HONDA CB 450 S and CBF 500 ABS

HONDA CB 450 S and CBF 500 ABS

Progress is bread and games

It is like the Roman times
Empire, the people demand bread and games. A wish that the world’s largest motorcycle manufacturer has always been happy to fulfill. So the CBF 500 competes to
the middle class as the cheapest ABS machine
to revolutionize.

Driving fun, yes, but affordable and safe, please.
The five hundred is practically completely new ?? Brakes, suspension elements, wheels, frames and instruments on it are freshly reformed. Its heart, however, comes from the shelf, the water-cooled parallel twin from the CB 500 from 1993. Shiny silver and as usual with four valves per cylinder, two overhead camshafts and fixed-speed bucket tappets. After all, the ignition system is new-
so popular pollutant reduction by
U-Kat and secondary air system.
The pattern of this motor recycling is a well-tried one. Already with the C.B 450 S from 1986 was the title of the
first driving report in MOTORRAD »New shell, old core«. The parallel twin was already old 18 years ago. Drilled out, it took over the legacy of the CB 400 N, the top seller presented in 1978.
The two-cylinder, with 400 and 450 cm3, was air-cooled, reliable and refined. It had an overhead camshaft, rocker arms and three valves per
Cylinder. And then came behind bars in 1986. Namely, in a new “sports chassis”, where the twin took on a supporting function. Like a bright red shop window
The trapezoidal tubular space frame frames the matt black cylinder block. The lower frame strut is screwed on to the right so that the engine block can be easily removed for repair work.
Seldom necessary, it would not be a problem with the CBF 500 either. Your central tubular frame, based on the Hornet 600, also has no joists. Almost ashamed of itself, the rectangular steel profile is hidden under the 19 liter tank. At the front, the engine hangs on booms, two round tubes welded to the main frame form the rear frame.
And how does it taste now, the old wine in new bottles? Surprisingly good, even on the 450. 18 years ago there was still a main stand and a fuel tap, so you could use the choke on the handlebars with great sensitivity. At the first push of a button, the old lady starts teasing, it’s just a Honda. On the other hand, the new 500 has to be clumsily fiddled with the carburetor on the left. Little-
At least it runs smoothly in the morning without a choke.
Both engines develop their power evenly across the rev range. 44 HP is said to have mobilized the 450, in this case the dignity of old age protects against re-measuring. Not so with the CBF, of 57 horses registered at the start, »only« 50 trotted in the comparative test in MOTORRAD 15/2004. Nevertheless, the 500 is already clearly more powerful in the lower rev range. Not only does it have 52 cm3 more displacement, it also has a full nine millimeters more stroke with a two millimeter smaller bore.
Both engines are softly connected to the accelerator, completely without disturbing load changes, and only vibrate in the second half of the speed
noticeable. Yes, despite the balancer shaft, the CBF-Twin too. The air-cooled 450 engine takes longer to reach operating temperature. But not a drop of fuel left on country roads. Moderate four liters per hundred kilometers. Shows progress
only when turning out ?? the dull sounding four-valve engine is much easier.
A lot has changed ergonomically, the 500 integrates the driver better
Done, he sits more upright and more relaxed. In the past, you sat more on the motorcycle, far removed from the front wheel, and didn’t really become one with the bike. It tweaks and tweaks after just a few minutes, the sitting position on the 450. It never really fits: the thigh support is small, the bench is too soft.
The 450 demands and encourages you
fluent driving style, because she gets restless when making course corrections. The straight-line stability up to top speed is absolutely okay, the 450 can be moved surprisingly quickly on even asphalt. It has almost better facilities for winding curves: At 188 kilograms, it is a full 23 kilograms lighter, its spindly tires, 100 millimeters at the front and 110 millimeters at the rear, are easy to handle and need less lean angle for the same cornering speed. In addition, the wheelbase and caster are a little shorter.
But the wide handlebars of the CBF and their slightly steeper steering head conceal the handling disadvantages of the 120 and 160 millimeter thick rubbers quite well. And in terms of adhesion, their radial tires come from,
Michelin Pilot Road, from another age. The CBF is more stable, much more stable.
The 450 rolls on hardened, structurally outdated cross-ply tires Metzeler ME 33 and ME 99 A. Would be interesting,
how does the 80s construction with modern Bridgestone BT 45 perform? the test winners in the youngtimer tire test from MOTORRAD 14/2004. And with contemporary spring elements. Because in the current state, the 450er rocks even with moderate bumps. The shock absorbers with progressively wound springs dampen compression too little and rebound too much. In contrast, the fork with spaghetti-thin standpipes rocks happily after every impulse. Bike control on bad terrain becomes a matter of luck.
Despite having a moderate effect, the front double pane brings with its double-
piston floating calipers quickly block the soft fork. The hand lever can be pulled up to the rubber grip.
Well, the brakes had a bit more bite when they were new.
An ABS could not even be dreamed of 20 years ago. Thanks to the CBF 500, it is now in the Volks class
Reality. One brake disc at the front and one at the rear, that’s enough. In the ABS version, three brake pistons grip at the front, without just two. The ABS costs 600 euros extra and is worth every penny of it. Almost like cheese on bread. This makes playing more fun in the long run.

Technical data: Honda CB 450 S

M engine: air-cooled two-cylinder four-stroke in-line engine, one overhead chain-
driven camshaft, three valves per
Cylinder, rocker arm, wet sump lubrication, constant pressure carburetor, Ø 31 mm, mechanically operated multi-disc oil bath clutch, six-speed gearbox, O-ring chain. Bore x stroke 75.0 x 50.6 mm, displacement 447 cm3, compression ratio 9.3: 1, rated power 32 kW (44 PS) at 9000 rpm, max. Torque 38 Nm at 7000 rpm. M chassis: tubular steel frame, telescopic fork, Ø 35 mm, double disc brake at the front, Ø 231 mm, drum brake at the rear, Ø 140 mm. Tires 100/90 S 18; 110/90 S 18.
M Dimensions and weights: wheelbase 1405 mm, weight with a full tank * 188 kg, tank capacity
18 liters. Price (1986) 5888 marks

Technical data: Honda CBF 500

M engine: water-cooled two-cylinder four-stroke in-line engine, two overhead, chain-driven camshafts, four valves per cylinder, bucket tappets, a balance shaft, wet sump lubrication, constant pressure carburetor, Ø 33 mm, U-Kat with secondary air system, mechanically operated multi-plate oil bath clutch, six-speed gearbox, O Ring chain. Bore x stroke 73.0 x 59.6 mm, displacement 499 cm3, compression ratio 10.5: 1, rated power 42 kW (57 PS) at 9500 rpm, max. Torque 45 Nm at 8000 rpm. M chassis: central tubular steel frame, telescopic fork, Ø 41 mm, disc brake f / r,
Ø 296/240 mm, tires 120/70 ZR 17; 160/60 ZR 17. M Dimensions and weights: wheelbase 1480 mm, weight with a full tank * 211 kg, tank capacity 19 liters. Price1 5990 euros.


You don’t need a five-course menu, bread and butter instead of caviar, this is a wholesome recipe for both middle-class Hondas, each in its own time. And the CB 450 S was already good for entertaining games in 1986. Compliment. But the current CBF 500 can
almost everything better than 18 years ago: engine, chassis, ergonomics. Especially the ABS brakes. All of this costs roughly the same price in euros today as it did in marks. Now there is still no progress in fuel consumption, because unfortunately it has not decreased.

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