All Comparisons – CB500F, ER-6n or XJ6: Which A2 Motorcycle to Choose? – Three very different roadsters

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

All Comparisons - CB500F, ER-6n or XJ6: Which A2 Motorcycle to Choose? - Three very different roadsters

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 !

Three very different roadsters

Site begins the ride on the handlebars of the youngest of this comparison. On board, the controls are smooth, the injection perfectly configured, the transparent transmission, the flexible and voluntary engine: this CB500F is perfect for making its first turns of the wheel – hey, what did you expect ?!

The rather basic cycle part is just as attractive. The shock absorber in particular – the only one in the band to be mounted on rods! – smoothes out the roughness of the road particularly well, whether they are reduced to short asphalt joints or they last all along a cobbled lane…

The XJ6 offers the same suspension comfort, but evolutions in town are a little less easy because of its small curved handlebars, its sensitive injection jerks and its gearbox with the rougher selection. Fortunately, the Yamaha makes up for it in terms of engine flexibility..

While the small Honda block agrees to go below the 2500 rpm mark on the sixth report – lower than the Kawasaki "six-and-a-half" -, the Yamaha 4-cylinder sets off again, without flinching from idling on each gear !

Young drivers – and city dwellers in general – will appreciate this ability that only the Yamaha has. After all, you are not immune, when you start out as a biker or in the middle of heavy traffic, from forgetting to enter a gear or two….

The Honda for beginners

The ER-6n is a suspicion more tiring in town, because of its driving position as we have seen, but also because of its suspensions less inclined to spare the pilot’s rear end. The Kawette has made progress on this point – and on saddle comfort – but remains a notch below the XJ6.

Another inconvenience penalizes the ER-6n: the vibrations, which pass from the footrests to the saddle from 4000 rpm. At this rate, the Kawa tickles the butt of its pilot … but also begins to kick the buttocks of his opponents !

If we can congratulate the CB500F for the total absence of crackling on board over the usual speed range (between 2500 and 6000 rpm, beyond the motorcycle snorts gently), we can only regret the lack of character of its engine.

Because the small twin is too linear. Admittedly, the red zone placed at 9500 rpm gives him the extension that his sister NC700S lacks, but the heart is still not there. We wring out the right handle, we wring again before going up a gear, but nothing helps, the CB500F must throw in the towel prematurely against its two rivals of the day.

Already manhandled by the 296 cc twin of the Ninja 300 (read our), the 471 cc Honda is no match for the 599 cc of the Yamaha and the 649 cc of the Kawasaki. The XJ6 and ER-6n literally leave the CB in place with every handle twist.

However, the fight is not more balanced between the two "big" when starting from low revs: much better filled, the 650 puts a good slap in the 600 on the first two thirds of the tachometer. In order to keep up with the rhythm of the Kawa pilot, that of the Yam ‘has no other choice but to make his half scream !

With honest picks up from 4000 rpm, the Yamaha must be maintained above 9000 rpm to accelerate – very – frankly. We note that the sensation of power and acceleration is overdriven by the hoarse tone of the airbox: no doubt, in terms of sound, Yamaha is the benchmark. !

The Yamaha to progress

The counterpart of this admirable soundtrack comes on the highway, where the XJ6 tends to stun its driver a little. The feet are also not better off, since they are itchy crackling at around 120 km / h.

Very well spared by his mount so far, the driver of the Honda arrives on the small roads a little cooler and available than these two comrades. Agile and easy to handle in the winding thanks to its light front axle and its large handlebars, the Honda manages to delude itself … until a stretch is profiled.

In a flash, the ER-6n propels itself at the head of the trio and retains its place in the first big braking. The right lever of the Kawa is a bit hard but does not prevent hard braking. More biting, the front brake of the XJ6 plunges the fork – a bit flexible – of the Yamaha, which can disturb.

The settings on the angle are more natural at the controls of the Kawasaki because it reacts less than the Yam ‘to the requests of the gas or the brakes. But it is the Honda which locks the most when entering a curve on "the" front brake (as a reminder, it has only one disc!): For the first time, an adaptation period is necessary on the CB500F.

When exiting a bend, however, there is no need to procrastinate at the controls of the "CB": we open wide! Once set on its rear wheel (160/60, like the other two), the motorcycle transmits the 47.5 horsepower of the engine to the ground without any difficulty..

Likewise, as long as we stay in mid-range, the Yamaha “covers” its rider and avoids any bad surprises. It is only by seeking to follow – even to overtake! – the Kawasaki that the "Blue" must redouble vigilance to release its 77.5 horses (72.1 on the Kawa).

Watch is constant this time on the Green: more alert on the engine level, it is also more nervous on bumpy roads. Less firmly planted on its front axle, the ER-6n may encourage it to give up earlier than the XJ6. Its 64 Nm of torque (59.7 for the Yam ‘, 43 for the Honda) make it wider when exiting a corner.

The Kawasaki for arsouiller

Better balanced and more homogeneous – but also less strained by its twin! -, the CB500F behaves better than the ER-6n on bumpy roads. At the same time, it requires less effort from the rider than the Yamaha to switch from one angle to another. In the descents, it is therefore possible for him to compete !

At the end of this comparative test, the Honda CB500F appears clearly victorious: perfectly suited to the new A2 license category (read our), the little Honda wins the match thanks to its obvious handling, tight price and standard ABS. , an element not to be underestimated as winters now stretch over eight months…

Another good point for the Honda: its fuel consumption, the average of which on this MNC test was limited to 4.4 l / 100km (we nevertheless severely whipped it!), Against 5.9 l / 100km for the Kawasaki twin-cylinder and 5.8 l / 100km for the Yamaha 4-cylinder.

Thanks to its engine as supple as it is angry, the Yamaha XJ6 (which young drivers will need, like the) scores big points, supplemented by those provided by its suspensions as comfortable as they are efficient and its formidable ability to adapt to all types of use: from the quietest to the most dynamic, whatever the route.

On perfectly smooth roads however, it will be hard to beat the ER-6n, which presents itself as the most "daring" choice for new licenses: its agile chassis and its powerful engine require a certain restraint in town and attention. supported on bumpy departmental roads.

Less easy to tame than the Honda, the Kawa and the Yam ‘will consequently tire young bikers less quickly, who will wait until they have gone around their "Full power" machine to move onto a bigger motorcycle … CB500F buyers, few should be those who will keep their motorcycle beyond the first two years. Except the most reasonable, maybe ?

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