Most motorcycle problems are caused by the nut that connects the handlebars to the saddle.

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OorWullie
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Post by OorWullie on Mon 22 Apr 2019, 10:34 pm

Hi everyone, I have just passed my test 2 weeks ago and am looking for my first big bike. I need advice!

Local (ish!) to me is a Honda hornet 600. Its an 02 with 29000 miles, decent condition and 1 years mot. Farther away (5+ hrs ride) I have seen a cb500. Its a 1999 with 36000 miles, mot til January. Prices are close, 1200 for the hornet, 1295 for the cb500. Either way, I would have to trade in my Honda cb125f against it, so expect to pay between £100-200.

I am 37, so did DAS and now have a full A license. I am 6'2", and around 20st. I did CBT almost a year ago, spent time on the 125 then did the DAS. I have no motorbike experience prior to the last year though. I have friends who are riders, who tell me the Hornet is the bike for me, saying the cb will be too small, underpowered for my size and weight and I'll outgrow it too soon. I'm not convinced!

I have a car for the practicalities, so the bike is really just a toy. My riding will be mainly A and B roads, with hopefully the odd track day (at Knockhill probably) if time and money allows!

So, if you have made it down to here, what do you think? I guess most of the people who are saying cb500's are boring/underpowered/too small have probably never been on one, and coming from 11bhp, those 58 horses will seem quite lively! Or should I go for the hornet, based on the extra size and power output? And yes, I'm aware the members here are probably biased towards the cb500, but please be honest!

Thanks for reading, and for any advice you can give!
hh_12345
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Post by hh_12345 on Tue 23 Apr 2019, 10:17 am

Hello and welcome.

The cb 500 is small, underpowered and maybe boring indeed. Not as attractive as a 4 cylinder bike either.

But it is light,seems fast enough for public roads and riding it feels so easy and is a real pleasure.

Besides, how fast and how exciting a bike do you need? 

If you are getting I toy it might be better to get the bigger toy, of course, but why not get a cb ? Ride it for some time - it is a great starter bike - and if it does start to feel small and slow get the hornet later.

My only complaint with the cb 500 is that I don't find it is as  attractive as other bikes and that it is a bit old now.

But every time I ride it i forget about these.
OorWullie
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Post by OorWullie on Tue 23 Apr 2019, 1:32 pm

Thanks for the reply. I suppose the big question is, how relative is 'under powered'? Having never opened a big bike up, will 57hp really seem tame that quickly? I mean, I'm well aware that my car is not the fastest, but I can certainly get where I'm going reasonably fast, and it's around the same power! Yes overtaking is more difficult, but it's 6 times the weight with similar power.

Ultimately I suppose what I really want is reassurance that the cb500 won't get boring too soon! And also that 1295 for a 99 reg with 36000 miles is a decent price?!

Cheers.
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Post by hh_12345 on Tue 23 Apr 2019, 2:06 pm

The cb is not slow by any means. It is just that there are faster bikes.

But is hard to tell, I think it is a personal preference - one has to try and see just how much excessive power/speed/acceleration is satisfactory. 

I have not been tempted to get a faster bike - I find the cb to be fast enough, and changing bikes for some extra time in acceleration I find to be quite a hassle (and expensive). 

Take a look at these topics where hornets are discussed:

http://www.cb500club.net/t2567-why-do-you-prefer-the-cb5-to-the-hornet 
http://www.cb500club.net/t4818-goodbye-to-my-cb500


And a video by Schaaf  praising the cb500

https://youtu.be/j9T4NCY6J88
teamster1975
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Post by teamster1975 on Tue 23 Apr 2019, 2:40 pm

Welcome mate! Very Happy
I've never ridden the Hornet so I cannot comment on that, but I'm 6'2, about 16st (ish) and have loads of fun on the CB5. I've had it for 21 years now so that is saying something Smile
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Post by Oafski on Tue 23 Apr 2019, 4:44 pm

Another point to consider is that the Hornet will use more fuel and things like insurance and tyres are likely to cost more. If you consider that back in the day a good Manx Norton only pushed out 50bhp and they were capable of being pedalled round the Isle of Man on a 100mph lap, then 58bhp for an ordinary road bike is not too shabby.
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Post by davecb5002 on Wed 24 Apr 2019, 5:33 pm

Hi and welcome. I have a number of bikes but consider my CB500S to be the most versatile,the only exception is two up with luggage or long trips on boring motorways.I use my Honda 750 VFR for those
The CB500 is very nimble on bends and keeps up with most sports bikes and is easy to maintain without expensive dealers bills. Have you decided yet  Mad Mad
OorWullie
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Post by OorWullie on Wed 24 Apr 2019, 5:44 pm

Thanks for all the comments, I think the cb500 is the sensible option. Also, it seems they hold value well so I'm unlikely to lose money on it anyway! As I said before, I imagine after being used to a 10bhp 125 the cb will feel plenty powerful for a while too. And the savings on insurance can go towards my first track day! 😄
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Post by skyerae on Wed 24 Apr 2019, 7:33 pm

I bought the Honda CB500 after owning a Yamaha FZR 1000 RU and it was a big come down for me. But as time went on I fell in love with the CB, it is a basic no frills tool. It is the dependable tool that you always use to do the job in hand. It only let me down once and didn't start and that was a wiring issue (which was intermittent so took ages to trace) I then bought a Honda VFR800 Fi (alongside the CB) and that is a fine tool. The difference is that the CB is so easy to use and is such a joy to ride, while the VFR takes more concentration and muscle power to use (4.5 hours in one ride was the limit on the VFR) while I did 10 hours on the CB and that was the limit. I used the CB on A and B roads and pushed it to the limit but it was good, very, very good. The VFR is fun as well but is not too good on these roads. I have not had a Hornet but the CB was a gem, a real rough diamond. I killed mine in a freak accident (b****y helmet visor breaking off one side and pummeling my nose) and miss it so much. Broke three ribs which have healed and recovering from major shoulder surgery to sort out issues from the accident. The CB was a write off, but looking forward to using the VFR eventually when I get it passed the MOT once the shoulder has healed and regained it's former strength.
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Post by cushdrive on Fri 26 Apr 2019, 6:21 pm

I always fancied a Hornet, but the fuel consumption and tank range put me off.
I believe they hit reserve at 100-120 miles.  I can get 200-230 on my CB500 before reserve.
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Post by Jameshambleton on Fri 26 Apr 2019, 10:36 pm

I've got a hornet 900 and I usually get the reserve light coming on at 130miles, average 40mpg, eaten through a sports touring rrar tyre in less than 2000 miles. But equally I have gotten 50mpg out of mine once but I don't like to bimble about at 50mph.
 I'm not sure about the 600 but the 900 will have you off if you're inexperienced, it has a very heavy rake angle so likes to shake its head a lot but also it's front heavy because the engine is very far forward. 
Given the choice of a cb500 vs hornet 900 I'd take the cb500 everyday
OorWullie
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Post by OorWullie on Mon 29 Apr 2019, 11:57 pm

Well, that turned into a far longer day than expected!

Having changed my mind both ways many times I finally decided to go for the cb500. Problem was it was in Macclesfield and I live in Argyll, Scotland. Got hopelessly lost, turning a 5 hour trip into 8 hours, eventually got there, traded the bike and took a wrong turn on the way back too. 14hrs later I'm home, proud owner of a barely broken in cb500 (36000 miles, nothing for these I hear!). My knees hurt, my bum is numb, but I'm smiling anyway!

Next purchases will be a screen (any suggestions what to get?) and a phone holder so I can use Google maps while riding! Here's to many happy miles. Cheers!!
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Post by sullivj on Tue 30 Apr 2019, 6:23 am

Glad you got it and you're happy with it.

I have a spare givi screen that might be of interest. Send me your email by PM, and I'll send you some pictures.
OorWullie
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Post by OorWullie on Tue 30 Apr 2019, 4:12 pm

Excuse my ignorance, but how do you send a pm? Can't see how to do it!

Does the screen help with wind blast and a noise? It was around 250 miles on the motorway yesterday and it wasn't pleasant, and when I got to the fun roads it was dark so couldn't play around too much as there are too many suicidal roe deer around here! But at 70+mph it felt like the wind was trying to steal my helmet. Even at 60 the wind was far more noticeable than on the 125, which although very similar in seating position, it did have a small panel between the headlight and the clocks which must have been what helped I think?
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Post by wrighty on Tue 30 Apr 2019, 4:34 pm

Hi Wullie, if you tap on "sullivj" to left of his post, then "contact", then "private message" you will be able to type your message.
OorWullie
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Post by OorWullie on Tue 30 Apr 2019, 4:39 pm

Thanks. I don't see a 'contact' button when I click the user name though? I'm using my phone since I live out in the sticks with no WiFi, but don't think that should matter?
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Post by OorWullie on Tue 30 Apr 2019, 8:30 pm

Hello, and questions!  Img_2010[url=https://servimg.com/view/20064862/1]
OorWullie
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Post by OorWullie on Tue 30 Apr 2019, 8:33 pm

Thought I'd try uploading a picture of my new toy! Haven't got any of it out in the wild yet, so this one will do. And I'll add a wee plug for Macclesfield Motorcycles, they were great to deal with.
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Post by stormbringer on Fri 03 May 2019, 12:09 am

@OorWullie wrote:Does the screen help with wind blast and a noise? It was around 250 miles on the motorway yesterday and it wasn't pleasant...
But at 70+mph it felt like the wind was trying to steal my helmet.

Hello and welcome to the asylum Smile

I've found that getting it right with wind noise is an adjustment thing.
First off, helmets differ. Some are noisier than others.
Second, whatever clothing, scarves and similar stuff is near the helmet underside will affect noise a lot - sometimes to the better, sometimes not. Experiment.
Third, going anywhere further than to the shops you should consider using earplugs. Really. Sound level inside helmets easily rises to +90 dB, which is harmful to your ears.

At ~70 mph you should be leaning into the wind, letting it carry you. Actually quite comfortable, relieving your arms of the weight.
Add screen, take away the wind carrying you. Methinks.

Want to go faster? Here's my recipy: Add tankbag, hunker down. The CB will cruise at a tonne and think nothing of it - just hang on and let 'er rip. Done that on german autobahn at 2 to 5AM, emptying a couple of tanks in a row going from Hannover to Denmark. Using earplugs.
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Post by OorWullie on Fri 03 May 2019, 10:05 am

Thank you for the advice. I will definitely try ear plugs. I have ordered a puig screen since I saw it on ebay at a good price, and if I don't like it I can always put it back on eBay! I may well try a new helmet too.

Partly I also think it's just a case of getting used to riding, building up muscles that don't normally get those forces through them.

Do you have a tank bag you'd recommend? Thanks.
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Post by goulton on Fri 03 May 2019, 2:38 pm

When my son was using the CB for commuting he had a large screen, this was clamped on to the handlebars.  When I took over the bike I did not like this as it affected the handling, particularly in a wind that was anything other than a gentle breeze.

I removed this screen but then found that I have having trouble hanging on at 70mph - at my age it is too uncomfortable leaning forward to any extent so my body and head was subject to the full force of the wind.

I then fitted a small screen that fixed on to the two headlamp mounting bolts.  This extends 300mm above the headlight and leans back about 30 degrees from the vertical.  I find this keeps the wind off my body and part of my head so that 70 mph is no longer a strain.  The screen has the added advantage that it keeps the worst of the rain off the tank bag when you are moving.
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Post by OorWullie on Fri 03 May 2019, 3:32 pm

Sounds much the same as what I have ordered, glad to hear it works for you. Hopefully mine should arrive by tomorrow!
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Post by stormbringer on Fri 03 May 2019, 4:56 pm

@OorWullie wrote:Partly I also think it's just a case of getting used to riding, building up muscles that don't normally get those forces through them.

Do you have a tank bag you'd recommend?


Muscles - spot on. Also, don't use oversized clothing. It will cause unneeded drag, flap around at speed and fail to protect you in an accident because protective elements will move around instead of staying put, protecting knees etc...

Advice for tankbag? Not really. Well - one that fits your intended use Smile Which is unknown to me.
I have a large magnetic tankbag (nicknamed Magneto) used for touring. It does, however, require me to wrap the tank in protective foil used on cars - otherwise it will scratch the paint. Evil magneto. It's big enough (adjustable 14-25 liter) to hold the DSLR, the laptop, phone, wallet, towel (Yes, a towel. Douglas Adams was right!), pens etc. used en route. It converts into a rucksack, allowing me to bring valuables along when visiting POIs.
Then I've recently acquired a small click-on tankbag (nicknamed Clicky) to use for commuting. 7 liters or thereabout. Clicky lets me leave a traditional rucksack at home. Motorbikes and rucksacks don't mix well.
Waterproof? No. I'll argue that nothing made from woven fabric will withstand power-wash. Keep your stuff dry by putting it in plastic bags. And then you may consider putting the whole thing (tankbag) in a plastic bag too. Not pretty, but effective.

The same goes for yourself. Waterproof clothing - textile as well as leather - does not exist. Riding for hours in a solid downpour will cause water to work its way into everything!
The only thing (IMHO) that comes close is norwegian fishermen's workwear. Made from fabric covered with rubbery - and fully sealing - PU. Reasonably priced. Cheap compared to 'specialized riding gear'. But! Being absolutely non-porous also means it keeps moisture in. Sweat becomes condensation, and you become soaked once again.
If the issue sparks interest with you, google for 'Helly Hansen Voss'. Item #2 that goes in my luggage during preparation.
Item #1 being the satnav.
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Post by skyerae on Sat 04 May 2019, 9:08 am

As regards Stormbringer's post and waterproof clothing, water does (in a solid downpour) work it's way into anything. I experienced this riding into horizontal rain (due to the gale force winds) around the North West coast of Scotland for 4 and a half hours, wrung out our gloves (my mate and I) on the garage forecourt and water poured out and we were drenched through. BUT my advice is but the best Gore Tex suit you can and it will keep you dry in medium downpours and it does wick away moisture. I bought my Hein Gericke (very, very highly recommended) second hand on ebay and replaced the trousers (second hand on ebay) as my waistline expanded  Sad They did me well but I tore a hole in the jacket in a serious accident and ripped part of the lining in the trousers. The armour in the jacket protected me and I walked (crawled at the time) with three broken ribs and my AC shoulder joint had ripped ligaments which I have major surgery for. If it wasn't for the armour I think I would have a broken collar bone plus a whole lot more. Bike written off but when the physio therapy is finished I will get another good Gore Tex suit and then get out and about.
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Post by OorWullie on Sat 04 May 2019, 1:34 pm

Sorry to hear about your accident, sounds like a bad one.

Unfortunately I am only too aware of the failings of 'waterproof' clothing, I work in forestry in Argyll where we average around 2.8 metres of rain a year! Skyerae, I take it you are from skye? I have never been, but I work with a guy from Portree originally and he still only has good things to say about it! I'll need to get up there some time. Hope you heal well and fast.

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