Comparison test of the 500 all-rounder


Comparison test of the 500 all-rounder

Comparison test of the 500 all-rounder

Class reunion

The three 500s from Honda, Kawasaki and Suzuki have enjoyed various training programs and also made a lot of themselves visually different. A test has to clarify what level of performance the class around CBF 500, ER-5 and GS 500 F has today.

Five hundred. The term itself arouses associations. Many dream motorcycles had 500 cc, a Velocette Venom Thruxton, a Kawasaki Mach III or a Yamaha RD 500. Not to forget wonderfully classless everyday mules like Honda’s CX series and the cult singles Yamaha XT and SR 500. They have lots of schoolchildren and students with them vaccinated against the two-wheel bacillus: With a 500 you were someone. But today the former premier class seems orphaned, half-liter bikes are below the five percent mark in Germany, and the trend is falling. They didn’t deserve that, the brave schoolgirls of the 500 class.
Entry in the class register: MOTORRAD top tester Karsten Schwers appears
with a big grin at the meeting: “Man, it’s a lot of fun waving the CBF through the traffic jam.” The day before, Karsten was piloting a Turbo-Hayabusa, with 320 HP under the rear. And now that: around 50 hp, a beer bottle in cubic capacity, distributed over two cylinders each, individual disc brakes and simple box swing arms. Instead of prestige PS, the 500s propagate pure lightness of being.
Swinging easily through life, the Honda takes this task very seriously. The CB 500, an often underestimated gray mouse since 1993, has made a career. Second educational path, Abitur, university diploma. It is now called CBF, has modern technology and a mature look. Edges, angles and curves merge homogeneously through to massive ones
Passenger retaining brackets on the spacey rear.
Italian chic, because the CBF 500 is manufactured in Italy alongside the successfully launched 600 series. From this she inherited the lines and the optional anti-lock braking system, which costs 600 euros extra. So F could also stand for progress. Or an F for driving pleasure?
More appearance than reality: The full fairing of the Suzuki GS 500 F in factory colors is reminiscent of the GSX-R 1000. It looks as if the GS 500, who started school in 1989, had applied thick make-up. If you like it more subtle, you can save yourself the panel and 300 euros. The Suzuki, which is produced in Spain, has a reputation to defend as everybody’s darling: more than 40,000 of the little GS found admirers in Germany alone. Ole.
Kawasakis E.R-5 stayed true to itself, the friendly insurance clerk next door. Always reliable since the end of 1996, one that can be used to steal horses. Despite the fiery red, the only real Japanese woman brings only subtle sex appeal, but unconditional relationship skills into the partnership.
Moving stories provide a topic of conversation at the class reunion, it is getting late. The moon is high in the night sky, the headlights shine brightly when cruising through the city. The morning after, out of town. Before the freestyle comes the duty: cold start. Reluctantly, like a pubescent eighth grader, the aged two-cylinder Suzuki starts work. In the first minute he spurts and chokes. The 27-year-old unit is designed with two valves and is air-cooled. After all, the clad F version keeps a cool head even in stop-and-go traffic because of the oil cooler.
34 series constant pressure carburetors now prepare the mixture, while the secondary air system and U-Kat ensure Euro-2-compliant exhaust gas cleaning ?? everything like on the ER-5. This starts motivated and uncomplicated. An entire school essay fills the story of the Kawa twin, which has been fueling the middle-class family around GPZ, EN and KLE 500 since 1986. And now the ER-5.
Kawasaki has done its homework well, the engine takes on the gas. Like the Honda Twin, it is water-cooled and breathes through four valves per combustion chamber. Mechanically, it runs unobtrusively. Because of the longest overall transmission, the ER-5 can run at lower speeds for the same speed. Still she’s driving because of
the full power output the best pulling power. respect.
Middle maturity reveals the badly metered choke on the carburettor on the Honda. At least it can be pushed back quickly. The CBF runs very flexibly, hangs smoothly on the gas, comes from below, and can never be provoked to change loads. Sensors on the 33-millimeter carburettors report the opening angle of the throttle valves in order to enable optimal ignition times. The twin sound is babbling and pithy.
The Suzuki two-valve engine doesn’t quite reach its class goal anymore. He always seems a bit more strained, acts less lively and mechanically louder. As standard, Suzuki only supplies the GS with beginner-friendly 34 hp, whoever orders the open version tested here with a nominal 45 hp, has to pay for other throttle valves and nozzles and their installation.
The performance of the CBF 500 and ER-5 is decent, you don’t feel underpowered. Pleasure instead of frustration: It is extremely fun to boil luxury sedans with the mid-range sweepers while accelerating. Of course, it sometimes takes almost five-digit speeds, but they board all engines painlessly. Wild can and must be in the easy
cartilaginous six-speed gearboxes are quilted, the gears rest on all
Threes for sure.
The frugal two-cylinder engines burn just four liters of regular gasoline per hundred kilometers on the country road. The ranges are remarkable, the fuel taps at Kawa and Suzi provide planning security, and the precise fuel gauge of the ER-5 is especially important. The CBF only has a fuel warning light. On long stretches of the motorway, the little all-rounders are ultimately faster than some super athletes. And with their practical luggage hooks and steel tanks as a substructure for universal magnetic tank bags, they even satisfy wanderlust.
Hot slipstream duels? that still works with the lively 500s. A little gas is a must! Ultimately, the Honda emerged as the winner, even if Suzi enjoyed the fattest overtaking prestige and naturally the only one to offer acceptable wind protection. Made small in search of maximum speed, the over-motivated speedometer needles even stop at 200 when they run downhill.
Get off the train and into the country road fun. The bustling ER-5 turns the corner with particular ardor. As handy as a bicycle, its 197 kilograms when fully fueled are hardly significant even when maneuvering. It is just perfectly balanced. The light-footed 500cc turns into an animal in the cornering area, relentlessly driving big bikes in front of it. Almost overhanded, it plays the trump card of its narrow tires, 110 and 130 millimeters wide. The Dunlop tires
Arrowmax GT 501 in special code G stick very trustworthy.
Would you be narrower and a bit strong
cranked handlebars a tad wider, the wallflower ER-5 could break all handling records. However, she wriggles
a little if the too brisk ride
Suspension struts reach their limits. They are comfortably tuned, but underdamped. In addition, the frame twists slightly. Noticeably, but not badly, the ER-5 picks up interference from the road or the driver, straight ahead as if on an incline.
The Kawa’s blunt front brake is not very convincing. The hand lever almost touches the rubber grip when fully used. The simple drum brake in the rear wheel is difficult to dose, the necessary sensitivity suffers from the high operating force. And the bum under the soft bench, which sits through far too quickly.
The Suzuki does not present itself as ergonomically fully developed. Their high footrests enable high angles of inclination-
freedom, but sharp knee angles. The extra-wide handlebar in the style of the 80s makes changing lean angles child’s play. The Bridgestone BT 45 G tires offer the usual good grip. They have
same dimension as the Dunlops of the ER-5 and are definitely a hot tip for used machines.
Nevertheless, the last bit of confidence in the Suzuki is missing because the fork springs that are too soft dilute the feedback from the front wheel. It also beats
the fork, which is always in motion, with the courageous grip on the effective single disc brake immediately through, the bike is instantly standing. For this security-
there is a straight five. An ABS would be necessary, but at least a set of progressive fork springs or thicker fork oil. The central spring strut is slightly overdamped, good fine tuning is somehow different. Nonetheless, the Suzuki GS 500 F moves neutrally on level asphalt.
The Honda struts on the widest rubber soles. At the front there is a 120 and a 160 at the rear on the elegant double-spoke rims. These are modern radial tires, Michelin Pilot Road, in the front with special code C. They adhere well and announce imminent slides in good time, even in wet conditions. It’s a great feeling to be able to really accelerate at the exit of the corner.
Even though the Honda, which is a bit heavier at 211 kilograms, does not have the easy handling of the two
comes close to others, it can be moved in a sporty, crisp manner. Your chassis is a whole class more stable and more precise.
No wonder, the impeccable 41 fork and the steel backbone frame, which integrates the engine, come from
directly from the 600 CBF, i.e. ultimately from the Hornet.
The chassis can therefore easily cope with more power, the taut spring elements leave the 500er lying on the road. Only the directly linked central spring strut is a complaint. Stubborn and uncomfortable ignores it
short, hard bumps, kick hard or let the rear wheel jump. Comfort falls by the wayside.
But not the absolute feeling of security, thanks to the highly recommended ABS. The pulsating control intervals are particularly noticeable in the foot pedal, fine control and good delay are convincing.
Vain sunshine also when it comes to seating comfort, even for the passenger. Honda drivers sit comfortably for hours on the 77 centimeter high bench, their narrow contour suits short-legged people. The handlebars are high, and Honda’s range of accessories is wide. It’s just a shame that a main stand is 156 euros extra
costs. There is that with the ABS of the 600
as a bonus, not with the 500.
What makes the debut of the approximately 6000 Euro expensive ABS variant unnecessarily difficult:
It could happen that the new class leader CBF 500 between the 1,800 euros cheaper Kawasaki and the equipment-adjusted only around 650 euros more expensive 600 series can not really develop in the end. It would be a shame.
A big compliment has to be given to all three all-rounders: These 500s shine with a really unbeatable-
ren price-performance ratio as well as low consumption, and all of this with maximum driving pleasure. A great deal not just for driving students.

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Comparison test of the 500 all-rounder

Comparison test of the 500 all-rounder
Class reunion

Technical data: Honda CBF 500

Water-cooled two-cylinder four-stroke in-line engine, one balance shaft, two overhead, chain-driven camshafts, four valves per cylinder, bucket tappets, wet sump lubrication, constant pressure carburetor, Ø 33 mm, uncontrolled catalytic converter with secondary air system, alternator 310 W, battery 12V / 9 Ah, mechanically operated multi-disks – Oil bath clutch, six-speed gearbox, O-ring chain.
Bore x stroke 73.0 x 59.6 mm
Cubic capacity 499 cm3
Compression ratio 10.5: 1
Rated output 42 kW (57 hp) at 9500 rpm
Max. Torque 45 Nm at 8000 rpm
Pollutant values ​​(homologation) in g / km
CO 1.664 / HC 0.746 / NOx 0.126

landing gear
Backbone frame made of steel, load-bearing motor, telescopic fork, Ø 41 mm, two-arm swing arm made of steel, central spring strut, di-
Right-hand hinged, adjustable spring base, front disc brake, Ø 296 mm, double-piston floating caliper (ABS version: three-piston floating caliper), rear disc brake, Ø 240 mm, single-piston floating caliper.
Cast aluminum wheels 3.50 x 17; 5.00 x 17
Tires 120/70 ZR 17; 160/60 ZR 17
Tires in the Michelin Pilot Road C test

mass and weight
Wheelbase 1480 mm, steering head angle 64 degrees, caster 110 mm, spring travel f / h 120/125 mm, seat height * 770 mm, weight with a full tank * 211 kg, load * 178 kg, tank capacity / reserve 19/3 liters.

Two year guarantee
Service intervals every 6000 km
Colors blue, black, silver
Price 5390 euros
Price test motorcycle ** 5990 euros
Additional costs around 150 euros

Technical data: Kawasaki ER-5

Water-cooled two-cylinder four-stroke in-line engine, a balance shaft, two overhead, chain-driven camshafts, four valves per cylinder, fork rocker arms, wet sump lubrication, constant pressure carburetor, Ø 34 mm, uncontrolled catalytic converter with secondary air system, 238 W alternator, 12 V / 10 Ah battery, mechanically operated Multi-disc oil bath clutch, six-speed gearbox, O-ring chain.
Bore x stroke 74.0 x 58.0 mm
Cubic capacity 499 cm3
Compression ratio 9.8: 1
Rated output 36 kW (49 hp) at 8700 rpm
Max. Torque 43 Nm at 7200 rpm
Pollutant values ​​(homologation) in g / km
CO 3.442 / HC 0.344 / NOx 0.100

landing gear
Double loop frame made of steel, screwed right beam, telescopic fork, Ø 37 mm, two-arm swing arm made of steel, two spring struts, adjustable spring base, front disc brake, Ø 280 mm, double-piston floating caliper, rear drum brake, Ø 160 mm.
Cast aluminum wheels 3.00 x 17; 3.50 x 17
110/70 H 17 tires; 130/70 H 17
Dunlop GT 501 G tires tested
mass and weight
Wheelbase 1430 mm, steering head angle 63 degrees, caster 102 mm, spring travel f / r 125/114 mm, seat height * 815 mm, weight with a full tank * 197 kg, load * 183 kg, tank capacity / reserve 17/4 liters.

Two year guarantee
Service intervals every 6000 km
Colors blue, black, gold
Power variant 25 kW (34 PS)
Price 4195 euros
Additional costs 105 euros

Technical data: Suzuki GS 500 F

Air-cooled two-cylinder four-stroke in-line engine, one balance shaft, two overhead, chain-driven camshafts, two valves per cylinder, bucket tappets, wet sump lubrication, constant pressure carburetor, Ø 34 mm, uncontrolled catalytic converter with secondary air system, alternator 200 W, battery 12 V / 8 Ah, mechanically operated Multi-disc oil bath clutch, six-speed gearbox, O-ring chain.
Bore x stroke 74.0 x 56.6 mm
Displacement 487 cm3
Compression ratio 9.0: 1
Rated output1 25 kW (34 hp) at 8500 rpm
[33 kW (45 PS) at 9000 rpm]
Max. Torque1 33 Nm at 4600 rpm
[40 Nm at 7400 rpm]
Pollutant values ​​(homologation) in g / km
CO 1.310 / HC 0.360 / NOx 0.102
landing gear
Double loop frame made of steel, telescopic fork, Ø 37 mm, two-arm swing arm made of steel, central spring strut with lever system, adjustable spring base, front disc brake, Ø 320 mm, double-piston floating caliper, rear disc brake, Ø 250 mm, two-piston fixed caliper.
Cast aluminum wheels 3.00 x 17; 3.50 x 17
110/70 H 17 tires; 130/70 H 17
Bridgestone BT 45 G tires tested

mass and weight
Wheelbase 1405 mm, steering head angle 65 degrees, caster 97 mm, spring travel f / r 120/115 mm, seat height * 775 mm, weight with a full tank * 199 kg, load * 181 kg, tank capacity 20 liters.

Two year guarantee
Service intervals every 6000 km
Colors black, blue / white, yellow
Price 4780 euros
Cost of dethrottling
Parts and working time around 154 euros
Additional costs 115 euros

1st place – Honda CBF 500

HONDA CBF 500 It turns the class with ABS-
meet a class reunion. The signal is clear ?? High-tech is also feasible and affordable for mid-range motorcycles.

2nd place – Kawasaki ER-5

KAWASAKI ER-5 For the joy of saving: The super handy and very affordable ER-5 shines in the jungle of curves. Although its good-natured chassis is a little gautscht, the engine and equipment are convincing.

3rd place – Suzuki GS 500 F

SUZUKI GS 500 F It looks fast, it is nimble, and without paneling on request. The driving pleasure is right, although the tough engine, the slack fork and the loveless workmanship disturb.

Performance chart

On top of that, the Honda achieves the highest peak performance, measured
50 hp. However, it still owes seven horsepower. The torque drop between 4500 rpm and 6500 rpm is while driving
Subjectively not very annoying, if in doubt, downshifting helps over it.
The Kawa engine has the fullest and most even power curve.
The performance of the Suzuki is much more restrained. New carburetors do not turn the 27-year-old basic design into a burner.

Scoring: drive

A head-to-head race
The water-cooled four-valve engines from Honda (photo) and
Kawasaki. The longer geared ER-5 pulls through better, the CBF accelerates faster. It’s just a shame that it’s bad
adjustable Kawa clutch approaching or turning is a bit rough. In the engine ranking, the aged two-valve Suzuki twin falls significantly behind. When it comes to performance, he lags
Competition behind, the unwilling cold start behavior is annoying.

Scoring: chassis

Modern times: the CBF chassis is stiff and has precise steering
Central strut works on short,
hard bumps bad. The ER-5 is very easy to handle, but its chassis twists noticeably. The Suzuki falls behind because of its fork springs that are far too soft.

Scoring: Security

Simply brake better and safer:
The Honda anti-lock braking system outclasses the competition. The ABS-
Variant has a three-piston instead of a double-piston stopper at the front. This goes hand in hand with the highest braking stability of the most modern chassis in this class. In addition, the CBF has the best light. However, with its wide tires, it positions itself more strongly than the ER-5 and GS 500 F when braking in curves. Flawless
is the lean angle of the Suzuki, in need of improvement in effect and
Controllability of the brakes of the Kawasaki.

Scoring: everyday life

The Kawa is hard to beat in everyday life. Its good features include a fuel gauge, fully adjustable hand levers and a main stand. It is also better in terms of payload and ease of maintenance
than the competition. The Honda can only have one side stand,
There is also no adjustment option for the clutch lever. For that drives
they like the Suzuki full marks for the range.

Scoring: comfort

It crouches up casually or better in the Honda. The two-part seating by CBF makes the most comfortable offer for a pillion passenger. The full fairing of the GS 500 F offers acceptable wind protection
Blemishes: All three two-cylinder let in the second half of the
The speed spectrum of the tank, rubber grips and footrests vibrate significantly.

Scoring: costs / environment

There is no more motorcycle for the money: dream grade 40 in the price-
The handy ER-5 achieves a performance ratio. Congratulations. The old Suzuki engine sets accents with the lowest fuel consumption and the best emissions. Who would have thought that? On the other hand, the GS 500 F, built in Spain, is really cheap in terms of workmanship, with loveless details and defects in the finish. The CBF manufactured by Honda Italia can be more valuable, what not
is only due to the exclusive stainless steel silencer (photo).

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