-rocker finger-follower actuation to keep the reciprocating weight low in the top end.

This engine is laid out nearly square with its 67 mm bore and 66.8 mm stroke that gives it a 471 cc displacement with a 10.7-to-1 compression ratio that’ll demand mid-grade gas, and the redesigned piston shape is intended to further reduce the mechanical noises from inside the cases. The pistons bear ribbed sides to carry oil into the lower cylinders on each stroke for improved lubrication and cooling while reducing friction further yet.

Intake management falls to the 35 mm throttle bodies and newly re-tuned PGM-FI settings that are fed by a nearly straight-shot airbox and intended to maximize volumetric efficiency on this naturally aspirated powerplant.

Last upgraded ahead of MY19, the engine puts out 46.9 ponies at 8,600 rpm with 31.7 pound-feet of grunt that develop fully at 6,500 rpm. That power flows through a slip-and-assist clutch to the smooth-shifting six-speed transmission before heading to the rear wheel via tough, O-ring chain final drive with an overall drive ratio that delivers a top speed of 111.8 mph (180 km/h).

Engine: 471 cc Liquid-cooled parallel-twin, DOHC; four valves per cylinder
Bore x Stroke: 67.0 mm x 66.8 mm
Compression Ratio: 10.7:1
Induction: PGM-FI with 34 mm throttle bodies
Ignition: Computer-controlled digital transistorized with electronic advance
Transmission: Six-speed
Final Drive: O-ring-sealed chain

2022 Honda CB500F Price

2022 Honda CB500F
- image 1078144
2022 Honda CB500F
- image 1078139
MSRP starts at $6.7k in Matte Gray Metallic on the sheet metal and blackout just about everywhere else.

In keeping with its mission as an A2-compliant trainer bike, the factory slapped an affordable sticker on it with an MSRP of $6,699. You’d better like monochromatic paint schemes though, because the ’22 CB500F rolls with Matte Gray Metallic on the sheet metal and blackout just about everywhere else.

Warranty: One Year Included, Transferable, unlimited-mileage, limited warranty, Extended coverage available with a HondaCare Protection Plan®
Colors: Matte Gray Metallic
Price: $6,699

2022 Honda CB500F Competitors

2021 - 2022 BMW G 310 R
- image 963864
2022 Honda CB500F
- image 1078138
2017 - 2022 Suzuki SV650
- image 753779

Honda finds itself in rare company in this particular displacement. The usual suspects land all around it, but none really hit the mark, so I will have to bracket it since, on this side of the pond, we don’t have to stay within the A2 licensing requirements.

BMW G 310 R

2021 - 2022 BMW G 310 R
- image 963878

BMW leads off with a lowball in its G 310 R naked-sport machine. A slipper clutch and Beemer’s own ABS join with the 313 cc thumper under typical bodywork for the genre, but the Bayerische Motoren Werke graced its lineup with a trio of paint packages that include black on black, like the Honda, but add two other packages that aren’t nearly so boring.

Top speed is clocked at 88 mph, which is plenty fast for the beginner’s market, and the sticker predictably comes in lower at $4,995.

Read our full review of the BMW G 310 R.

Suzuki SV650

2017 - 2022 Suzuki SV650
- image 664038

Domestic foe Suzuki claims the upper slot with its SV650 from its naked “Z” lineup. Displacement mics out at 645 cc, and it’s arranged as a 90-degree V-twin that puts out 68.2 ponies and 42.9 pounds o’ grunt, which is expected to be honest, given the engine size difference. Visuals toe the design line with very similar builds across the board, and the SV650 rolls for $7,299 without ABS protection or $7,749 with the anti-locks.

Top speed on the Suzuki is clocked at 124 mph, which in this writer’s opinion, is a little on the fast side for inexperienced riders, so keep that in mind if you’re shopping for a trainer bike for someone you love.

Read our full review of the Suzuki SV650.

He Said

“This bike, due to its displacement, hits a sweet spot for the tiered licensing program. But, since we don’t do that over here (yet?), it falls in a weird spot and is subject to challenges from “close enough” displacement machines. That said, it does look like a good choice for a budding sportbike rider, and certainly will instill a measure of brand loyalty early on.”

She Said

My wife and fellow motorcycle rider, Allyn Hinton, says, “Sure, sure, this is an entry-level naked bike that folks will use as a starting platform for their riding adventures. What about experienced riders that want a mid-displacement bike in their garage? The CB500F sees a slew of updates including the new front suspension that improves handling. The retuned fuel injection delivers a bit more power, but more importantly, you get a smoother delivery especially down in the low- to mid-range where urban and suburban riders will notice the difference. Tall folks might feel a little cramped, but overall the riding position is fairly neutral enough to be comfortable for even some distance touring.”

2022 Honda CB500F Specifications

Engine & Drivetrain:
Engine: 471 cc Liquid-cooled parallel-twin, DOHC; four valves per cylinder
Bore x Stroke: 67.0 mm x 66.8 mm
Compression Ratio: 10.7:1
Induction: PGM-FI with 34 mm throttle bodies
Ignition: Computer-controlled digital transistorized with electronic advance
Transmission: Six-speed
Final Drive: O-ring-sealed chain
Chassis:
Front Suspension/ Travel: 41 mm Showa SFF-BP fork/ 4.3 inches
Rear Suspension/ Travel: Pro-Link® single shock with nine-position spring preload adjustability/ 4.7 inches
Rake (Caster Angle): 25.5°
Trail: 4.0 inches
Front Brake: Twin four-piston calipers with 296 mm discs; ABS
Rear Brake: Single-caliper 240 mm disc, ABS
Front Tire: 120/70R-17 radial
Rear Tire: 160/60-17 radial
Dimensions & Capacities:
Wheelbase: 55.5 inches
Seat Height: 31.1 inches
Fuel Capacity: 4.5 gallons
Curb Weight: 416 pounds
Details:
Warranty: One Year Included, Transferable, unlimited-mileage, limited warranty, Extended coverage available with a HondaCare Protection Plan®
Colors: Matte Gray Metallic
Price: $6,699

Further Reading

Honda

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Read more Honda news.

TJ Hinton
TJ Hinton
T.J got an early start from his father and other family members who owned and rode motorcycles, and by helping with various mechanical repairs throughout childhood. That planted a seed that grew into a well-rounded appreciation of all things mechanical, and eventually, into a formal education of same. Though primarily a Harley rider, he has an appreciation for all sorts of bikes and doesn't discriminate against any particular brand or region of origin. He currently holds an Associate's degree in applied mechanical science from his time at the M.M.I.  Read full bio
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