Honda’s hugely popular CB500F, CBR500R and CB500X trio all receive engine and chassis upgrades for their 2022 year model versions, further enhancing their broad appeal with new and experienced riders alike.
Inherited from the four cylinder CB650R and CBR650R middleweights, new Showa 41mm SFF-BP USD forks are the highlights of the new front end set up, delivering improved handling and ride quality. These are now matched to lighter Y spoke aluminum wheels on the CB500F and CBR500R, complete with new dual 296mm wavy front discs and radial mounted Nissin calipers. The adventure focused CB500X shares the same new brake and suspension updates as its siblings and also features longer front suspension travel and a lighter, larger 19in front wheel.
All three fun, frugal machines feature a new lighter swingarm, stiffer rotationally, but more flexible laterally to improve handling and cornering performance. The punchy 500cc engine at the heart of each machine still produces the maximum 35kW allowed for the A2 licence holder, but for 2022 it now features new PGM-FI settings to further enhance both torque feel and overall character.
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For 2022 the naked CB500F gains three new vibrant colours: Pearl Smoky Gray, Mat Axis Gray Metallic and Pearl Dusk Yellow, while the sporty CBR500R will be available in new Mat Gunpowder Black Metallic, also benefitting from striking new graphics to highlight its racetrack heritage. The CB500X adventure machine receives two new colours for 2022: Mat Gunpowder Black Metallic and Pearl Organic Green. All three bikes will also be available in Honda’s classic Grand Prix Red colour scheme.
While their compact dimensions and welcoming manners make Honda’s 500cc trio easy machines to manage, ride and learn on, those same attributes also make them a genuine pleasure for those – whether stepping up from a 125, coming down from a bigger machine or returning to the market – who want to explore just what they can do at the weekend, whatever the type of ride they choose.
Honda have sold over 106,000 units of the CBs and CBR across Europe since their introduction in 2013. Each take their own place in a distinct world within Honda’s rich product line-up. The CB500F ‘roadster’ accounts for nearly half of the sales, the ‘race’ world representative CBR500R 18%, and the adventure world CB500X, 35% of the total.
Honda’s research of a representative sample of customers shows the breadth of appeal of the three machines across different rider demographics. Figures show that 45% of CB500F and 37% of CBR500R owners are new riders, with 45% and 60% respectively under the age of 34, illustrating how instrumental they have been in bringing new young riders to the world of two wheels.
Conversely, over 75% of CB500X owners are experienced riders, with a further 15% having been drawn back to motorcycling by the all-round appeal offered by the compact adventurer with its rugged styling, long travel suspension and upright riding position.