Everyday Commuter to Trackdays

Everyday Commuter to Trackdays

Do you like sportbikes and being comfortable at the same time? These are two things that do not go together. Until now! The big brands are understanding that people want to be comfortable when riding but still want to look like they’re coming off the race track. Honda, Kawasaki, Yamaha, Harley Davidson, KTM, BMW, et all are getting on board with small cc bikes that are comfortable. There is lots to choose from. Honda Centre gave us a Seal Grey 2015 CBR500 ABS this past motorcycle season. In that time we managed to ride it 8,000kms! In short, we loved it.

Let’s start with the ergonomics. There is an ‘R’ in the model name which is synonymous with discomfort when riding. Not so with this CBR. The seating position is quite comfortable for all. You will be sitting upright and not leaning forward. This does wonders for riding comfort. You are only limited to your own riding endurance with ergonomics of the CBR500. It is the right amount of comfort with a little lean forward for sportiness.

Around the city the CBR500 is comfortable and easy to manage. You have more than enough power to work with at city speeds, and you can get out of tight spots quickly. The low redline (8500rpm) ensures good low end power. You will get to where you need to go with ease, and the only difficulty you’ll have is dealing with the weight. At 423lbs it is heavier than other models similar to it. In heavy traffic this can be tiresome to manage. At speeds over 20kmh, no problem! On the highway, the CBR500 feels planted

On the track, the CBR500 is lots of fun. Here is where you can really see what it is capable of. On the straights and in the corners this bike is excellent. You will top out early on the straights, but if you’re a talented rider, you will catch them in the corners. The big negative is the stock suspension (most stock bikes have weak suspensions). You will notice it being exceptionally soft. Initially this is a problem but after a few sessions, it will be just fine. Out of the crate, the CBR500 is excellent for track days.

The ABS system on the Honda is well balanced and effective. On lighter motorcycles the ABS tends to engage quickly. Not so with the CBR500. This is the benefit of the higher weight. The ABS engages when needed and will absolutely save your ass. ABS is not required on motorcycles so if you manage to find a great deal on the CBR500 without ABS, go for it.

Service and maintenance on the CBR500 is very basic. It is a Honda of course! We did the initial first service at a cost of $270 and will not need anything else until 12,000kms. This is great for you lazy motorcyclists out there. Just be sure to lube your motorcycle chain every 500-1000kms and your CBR500 will take good care of you.

As with all bikes we do recommend getting frame and fairing protection. We found the Sato Racing frame sliders to be the easiest to install. Other frame sliders require fairing removal which you DO NOT want to do. Our experience with other frame sliders resulted in maximum frustration and a surprising amount of blood loss. Keep it easy with Sato Racing frame sliders. We did have a tip over on both sides and they did their job.

Overall we love the Honda CBR500. It is excellent as a everyday commuter and a weekend warrior. It could even be an excellent road trip motorcycle as well. With a price point of $6,499 MSRP for the ABS model it is affordable too. It is being redesigned for 2016 so look out for great deals on the 2013-2015 models.

If you prefer more of a naked look or adventure style check out the Honda CBF500 and the CBX500. This gives you three choices making this motorcycle and engine the parmesean cheese of motorcycles. Good on everything!

Excellent engine and power
Comfortable/Good ergonomics
Easy to maintain
Great price
Good looks

Complicated fairing removal