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So first of all I would like to say a big hello to everyone. I am awaiting the delivery of my brand-new sword silver CBR500R and I'm really excited.

This will be my third bike. I learned to ride late in life, my learner's bike was was a Ninja 400 which I really loved, and went everywhere on. I thought I was starting to need more power particularly on overtakes and so two years ago, and spurred on by the biker friends around me, I got a 2015 CBR650F - a great looking bike with a full Yoshi system. It was a bit twitchy, the clutch was harder than the slipper clutch of the Ninja. I missed the fact it didn't have gear indicator ( "you'll get used to that!") and a few other little foibles.

So fast forward a couple of years and I realise I just haven't been riding. My husband rides regularly (VFR) and I have been making excuses not to go.
A bit of soul searching and I realise, the bike is not for me. Well here in Australia, there is not a vast selection of sports/tourer bikes or similar in mid range that aren't restricted. I didn't want a litre bike.

But when I when to the local Honda dealer with my heart set on the 500, I was confronted with 'Are you sure' ' have you considered this' ' why not go for this one?' like I was a inexperienced youth. This not from the dealer themselves, but passers by who know me in my biking community. They really think I'm making a mistake. I don't. I can't wait to get back to a bike that has so much going for it and handles really well. Has anyone else gone from a larger bike to a smaller bike and encountered such a reaction?

PS Hubby is a bike racer, he absolutely loves it ( his son has one) and he will probably run rings around people when we take it to a local track day later in the year;)
 

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There are quite a few "returning riders" in this forum; most of them downsized (been there, done that, back to something more sensible). Afterall, the Honda 500's was initially targeted at "returning riders".

Someone said in this forum, "As you walk away from your bike, if you don't look back (at it), it's not the bike for you ... ".
 

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This -
It been since the beginning - you NEED to start out with a small bike, and then every so (fill in the blank) you NEED to get a biker size bike.
Go smaller - WHAT!!?!?! No you need to go bigger!

Is crap.

Buy / ride what makes YOU happy! Do not listen to anyone.
 

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2020 CBR500R - bone stock (for now)
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Welcome @fizzo1 !

I also "downsized" to a CBR500R after returning to riding after 20 years with my wife banning me from riding because "its so dangerous" and we had a young child. Now that my son is 16 and I'm going through my midlife crisis I'm back to doing things I love which is riding. :) I wanted to start with something I'm more comfortable with at a reasonable price. I used to ride R6s and R1s but because I haven't ridden in so long and now I'm in Malaysia vs. Canada where the drivers follow the rules a lot less with a lot more traffic here, I didn't want to get a bike that was too powerful. Having said that, I went pass the Ducati dealership on the weekend and I fell in love with the Scrambler so I may get a second bike to do longer trips as I find the CBR500R is very uncomfortable for long distance touring rides.

At the end of the day, I agree with @jdock buy whatever makes YOU happy. I love my CBR, the reliability of a Honda, the fuel efficiency :eek: and I love the pearl white paint scheme. Turn heads everywhere I go.

Happy riding!
 

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A lot of us have graduated downward, in my case from an FJR1300—my umpteenth bike—to an NC700XD. I've loved them all but, given my advanced age, the NC suits my needs for now. I'll ride it a few more years and then graduate to something like an electric scooter to swish around town in. The important thing is that the pleasure gained from riding is less dependent on the bike than on the state of mind of the rider, so pick a bike that puts you in the proper state of mind and you'll enjoy riding.
 

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To respond to the OP's question, I am neither a beginning rider nor am I a returning rider. I have ridden regularly since July, 1953 and have owned 87 motorcycles since then.
I have had to (resentfully) downsize due to the physical changes attendant to advanced age (85 now, but who's counting?) and my slight build, 135#, which. have rendered me unsafe on the heavier bikes, like my 700# Honda ST-1100 and my two 600# Moto Guzzi 1100cc California Stone Touring models which sold some years ago.

My current bikes are a 2004 Moto Guzzi Breva 750, which is about 470#, a 2021 Royal Enfield Interceptor 650, about 445# (lightened considerably) and the 2017 Honda CB-500F.

The latter bike has been substantially upgraded with Russell "Day Long" seat, Wilbers shock absorber sprung to my weight, a 17T countershaft sprocket (replaces the OEM 15, which is far too low overall gearing), Nelson-Rigg sport bags, a much lighter but not loud muffler and slightly taller and wider bars. Weight reductions have lowered its weight to no more than 400# and I used a Vector lowering link to lower the seat 1.5" It's a far cry from the ST-1100 and big Guzzis, but it is a bike I'd not hesitate to ride anywhere. Solid, dependable, light and comfortable and regularly delivering over 70 mpg per US gallon.

Sure, I miss the bigger bikes but anything they could do the smaller Honda can do, albeit taking a bit longer to do it!

Wheel Tire Fuel tank Vehicle Plant


Ralph
 

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A lot of us have graduated downward, in my case from an FJR1300—my umpteenth bike—to an NC700XD. I've loved them all but, given my advanced age, the NC suits my needs for now. I'll ride it a few more years and then graduate to something like an electric scooter to swish around town in. The important thing is that the pleasure gained from riding is less dependent on the bike than on the state of mind of the rider, so pick a bike that puts you in the proper state of mind and you'll enjoy riding.
I agree with the above (ViperPhyler). When I was 70, I crossed Australia on a Kawasaki GTR1000, and at 74 I toured NZ on a CBR1000R and loved both of them. Soon after the NZ tour I went from Cairns to Cape York on a CT110 (postie bike), another great ride. Now at 84 my CB500f is the best bike I have owned. Horses for Courses, and what suits YOU best Is your best choice. Ignore the biased people who think that what they prefer is what is best for everyone.
 

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It’s not a "smaller" bike so much as it is a small displacement bike. Years ago small bikes wouldn’t perform like the large displacement bikes. Nowadays the manufacturers are putting out small displacement bikes with nice suspension and brakes and good electronics packages. The 400 Ninja is such a bike. The cb500 series may not be the most powerful motorcycle out there but a good rider can boogie on the thing. It’s light weight and easy to ride. What’s not to love?
 

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Welcome @fizzo1 !

I also "downsized" to a CBR500R after returning to riding after 20 years with my wife banning me from riding because "its so dangerous" and we had a young child. Now that my son is 16 and I'm going through my midlife crisis I'm back to doing things I love which is riding. :) I wanted to start with something I'm more comfortable with at a reasonable price. I used to ride R6s and R1s but because I haven't ridden in so long and now I'm in Malaysia vs. Canada where the drivers follow the rules a lot less with a lot more traffic here, I didn't want to get a bike that was too powerful. Having said that, I went pass the Ducati dealership on the weekend and I fell in love with the Scrambler so I may get a second bike to do longer trips as I find the CBR500R is very uncomfortable for long distance touring rides.

At the end of the day, I agree with @jdock buy whatever makes YOU happy. I love my CBR, the reliability of a Honda, the fuel efficiency :eek: and I love the pearl white paint scheme. Turn heads everywhere I go.

Happy riding!
Hi FoMo3565,
I've been commuting on my Ruby Red 2013 CB500f from Batu Caves to Shah Alam since last couple years. I understand your concern on Malaysian drivers and kamikaze riders. I started riding on my 1988 EX-250 F in Tucson, AZ.I know the stress level of riding in Kuala Lumpur is nothing like riding in North America. Just keep your cool and ride safe!
 

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Don't know why I'm posting here my CBR500R was was like 4 vehicles ago but ****, the website emailed me this thread so why not.


If I could encapsulate my thoughts on the CBR500R here they are:

Looks Fast
Not fast
Mediocre brakes
Reliable and great commuter appliance
Not much passion in the actual riding of this bike compared to how it looks

For me, this bike's looks are writing a check that its performance can't cash. Could be why the dealers stear experienced riders away from it. It kinda is a beginner bike, more so than a Ninja400 for example. If you have no issues at all riding a bike that looks fast as **** but is actually one of the slower bikes on the street, then it can be a great bike for you.
 

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Don't know why I'm posting here my CBR500R was was like 4 vehicles ago but ****, the website emailed me this thread so why not.


If I could encapsulate my thoughts on the CBR500R here they are:

Looks Fast
Not fast
Mediocre brakes
Reliable and great commuter appliance
Not much passion in the actual riding of this bike compared to how it looks

For me, this bike's looks are writing a check that its performance can't cash. Could be why the dealers stear experienced riders away from it. It kinda is a beginner bike, more so than a Ninja400 for example. If you have no issues at all riding a bike that looks fast as **** but is actually one of the slower bikes on the street, then it can be a great bike for you.
Yoikes! This is a brutally honest assessment. (I had the naked F model). But the cb500 series bikes fall into the category of "If you want a faster bike, become a better rider" meaning, it’s usually not the bike. On a twisty road a good rider on a cb500 will show it’s taillight to a lesser rider on his liter bike.
 

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Yoikes! This is a brutally honest assessment. (I had the naked F model). But the cb500 series bikes fall into the category of "If you want a faster bike, become a better rider" meaning, it’s usually not the bike. On a twisty road a good rider on a cb500 will show it’s taillight to a lesser rider on his liter bike.
I'm sure an expert rider could certainly outpace me on their CBR500R around twisties. But, in my area I often found it hard to go as fast as I wanted on the few available curves (Florida) due to visibility, traffic, road condition etc. So for me it was more about the straight line speed.
 

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I'm sure an expert rider could certainly outpace me on their CBR500R around twisties. But, in my area I often found it hard to go as fast as I wanted on the few available curves (Florida) due to visibility, traffic, road condition etc. So for me it was more about the straight line speed.
If my cb500F was 60rwhp I’d still have it. I just couldn’t get along with 47. I didn’t feel it adequate for highway riding with cars averaging 85mph. I sold my cb500F and bought a Kawi z900. 115rwhp. Which is my sweet spot. I own four bikes and have had much more powerful bikes but for me, 115 is the number.
 

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If my cb500F was 60rwhp I’d still have it. I just couldn’t get along with 47. I didn’t feel it adequate for highway riding with cars averaging 85mph. I sold my cb500F and bought a Kawi z900. 115rwhp. Which is my sweet spot. I own four bikes and have had much more powerful bikes but for me, 115 is the number.
Exactly. The highway in my area is 3 lanes packed with cars averaging 80+ MPH, and you have to manage that to get A LOT of places. Let's be honest 47 HP doesn't give you the confidence to get away when you need to. Now if you just have nice back country roads the Honda 500s are a lot more viable in that situation.
 

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Exactly. The highway in my area is 3 lanes packed with cars averaging 80+ MPH, and you have to manage that to get A LOT of places. Let's be honest 47 HP doesn't give you the confidence to get away when you need to. Now if you just have nice back country roads the Honda 500s are a lot more viable in that situation.
I do have country back roads within twenty five miles of my house but those twenty five miles is highway.
I say 60rwhp because I had a Versys 650 with about 60rwhp and it had no problems keeping up with fast traffic, the cb500F was screaming at those speeds. I also have an air cooled Kawi 750-4 with 65-68rwhp and it can cruise at 90 indicated with no issue.
My ZZR1200 had no problems cruising lazily along in triple digits… which is why I had to get rid of it. Thats why I like the 115rwhp... plenty fast but not too fast.
 

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The CB-500 models are geared abysmally low and indeed do "scream" at highway speeds. I have somewhat countered this with a 17T counter-shaft sprocket from Sprocket Specialists and eventually will replace the 41T OEM rear sprocket with one of about 37-38 teeth. The 17T conversion lowers rpm by 13% and still leaves plenty of "grunt" to start off easily from a stop.

I cannot remember any chain-driven Japanese bike which I've owned that I haven't been compelled to change the terribly low gearing on. Apparently, the makers are attempting to patronize the adolescent buyers whose concept of enjoying motorcycling consists of "power wheelies" in all gears.

Ralph
 

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The CB-500 models are geared abysmally low and indeed do "scream" at highway speeds. I have somewhat countered this with a 17T counter-shaft sprocket from Sprocket Specialists and eventually will replace the 41T OEM rear sprocket with one of about 37-38 teeth. The 17T conversion lowers rpm by 13% and still leaves plenty of "grunt" to start off easily from a stop.

I cannot remember any chain-driven Japanese bike which I've owned that I haven't been compelled to change the terribly low gearing on. Apparently, the makers are attempting to patronize the adolescent buyers whose concept of enjoying motorcycling consists of "power wheelies" in all gears.

Ralph
The sock sizes were 15/41? If you went up 2 on the front, going down 3 or 4 on the rear may be too severe. If you do, keep an ear out for pinging/knocking on hills.
 

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If you lug an engine in any gear it is likely to "ping" signifying the advent of pre-ignition/detonation. I did not lug my engines when I began riding in 1953 and don't intend to start now! But, you are right. Very tall gearing can increase the likelihood of lugging and engine damage, but the CB-500s are so low geared as to be laughable. I've run my engine down to 2000 and opened the throttle gradually with no engine protest, even with my 17T sprocket. If/when I change to a smaller rear sprocket I'll be very alert to how "comfortable" the engine feels on acceleration and climbing hills. Changing down a gear may be in order, then.

Ralph
 

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I have always liked small displacement motorcycles for both road and off road. The disadvantages are over-stated and the advantages understated. I rode a KTM 200 for years and could smoke most people on the trails or in cross country races, regardless of the size bike they rode. I have had big displacement road bikes (still have one) but for most riding I prefer the lighter weight of my small displacement bike. I never find keeping up with people, passing safely, or the any other perceived disadvantages to be an issue. I think the "need" for big displacement and horsepower is mostly an ego trip.
 
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