Honda's Little Fire Engine Four!
Updated: Apr 3
'Popular Cycling', a North American motorcycle magazine, was one of the first to test the 'new' Honda 500 Four in 1971. And they liked it very much!
Below some excerpts from the article.
With the arrival of the 500, and the first ride, we soon found out the machine wasn't such a big beast after all. Which, as far as we're concerned, is an improvement over the 750 Four. The much lighter 500 is superbly balanced and because of this the rider receives the feeling the, whereas he might not be Mike Hailwood he can go hurdling through corners with wild abandon. This feature alone should swing many people who were interested in the 750 over to the 500.
In appearance the CB-500 looks like its bigger brother but for the shorter rider it's more comfortable. [...] It is much more fun on a back country winding road than the 750 and because it performs almost as well the big bike it would give the 750 a hard time under these conditions.
Once it's running you're in for a big shock. The 500 is the smoothest running bike we've ever seen. Absolutely NO vibration can be felt; if you could close off the exhaust noise you couldn't tell the bike was running. Riding it at freeway speeds is almost uncanny. The only sound you can hear is the wind whistling past your helmet as the miles fall under your turning wheels...it's a super bike.
The price is also super. [...] For about another $250 you can have the 750. Quite frankly we'd rather have the 500. However, the big question is: would you?
Popular Cycling, October 1971.