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Honda CB500F (2022) - Review

Production Manager - Still considers himself a novice rider, despite passing his test nearly thirty years ago.



2022 Honda CB500F Review Price Spec_070
2022 Honda CB500F Review Price Spec_077
2022 Honda CB500F Review Price Spec_066


When sports 600s were the go-to bike, even for new riders, the humble Honda CB500 was seen as a bit of a utilitarian tool, used mainly by couriers and budget conscious commuters. Along with Suzuki's GS500 and, to a lesser degree, Kawasaki's GPZ500S, the CB500 was often overlooked for bigger, faster, and 'better' bikes. We all knew that the CB was a good bike and could handle well (it had its own race series and launched the Career on one James Toseland esq), but the lure of the 600cc fours was too great for UK buyers and the 500 twins barely got a look in.

Fast forward 25 years, thanks in no small part to the introduction of the A2 licence, and the CB500 twin has come of age. Heavily updated from its early 90's introduction its now perfectly suited to the limited power category and has not only outlived the sports 600s, but provided the backbone of Honda's A2 range of bikes, morphing into cruiser, adventure and sportsbike forms, as well as keeping its original form in this, the traditional, naked CB500F.

But how does the 2022 CB500F stack up against today's rivals? We spent a couple of weeks with one to find out.


  • Ease of riding

  • Great handling and willing engine

  • Modern design and Honda build quality

  • Instruments can be hard to read with small digits and dull colour scheme

  • Handling can be overly light at speed

  • Engine styling looks fussy with mixed finishes


2022 Honda CB500F Price

The 2022 Honda CB500F saw a slight price hike (£100) from the outgoing model, but is still the joint cheapest of the 500s range, at just £5849 - the same as the CMX500 Rebel cruiser - and between £400 and £500 cheaper than its sporty and adventure biased brothers the CBR500R and CB500X.

The new bike is available in four colours for 2022 (as shown above) - Matte Axis Grey Metallic, Pearl Smoky Grey, Grand Prix Red and the bike we had on test, Pearl Dusk Yellow. All colours are priced the same.

The bike we tested had also been sprinkled with a few bits from the Honda accessories catalogue taking the price up to £6474, namely:

  • Tank Bag - £120

  • Heated Grips - £415

  • 12V Outlet - £90

All of which add some great functionality to the bike and will quickly be considered great additions.

If monthly payment options are more your measure of value, then you could have a shiny new CB500F in your garage for as little as £69 per month over 3 years. Here's a typical PCP from Honda:

Cash Price




Monthly payment


Optional Final Payment


Total Amount Payable


Representative APR



Power and torque

The A2 licence requirements require eligible bikes to put out no more than 35kW (or 46.9bhp in old money) and the CB comes in bang on the limit. In an age of 200+bhp bikes it's easy to quote the CB's power as 'just' 46bhp, but that’s doing it a massive disservice as the way the smooth and free-revving twin delivers its power means that you get to access every one of those horses and are never really left wanting more.

Combined with a peak torque output of 43Nm or 31.7lb-fts at just 6,500rpm, the CB500 is plenty fast enough for UK roads, while allowing relaxed cruising at motorway speeds as well as quick and fuss free blasts away from congested city traffic lights.



Engine, gearbox and exhaust

As soon as you get on the CB500F and start the engine you know you're on a Honda. Everything falls readily to hand and foot - no matter your height (or lack of, in my case), there's no adjustment needed, it all just works, and the '22 CB500F is no exception.

Don't be fooled into thinking that this is a basic, cheap entry level bike - all of Honda's experience and know how has been put into every one of their bikes, and it shows as soon as you start the CB.

The clutch is light and positive, the gear change smooth and quiet with no false neutrals, the engine free revving and eager - everything works in harmony and flatters you as the rider.

If you've only ridden Hondas, you'll probably take all of this for granted, but ride another marque and you'll suddenly appreciate the work that Honda put in.

My first outing on the CB500F was supposed to be a quick lunchtime 'nip' to the petrol station to fill the bike ready for some more serious trips over the coming few days, but that 'nip' soon turned into 20 miles, then 30, then more. Despite cold but dry roads, the little Honda was so easy to ride, so confidence inspiring and so engaging that I just didn't want to return home.

The heart of the CB is, of course, Hondas 471cc parallel twin, fed by the latest iteration of Honda's near perfect PGM-FI fuel injection system. Hand in hand they provide the riser with the ideal combination of power, torque and economy in a package that sets the bar incredibly high.

I may have been less than complimentary about this engine in the CMX500 Rebel that I tested last year, as it doesn't really fit in with that bike's personality and style, but in the commuter friendly naked CB500F, it makes perfect sense.

While the engine whirrs away happily, the exhaust is somewhat stifled, but does emit some nice bass notes at lower revs, making the bike feel more like its bigger cousins.

At speed, its stays unobtrusive, mostly hidden in the wind noise, but still able to give you enough feedback to hone your gear changes.


2022 Honda CB500F Economy

With ever increasing fuel prices, economy is as much a down-the-pub-bragging-point as power was in the 90s and one area where the CB500F excels.

Honda quote 28.6km/l in their official stats, which equates to (roughly) 80.78952mpg. Combine that with a 17.1 litre tank and that gives you a hypothetical range of just over 300 miles.

We know that the real-world riding never delivers anything even close to these kinds of figures but even with my heavy-handed riding I managed to complete my usual 100-mile test route (a mix of winding B-Roads, Motorway and congested city-centre) and return a 74.4mpg average. This would give a revised range of 280 miles which is still massively impressive.

Even with a daily commute of 40 miles (my average when heading into the office), that means a full week of work commutes and an 80-mile weekend blast for less than then price of a Party Bucket (other fast foods are available).

With some careful riding and a little less 'new and shiny (and not mine)' exuberance, I'm sure I could a few more miles from a tank, but then where is the fun in that?



Handling, suspension, chassis and weight

Part of that £100 price hike from the outgoing model covers new upside-down (or right-way-up, if you are of a certain age) forks in place of the more common variety on the outgoing model. While USD forks are known to give benefits to sports bikes, I fear its more of a styling aspect on the CB500F, or a carryover from the newly sprung CBR500R. Despite this, the CB500F is still a sweet handling, easy to ride and massively flattering bike to ride, no matter your level of, of even lack of, experience.

Out on the winter roads, the bike is light yet predictable and always, always reassuring - despite the worst of the weather. On motorways, I did feel that the handling felt a little too light - almost like the bike was floating a millimetre above the road, and even the lightest of inputs to the bars made the bike move from side to side. This may have been a combination of cold and greasy roads combined with cold tyres, but it never feels scary or uncontrollable, and you soon forgive it this one minor foible.

My only other slight criticism of the CB is that the suspension and seat are a little hard for UK roads. Admittedly, Cambridgeshire's roads are not among the best in the country - the combination of recent storms and the ever-moving substrate under the roads means that even our potholes have potholes - and if you are unlucky (careless?) enough to hit one square on, you'll certainly know about it.

Thankfully the handling is light and sweet enough for you to miss the majority of obstructions and just get with enjoying your ride.



2022 Honda CB500F Brakes

The rest of that £100 uplift in price has been spent on the front brakes with the 2022 CB500F now sporting twin 296mm discs, coupled with four-pot, radially mounted Nissin calipers. Overkill on a 190Kg, 47-horse-power bike? Maybe, but I'm glad that Honda has chosen to spend the money on this area, rather than flashy paint jobs or fiddly tech.

For me, the feel and efficacy of a bike's braking system entirely sets the tone of how I ride the bike (this hasn’t always been the case and I've had my fair share of overshot junctions and near misses), and on the CB, you always feel that you have some braking in reserve. Combine that stopping power with Honda's excellent ABS system and you have the confidence that you can take corners just that little quicker, you can leave your braking just a bit later and enjoy the howl of the engine just a little longer on each straight. Honda, being Honda, though has managed to combine superb stopping ability with approachable and user-friendly application, so there's none of that 'grab' that unsettles so many riders and causes so many dropped bikes at junctions (been there, done that!).



Comfort over distance and touring

Considering the naked stripped back styling of the bike, comfort is good on the CB. It's a stretch to call it plush, but all the controls fall easily to hand, the positioning of pegs, seat and bars all feel natural and comfortable, and the seat is wide enough to support even the most lock-down affected riders. After a good 3 hours in the saddle, I had the usual numb bum, but no more than other bikes, and, after a quick splash-and-dash fuel filling was raring to go for another hour or so.

My only gripe in this area is that I would have liked the mirror stems to have been a tad taller - not because the view behind was compromised - far from it - but because the gap between the bars and the mirrors is a bit tight, especially with bulky winter gloves, and it's all too easy to knock the mirror when grabbing the bars. Aside from that though, the CB is a lovely place to be and one I could happily spend all day every day when touring.



Rider aids and extra equipment / accessories

If you're expecting the CB500F to come bristling with rider aids and gizmos, then you might be a bit disappointed. Don’t be disheartened though because in my mind, Honda has spent the money in the right areas. Naturally we get twin-channel ABS, but I think that that’s a given on today's Euro 5 compliant bikes. There's no traction control which, considering the target audience is a surprise, but do get a slipper clutch meaning that even the most ham-fisted among us can get away with the odd over exuberant down-change without locking the rear wheel.

Visually, the CB get upgrades to the LED lighting along with front led running lights to bring it in line with the rest of the Honda line-up.

The dash is sufficiently detailed to show you all the info you could ever need including trips, voltmeter, time, real time and average fuel consumption, gear position indicator and a clock. Sadly, lacking though is an air temperature indicator - something that I look out for particularly on commuter bikes when you're most likely to be out early and late and need an indicator of impending freezing air temps. It's all presented with typical Honda efficiently, though the two-colour digital display can prove tricky to read and does look somewhat dated compared to TFT screens so widely seen on the competition.

The test bike shown here had the added luxury of heated grips, which I would thoroughly recommend (though there was no onscreen indicator as there is on the NC750X).



If we exclude the CB500Fs brethren - the sporty CBR500R and ADV orientated CB500X - then the main rival to the CB500F must surely come in the form of either an A2 restricted Suzuki SV650 or a restricted Kawasaki Z650. Similar in riding dynamics and weight to the CB, both bikes offer a similar beginner-friendly package with the added benefit that when you pass your full test, you can derestrict them to their full power. 

If you're looking for a more retro option, then the Royal Enfield Interceptor offers incredible value for money, while the Husqvarna 401 Vitpilen offers a left-field choice for those wishing to stand out from the crowd.

Here's how that all stack up on paper:


Suzuki SV650

Kawasaki Z650

Husqvarna Vitpilen

Royal Enfield Interceptor











Seat Height












Honda CB500F - Owners Opinion

BikeSocial Member Richard Gambiragio from East Grinstead, West Sussex has had his 2020 Honda CB500F for around 14 months and has done 1800 miles in that time.


"I love the CB500F. It has an element of modern urban chic but after a year of ownership it does have its flaws. The biggest bug is the OEM battery which has left me stuck out on several occasions with a flat battery! Being picky the welding could be prettier for a premium brand.

"In the wet I have rust seeping out of a subframe drainage hole which looks unsightly. Only time will tell if this will be a bigger problem.

"I've been impressed with the lower speed handling, the clutch is light and is very filter friendly and manoeuvrable, but the seat can be a little hard on longer journeys.

"A comfort air cushion provides an element of luxury bottom comfort, and a Pyramid Plastics rear hugger is a must to keep spray and muck down. There's plenty of room under the seat for a disk lock. Ditch the tool kit for break down cover, and you’ll double the capacity to add a few chocolate bars. It’s a dream and charm to ride. Country blast or commute to work the CB is a good all-rounder."



2022 Honda CB500F verdict

It's all too easy to dismiss the CB500F as a 'just another' underpowered budget commuter, but once you ride it, you soon realise that there is much more to the bike than that. Everything about the bike reflects Honda's expertise in development and production and the quality associated with this is reflected in all aspects of the bike, from the controls to the ride. No matter your level of expertise, the Honda CB500F provides all the right feedback and levels of handling to make you feel the master of the machine, and as a result, is hugely rewarding to ride. Yes, it's still a great beginner's bike, but at the same time, it makes a perfectly capable bike for a whole range of riders. Afterall, so many couriers, commuters and former WorldSuperbike champions can't all be wrong.



2022 Honda CB500F spec

New price

From £5,849 (£6,359 as tested)



Bore x Stroke

67mm x 66.8mm

Engine layout

Parallel Twin

Engine details

Liquid-cooled, 4-stroke, DOHC


46.9bhp (35kW) @ 8,600rpm


31.7 lb-ft (43Nm) @ 6,500rpm

Top speed

100mph (ish)


6 speed, chain drive

Average fuel consumption

74.4mpg tested/ 80 claimed

Tank size

17.1 litres

Max range to empty

280 miles (tested) / 300 miles (claimed)

Reserve capacity


Rider aids

2 channel ABS, LED headlights, Gear Position Indicator


Steel diamond

Front suspension

Showa 41mm SFF-BP USD Forks

Front suspension adjustment


Rear suspension

Pro-link monoshock

Rear suspension adjustment

5 stage compression pre-load

Front brake

Dual 296mm discs with Nissin radial-mount four piston calipers

Rear brake

Single 240mm with Nissin single piston caliper

Front tyre

120/70ZR17M/C (58W) - Michelin Road 5

Rear tyre

160/60ZR17M/C (69W) - Michelin Road 5




2080mm x 800mm x 1060mm (LxWxH)



Ground clearance


Seat height


Kerb weight



Unlimited miles / 2 years

MCIA Secured rating

Not yet included



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What is MCIA Secured?

MCIA Secured gives bike buyers the chance to see just how much work a manufacturer has put into making their new investment as resistant to theft as possible.

As we all know, the more security you use, the less chance there is of your bike being stolen. In fact, based on research by Bennetts, using a disc lock makes your machine three times less likely to be stolen, while heavy duty kit can make it less likely to be stolen than a car. For reviews of the best security products, click here.

MCIA Secured gives motorcycles a rating out of five stars, based on the following being fitted to a new bike as standard:

  • A steering lock that meets the UNECE 62 standard

  • An ignition immobiliser system

  • A vehicle marking system

  • An alarm system

  • A vehicle tracking system with subscription

The higher the star rating, the better the security, so always ask your dealer what rating your bike has, and compare it to other machines on your shortlist.