2024 New Honda CB500 Hornet Review: A Lightweight Motorcycle For Riding

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New Honda CB500 Hornet Review

New 2024 Honda CB500 Hornert and while it is largely the same as the previous Gen CB500, there are some really nice little tweaks for the new model year.

So is this the little middleweight A2 naked bike that you should be buying in 2024, we’ll go through all of the details to find out.

Hornet Engine

Let’s start with the engine, it’s a little 471 cc Parallel Twin. They use this engine in pretty much all of their 500 bikes, like the NX500 naked and the CL 500 Scrambler, and they’ve been using it for years now, so it really is a proven performer and super reliable.

Generally, I would say a 180-degrees crank in a Parallel Twin isn’t normally my cup of tea.

Just because of the way it sounds and feels, it’s not quite as exciting as something that feels a bit more V20.

And even though it’s only 47 horsepower and I think 43 newton meters of peak torque.

It just really enjoys reving up. It likes being between that range of 6,000 to 8,000 RPM, and it feels quite peppy and sporty.

So yeah, very impressed with it. Nice Gearbox, slip assist clutch, so nice and light. Then you got the practical side as well.

It absolutely sips fuel, and they’ve been really quite generous with this fuel tank. It’s 17.1 liters, which is quite a lot for a smallish capacity naked bike.

And so, of course, with those two things combined, you’ve got really quite impressive range figures.

Hornet Handling

The other thing that makes this bike quite a lot of fun to ride out on the road as well is the handling.

You’ve got that peppy engine singing along, but also it’s a nice, light little bike. It’s under 190 kilograms curb.

And then you’ve also got really quite decent componentry in terms of the chassis hardware.

So a shower upside down fork. There’s a pair of four piston, radially mounted Nissan calipers on the brakes there.

And also these Michelin road 6 tires, which are great all rounders and perfectly suited to this riding.

And so, yeah, with something that’s physically quite small, it’s not particularly heavy, and then you’ve got the good level of componentry, there are no big surprises.

It goes nicely around corners. It stops really well. I like the feel on the lever of the brakes as well, and it just feels easy and nimble and flickable and really good fun to ride on little country roads like these.


As for the ergonomics, well, it is a pretty standard naked riding position, and it feels really comfortable and versatile.

But I should point out the seat height is really quite low at 785 millimeters. Now, I think for newer riders and anyone who is a bit shorter in the leg, it probably is actually a really positive thing.

But just if you’re on that slightly taller end of the spectrum, getting on for six foot, I think it’s something be checking out.

And if you are keen on this bike, but maybe you’ve sat on it and you do find it a bit small, then definitely check out the NX500, which is the adventure bike equivalent of this, but sits way up at 830 mill, which is a really substantial difference.

New Hornet Features

Now, let’s jump into some of those things that are new for 2024, and I think the most noticeable one, certainly when you’re sat on the bike anyway, is this TFT display.

It’s five inches, full color, and I’d say a huge step up from the LCD dash on the previous gen of these bikes.

Now, look, I don’t think I’m the first person to say that Honda aren’t necessarily the most flamboyant with their designs sometimes.

And the way that this dash is laid out is pretty true to form. It’s very practical, precise, clean-looking, if a little lacking in drama.

Now, to match this new dash, you’ve also got new switch gears, so you’ve got a little bit of a directional pad there so you can navigate some of the new menus and stuff.

And you also get some phone connectivity and features like navigation through the dash.

What I really do like there on a bike at this price point is to see backlit buttons on the switch gear, which can be a massive help if you do ride at night, if you’re commuting year-round, for example.

And when it’s really cold, quite often you’ll have winter gloves on that are quite thick, and so occasionally you do need a little bit of a glance down to hit the right switch.

Updated Styling

Now, on top of that slightly updated tech packag. It actually looks quite a bit more like the CB 750 Hornet now, which I think for most people is a good thing to get a bike at a lower price point that has a shade of the slightly more premium alternative in the lineup.

In fact, I might even go so far as to say that they’ve done a slightly better job with this bike because it has a bit more of a distinctive face to it.

I do think Honda played it slightly too safe with the headlight on the Hornet. It doesn’t look quite as aggressive or interesting as it could have done.

Whereas this, well, it’s like a new recognizable thing. They’ve used the same stacked headlight on the NX 500, and I think it just brings it up to date, makes it look a bit more modern, and also helps it stand out from the a bit, which I think is something it really did need.

Look, effectively, what you’ve got here is more of the same with the CB 500, but I think that tech update and also the new styling makes it quite a bit more desirable.

The starting price now is 6,199 pounds, which I think is pretty reasonable when you look at the level of componentry and spec that you’re getting across the bike.

And also one of the things that helps it stand out against some of the competition, like the KTM 390 Duke, or maybe even some of the smaller bikes like the BMW G3 10 is the fact that you get this parallel twin, which is going to feel that bit more smooth and happy to rev.

And I think it just feels a bit more sporty. But if you keep the engine spinning and also combine with that really lively and easy handling, you can get a surprising amount of fun out of it.

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