In addition to the new CBR650R and the CB650R, Honda introduced the 2019 CB500F, CBR500R and CB500X at the 2018 EICMA motorcycle show in Milan, Italy. The changes for MY2019 on these models, however, aren’t as extreme as on the CBR650R and the CB650R. They have received a new rear suspension, assist/slipper clutch, full LED lighting, modernised LCD instruments and new dual-exit muffler.
The 2019 Honda CBR500R has a sharper styling with an updated fascia. Its fairing is claimed to offer improved aero management while the clip-on handlebars are now mounted below the revised top yoke for a more forward leaning riding position. The new styling is complemented with full-LED lighting, including the blinkers. The CBR500R will be available in the three colour options: Matt Axis Grey Metallic, Grand Prix Red and Pearl Metalloid White.
A single front 320 mm wavy disc and two-piston brake calliper at the front and a 240 mm disc and single-piston calliper at the rear perform anchoring tasks while ABS is fitted as standard.
Like the CBR500R, the CB500F naked roadster also gets sharper styling from front to back, with a more angled nose fairing and side shrouds on the fuel tank. The instrument console benefits from Gear Position and Shift-Up indicators. Other updates include the new monoshock that comes with 9-stage spring preload adjustments.
Braking setup has been carried from the 2019 CBR500R, and the CB500F too uses a single front 320 mm disc with two-piston brake calliper at the front and a 240 mm disc with a single-piston calliper at the rear. ABS comes as standard.
The middleweight tourer gets improved wind protection, longer suspension travel, 19-inch front wheel and tapered handlebars. Styling on the 2019 model is much sharper, taking cues from the Africa Twin. Similar to its CB badge siblings mentioned above, the LCD instruments includes a Shift Up and Gear Position Indicator. All-LED lighting completes the package. The 2019 CB500X comes with extended radiator shrouds and fairing. The seat profile has been slimmed down to offer more space to move around while off-roading. The tubular screen stay can be used to mount a GPS.
Aimed to go off the tarmac, the CB500X requires more extended suspension travel. So, while the CBR500R and CB500F get 120 mm stroke at the front, the tourer features 150 mm travel. Rear wheel travel has been raised from 118 mm to 135 mm. Moreover, the 17-inch front wheel on the CB500X has been replaced with a 19-inch wheel.
The braking department is slightly different from the CBR500R and CB500F. The rear continues to use 240 mm disc with single-piston calliper. At the front, however, there's a 310 mm disc (vs 320 mm on other two) with two-piston brake calliper. ABS comes as standard although the official announcement does not mention whether it is a switchable unit or not.
The CB500X will be available in three colour options: Grand Prix Red, Matt Gunpowder Black Metallic and Pearl Metalloid White.
Standard features on CBR500R, CB500F and CB500X
The steel diamond-tube mainframe remains unchanged on all three models. Suspension duties are performed by 41 mm telescopic front fork. A single-tube rear shock absorber (as found on larger capacity sports bikes) with 9-stage spring preload adjustments replaces the double-tube design of the previous model. It is claimed to offer consistent damping performance and improved control.
All three models use the same twin cylinder power plant that, in its latest iteration, is claimed to deliver 4% more mid-range power and torque. The 471 cc, parallel twin-cylinder, 8-valve, liquid-cooled engine produces 47 hp of maximum power at 8,600 rpm and 43 Nm of peak torque at 7,000 rpm. It is mated to a six-speed gearbox that features assist/slipper clutch. The system is claimed to offer lighter upshifts and smooth out hard downshifts. The engine is used as a stressed member with four frame hangers on the cylinder head.
Together, the CB500F, CBR500R and CB500X have clocked sales of over 75,000 units in Europe since their launch in 2013. Honda has not made any announcement about the Indian launch of the three motorcycles. It is highly unlikely to see the CB500 trio arrive in India. That said, we may see the CBR650R replace the CBR650F in India in 2019.