All Comparisons – CB500F, ER-6n or XJ6: Which A2 Motorcycle to Choose? – Two references, a novelty

CB500F, ER-6n or XJ6: which A2 motorcycle to choose ?

All Comparisons - CB500F, ER-6n or XJ6: Which A2 Motorcycle to Choose? - Two references, a novelty

The two Kawasaki ER-6n and Yamaha XJ6 roadsters are currently the favorite motorcycles for apprentice riders and their motorcycle schools, but the new entry-level Honda CB500F intends to change the situation. Site compares them for you. Test !

Two references, a novelty

For nearly 20 years, the Honda CB500, Kawasaki ER-5, Suzuki GS500 and other Yamaha XJ600 have put the boot at the footrest to countless bikers. Today, two models are delighting beginners (motorcycle school students and young drivers): the Kawasaki ER-6n and the Yamaha XJ6.

Lighter and less powerful than their big sisters Z750 and FZ8, the Kawasaki and the Yamaha are currently among the favorite motorcycles of the French. In 2012, the Kawa was even the best selling motorcycle in France, behind the Tmax certainly but ahead of all other motorcycles (read our).

It must be recognized that the update of the ER-6 ("n" for the roadster, "f" for its streamlined version) had been profound and relevant last year: new frame, new swingarm, reinforced bottom and mid-revs of the twin, aesthetics "green" and increased comfort were on the program.

MNC readers – who, as everyone knows, have a little more RAM than others – remember that their Motorcycle Journal from the Net had been seduced by the agility of the ER-6n 2012, its ease of use. , its engine even rounder and sounder, its increased comfort and its more elegant appearance (read our).

Unfortunately – for Kawasaki, not for journalists looking for negative and constructive criticism! -, the friend Kawette had not succeeded in erasing all her imperfections: the vibrations remain sensitive, the extension and the power of the engine can leave some bikers unsatisfied, the closing of the new saddle is not obvious and the ABS option is still too expensive (600 €).

Launched in 2009, the XJ6 has strengths distinct from those of the ER-6, starting with its in-line 4-cylinder derived from the Fazer, itself inherited from the R6! When it came out the same year, the little Yam ‘had shown the flexibility and length of its engine..

Kawasaki and Yamaha stars

The suspensions of the XJ6 are just as appreciable since they provide the pilot and any passenger with excellent comfort and remarkable efficiency. Among the "positive points", MNC notably underlined the excellent behavior of the front axle.

On the other hand, the not very expressive mid-revs of its engine had handicapped it vis-a-vis the brilliant V-twin of Hamamatsu, as well as its too conventional look, its rather rough gearbox and its storage space under the saddle. allowing to embark only a small U.

"The success of the XJ6 is linked to the intrinsic qualities of the machine", explains one at Yamaha,"namely its dynamic attributes of weight and performance without forgetting its ease of access for riders in the learning phase, thanks to its low saddle height"(785 mm, NDLR).

On average, Yamaha Motor France (YMF) claims to sell around 400 XJ6s per year to French motorcycle schools, or as much as Kawasaki with its ER-6. But these numbers are expected to increase this year, "with the renewal of the fleets following the regulations which allow ABS versions since January 1, 2013", says YMF.

Obviously, Honda does not intend to let its adversaries play alone in this field: in addition to the significant number of registrations involved, this "market in the market" is of capital importance for manufacturers….

The new Honda 2013

Need we remember that under their leather shell and in bad faith, bikers are, at bottom, great sentimentalists? The brand of their first motorcycle will remain anchored in their hearts, if not in their memory, and will resurface when it comes time to go bigger. Hence the interest for the Reds, Greens and Blues to offer "the" ideal motorcycle for beginners !

According to Honda, its brand new entry-level, the CB500F, precisely meets the expectations of apprentice bikers, but also those of their schools. Among its strengths, the one that Honda France highlights is the price, a shocking argument for the two categories of customers targeted. !

Displayed in dealerships at 5590 € TTC (ABS as standard, ie 1509 euros less than the ER-6n ABS and XJ6 ABS), the CB500F is offered to motor schools at a price "well positioned from € 4,490 excluding tax and protection kit included, until September 30", Honda France tells us.

According to the world number one, its novelty 2013 also stands out for its design – which MNC will study in the following pages -, its handling "particularly easy which will immediately reassure the student", assure Honda officials, as well as its maintenance cost"very advantageous", notably thanks to revisions every 12,000 km.

Lighter, cheaper and as powerful as its sister NC700S (launched in 2012, read our), does the CB500F have the means to dethrone the two "entry-level" references in France that are the ER-6n and the XJ6? A solution to find out: in the saddle !

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