1997 Honda CB500

Summary:

A bike you'll fall in love with!

Faults:

Nothing - no problems at all. General replacement only - tyres and chain.

General Comments:

An underrated bike in almost all respects - often used by couriers, or as winter hacks, so largely overlooked as a serious machine in today's tech world.

This bike does everything well, from the point you press the starter and hear it instantly burst into life, until you turn it off, and realise you don't have any aches after a 150 mile trip.

It pulls well in all of the gears, and in 4th particularly, has enough power/acceleration to comfortably cope with most overtaking situations.

The Brembo brakes on mine work well, and can be improved with the fitment of braided hose on the front, particularly on an aging machine where the original hose has become flexible.

The riding position is spot on, no aching back or arms, and the seat is comfortable enough to spend a couple of non-stop hours without getting numb.

I have the naked version, and the wind above 60mph can get intrusive and tiring. This is easily solved by fitting a small cockpit screen (not expensive) to the headlamp mounts - improves the looks too.

Handling is excellent, whether fast and straight, or through the twisties, it always feels sure footed, and if you happen to get it wrong, it's very forgiving.

The original exhaust is fairly cheap and nasty. It's heavy, rusts quickly and has probably been replaced by something that looks, sounds and performs better.

Overall, a great bike you can acquire relatively cheaply, easy to maintain, reliable, cheap insurance, 50+ mpg, and no dislikeable traits.

Get one and smile...

Would you buy another motorcycle from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 29th November, 2010

1996 Honda CB500

Summary:

I love it so much... I've even given it a name!

Faults:

Nothing - zip - zilch... oops, no, forgot - an instrument bulb blew... not quite end of the world stuff, eh!!!

General Comments:

This is my first big bike since passing my test - although it was getting on for 15 years old when I bought it, the finish was still superb and it has been ultra reliable.

Very cheap to own - I get 60 - 70 mpg from the bike, and servicing costs from a local shop have been reasonable (read cheap!) The bike handles really predictably and is confidence building. I ran it all through last winter and got caught out on snow arriving unexpectedly twice - frightened myself, but not the bike's fault - it kept me shiny side up and got me home.

Are there any faults - well obviously it's only a 500 twin, so isn't going to set the world on fire for its performance, but will cruise all day at 80-85 with little or no vibrations etc.

Buy one now before all the collector types catch on, and they all get mothballed.

Would you buy another motorcycle from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 2nd July, 2010

2000 Honda CB500

Summary:

Cheap commuter that will still put a smile on your face

Faults:

Nothing has gone wrong with it. The only thing I've had to put on it are consumables, which it is kind with.

General Comments:

All I can say really is 'wow'.

This bike has a lot of character, and you find yourself quite attracted to it after a while.

The specs don't suggest much in particular, except a bog standard commuter bike with an uninspiring 50hp. Basic specs, basic frame.

But those guys at Honda really knew what they were doing, and it all comes together wherever you are out and about.

The power delivery is strong and smooth, from very low revs. Although it is quite flat up until 7000 revs where it finds the power band and becomes a different bike; it leaps forward and the exhaust wails like a sports bike.

And in the twisties, keep it in the sweet spot and you are guaranteed to have a smile on your face... it's solid as a rock, light, flickable, and comfortable to fling about. If you push it to its limits, the forks tend to wobble, which feels wrong, so back off a bit-only if you are scraping the pegs though.

The brakes again are low spec, but are Brembo and stop the bike fantastically.

Would you buy another motorcycle from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 19th March, 2008

11th Mar 2010, 08:07

Having owned a 94 rear drum brake model, I can only reiterate the previous comments, it's a superb bike, end of! But dismiss claims of 120mph! This bike's good for 90 on the flat quite easy, but more than that is a bit of a struggle, similar to the old CX, but the extra nimbleness is what makes it special.

If you can summon the will-power to keep to 70 on the m/way, you'll get 240 miles to reserve (15 litres), if you get bored (which you will) and tank along at 90, "only" 180. Impressive!