Having established four-cylinder credentials with the CB750, Honda undertook the tricky business of making the layout work as effectively in smaller engine sizes. The second type of Honda FOUR, the CB500 was intended as a more elegant sports bike for the mature rider which still retained the essence of the original.

The compact CB500F four of 1971 immediately impressed with its smoothness, comfort and reliability, proving capable of brisk touring even two-up. It had a smart two-tone colour scheme and a tidy looking power unit with an upright bank of cylinders. With a top speed over 110mph, the reasonably priced 500 filled the bill admirably for many sporting riders of the early 1970s.

A number were raced in the Production TT races on the Isle of Man in the early 1970’s. Bill Smith won the 1973 500cc TT Production race (4 laps) riding one, by only 8.2 seconds from second place Stan Woods mounted on a Suzuki T500 two stroke twin.

Serial Numbers

Model Year Introduced Frame # Engine #
CB500 K0 1971 06/01/1971 CB500-1000001 CB500E-1000001
CB500 K1 1972 04/01/1972 CB500E-2000001 CB500-2000001
CB500 K2 1973 04/10/1973 CB500E-2100001 CB500-2100001

Model Guide

CB500K Brown CB500K Gold
CB500K Olive CB500K Orange

1971 CB500K0

The CB500K0 was available in Candy Jet Green, Candy Garnet Brown, and Star Light Gold. Features included a 2-tone gas tank w/black panel, 4-4 exhaust, and a 5-speed transmission.

1972 CB500K1

The CB500 was unchanged for this model year. Available colors were: Candy Jet Green with Black, Candy Garnet Brown with Black, or Candy Gold with Black.

1973 CB500K2

The colors for 1973 were: Candy Bucchus Olive with Black, Flake Sunrise Orange with Black, or Maxim Brown Metallic with Black. The Instruments were enlarged and tilted further toward the rider.


Price, suggested retail West Coast, POE $1,540
front 3.25 in. x 19 in.
rear 3.50 in. x 18 in.
front 1.5 (x2) in. x 10.5 in.
rear 1.19 in. x 7.08 in.
Brake swept area 71.0 sq. in.
Specific brake loading 8.65 lb/sq. in., at test weight
type In-line four-cylinder SOHC
Bore and stroke 2.17 in. x 1.97 in., 56.Omm x 50.6mm
Piston displacement 30.0 cu. in., 498cc
Compression ratio 9.0:1
Carburetion 22mm Keihin
Air filtration Paper filter
Ignition Battery and coil
Fuel capacity 3.7 gal.
Oil capacity 6.4 pts.
Lighting 12v, 110 watts
Battery 12v, 12ah
Gear ratios, overall
1st 15.3
2nd 10.6
3rd 8.24
4th 6.73
5th 5.84
Mph/1000 rpm, top gear 12.6
Wheelbase 55.5 in.
Seat height 31.7 in., with rider
Ground clearance 6.5 in., with rider
Curb weight 449 lbs., with full tank of gas
Test weight 614 lbs., with rider
Instruments Speedometer, Tachometer, Odometer, Trip Odometer
Sound level, Calif. Std 79.0 dB(A)
Standing start 1/4-mile 14.31 seconds 94.43 mph
Top Speed 105 mph (est)
Fuel consumption 41 mpg