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Discussion Starter #1

So what has actually changed? All three are cleaner running now they’re Euro5 compliant, so they produce 40% less emissions than last year.

They’ve also had a small facelift. The CB500F now comes in the amusingly named Candy Caribbean Blue Sea and Candy Moon Glow Yellow, while the CB500X comes in Grand Prix Red, Matt Gunpowder Black Metallic, Pearl Metalloid White all of which are complemented by a red subframe, designed to echo the CRF1100L Africa Twin.
 

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So what has actually changed? All three are cleaner running now they’re Euro5 compliant, so they produce 40% less emissions than last year.

They’ve also had a small facelift. The CB500F now comes in the amusingly named Candy Caribbean Blue Sea and Candy Moon Glow Yellow, while the CB500X comes in Grand Prix Red, Matt Gunpowder Black Metallic, Pearl Metalloid White all of which are complemented by a red subframe, designed to echo the CRF1100L Africa Twin.
As I have read nothing changed mechanically. 40% is a big ask. It appears the 2019 bikes are good enough.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
The next major update should come next year if Honda continue with their three-year cycles.

A few more details on the specific change here:


But in the E.E.A. all new models released since January 1st have had to meet the Euro 5 standard, and from January 1st next year you will no longer be able to register new Euro 4 bikes.

So outside of Europe the only change will likely to be to the colour scheme. If there is a new release at all, some models in some markets did not get a new 2020 release.

I believe in the U.S. they only feature they are promoting for the new CB500X is that A.B.S. is now standard, whilst the only colour offered has changed from Grand Prix Red to Matte Black Metallic. Nothing about a new F or R, though.
 

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Honda needs to make some changes to the model to make it competitive with the Kawasaki Ninja 400, which means a significant weight loss.
Honda is heavier, but rock solid dependable. Ninja/Z 400 owners have been complaining about he clutch and gear shifter's operation since the bike's introduction into the US in 2018. IMHO, a 2020 model internal parts "upgrade" was only a band aid repair to what should be a Kawasaki Recall to correct the bike's apparent short comings.
Sometimes... 'Voluptuous and Dependable' wins out over 'Slim and Promiscuous'.. :p
 

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I would love it to go on a weight loss program, but can’t imagine what that would be short of a lighter exhaust can. My 500F weighs about the same as my friends KTM 1290 Super Duke which has over 3X the HP. Sitting on the 1290 feels very similar to the 500 in size etc.
It is difficult to compare the 500 with the Ninja 400. Really completely different beasts. The Ninja feels tiny with a peaky high reving power band. Very sporty & fun for sure. The Honda is more comfortable & has a much tamer, lower reving engine with a perfectly linear power band. A more relaxed ride IMHO. If I were in my 20s or 30s I would opt for the Ninja, as an oldster I appreciate what the Honda has on offer.
 

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I recently bought a Ninja 400 but ended up giving it to my daughter. The Honda is definitely more comfortable for me due to the handle bar angle and slightly more forward foot pegs, and I think the suspension is more compliant. But I sure loved the light weight of the Ninja, and the instrumentation is better. I didn't find the engine peaky at all, but it is a higher rever, for sure. If Honda could just get the weight down to 400 pounds ready to ride I think it would be do-able. If I remember right, Kawasaki knocked at least 25 pounds off their Ninja 650 and still kept the same engine.
 

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I would love it to go on a weight loss program, but can’t imagine what that would be short of a lighter exhaust can. My 500F weighs about the same as my friends KTM 1290 Super Duke which has over 3X the HP. Sitting on the 1290 feels very similar to the 500 in size etc.
It is difficult to compare the 500 with the Ninja 400. Really completely different beasts. The Ninja feels tiny with a peaky high reving power band. Very sporty & fun for sure. The Honda is more comfortable & has a much tamer, lower reving engine with a perfectly linear power band. A more relaxed ride IMHO. If I were in my 20s or 30s I would opt for the Ninja, as an oldster I appreciate what the Honda has on offer.
At first, I was prepared to disagree strongly about the light weight of the KTM 1290, but on searching, I found it is 417# DRY, where my '17 CB-500F is 414# wet per factory specs. Even adding 40# for fuel, etc, that brings the KTM 1290 up to only 457#, which is remarkably light for such a big engined bike.

An Akrapovic mid-pipe and muffler plus a Shorai bettery can bring the CB-500F down to about 400#, especially if the passenger footrests are removed. Still, looking at the power/weight ratio of the KTM makes me green with envy.

Ralph
 
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I can't see Honda investing heavily in a weight loss regimen for the CBR500R. Positioned as it is between the CBR300R and CBR650R it seems to fit perfectly into their model line-up and ideally answers the A2 question for which it was designed.

Recall that UK (at least) A2 restrictions requires a maximum of 47bhp but also a power-to-weight ratio of no more than 0.26bhp/kg. For the 191kg (wet) 500, that means a max of 49bhp -- so they go with the max of 47. But it also means that if they pare the weight down they'd also have to cut power output to stay A2-legal. If they cut 20kgs (a big if) they'd have to reduce power output to 44bhp to stay legal. There's not enough incentive to invest big engineering dollars in that calculus for this model.

It'd be cool if they offered an A2-compliant version and then a spicier, uncorked "CBR500RR" model for everywhere else. Maybe a bunch of Mugen-sourced upgrades from suspension and rear-sets to camshafts for enthusiasts and/or whatever racing classes would allow it. But Honda ain't what it used to be. If Soichiro-san still ran things you could probably still buy a 4-cylinder, 18,000rpm 250cc Babyblade and there would likely be a hierarchy of 500cc offerings. Alas, like just about everything else in the world, beancounters and lawyers now rule everything. If you want more power, superior suspension, better P/W ratios etc from a Honda you basically need to move up the model lineup and give them more money.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
You can also ride a bike on an A2 licence which has been restricted to meet the 0.26 bhp/kg requirement, but you can only restrict a bike by up to half of its power output. So any manufacturer can develop a bike which at any time can be both more powerful or A2 compliant.

Whilst this is relatively simple to do, I suppose from a manufacturers perspective it is less attractive because when someone upgrades to a full licence they would rather you bought a new bike than just remove a washer or equivalent.

The other issue is meeting the price point. In the U.K. the CBR500R is around £500 more than the Ninja 400, making it lighter will only increase that difference, so not gain much competitive advantage. It would also then reduce the gap with the CBR650R in Honda's lineup.

As motohonace says, the Ninja 400 and CBR500R are just different bikes. If Honda wanted to compete directly with the Kawasaki they would be better releasing a new model to do that.
 

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Let's not forget where these bikes started out. Only a few years ago, Honda's CB300 was a 250cc, Kawasaki's N/Z400 was a 300cc, Yamaha's R3 wasn't there at all until 2015. Honda's CB500 is still well suited to provide what it was initially designed and built to do. It fills a sweet spot between their entry level, smaller CC motorcycles, and their more expensive, mid-to-upper range bikes. It's only seems a problem because, over the past few years, companies have provided motorcycles that blur the lines on what's been accepted industry standards. :whistle:
 

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Hi all,

I am looking to buy a brand new 2020 CBR500R. Before I buy, does anyone know if the 40% cleaner running changes will also be coming to the 2021 US/Canada models? I wouldn't mind less petrol smell in the garage in the morning. Thanks!
 

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Hi all,

I am looking to buy a brand new 2020 CBR500R. Before I buy, does anyone know if the 40% cleaner running changes will also be coming to the 2021 US/Canada models? I wouldn't mind less petrol smell in the garage in the morning. Thanks!
Yup, the cb(r)500 models are global, so all will share the new emission standard compliance.
 

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Yup, the cb(r)500 models are global, so all will share the new emission standard compliance.
Are you sure? I feel like Honda wouldn't want to spend the extra coin for countries that don't require it. As someone else said, 40% is a big ask and I am sure it is costing Honda on uprated parts to implement.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
The answer is no, but because these new models with the cleaner emissions are the 2021 model, although being released this year to be ahead of the new regulations in Europe. The 2020 models are the ones released at the start of the year.

But I would agree with the "are you sure" comment. California has always had separate models from the rest of the U.S. due to their stricter environmental standards, rather than Honda just selling that model everyone in the country.

And the Euro 5 standard may be incompatible with those of Environment Canada, E.P.A., or C.A.R.B. regulations preventing the European versions of the bike being sold there. I am not sure it would be possible to release a single global model that could meet every different local standard, though even if they could the ability to cut costs in certain markets would probably make maintaining multiple models more profitable.

Based on parts catalogues, different models are usually released named for the following markets:

Australia, Belgium, California, Canada, Chile, China, Europe, France, Germany, Indonesia, Italy, Korea, Malaysia, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand, U.K., and U.S.

I would assume those are all due to local regulatory requirements than just colour schemes, although the differences between many, such as the European countries, could be quite minor.

Currently the only 2021 model on the north American Honda websites is the CB500X in the U.S.


And that makes no mention of improved emissions as an improvement, only that A.B.S. is now standard. Otherwise they are still only listing the 2019 model of the F in the U.S. and the 2020 models for the F in Canada and R in both countries.

I do not think the 2020 models were released in Europe anyway, so no reason to think new models will be released in north America if there is no local need for them. The frame colour change on the X being the exception that would make it attractive over last year's edition.

Based on the usual three-yearly cycle the 2022 update the major refresh should be in the 2022 models, whichever year they are released in.
 
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