Best Bang For The Buck
Bridging The Gap With Confidence We sometimes forget that not everyone is into motorcycling for an adrenaline-pumping thrill ride. For some, transportation is the main goal. Others are just happy to be outside. We get it. And so does Honda. The evidence is right here: the new world-spec CB500s. In truth, all three models we get here—the CBR500R sportbike, the CB500X adventure-styled machine, and the CB500F naked—are good values in totally middle-ground motorcycles, offering a lot of confidence and competence for around $6,000.
But it's the CB500F we're most fond of, in part because it's the cheapest version of these mechanically identical (or nearly so) machines. Just $5,499 gets you in the sport with a sprightly, economical, unusually smooth parallel-twin powerplant housed in a steel-member frame that looks like nothing special on the spec chart.
With mellow power, roomy ergonomics, and suspension calibrated toward the pillowy end of the scale, the CB-F aims for and solidly hits the broadest part of the new/returning-rider market. Well-built, charming, and inoffensive, the CB500F is in many ways the prototypical Honda—offering a safe, intelligent choice for those new to our sport, or even those coming back after a few years away.
Triumph Street Triple R
What’s this? The high-spec Street Triple R lands in the Bang for the Buck category? Triumph’s uprated Street is so much better than the base model, for so little extra dough ($9,999, just $600 more) that we have to call this money well spent. Upgraded and adjustable suspension and much better brakes improve an already-agile, fast, and enjoyable machine.