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.
|Model||Year||Introduced||Frame #||Engine #|
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.
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.
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|
|Air filtration||Paper filter|
|Ignition||Battery and coil|
|Fuel capacity||3.7 gal.|
|Oil capacity||6.4 pts.|
|Lighting||12v, 110 watts|
|Gear ratios, overall|
|Mph/1000 rpm, top gear||12.6|
|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|