Test Ride: Honda CB500X, CB500F and CBR500R

Honda couldn’t choose a more appropriate venue for showing off the versatility of their updated CB trio of 47bhp, A2-licence compatible, parallel twin 500s.

(l-r) CB500F, CBR500R and CB500X

Tenerife has it all for great riding – endless tight, twisty mountain Tarmac, like an unspooling tape reel, mile upon mile of sinewy, winding blacktop across the volcanic landscape, off-road mountain trails and even a motorway. Not a very long one, admittedly – the island isn’t huge – but long enough to gauge high-speed cruising ability.

None of the three CBs – the adventure CB500X, naked CB500F or sportsbike CBR500R – are hard work in any of the riding environments (except, perhaps, the off-road bit). Launched in 2013 and revised in 2016, all three bikes share the same 47bhp parallel twin engine, and the same steel, twin spar frame and swingarm.

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Only riding position, riding dynamic and styling differentiates them, so you wouldn’t necessarily expect them to be radically different from each other, which is why creating a more distinct identity for each bike is the subtext of Honda’s 2019 updates, moving each CB deeper into its respective role.

Read the rest of this article in the May issue of Motorcycle Sport and Leisure, in the shops NOW!

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