Starting to ride a motorcycle on a big bike is commonly discouraged due to the increased difficulty and potential dangers involved. However, there are certain exceptions to this rule. In recent years, motorcycle manufacturers have developed large bikes that are specifically designed for beginner riders. Honda’s CB500 range serves as an excellent illustration of this trend. These motorcycles offer a more manageable size and power output, making them suitable for individuals who are new to motorcycling.
One notable option for first-time big bike riders is the Honda Rebel 500. It boasts a low seat height and approachable performance, making it a popular choice. However, Honda has taken things even further with the introduction of the CL500, showcasing their commitment to providing excellent beginner-friendly big bikes. Let’s explore a few reasons why the CL500 stands out in this regard.
A familiar platform
For those acquainted with Honda’s lineup, it’s evident that the CL500 is not an entirely new bike built from scratch. Rather, it is based on the already well-received Rebel 500, which has gained immense popularity among first-time riders. The CL500 inherits many key components from the Rebel 500, including its frame and suspension setup. Additionally, it features an identical engine. However, the CL500 distinguishes itself with more upright ergonomics and a rugged aesthetic that lends it a scrambler-like appearance.
Similar to other models in Honda’s 500cc lineup, the CL500 is equipped with a 471cc liquid-cooled, fuel-injected, parallel-twin engine. It generates 45 horsepower and 43.3 Nm of torque, offering a decent amount of power for its class. The engine’s 180-degree crankshaft design ensures smooth and consistent power delivery throughout the rev range. It’s important to note, though, that 45 horsepower is still a significant amount for novice riders. Therefore, first-time riders should exercise caution and respect the bike’s capabilities when riding the CL500.
Honda has earned its status as the world’s most popular motorcycle manufacturer for numerous reasons, one of which is its reputation for reliability. The CL500 benefits from being built on a proven and established platform, ensuring a high level of reliability. It embraces simplicity, focusing on the essential components rather than incorporating elaborate electronics. Additionally, Honda produces a wide range of motorcycles that share common components, which means that parts for the CL500 are likely to be readily available. This accessibility to parts further contributes to the overall reliability and ease of maintenance for owners of the CL500.
The motorcycle market has demonstrated that retro designs have enduring appeal, which is exemplified by the popularity of bikes like the Honda CB650R. It is highly likely that the CL500 will enjoy a similar level of success due to its retro aesthetic. However, it is worth noting that personal preferences may vary, and some individuals may find the large exhaust system to be divisive in terms of visual appeal. Nonetheless, the CL500 captures the essence of classic retro styling with features such as a round headlight, teardrop-shaped fuel tank, cropped tail section, and fork gaiters, creating a nostalgic and timeless look.
In the context of starting to ride big bikes, prioritizing lightweight options is advisable, and the CL500 fits this criterion well. With its simplistic design, the CL500 maintains a relatively low weight of 191 kilograms, making it one of the lighter big bikes available, particularly considering its parallel-twin engine. Furthermore, the bike’s low seat height of 790 millimeters adds to its approachability. This feature is especially beneficial for shorter riders, as having the ability to place their feet firmly on the ground is crucial for a safe and confident riding experience.