Honda CB500 Specs and Information (1993 to 2003)

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Honda CB500
1995 Honda CB500 in red

Honda CB500 Specs…..

The Honda CB500 was a naked, 499cc commuter/roadster motorcycle produced by Honda in the UK between 1993 and 2003.
Honda also released a half faired version of the CB500 (known as the CB500S) between 1998 and 2003.

The CB 500 was a basic and popular mid range bike with legendary reliability, which is why it proved very popular with motorcycle couriers, training schools and first time riders.
The CB500 twin was replaced by Honda in 2004 by the CBF500 as the CB500 engine was unable to meet the new Euro 2 emissions regulations.
The main rivals to the CB500 were the Kawasaki ER5 and Suzuki GS500 E models.

Need parts for your CB500? Honda CB500 Twin parts on Amazon…

A little bit about the Honda CB 500 Twin…..

Basic model info…

Manufacturer: Honda
Model: CB500
CC: 499cc
Engine type: Inline twin cylinder (4 stroke)
Years in production: 1993 to 2003 (unfaired version)
1998 to 2003 (CB500-S, half faired version)
More detailed release date and model info can in the ‘Models and years’ section below
Style of bike: Commuter / tourer / roadster
Insurance: Group 9 (of 17) – Get a cheap insurance quote from Carole Nash
Succeeded by: CBF500 (aka CB500F)
Competition: Kawasaki ER5 and Suzuki GS500 E

Servicing your bike? You’ll need a CB500 workshop manual…

Models and years (in the UK)

CB500-R (Dec 1993 to Dec 1994)…..
Frame number started: PC26-2000001
Description: Unfaired 499cc twin cylinder, water cooled roadster with twin rear shock absorbers, 17 inch, 6 spoke cast wheels, round chrome surrounded headlamp, black 2 into 1 exhaust, alloy rear (pillion) grab handle and colour match front mudguard.
The bike also single front disc brake with a Nissin caliper and rear drum brake.
Available colours: Green, black or red
Price (new): £3655 for an ‘L’ reg
£3730 for an ‘M’ reg
CB500-R (Jan 1995 to Oct 1995)…..
Frame number started:
Description: Same as above model with another colour added to the range.
Available colours: Green, black, blue or red
Price (new): £3870 for an ‘M’ reg
£4085 for an ‘N’ reg
CB500-T (Nov 1995 to Oct 1996)…..
Frame number started: PC32A-000001
Description: Same as above model.
Available colours: Green, black or blue
Price (new): £4085 for an ‘N’ reg
£4085 for an ‘P’ reg
CB500-V (Nov 1996 to Nov 1997)…..
Frame number started: PC32A-100001
Description: Same as above model but now with a rear disc brake instead of a drum brake and Brembo brake calipers.
Also a ‘Cup-Race’ version available in silver.
Available colours: Green, red, black or titanium
Price (new): £4085 for an ‘P’ reg
£4085 for an ‘R’ reg
CB500-W (Dec 1997 to Oct 1998)…..
Frame number started:
Description: Same as above model.
Available colours: Black, red, yellow or silver
Price (new): £4085 for an ‘R’ reg
£4085 for an ‘S’ reg
CB500-X (Nov 1998 to Aug 1999)…..
Frame number started: ZDC9C32AOXF206241-
Description: Same as above model.
Available colours: Black, red or orange
Price (new): £4085 for an ‘S’ reg
£3495 for a ‘T’ reg
£3495 for a ‘V’ reg
CB500-Y (Sept 1999 to Dec 2000)…..
Frame number started: ZDCPC32AOYF220001-
Description: Same as above model with gold wheels (painted, not real gold obviously!) and new graphics.
Available colours: Black, blue or red
Price (new): £3545 for a ‘V’ reg
£3545 for a ‘W’ reg
£3775 for a ‘X’ reg
CB500-1 (Jan 2001 to Dec 2001)…..
Frame number started:
Description: Same as above model with silver wheels.
Available colours: Black, blue or red
Price (new): £4090 for a ‘X’ reg
£4090 for a ‘Y’ reg
£4090 for a ’51’ reg
CB500-2 (Jan 2002 to Dec 2002)…..
Frame number started:
Description: Same as above model.
Available colours: Black, blue or red
Price (new): £4085 for a ’51’ reg
£4085 for an ’02’ reg
£3704 for a ’52’ reg
CB500-3 (Jan 2003 to May 2003 – Discontinued)…..
Frame number started:
Description: Same as above model.
Available colours: Black, blue or red
Price (new): £3704 for a ’52’ reg
£3704 for an ’03’ reg

Honda CB500 Sport (aka CB500-S, half faired version)…

CB500-SW (Feb 1998 to Oct 1998)…..
Frame number started:
Description: Basically the same as the unfaired CB500 with a half fairing with the clocks built in and underseat storage for a ‘U’ lock. Also has front and rear disc brakes (same as the later CB500’s).
Available colours: Black, red or yellow
Price (new): £4245 for an ‘R’ reg
£4290 for an ‘S’ reg
CB500-SX (Nov 1998 to Aug 1999)…..
Frame number started: ZDCP32EOXF306261-
Description: Same as above model.
Available colours: Black, red or orange
Price (new): £4290 for an ‘S’ reg
£3850 for an ‘T’ reg
£3850 for an ‘V’ reg
CB500-SY (Sept 1999 to Dec 2000)…..
Frame number started: ZDCP32EOYF320001-
Description: Same as above model but with gold wheels and new graphics.
Available colours: Black, red or orange
Price (new): £3895 for an ‘V’ reg
£3895 for an ‘W’ reg
£4050 for an ‘X’ reg
CB500-S1 (Jan 2001 to Dec 2001)…..
Frame number started:
Description: Same as above model but with silver wheels.
Available colours: Black, metallic red or metallic blue
Price (new): £4050 for a ‘X’ reg
£4050 for a ‘Y’ reg
£4050 for a ’51’ reg
CB500-S2 (Jan 2002 to Dec 2002)…..
Frame number started:
Description: Same as above model.
Available colours: Black, metallic red or metallic blue
Price (new): £4050 for a ’51’ reg
£4050 for an ’02’ reg
£4050 for a ’52’ reg
CB500-S3 (Jan 2003 to Mar 2003)…..
Frame number started:
Description: Same as above model.
Available colours: Black, metallic red or metallic blue
Price (new): £3599 for a ’52’ reg
£3599 for an ’03’ reg
CB500 Twin back view
Honda CB500 Twin rear view (1995 model in red)

Engine and gearbox specs…..

Displacement: 499 cc
Engine type: Inline 2 cylinder
Stroke: 4 stroke
Bore×Stroke: 73×59.6mm
No. of cylinders: 2 (inline)
Engine revs to (redline): 10,500 rpm
Cam shaft configuration: DOHC (double overhead cam – chain driven)
Compression ratio: 10.5:1
Cylinder compression pressure: 14 bar (203 psi)
Valves: 8 valve (4 per cylinder)
Spark plug: NGK CR8EH-9 (x2)
Spark plug gap: 0.8 to 0.9mm
Firing order: 1 – 2
Engine oil: 10w40 API SG or higher

Note: You can use any grade oil in the CB500 engine (mineral, semi synthetic or full synthetic). Although fully synthetic is the best and will offer the best protection for your engine, we normally recommend a semi synth as it’s a good balance between engine protection and price. More info…

Engine oil capacity: 3.1 litres
Engine oil drain bolt location: Bottom/underneath of the engine
Oil filter type: Canister type
Oil filter: Hiflo HF303 / Filtrex OIF006
Oil filter torque: 10nm
Oil pressure: 2.4 bar (@ 2000 rpm)
Cooling system: Liquid cooled
Cooling system capacity: 2 litres
Clutch: Wet (oil immersed) multiplate clutch
Clutch operation: Cable
Clutch lever free play: 10 to 20mm
Gearbox: 6 Speed manual (1st gear down, 2nd to 6th gears up, neutral between 1st and 2nd gears)
BHP: 57 bhp
Torque: 35 ft/lb
Top speed (claimed): 120mph
Quater mile time (claimed): 13.2 seconds
Piston ring to cylinder bore clearance: New: 0.010mm / Max 0.045mm
Valve clearance (inlet): 0.16mm (+/- 0.02mm) (when cold)
Valve clearance (exhaust): 0.25 (+/- 0.02mm) (when cold)
Idle speed: 1,300rpm (+/- 100)
CB500 fuel tank
Honda CB500 petrol tank in red

Final drive stuff…..

Final drive: Chain
Front sprocket: 15 teeth
Rear sprocket: 40 teeth
Chain pitch/length: 525 pitch / 108 links
Chain free play: 30 to 40mm
CB500 HF303 oil filter
Honda CB500 canister type oil filter (all years, faired and unfaired models. Hiflo HF303)

Carb, fuel and oil stuff…..

Fuel system: Carburetor
MPG (average): 50 miles per gallon (very approx)

There are variations in MPG between users, mainly due to different riding styles and areas (e.g. city riding vs open road)

Fuel tank range (approx – see above): 200 miles
Fuel tank capacity: 18 litres
Fuel type: Unleaded petrol (91 octane grade – aka standard petrol from your local garage)
Carb make: Keihin (2x)
Carb type: VBNO (34mm flat-slide carbs)
Pilot screw opening: 0.5 turns
Throttle grip free play: 2 to 6mm
Engine oil: 10w40 API SG or higher

Note: You can use any grade oil in the CB500 engine (mineral, semi synthetic or full synthetic). Although fully synthetic is the best and will offer the best protection for your engine, we normally recommend a semi synth as it’s a good balance between engine protection and price. More info…

Engine oil capacity: 3.1 litres
Engine oil drain bolt location: Bottom/underneath of the engine
Oil filter type: Canister type
Oil filter: Hiflo HF303 / Filtrex OIF006
Oil filter torque: 10nm
Oil pressure: 2.4 bar (@ 2000 rpm)
CB500 carbs
Set of carbs from a 1995 Honda CB500-R

Electric stuff…..

Ignition type: Electronic CDI
Starter: Electric start
Electrical system voltage: 12 volts
Battery voltage (fully charged): 13 to 13.2 volts
Battery amps per hour: 8 a/h
Battery will need charging if below: 12.3 volts
Battery charging current (normal): 0.9 amps on a 5 to 10 hour charge
Regulated voltage: 14 to 15.5 volts (@ 5000 rpm)
Spark plug: NGK CR8EH-9 (x2)
Spark plug gap: 0.8 to 0.9mm
Spark plug tightening torque: 12nm
Spark plug ignition: 2 x coil
Battery: CTX9-BS / YTX9-BS / CBTX9-BS

Notes:

  • The YTX9-BS battery is a 12 volt, 8 amp/hour battery and is length: 151mm width: 87mm height: 106mm in size (more info…).
  • The 1st letter(s) of the battery reference code are a manufacturers reference mark and may vary between different battery makes (different battery manufacturers use different 1st letters), so CTX9-BS, YTX9-BS and CBTX9-BS are all the same battery just from different manufacturers (more info…).
  • Also…… Avoid buying the cheapest of the cheap type batteries online as they have a horrendous failure rate (and they can be a bug!er to post back when it fails.
CB500 twin battery
1993 to 2003 Honda CB500 battery (YTX9-BS). This battery fits both the half faired and unfaired models

Shocks, brakes and wheel specs…..

Front wheel type: 6 spoke cast wheel
Front tyre size: 110/80-17
Front tyre pressure: 29psi (2 bar)
Front wheel spindle torque: 60nm
Front wheel spindle clamp bolt torque: 27nm
Rear wheel type: 6 spoke cast wheel
Rear tyre size: 130/80-17
Rear tyre pressure: Solo: 31psi (2.2 bar) / With pillion: 36psi (2.5 bar)
Rear wheel spindle torque: 90nm

Note: The earlier CB500 R and T, unfaired models (Dec 1993 till Oct 1996) had a drum brake on the back wheel and a Nissin caliper on the front brake. The Nissin caliper used different brake pads to the later (Brembo) caliper but the same front disc as later models.
The Nov 1996 (CB500 V) model onwards and the faired (CB500 Sport) models had a rear disc brake and Brembo brake calipers.

Front brake: Single hydraulic disc brake with 2 piston caliper
Front brake disc: 296mm single disc. Part no: EBC MD1008 (1x)
Front brake pad (1993 to Oct 1996 – CB500 R/T, drum rear brake models): EBC FA196 (1x)
Front brake pad (Nov 1996 on – Faired and unfaired disc rear brake models): EBC FA209 (1x)
Rear brake (1993 to Oct 1996 – CB500 R/T, drum rear brake models): Drum brake
Rear drum brake pad: EBC H321
Rear brake (Nov 1996 on – Faired and unfaired disc rear brake models): Single hydraulic disc brake with single piston caliper
Rear brake disc: Single 240mm disc. Part no: EBC MD1020 (1x)
Rear brake pad: EBC FA213 (1x)
Brake fluid (front and rear): DOT 4 brake fluid
Front suspension: Telescopic forks
Front fork stanchion diameter: 37mm
Recommended fork oil: 10w (medium weight) fork oil
Fork oil volume: 320 ml (per fork)
Rear Suspension: Twin rear shock absorbers
CB500 front wheel
110/80-17 Front wheel from a CB500
CB500 drum brake wheel
1995 CB500 17 inch rear wheel with drum brake

Weights, measures ‘n stuff…..

Overall length: 2,090mm
Overall width: 720mm
Overall height: 1,050mm (CB500)
1,160mm (CB500S)
Wheelbase: 1,430mm (CB500)
1,435mm (CB500S)
Seat height: 775mm
Ground clearance: 145mm
Dry weight (no oils, fluids etc): 170kg (CB500 R/T models)
173kg (CB500 V/W/X/Y/1/2/3 models)
179kg (CB500S Sport models)
Kerb weight (with oil, coolant etc – approx): 190kg
CB500-R side
Side view of a CB500-R (1995 model)

Useful torque settings…..

Cam cover: 10nm
Cylinder head (stage 1): 24nm
Cylinder head (stage 2): 48nm
Spark plugs: 12nm
Front wheel spindle: 60nm
Front wheel spindle clamp: 27nm
Rear wheel spindle: 90nm
Front brake caliper bolt: 30nm
Rear brake caliper bolt: 30nm
Engine oil drain bolt: 29nm
Oil filter: 10nm
Side/back view CB500
1995 CB500-R in red. Earlier model with a rear drum brake.

Service stuff…..

Servicing your bike? You’ll need a 1993 – 2003 CB500 workshop manual…
Engine oil
Engine oil change frequency: Every 12,000km (approx 7,456 miles) or 12 months
Engine oil: 10w40 API SG or higher

Note: You can use any grade oil in the CB500 engine (mineral, semi synthetic or full synthetic). Although fully synthetic is the best and will offer the best protection for your engine, we normally recommend a semi synth as it’s a good balance between engine protection and price. More info…

Engine oil capacity: 3.1 litres
Engine oil drain bolt location: Bottom/underneath of the engine
Oil filter: Hiflo HF303 / Filtrex OIF006
Oil filter torque: 10nm
Chain drive
Final drive chain frequency: Now repeat after me… ‘I MUST LUBE MY CHAIN LITTLE AND OFTEN!!’
Chain and sprocket size: 108 link / 525 pitch Chain, 15 tooth front and 40 tooth rear sprocket
Hydraulic brake system (front and rear)
Brake fluid check frequency: Check every 12 months or 6,000km (approx 3,728 miles)
Brake fluid change frequency: Change every 24 months or 18,000km (approx 11,185 miles)
Brake fluid: DOT 4 brake fluid
Fork oil
Front fork oil check frequency: Check every 12,000km (approx 7,456 miles) or 12 months
Recommended fork oil: 10w (medium weight) fork oil
Fork oil volume: 320ml (per fork)
Cooling system
Coolant check frequency: Check every 12,000km (approx 7,456 miles) or 12 months
Change every: 36,000 km (approx 22,369 miles) or 24 months
Cooling system: Liquid cooled
Cooling system capacity: 2 litres
CB500 clocks
Clocks from and unfaired Honda CB500

Frame number location…..

The frame number is usually stamped onto the right side of the headstock (the front part of the frame just below the handle bars).

Useless stuff…..

Middleweight commuter/roadster style bike from Honda that was released in 1993. Rumor has it that Honda designed the bike to last for 190,000 miles. Although you won’t find many models with 190,000 miles on the clocks, they were capable of huge mileage, fairly simple in design and easy to work on which is why they proved popular with commuters, couriers (<< avoid ex courier bikes though!) and motorbike training schools. They also had good, solid and confidence inspiring handling which is partly why training schools used them as 1st time 'big bike' riders found them easy to get along with (and, at 57bhp you could take your 'Direct Access' course on one. This allowed a rider who passed to ride any bike regardless of power or cc after they passed it. You had to be over 21 to do this course and had to take it on a bike over 50bhp). The CB500 didn't have much in the way of updates during it's 10 year life, a rear brake disc was added and the Nissin calipers were dropped for Brembo calipers for the November 1996 release and a half faired version was released in 1998 (known as the CB500 Sport). The CB500 did have it's own racing series called the CB500 Cup. Honda released a 'Cup-Race' version of the bike in 1996. The CB500 Cup was renamed to the Thundersport 500 in 2009 to allow (mainly) Kawasaki ER5 and Suzuki GS500E riders to enter.

The CB500 was discontinued in 2003 as the 499cc motor was unable to meet Euro 2 emissions regulations.

CB500-R side view
Side view of a CB500-R (rear drum brake model)

Buying advice…..

Firstly, if your thinking of buying one always HPI check it (there’s still loads about so no point risking getting stuck with a lemon!).
These are good, solid bikes and are ideal for 1st time ‘big bike’ riders. Mileage isn’t really anything to worry about (within reason!), but obviously a bike that’s had frequent oil changes is likely to be better.
As the bike was a naked/unfaired bike there’s wasn’t alot of fairing to damage and indicators, headlights etc could be easily replaced, if damaged, with aftermarket parts.

Exhaust downpipes and headers do rot though (mild steel!), so in the unlikely event of the bike having the original headers, best to budget for replacing them (however, end can’s and downpipes are readily available and not stupidly overpriced).

It’s probably best to avoid ex courier bikes or bikes used for racing (these were used in the Thundersport 500 series), race bikes will have drilled sump plugs, caliper bolts, scrapes etc, courier bikes will look like they’ve been round the world twice (take it from an ex courier, it’s a blerdy hard life for a bike!!).
Ex training school bikes can be ok, but look for damage as, again, they can get a hard life (and budget for a new clutch!).

The only other thing to consider when buying one is the age. The youngest of these beasties will be over 15 years old now, so if your buying one give it a good check over, especially rear shocks, fork stanchion condition (helps if the forks have had gaitors fitted), radiator (damage, leaks look for white water trails from the rad of pipework), handle bar switches, ignition, battery etc.
Obviously, it’s worth paying a bit more for a lower mileage bike with a small rainforest of service paperwork then one of the ‘barn find’ type bikes that seem to be cropping up regularly (barn find = nicked…… Usually! 😀 ).

Happy biking 🙂

CB500 radiator
CB500 Radiator

Sources / Thanks to / Useful CB500 sites:

CB500 article on Wikipedia
Another useful CB500 article
www.cb500club.net Loads of helpful owners and info
www.thundersportgb.com Home of the Thundersport 500 series (was originally the CB500 Cup).

If you’ve got any questions, comments or suggestions please feel free to leave them below 🙂

Disclaimer: The information on this page is correct to the best of our knowledge. But the info should NOT be taken as 100% accurate as we can, occasionally make mistakes!

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