The Honda CB500 four, introduced early in the 1970s, was similarly styled to the CB750, but smaller and lighter, with an output of 48 bhp and a manufacturer’s specified top speed of 102 mph. Like the earlier CB750 it sported a single front hydraulic disc brake, rear drum brake, electric starter, and sohc 8-valve engine. The 4-into-4 exhaust pipes echoed those of the CB750. It was deemed a better handling bike than the larger model, although it was still no featherweight at 201 kg (440 lb) (dry).
Unlike the earlier dry sump Honda CB750, the smaller bike has a wet sump engine. Also, the primary drives were different, the CB750 having a duplex chain, while the CB500 had a “Hy-Vo” Morse chain. The CB500 formed the design basis for the Benelli Sei, a 750cc six-cylinder motorcycle.
Several CB500 machines were entered in the Production TT races on the Isle of Man in the early 1970s. Bill Smith won the 1973 500cc TT Production race (4 laps) riding one, beaten by only 8.2 seconds by second place Stan Woods mounted on a Suzuki T500 two-stroke twin.
Captured with Canon 40D
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Processed with Photoshop