The Honda CB500F may not be a motorcycle that'll cause a stir when showcased to an audience, especially in the U.S. and Europe. Indeed, many people consider this bike a beginner-focused machine with not that much in the way of style and performance. In the Asian market, however, the CB500F isn't a beginner-focused machine, but rather a bike people aspire to own.
In a market dominated by utilitarian commuter scooters, the CB500F is considered a high-performance machine. This is exactly the case in India, where Honda recently imported a single CB500F to showcase at its Bangalore BigWing dealership. Indeed, the act is rather peculiar, as the CB500F isn't exactly what you'd consider a one-of-a-kind machine. However, it's clear that Honda is doing this for a reason. Although no official word from Honda Motorcycle and Scooter India (HMSI) has been released, it looks like the company has intentions of leveling up its model range in India by introducing a mid-tier option to slot above the CB300R and CB650R.
Furthermore, according to Indian motorcycling publication BikeWale, Honda has been contacting its customers and inviting them to visit the showroom to see the CB500F firsthand. It looks as though the company is trying to get a feel for customer response to the bike. It's worth mentioning that the CB500X, the more adventurous counterpart of the CB500F, was once sold in India, but was eventually pulled out due to its expensive pricing and inability to compete with other bikes in the segment.
Given the fact that Honda has a rather extensive manufacturing facility in India, it won't be surprising if the company is planning to manufacture the CB500 range of bikes in India, and subsequently make them available in the market. After all, the company's Tapakura plant has an annual capacity of 1.2 million motorcycles, so producing the CB500 model range, which are popular options among entry-level big bike enthusiasts in Asia, shouldn't be an issue. Nevertheless, it'll be interesting to see what will become of Honda's little experiment with the CB500F in India.