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begin to feel a little light when starting to push on. Whether I was out on my own or riding with others, the little CBF always held its own.
It’s not slow either. It might only make 47bhp and I’ll admit it would be a bit more fun if it had a little extra power, but it’s still got a top speed in excess of 110mph – more than enough for riding on the road!
I’m still a relatively new rider, I’ve only had a full licence for a little over a year, so I appreciated the CB’S unintimidating yet fun nature, enough to enjoy myself but not so much that things get silly. It’s the sort of bike that won’t let your ambition outweigh your talent – exactly what someone stepping up from a 125cc needs.
The 473cc parallel twin feels bulletproof, it’s reassuringly forgiving if you get a bit throttle-happy yet always has plenty of pull. It’s incredibly frugal too, however you ride. Over the 1500 miles, my MPG didn’t drop much below 60, even when riding in the least economical manner. The 16.5-litre tank would give you in excess of 170 miles and cost around £15 to fill up!
Something I didn’t fully appreciate until handing the bike back was just how good it looks. It was particularly striking in the red/grey colourscheme we had it in but it wasn’t until I stood back in Honda UK’S warehouse and saw it lined up against many other bikes from Honda’s extensive range that I noticed just how much it stood out.
The design is much more angular than previous CB500F models, making it look much sportier – the bloke I was handing it back to, who works with these bikes on a daily basis, thought it was the bigger CB650F at first look! That just goes to show that while the 500 retains that small-bike feel, it doesn’t look like a small bike at all.
As I mentioned, I was dreading the CBF on my 130-mile round trip commute. A sports naked would never be my first port of call for that trip, but as the F isn’t too powerful it doesn’t feel as though it’s going to rip your arms off after 20 miles on the A1 with the wind blasting at you.
There are without a doubt better bikes for commuting but the CB did the job and its size came in very handy when filtering through the worst of the morning traffic.
While it’s way more at home on the twisty B roads, the CB500F will handle any day-to-day riding you want it to making it a great option for someone looking for the middle ground between a 125cc and something bigger – you can ride it on an A2 licence too!