The Best 500cc Motorcycles for Riders of All Levels

The Best 500cc Motorcycles for Riders of All Levels

What are the qualities of the best 500cc motorcycles?

Whether you are looking to buy your first motorbike or you just want to upgrade your bike to something bigger, a 500cc bike might be the perfect option for you. Motorbikes that come with 500cc engines are considered an intermediate class. Bikes with such engine displacements provide a considerable amount of power for both professionals and new riders. 

500cc motorcycles have been giving riders the best thrills for many years now, providing them with mileage, motors, and everything a biker requests. In addition to providing a great amount of power, these bikes are lightweight and very easy to move. From these expert picks of best 500cc motorcycle, you can choose a bike that’ll help you handle different terrains and enjoy a nice ride. 

Top Pick

The Harley Davidson Street 500 ABS is our top pick because it comes with many great features and stylish as well. Its 500cc engine is very powerful and strong, and the lightweight and compact design of the bike makes it easy to control and maneuver. 

Here Are the Best 500cc Motorcycles

1. Harley Davidson Street 500 ABS

2020 Harley Davidson Street 500

The Harley Davidson Street 500 ABS is a classic cruiser and it is one of the most powerful 500cc motorbikes. This bike is from the king of street motorcycles – Harley Davidson – and it has a lot to offer. This machine comes with a liquid-cooled, Revolution X V-twin, 494cc engine. The engine is pretty powerful and it delivers great speed. 

It gives a progressive throttle and smooth responses. This bike has a low center of gravity that gives superior dynamics and handling. The seat is low and very comfortable. It provides a comfortable riding position while keeping your center of gravity low. The low seat also makes it much easier to maintain balance while accelerating. 

The bike features a sleek black that gives it a unique and luxurious finish. The front and rear wheels are made of black, 7-spoke cast aluminum. Another fascinating feature of this machine is its state-of-the-art ABS. The height of the seat is 28.3 inches while the overall weight is 491 pounds. It has a fuel storage capacity of 3.5 gallons while the oil capacity is 0.8 gallons. 

Specs

  • Engine: liquid-cooled, Revolution X V-twin, 494cc engine
  • Seat Height: 28.3 Inches
  • Fuel Capacity: 3.5 gallons
  • Transmission: 6-speed
  • Weight: 491 Pounds

Pros

  • Sophisticated, factory-installed ABS
  • High-performance engine
  • Delivers smooth responses and progressive throttle
  • Low seat height for more comfort

Cons

  • Lacks a windscreen

2. Honda Rebel 500

honda rebel 500

Next on the line is the Honda Rebel 500 and it is one of the best on the market today. Honda is one of the top brands that you can trust when looking for a highly reliable motorbike. This brand makes powerful engines and bikes that are aesthetically appealing. 

The Honda Rebel 500 is powered by a 471cc, parallel-twin, four-stroke, liquid-cooled engine. The valve train is DOHC: four valves per cylinder and it features fully-transistorized ignition. It features a 6-speed transmission with an O-ring-sealed chain. The design and powerful engine of this bike makes it well suited for cruising around town. 

It comes with a new fuel-injection mechanism to monitor the engine performance variables to input the right amount of fuel and air. The bike delivers a smoother and more comfortable ride, thanks to its low frame and chassis. 

The unique crankshaft design of this machine helps to reduce engine vibration for smoother rides. Switching gears is also very easy with this machine, thanks to its new slipper clutch. The height of the seat is 27.2 inches, which is low enough for different types of riders. The fuel storage capacity of this bike is 2.96 gallons while the curb weight is 408 pounds. This 500cc bike is great for beginners, as it is very easy to handle and maneuver. 

Specs

  • Engine: 471cc, parallel-twin, four-stroke, liquid-cooled engine
  • Seat Height: 27.2 Inches
  • Fuel Capacity: 2.96 gallons
  • Transmission: 6-speed
  • Weight: 408 Pounds

Pros

  • Ideal for both beginners and experienced riders
  • Very low seat
  • Meets current EPA standards
  • Available in different colors

Cons

  • Low fuel storage capacity 

3. Honda CBR500R ABS

Honda CBR500R ABS

If you are looking for a powerful yet budget-friendly 500cc motorbike, you should consider the Honda CBR500R ABS. This motorbike comes with a pocket-friendly price tag and it delivers exceptional performance. This model from Honda is more powerful than the Rebel 500. This machine is powered by a liquid-cooled, parallel-twin, DOHC, four valves per cylinder, 471cc engine. 

The engine of this motorbike delivers great power and it features a six-speed automatic transmission. This unit comes with the latest slipper clutch design of Honda that makes it very easy to change gear. It also comes with Honda’s latest fuel injector system that monitors the performance of the engine. 

With this unit, you will enjoy reduced engine heat and noise, thanks to its dual exit exhaust system. The exhaust system also helps to improve exhaust flow. Crank pins are positioned 180 degrees close to the engine to reduce vibration. This also helps to keep the engine compact and small. 

The machine also boasts of improved aeration and reduced friction, thanks to its redesigned internal oil pump. It comes with a straight profile air-cleaner that maximizes exhaust efficiency. The front brake system consists of a twin-piston caliper with a single 320mm disc, ABS while the rear brake consists of a single-caliper 240mm disc, ABS. The seat height is 30.9 inches while the curb weight is 423 pounds. The fuel storage capacity of this unit is large, at 4.5 gallons. 

Specs

  • Engine: liquid-cooled, parallel-twin, DOHC, four valves per cylinder,
  • 471cc engine
  • Seat Height: 30.9 Inches
  • Fuel Capacity: 4.5 gallons
  • Transmission: 6-speed
  • Weight: 423 Pounds

Pros

  • Generous fuel storage capacity
  • Advanced features and mechanisms
  • Designed to provide you with comfortable and smooth rides
  • Powerful and easy-to-maintain engine

Cons

  • The seat is a bit small

4. Honda CB500X

Honda CB500X

We have another great model from Honda on our list – the Honda CB500X. This is another fascinating machine that boasts of a powerful 500cc engine. This machine comes with a 471cc, liquid-cooled, parallel-twin, DOHC, four valves per cylinder engine. The Honda CB500X is a great option for riders that are not into cruisers. This bike is great for touring and going off the pavement. It delivers great performance on different terrains. 

This machine is similar to the Rebel 500 in terms of engine power, but it comes with a long-travel suspension, low curb weight, and more upright riding position. It is designed to provide you with maximum comfort regardless of how fast and far you ride. 

This bike comes with a computer-controlled digital transistorized ignition with electronic advance. The transmission is six-speed while the final drive is #520 O-ring-sealed chain. It comes with advanced and improved suspension and brake systems to keep you safe when enjoying a comfortable and smooth ride. 

The wheelbase measures 56.8 inches while the overall seat height is 32.8 inches, which is a bit high. This unit comes with a very large fuel capacity, as it can contain up to 4.7 gallons of fuel. This means you will not need to make frequent stops at the gas station while riding long distances. The curb weight of this bike is 434 pounds and it comes with a transferable, unlimited-mileage limited warranty (one year). This motorbike meets current EPA standards as well. 

Specs

  • Engine: 471cc, liquid-cooled, parallel-twin, DOHC, four valves per cylinder engine
  • Seat Height: 32.8 Inches
  • Fuel Capacity: 4.7 gallons
  • Transmission: 6-speed
  • Weight: 434 Pounds

Pros

  • Safe and environmentally-friendly
  • Large fuel storage capacity
  • Provides smooth and comfortable rides
  • Ideal for different terrains

Cons

  • The seat is a bit high
  • Available in only one color

5. Royal Enfield Bullet Trials 500

Royal Enfield Bullet Trials 500

Next up is the Royal Enfield Bullet Trials 500 and it is a great 500cc motorcycle for the money. This is a dual-sport, adventure motorcycle that offers a lot of power. The bike comes with classic styling and some off-road proficiency. This version is an upgraded version in the bullet series with some improvements and updates. 

Some of the improvements include crossbar reinforcement, raised handlebars, dual-sport tires, mudguards, and upswept exhaust. It comes with a single-cylinder, air-cooled, 4-stroke, and spark ignition engine with a displacement of 499cc. The maximum power output of the engine is 27.2 bhp at 5,250 RPM while the maximum torque is 41.3 Nm at 4,000 RPM. 

It features a 5-speed constant mesh transmission. The front brake consists of a 280mm disc with a two-piston caliper while the rear consists of a 240mm disc with a single-piston and floating caliper. Both the front and rear tires have ABS. 

The overall height of the bike is 44.2 inches while the height of the seat is 31.5 inches. It can contain fuel up to 3.6 gallons. At 90 percent fuel and oil, the curb weight of this machine is 423 pounds.

Specs

  • Engine: single-cylinder, air-cooled, 4-stroke, spark ignition, 499cc engine
  • Seat Height: 31.5 Inches
  • Fuel Capacity: 3.6 gallons
  • Transmission: 5-speed
  • Weight: 423 Pounds

Pros

  • Simple and compact design
  • Impressive fuel-efficiency
  • Very easy to maintain
  • Ideal for all levels of riders

Cons

  • Not designed for rough terrain

6. Yamaha SR400

Yamaha SR400

The last on our list is the Yamaha SR400. This machine does not come with a 500cc engine but it offers something close and very powerful. This motorbike delivers great performance and it comes with more advanced technology. The bike features a very simple and compact design and you can use it on a variety of terrains. It comes with two seats, which means you and a friend or loved one can enjoy a ride on this bike together. 

This machine comes with a 400cc, air-cooled, 4-stroke, SOHC; 2 valve engine. It comes with a transistor controlled ignition with a 5-speed transmission, multi-plate wet clutch. The final drive is an O-ring-sealed chain. This motorbike weighs only 384 pounds and it has a slim chassis. 

The seat of this bike is 30.9 inches high and it offers a natural riding position. The features and design of this machine make it well suited for both experienced and new riders. This unit also comes with an easy-to-use kick starter. 

For economical running, this machine comes with a 3.2-gallon fuel tank that delivers an excellent touring range with an estimate of 66 miles per gallon. It features a classically-styled one-piece seat that provides more than enough room for the rider and passenger. 

Specs

  • Engine: 400cc, air-cooled, 4-stroke, SOHC; 2 valves engine
  • Seat Height: 30.9 Inches
  • Fuel Capacity: 3.2 gallons
  • Transmission: 5-speed
  • Weight: 384 Pounds

Pros

  • It comes with advanced features and technology
  • Light and compact design
  • Authentic kick starter
  • Simple and robust engine

Cons

  • Lacks ABS
2020 Harley Davidson Street 500 b

How to Pick the Best 500cc Motorcycle

Your Intended Use

The first step towards figuring out the kind of bike you want is to figure out your needs. You need to consider what you want to use the bike for. Your intended use for the bike will help determine the best option to go for. Do you want to use the bike for rural riding or city riding? Will it serve as a commuting bike or you want to tour with it? You need to define your intended use, as this will help you pick the right bike for your needs. 

Handlebar Height

You should go for a bike with lower handlebars, as they are much easier to grip and maneuver. If you are a beginner, this feature is not negotiable, as you will find it hard to use the bike if the handlebars are high. Your hands should not be positioned over your neck and your elbows should be bent a bit. 

Seat Height

When it comes to bike seats, the lower the better. Lower seats allow for more comfortable and smooth rides. They also make it easy to reach the handlebars, giving you more control over the bike. You should also make sure the seat promotes good posture while riding. 

Conclusion

There you have it. Those are 6 of the best 500cc motorcycles on the market today. There are many bikes on the market, and picking the right one for your needs can sometimes be tough. We hope our top recommendations and buyer’s guide will help make your decision-making process seamless. 

From the motorbikes on this guide, our top recommendation is the Harley Davidson Street 500 ABS because it is stylish, powerful, functional, and very easy to ride. 

Avatar for Joshua D. Mattie

    Joshua D. Mattie

    My motorbike addiction began with 50cc at 5 years old. I rode motocross as a teenager & into my 20's when I worked as a mechanic. This helped me to see the light—sportbikes & cruisers became a passion. Now I'm building BikersRights to be the #1 resource for everything on 2 wheels!

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