The Honda CB500 four, introduced early in 1971, was similarly styled to the famous CB750, but smaller and lighter, with an output of 48bhp and a manufacturer's specified top speed of 102 mph.
Like the earlier CB750K, the model had single front hydraulic disc brake, rear drum brake, electric starter, and single overhead camshaft (SOHC) 8 valve engine. The 4 into 4 exhaust pipes made it easy to identify. However the mufflers are not as durable as rest of the bike; you will hardly ever see original pipes on them. It was thought to be a better handling bike than the larger model, although it weighed in at 420lb (dry), only 60lb lighter than standard CB750K models.
A number were raced in the Production TT races on the Isle of Man in the early 1970's. Bill Smith won the 1973 500cc TT Production race (4 laps) riding one, by only 8.2 seconds from second place Stan Woods mounted on a Suzuki T500 two stroke twin.
Unlike the earlier dry sump Honda CB750, the smaller bike has a wet sump engine. Also, the primary drives were different. The CB500 was the inspiration for the Benelli Sei, a 750cc six-cylinder motorcycle whose engine is clearly derived from this Honda.Three colors were available: Candy Jet Green, Candy Garnet Brown, and Star Light Gold. The fuel tank panel was black.
This one, pictured is Candy jet green, the last year of CB500Fs that one of us acquired.
It was produced until 1973 with minor revisions each year, but finally replaced by CB550F in 1974.