All Comparisons – CB500F, ER-6n or XJ6: Which A2 Motorcycle to Choose? – The winning comeback of the 500?

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

All Comparisons - CB500F, ER-6n or XJ6: Which A2 Motorcycle to Choose? - The winning comeback of the 500?

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 !

The winning return of the 500 ?

Unlike the competition’s "mid-size" roadsters, Honda models are not fans of inflating. The Hornet, in particular, continues to cuber 600 cc against 675, 750 or even 800 cc among its current rivals..

With its new CB500F, Honda even decides to go back to basics by offering apprentice bikers "an authentic mid-size, efficient, agile and fun". In addition to this return to the glorious 500 cc (471 cc to be exact), the Reds have also sought to limit the weight of their motorcycle.

Displaying on the scale – of the manufacturer – a full weight of 192 kg, the Honda returns 14 kg to the Er-6n ABS and 18 kg to the XJ6 ABS. However, by handling the three motorcycles in succession, we realize that the difference is more obvious than the technical sheets suggest (see last page)…

If the CB500F is easier to maneuver, it is obviously thanks to its lower weight but also thanks to its low center of gravity and its handlebars which are both wide, flat and straight. The Er-6n, with its very high tank, its more curved handlebars and its extra kilos, is less easy to understand.

But the least obvious of all is the XJ6, mainly due to an extremely closed handlebar compared to the other two. The Yamaha tries to make up for it by offering a shorter turning radius of about twenty centimeters than the Kawasaki … in vain, since the Honda turns as dry as the Yam ‘ !

The Honda for the little ones

But this first battle conceded to the "small 500" does not worry the Greens, nor the Blues. At Kawasaki first of all, we can argue that the Ninja 300 is even lighter and more manoeuvrable than the new CB500s (read our).

At Yamaha, we do not offer an alternative, and for a good reason: "propose an XJ4 ?", French officials are almost surprised."This displacement has unfortunately never been successful in France and the estimated volumes remain low to be able to offer a price that meets demand.", YMF analysis:"we all know that volumes play a role in the price positioning of products".

On the other hand, there is a subject where Honda is no exception to the current rules: aesthetics! The very basic cycle part of the CB500F receives a plastic covering – we like it or not, but we are not satisfied with a "yuck" in the comments! – which relates it to its "average" and "big" sisters.

More than the CB600F – code name of the Hornet! -, it is to the CB1000R that the little Honda reminds us when we detail its optical unit, its radiator scoops, its fine tank, its footrest plates, its rear loop completed in a triangular brake light and its shoe engine which is reminiscent of the low pot of the winged maxiroadster.

For their part also, the ER-6n and XJ6 are greatly inspired by their predecessors. Thus the Kawasaki plays it big arms by dressing its hydraulic fork (41 mm, as on the Honda) with plastic covers, in the manner of the Z1000. It also installs its contactor on the tank.

At the same time, the ER-6n cultivates all the same its own look, in particular via its pretty frame and its swinging arm banana double steel tube, as well as its mono shock absorber deported with red "recingue" red, white spring for the green model).

Obvious family resemblances

In its "Race Blu" livery, the XJ6 tries to catch the eye. Unfortunately, its mat complexion and its electric blue painted rims can’t help it: the Yam ‘has been circulating in our streets for five years and the bikers crossed during this test paid it little attention compared to the new CB…

At Site, we doubt that the new "SP" version of the XJ6 manages to distract more attention: the unique black and gray color, the sticker kit, the carbon-finished covers and even the two-part saddle do not distinguish it. enough of the other XJ6s.

The relationship between the Yam ‘and its sisters FZ6, FZ8 and FZ1 is felt once the bike is on the bike: the tank, the frame and its casing spread the knees copiously! On its two competitors of the day, the thighs are more aligned, which allows to better grip the bike and facilitates its handling at low speed.

Credited with the lowest saddle height, the Yamaha accepts the smallest bikers but its footrests placed relatively low and vertical to the buttocks do not inconvenience large legs. The saddle, hard at first glance, fatigue especially because it makes the buttocks slide on its front part, the less wide.

Flatter, the saddle of the CB500F makes it possible to take advantage of its width at the rear. We find on the Honda the upright position of the bust that we naturally adopt on the Yamaha, the straight and flat handlebars in addition! There is therefore no doubt that it is on the CB500F that beginners will be most comfortable.

Behave !

Certainly, the Kawasaki benefits from a welcoming seat because it is thick. But large and medium builds alike will complain about the pronounced sag in their knees, their high-placed feet and their heels slightly apart by the long footrests (pilot and passenger).

ER-6n pilots adopt a slightly more "sporty" stance – leaning forward – than XJ6 and CB500F pilots. However, by enumerating the list of practical aspects and equipment (see the penultimate page of this comparative test), we realize that the Kawa pampers its rider.

If the game is close as regards the instrumentation (perfect equality with the Honda, the Yamaha not indicating average or instantaneous consumption), the Greens stand out by accumulating practical points..

Like the "CB" and the "XJ", the "ER" is equipped with a coded key, warnings and a trunk accommodating a small U. It differs from its two adversaries thanks to its two adjustable levers (brake and clutch), its six tie-down hooks and rear hugger – small, but still…

There are occasionally two subtleties on the CB500F. The first concerns the control of the horn which is located above the turn signals – and not below, as on the overwhelming majority of motorcycles. The first crossroads are therefore happily punctuated by a little warning signal….

The second is more boring in everyday life: it is the absence of a hinge on the tank cap of the CB500F. As if taking off your helmet and paying your tank in advance wasn’t boring enough, you still have to find a clean place to put your cap…

The three motorcycles were full (15.7 liters in the Honda, 16 in the Kawasaki and 17 in the Yamaha), Site is ready to hit the roads: engine, action !

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