The twins get styling updates and a small power increase.
Although they're somewhat overshadowed by the new CB650R right now, Honda's 500cc twins have also received an update for 2019, as revealed at EICMA. The CB500F, CB500X, and CBR500R all get the same engine upgrades, while each bike gets individual styling upgrades as well.
JUDGE ME BY MY SIZE, DO YOU
The twins will all get incremental upgrades for 2019. Honda has mildly tweaked its 500cc twin to improve low-to-mid-range power and torque in the 3,000 to 7,000 rpm range. Intake ducting and timing changes provide a four percent increase in horsepower, which is up to 47. It's a small improvement, but it should be noticeable over the current version.
The CB500F standard gets a new look with wedge-like bodywork updates front to back. It gains a slipper clutch to help with shifting and a monotube rear shock absorber to improve control and ride quality. A new LCD instrument panel tells the rider what they need to know, including a new gear indicator.
The CBR500R sportbike also gets a refreshed look, as well as lower clip-on bars to provide a sportier, more aerodynamic riding position. This also places more weight on the front wheel for better control when attacking the twisties. The CBR500R gains the same new LCD instrument panel as the CB500F.
The most significant improvements come to the CB500X adventure bike. In addition to new styling, it gains a 19-inch front wheel, more aggressive tires, additional suspension travel, and a more upright riding position. These should make the CB500X even better on the trails than previous versions.
All three bikes will be available in the U.S. and are listed on Honda's website right now. It's great to see that Honda hasn't ignored the 500cc segment in favor of bigger bikes, which aren't always the right solution or what riders want.