1983 Honda VT500F Ascot from United States of America


Was a great 500 V-Twin


I purchased this bike used after getting out of the military. I only did routine maintenance - oil changes, tires, tune up, brakes, coolant, battery. I never had to replace any parts, other than routine things. When I sold the bike it still had the tires and brakes I put on it when I bought it. Came with a shaft drive, didn't leak oil, and always dependable. Previously owned an Xl250, which was also reliable; Honda quality.

General Comments:

It was a very nice bike and I hated that I sold it too. Excellent at taking corners - many times I'd beat the bigger super bikes (some did not like that). Only 498cc, light weight, and pretty fast. Top speed was 121 mph (remember it only had 2 cylinders). It was quick though for its size.

Not a very good long distance bike - the comfort level just wasn't there. Also had a small 2.5 gallon gas tank (at 50-65 MPG, I had a range of only 110 to 130 miles).

Later I rode the newer NT650 Hawk, but it seemed smaller, only could get it to show 108 mph on the speedo. I never did buy the NT650 and years went by without a motorcycle. Today I am ready to start riding again. Probably looking at something like a Goldwing or maybe an NC700X sounds about right.

Would you buy another motorcycle from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 11th April, 2016

1983 Honda VT500F Ascot from United States of America


Imperfect perfection. Reliable and well behaved


Exhaust rot (30 years old).

Rumors of faulty coils with age (not experienced by me).

That's it on the list of common mechanical problems, so they're stone reliable.

General Comments:

V twin water cooled, 6 speed OD, shaft driven, svelte comfy bike that does nothing exceptional, yet has zero quirks, which in itself I guess is exceptional.

One very exceptional thing worth noting, and seldom seen in reviews of the day, since reviewers tend to beat the heck out of their loaners, is if ridden sanely, I can and do achieve 65+ MPG often. Spirited riding nets me 55, and all out beating > 50 MPG.

I did have to reshape the seat to give it less slide into the tank effect.

80's Honda's embody a perfect timing in motorcycle evolution. Gone are the points and condensers for electronics, and shaft drives and water cooling is more common. Disk brakes are standard (front at least), and six speed overdrive transmissions appear. This alternator puts out an unheard of for its time 370 watts for additional electrics before they were common.

The only questionable components that show their age are the spindly 36mm air assist forks, but I don't know why I bring it up, because they're comfy and have 6" of travel.

Biggest warranted complaint I have has to be Honda's decision to go with a 2.5 gallon tank. Beautiful as it is, it runs out long before I do.

I know it's relative, but for this 175lb 5'9" guy it is the following:

Fast enough, entertaining motor enough to be fun, stops well, never a jarring from its less than perfect suspension, ridiculous MPG figures. Large enough that it doesn't look small and make you look too big, yet relatively light and small or manageable feeling. A really OK bike.

Would you buy another motorcycle from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 2nd January, 2013

11th Jan 2013, 22:30

Interesting that you point out the "sliding into the tank off the seat" syndrome. I rode this same bike back in 83 when I was going for the next step up from my CB350, and noticed the same thing. Although I loved the styling and found the bike pleasant to ride, I didn't think it had any more power than my CB350, although maybe it was the leaking mufflers that made the CB sound and feel as powerful. At any rate, it was that uncomfortable continuous sliding of your crotch into the tank that made it a no-buy for me. I bought a CX650E instead, which I still have almost 30 years later.

26th Jul 2015, 10:56

CX650. Another wonderful bike from Honda. Great choice.

11th Apr 2016, 02:43

The CX650E was unavailable in the United States. Though, we did get the Honda CX500 turbo version. I owned a VT500 Ascot, and it was something special to say the least. King of the twisties; made some super bikers really mad when they saw only had 2 cylinders. The VT500 was a small V-Twin, liquid cooled and about 48 horses. Fastest I could get was 121 mph, not bad for a 'thumper'.