Honda has been busy re-working and updating their hugely-popular range of A2-friendly 500cc machines for the upcoming year. From adventure to sports and even naked, this threesome is covering all bases and we’re excited to see what’s on offer for 2022, and in this new blog, I’m doing just that.

Before we start, I’ll just give a brief overview of each model to get everyone up to speed – in case you don’t know much about this range. The CBR500R is the Japanese brands ‘pocket rocket’ and, alongside the other two, was originally launched in 2013. It’s the more sporty of the three and has been hugely popular among young riders because it offers the chance to experience the excitement of riding a sportsbike, without the heavy price tag or, what can be an intimidating engine.

The naked CB500F simply mixes a twin-cylinder engine with a lightweight, sporty chassis and stripped-down styling to create a street-fighting recipe that’s ideal for those looking to build their riding career.

And lastly, the CB500X brings a sense of adventure to the table. Its perky engine, comfortable set-up including long-travel suspension and wide handlebars, and larger fuel tank make it an all-rounder that’s built to conquer the urban jungle. 

So with introductions made, with no further ado let’s jump straight in and discover the 7 things you need to know about this ‘light middleweight’ trio!

‎1. Brakes and suspension

Now, in a blog like this, I would normally start with either the looks or the engine as this is typically the focus when updating a model however, in their press release Honda have exclaimed that the biggest changes are performance-focused and led by the brakes and suspension. So, you understand my reasoning for beginning here.

With that explanation aside, all three models are getting Showa 41mm separate function fork big piston USD forks (it’s a mouthful, I know), as well as dual-disc front brakes and radial-mount calipers all for rider comfort and handling performance (more on this next).

You might as well save yourself a job and use the same system across the board, hey – if it’s not broke and all that!

2. Handling

Handling is another element Honda has focused on with all three gaining a new swingarm which is said to be lighter and, in the CBR500R and CB500F, help improve handling at higher speeds and rider comfort in the CB500X. To improve said handling even more in the CB500F, Honda has said that it “places more weight on the front wheel than the previous model to promote more nimble handling and improve front end grip.”

Alongside all this, a few extra pounds have been shaved off all three models with Honda explaining that the swingarm is now “constructed from 2mm steel, rather than 2.3mm, and employs a hollow cross member and is stiffer rotationally” so, in English basically allows for better flexibility.

The trio also features a single-tube rear shock absorber, which you’ll usually see on a large-capacity sports bike, for response and management of the temperate.

A crisp chain guard has then been used to finish the look of all.  

3. Engine

Moving onto the engine and all three remain A2-licence friendly with a 47 bhp power output from their 471cc, 8-valve, liquid-cooled, parallel twin-cylinder layout, though a few bits have been updated. These include the fuel injection settings and radiator design to help improve torque feel, character and weight.

In addition to this, all three are now also Euro 5 compliant.

4. Colourways

One of the more visual changes for 2022 is the fact that all three are showcasing new colourways with the CBR500R wearing a ‘Matt Gunpower Black Metallic’, the CB500F modelling ‘Matt Axis Grey Metallic’, ‘Pearl Smokey Gray’ and ‘Pearl Dusk Yellow’ and the CB500X strutting down the catwalk in a ‘Pearl Organic Green’.

5. Styling

When it comes to styling, some things haven’t changed. The CBR500R remains a pure sports-focused bike that features aerodynamic winglets for high-speed stability, clip-on handlebars and forward riding position. 

The CB500F keeps its aggressive, muscular and chiselled exterior through the use of a sharp headlight, low-set stance and interlocking side shrouds.

And the CB500X continues to focus on its signature adventure looks with ‘ready for the wild’ styling that includes a fairing, screen and slim seat.

Though much has stayed the same, the trinity are tweaking their looks slightly with the CBR500R and CB500F inheriting a new mudguard from the CB5650R and sporty aluminium footpegs. The CB500X then gets a redesigned 19” cast aluminium front wheel and larger, tougher mudguard.

On top of all that, all three models are receiving full LED lighting as well.

6. Wheels

In the CBR500R and the CB500F changes can be seen in the wheels with both now featuring new lighter wheels with 5 Y-shaped spokes rather than the 6 of the previous model.

7. Price

Honda has released heaps of information about each model and that includes the price. They've stayed pretty close to the prices of the previous models (with about £100 difference for each) but for 2022 get set to see the CBR500R at £6,399, CB500F at £5,489 and the CB500X at £6,349.

The finer details

Engine 471cc, 47 hp, liquid-cooled, 4-stroke, parallel twin
Fuel tank 17.1L
Brakes Front and rear disc
Seat height 785mm
Weight 192kg
Price £6,399
Engine 471cc, 47 hp, liquid-cooled, 4-stroke, parallel twin
Fuel tank 17.1L
Brakes Front and rear disc
Seat height 789mm
Weight 189kg
Price £5,849
Engine 471cc, 47 hp, liquid-cooled, 4-stroke, parallel twin
Fuel tank 17.5L
Brakes Front and rear disc
Seat height 830mm
Weight 199kg
Price £6,349

To finish

Since their 2013 launch, Honda has sold over 106,000 units and it’s no surprise, these models really are game changers! They offer variety and help to not only open the door, but further enhance the appeal for both new and experienced riders – and that’s something we really need to congratulate Honda on.

If you are tempted to purchase one of these three bad boys, make sure to get a motorcycle insurance quote directly with Lexham!