Honda’s trio of A2 license friendly 500cc twins have had some reasonably hefty updates for 2022. That’s the ‘naked roadster’ CB500F, the ‘sporty’ CBR500R and the ‘adventure’ CB500X. They’re faster, better handling and now look even sharper. So what’s new with the Honda CB500F, CBR500R and CB500X?
Well just about everything really. The engine, the chassis, the electronics and even the graphics are all new. Or that’s what the opening line of Honda’s press release would have you believe, anyway.
Let’s start with the engine upgrades. I think when they say ‘engine upgrades’, what they actually mean is electronic upgrades. Specifically, fuel injection upgrades, as the three 500s have been given new FI settings to boost torque and, hopefully character. You don’t get any more power, but that’s because all three 500s are already making the maximum 35kW/45bhp allowed with an A2 license.
I think I’ll allow Honda to use the term chassis upgrades, though. Although the main-frame remains unchanged, the suspension and the swingarm are both new. The 500s have inherited the Showa 41mm SFF-BP USD forks seen on their four-cylinder brethren, the CB650R and CBR650R. They say the beefier forks deliver improved handling and ride quality, and you’d expect they would.
The new swingarm that all thee 500s benefit from is lighter than the last one, yet stiffer rotationally and more flexible laterally. Again, that’s said to improve handling and cornering performance.
You also get new brakes and lighter wheels. In fact the CB500X comes with a new 19 inch front wheel, as well as extra suspension travel.
Honda have introduced a bunch of new colours for the CB500F, CBR500R and CB500X so if you can’t find one that suits, you’re probably being a bit too fussy. You can even get them (all three) in Honda’s classic Grand Prix red colour scheme.
They haven’t published any prices for any of the new 500s yet, but chances are they’ll be similar to the old ones. Whatever the price is, I’m sure they’ll sell. According to Honda, they’ve sold over 106,000 units of the CB and CBR across Europe since their introduction in 2013; that’s about 1,000 per month, on average. Not bad.