Honda India surprised the Indian motorcyclists by bringing in its CB500X to our shores. Although its astronomical pricing was even more surprising, it is one hell of a motorcycle. Now that Honda has kickstarted its assault in the middleweight segment with the CB500X, we can expect the Japanese bikemaker to continue its blitzkrieg by bringing in its other 500cc motorcycles as well. They currently have four 500cc motorcycles which share the same engine and platform and cater to a different set of riders. While we have already been blessed with the arrival of the CB500X, here’s a detailed look at the rest of them:
It is basically a streetfighter version of the CBR500R. The CB500F’s main focus is to be tractable, peppy and comfortable. In order to achieve the same, Honda has eliminated the fairing and have tweaked the riding ergonomics a little while the engine remains the same and delivers the same amount of power and torque as the CBR500R. It gets wide handlebars instead of clip-ons like the CBR500R and the footpegs too, are more forward set as compared to the CBR500R. It derives power from 471cc, liquid-cooled, 4V, DOHC, parallel-twin motor.
The twin-cylinder streetfighter makes 47 hp @ 8600 rpm and 43 nm of torque @ 6500 rpm. It might not sound like a lot on paper considering the engine configuration and the fact that KTM’s 373.2 cc single makes around 43 hp but the CB500F is known to deliver power in a linear and smooth manner.
The CB500F uses a 41mm preload-adjustable telescopic fork and a monoshock with 5 steps of preload adjustability. Bringing the bike to a dead stop is a single 320mm front disc and a 240mm rear disc paired with dual-channel ABS. Its 17-inch cast aluminium wheels come shod in 120/70-section front and 160/60-section rear tyres. The bike tips the scale at 189kg kerb.
Its blacked-out engine pieces, frame, and bodywork elements look great during the day and even better at night. It’s fairly simple to look at with bobbed fenders and fat chunky tyres. It features LED lights all around, a circular negative LCD display backlit in white and a comfortable riding posture.
It is powered by the same trusted 471cc, liquid-cooled parallel twin-cylinder engine that’s seen on the CBR500R. Fuel tank capacity is rated at 11.2 litres. The Honda Rebel 500 comes with a claimed mileage of 26kmpl. A seat height of 690mm should be ideal for short riders. In terms of hardware, the bike comes equipped with a low-slung tubular frame, a 41mm telescopic fork and twin rear shocks from Showa. Its braking setup comprises a single 296mm disc up front and a single disc at the rear. Its 16-inch tyres come wrapped in a 130/90-section front and 150/80-section rear tyre. The entire package weighs in at 191kg kerb.
The ‘CBR’ prefix has always had a special place for enthusiastic motorists even in a budget centric market like India. The faired sports bike borrows styling cues from its elder brothers like the Fireblade and CBR 650F. The CBR250R was styled more in line with the VFR but the CBR500R justifies the ‘CBR’ tag, at least when it comes to the overall styling.
It features an all-new aggressive LED headlight which is complemented by a fully digital instrument cluster that reads out information like two trip meters, an odometer, time, gear position and shift-up indicator. It also features an LED taillight and turn indicators. Its 6-speed transmission comes paired with a slip-and-assist clutch. Fuel tank capacity is rated at 17.1 litres.
Suspension components include a 41mm telescopic front fork with spring preload adjustability. The rear gets a preload-adjustable Pro-link mono-shock. It comes to a halt using a 320mm front and a 240mm rear disc with dual-channel ABS. As far as handling is concerned, Honda claims the new CBR500R is stronger and lighter than its predecessor. The CBR500R’s diamond-shaped 35mm steel-tube mainframe ties to the engine with four mounts, offering a rock-solid foundation for a superior ride and handling.
Which motorcycle should Honda India bring to our shores?
Although the CB500X is considered to be one of the most well-rounded packages in Honda’s portfolio, its rather steep pricing put off a lot of potential buyers who were patiently waiting for this beauty to land on our shores. The CB500X currently retails at INR 6.87 Lakh and this is the prime reason why we believe that it wouldn’t post sales numbers as good as the motorcycle commands. Honda India would definitely want to rectify this mistake while bringing in their next 500cc offering and we believe that it should be the CB500F because the Japanese bikemaker would be able to price it more aggressively as compared to the Rebel 500 and the CBR500R.