There’s no way of verifying this at the moment, but internet rumours say Honda is building a CB500 and CBR500.
Of course, whether you want to believe the rumours or not is up to you; the gossip all springs out of this thread here on CBR250.net. A couple of posters claim to have some inside sources with details of the bike, and they say the Japanese mags are already talking about the bikes. One of the posters has even put up some some alleged spy shots of the machines.
As their names indicate, the CB500 would be a naked bike and the CBR500 has a sporty fairing. If the rumours are true, the bikes will be manufactured in Thailand; the public should get their first glance of the machines at Germany’s Intermot show.
By the looks of the photos, the motor will either be a twin or single, not an inline-four. A single disc up front and conventional forks should keep the cost down – supposedly one of this machine’s intentions is to give riders an affordable step up from the CBR250R.
Which of course, raises this question: Why introduce a bike like this now, when budget 500 cc twins like the EX 500 Ninja or the various incarnations of Suzuki’s GS 500 have fallen out of style, at least in North America? Maybe Honda doesn’t plan to bring the machine here?After all, the Japanese make plenty of other bikes that don’t arrive here.
It’s interesting to note the bike’s supposed country of origin. The internet rumour mill says Honda is moving more of its big-bike production to Thailand, to get away from high labour costs in Japan. Not that there’s anything scary about this idea – Triumph has been building bikes in Thailand for years, as has Kawasaki. It helps keep the KLR650’s price down.
Is the gossip true or not? We should know at the Intermot show. And who knows – maybe they’ll unveil that rumoured new CBR400 sportbike at Cologne as well …