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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Took out a CBR500R for a test ride from my local dealer yesterday, I'm only really interested in the 'X' version but it's not out till May and they won't have one as a demonstrator anyway.

First impressions on sitting on it is that on the whole it seems well made and feels almost like a full size sports bike. Is isn't though so I could forgive it the slightly smaller feel. Riding position is somewhere between sports bike and full upright and seemed a good compromise. I now see what people mean when commenting on the sidestand, it's a bit difficult to find the peg with your foot.

I noted that the chrome exhaust was already rusting around the bracket where it mounts near the rear footrest hanger. The bike only had a couple of hundred miles on it but it was absolutely covered in salt. Mine would never be riden in winter but I'd be making sure I protected it with ACF50 if it were to be.

On the road at first it seemed fairly quick but after a mile or two I did start to think it was a little under powered for what I want. I tried a few different things like riding slowly in top gear, it would go down to 30 mph and pull away with no problems. In top gear at 60-70mph it didn't feel too stressed but to get any decent acceleration it did need working quite hard. When revving above 6-7k there seemed to be some slight vibration. Exhaust was way too quiet!!

Brakes, as usual with modern bikes were excellent and had good bite and feel. Instrument cluster seemed a little cluttered and some of the info a little small. Hate the digital rev counter as well. Biggest gripe in that area is a lack of gear indicator, would be so easy to incorporate and they are so useful they should almost be compulsory. My other major complaint was with the mirrors, in fact they were probably the worst I've seen on a modern bike. All I could see was my shoulders and arms!! I'll have to see what the ones on the X are like.

So all in all I'd say it's a good bike but with some room for improvement. Good bits are:

Easy to ride
Comfortable riding position and seat
Build quality seems pretty good
Fuel economy should be good
Brakes (ABS as standard is exellent)
Smooth and tractable engine
Price

Bad bits:

Mirrors!!
No gear indicator
Slightly underpowered
Instrumentation could be better (rev counter)


Would I buy one? Personally not the R version, though it's a good bike for someone that wants a sporty looking bike that is cheap and isn't going to kill them. I'll have to wait till I try the X to see if I like that one before I commit my cash. If I'd been blown away by the R I was going to put a deposit down on an X but I think I'll wait now.

Despite my negative points I still think these are really good bikes and I think Honda are on to a winner with the concept of 3 different bikes using the same basic running gear.
 

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mirrors are good if they are adjusted properly. I would think that the R would have the best mirrors of the trio as the F and X have the mirrors on the handle bars which i hate from my experience on the 125.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Adjusting them made no difference for me, I could either see the side of the road I'd just ridden on or my shoulders!! I'm not particularly big either. I prefer them on the bars so if they don't adjust enough you can always get mirror extenders. Be interesting to measure the width of the mirrors on the R and F to see which is wider.
 

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For sure, take the X out for a ride, but you'll probably end up with an F.
 

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I love that stuff (ACF-50), it's expensive but really does work a treat. I covered my old bike in it over winter and not one sign of rust (and that was riding in rain / snow with salt & grit on the roads). Not yet treated the CB500F to it as yet but will be for sure!.

(Amazon also sell it!)
 

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There are no problems about mirrors. I am not a small guy too but mirrors show behind perfectly. Maybe you could not adjust them?
 

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For the gear indicator I was expecting one since it was an all digital tachometer anyways how hard could it be to include on in there. But no big deal.
 
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