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Honda Will Sponsor 2013 European Junior Cup; Provide New Sport Bike Rumored To Be 500cc Parallel Twin

Early 2000s Honda CB500

The KTM 690 single raced by youngsters this year competing in the European Junior Cup will be replaced by an all-new Honda for 2013. Honda says the new sportbike will be revealed at the EICMA show next month, but rumors suggest that the bike will be a parallel twin 500cc model, perhaps known as the CBR500.

Although designated for a race series, the production bike could be an affordable, entry level machine along the lines of the CB500 twin produced until 2003 and raced in the Honda CB500 Cup in the UK. This is the type of bike Honda would typically release only in Europe, not the US, but the market has embraced lower cost machines here such as the CBR250R and the Ninja 250/300. Honda might expect a new, affordable 500cc twin to sell well enough to bring it into the US market the first year. We sure hope so. Stay tuned for EICMA coverage next month.


  1. Mike says:

    Here we go once again……..Honda can do now wrong yet again nomatter how wrong and inferior the bike offering is yet be constantly too late with too little to the market with bikes and specs that are years late…….a few exceptions over the last 2 decades noted!

    2013 CBR500 2013 European Junior Cup (EJC) Specs.
    – 470cc liquid-cooled, parallel-twin
    – Six-speed manual
    – 46.9bhp
    – 401lbs (dry)

    2012 KTM 690 Super Duke European Junior Cup (EJC) Specs.
    – 690cc liquid-cooled, single
    – Six-speed manual
    – 78.0bhp
    – 308lbs (dry)

    So here we are again having to ensure those posting total support for a another totally inferior bike from Honda for the EJC race series and street version sales…….can somone please explain this ….. other than there are those that are still compelled to simple say “yes” about the losers Honda does does for any sport based motorcycle market segment…with great success I might add!!!

    • Dave says:

      It’s easy to explain. The Honda is way more affordable for the Junior’s parents and consumers. WHat makes this bike inferior? No Brembos/Ohlins.carbon fiber?

      The Duke 690 is a sweet bike but there are good reasons you don’t see more of them on the road.

      • Mike says:

        Dave……you asked what makes the CBR500 inferior to the Duke 690. Wellllll….how about starting with the specs of both bikes I listed in my original post ….read this…..and then explain your confusion on which bike is superior and best bike for the intent of the EJC race class!

        A very minor point Dave…….. the European Junior Cup Series……. is a race series…….race being the key word……….not a series where where a beginners cheap and inferior commuter bike will serve the purpose of EJC being race learning experience for young riders/competitors.

        If the cheap racing is the primary object for EJC……. give it a go on bicycles or Lambrettas ……..that would even less expensive, but again, certainly not serve the purpose of the EJC race class.

        The fact is KTM had 25 plus competitors for every race on bikes that served the exact purpose of the EJC class……..and these riders/parents paid to race the KTMs in 2012……now Honda comes in with a cheap commuter bike totally inferior in every way ……this is progress………this is the way for young riders to learn to road race NOT

  2. ollie says:

    Everyone is complaining about the spec of the rumored bike not to be as good as previously engineered marvels suck as the SV650. dont blame you, as you’re most probably older riders who can ride any bike that youd like. but if you look at it practically, you will see the reasons behind the power and weight figures. in the uk, the new learner rider regulations are changing once again in 2013. the bike has to fall under 49bhp and have a stupid power to rate ratio. kawasaki have already made use of this with their 300cc ninja, boasting a maximum of 105mpg, and is already a hit in the uk and aus, possible the same in the uk. i think honda will be on to a winner from an entery level point of view, but for all the power hungry riders of yesteryear, you won’t see the point in the bike.

  3. fast2win says:

    More like 430 wet, quit believing the manufactures advertised weight. It seems in recent years they are getting more in line. The 430 is from a cycleworld roadtest where it’s actually weighed.

  4. blackcayman says:

    I don’t know why this above photo was used…from early 2000s??? Asphalt and rubber has a photo – so does cbr 250 net.

    It will be a “sportbike:

    here’s a run down of the CBR500’s specs:

    – 470cc liquid-cooled, parallel-twin
    – Six-speed manual
    – 46.9bhp
    – 30lb/ft of torque
    – 401lbs (dry)/430lbs (wet)
    – 105mph top speed
    – 31-inch seat height
    – 120/70-17 (front)/160-60-17 (rear)

    Hell for pleather has info and a photo

    • blackcayman says:

      the 1999 SV650:

      370 lbs dry weight
      64 hp

      • blackcayman says:

        It weighs more and is down on HP to a 13 year old Suzuki – Why don’t they bring back the Hawk? Put it in the new bodywork. Could it be they can’t engineer a bike as good as a 1999 SV650??

        • Dave says:

          They can certainly engineer a bike as good as an SV650 or NT650, just not for the price this bike needs to come in at. The Suzuki 417lb wet (post 2003 is 436) and is also 150cc larger. A more fair comparison would be with the GS500e, which is the slot this bike is meant to fall into.

          Take the hp number with a grain of salt, that is UK market spec where they have power output/license restrictions. There’s a good chance that there will be an open market spec that is higher output.

          • Jake says:

            Dave says:
            “They can certainly engineer a bike as good as an…NT650”

            Easy to be as good as 56 HP / 107 MPH — 15 years later.

            GPz / EX / Ninja 500 — 60 HP / 120 MPH (25 years ago).

          • todd says:

            1982 Yamaha Seca XJ650, 71 HP, 450lb. Bikes in the commuter class haven’t progressed much in the last few decades. Do they need to?


          • Dave says:

            Again, the output is limited to the UK standard for license limitation. It makes the same torque as the EX500. It can certainly make more hp if Honda chooses to deliver it that way, which they’d be silly not to.

            I get that a Seca 650 similar peak hp and weight to an SV650 but which one would you rather ride? It’s not all on the spec sheet.

          • todd says:

            Well Dave, the Seca can be bought for $1500 or less, has a center stand and shaft drive and the tires cost half as much and last much longer than the tires on my friend’s SV. So far, he hasn’t been able to shake me either. We’re always neck to neck but I’m WAY ahead because I got the Seca for free and he paid too much…

            Now if it was a matter of trying to look like you own a newer bike then, he wins every time.


  5. DorsoDoug says:

    An old motorcycle adage goes “It’s more fun to ride a slow motorcycle fast than it is to ride a fast motorcycle slow”. I wouldn’t buy any of these smaller motorcycles for my type of riding. But I’m sure any one of them would be a hoot to ride near the limit.

  6. Wheelie Wild says:

    I like the look of it. It would be a nice entry level machine for a lot of people. I agree that Honda would have to keep the price close to 5 grand or it wouldn’t really sell well against the Kawasaki 650’s.

    Maybe I could pick up a nice used one for a commuter in a couple of years after the original owners trade up.

  7. Ax1464 says:

    The bike in the photo is NOT one of the new Honda CBRs. Read the caption. That bike is a CB500 from the early 2000’s.

  8. Ziggy says:


    Honda, wake me when you build a DS version of the Dakar bike.

  9. craig says:

    Hopefully it will be a real sportbike falling under the CBR600RR, not another overweight, steel frame, standard with high bars, low pegs, and a fairing.

    • Dave says:

      The UK version will make just short of 50hp and weigh 430# wet. The US version should make more hp, in the UK/EU they have horsepower restrictions. The article I saw described something like the CBR250 but bigger.

      • v says:

        The lower power limits for learner licences are 11 and 25 kW, about 15 and 40 hp. There is now limit that I know of at 50 hp. Btw the CB500 pictured made (claimed) 57 hp…

  10. chaz says:

    It will be interesting to see if all those people who were asking “why doesn’t Honda do a 500cc version of the 250?” will actually buy one if it is brought to the U.S. If it has the same styling, it could sell well. Sixty hp and 400 pounds could be competition for the bigger 700’s.

  11. kawatwo says:

    It will have to be Very good to outsell the Ninja650 or a LOT less expensive. They way Honda has been going though they could pull it off ($4999 maybe?) I hope it would be around 400 pounds fully gassed up too, then I would be very interested. Love seeing all these smaller bikes 🙂

  12. todd says:

    I’d probably prefer this CB500 over the CBR version. That’s just me; I was also disappointed when Suzuki changed the GS500 from E to F.

    I imagine it would be difficult to bring in a bike like a CBR500 to the US. People who want an inexpensive bike will either buy the 250 or a used bike. People who want more power will just buy either a new CBR600 or a used one.

    I think real change will arrive as soon as moto-journalists stop doing performance shootouts between bikes, fueling the horsepower wars. Back in the days when magazines reported on a bike’s virtues and not its track times manufacturers were able to sell all sorts of inexpensive 50cc on up bikes as regular transportation. Now, apparently you need 1200cc to commute and 1000cc to “get you out of harm’s way in traffic.”

    I welcome back the age of sensible bikes. For now, I just keep buying used bikes.


  13. SausageCreature says:

    In addition to the 250’s, 500cc bikes have also done fairly well here in the past. I still see quite a few Ninja 500’s and GS500’s on the roads. I owned a Ninja 500 myself for a while…it was great for commuting and light duty sport-touring.

  14. Manny says:


  15. Tony says:

    Let’s hope they do bring it here, and that it does well. We need more of these smaller bikes that you can actually ride and enjoy and afford, rather than the 200hp rockets or the 1000lb cruisers, maybe a slight exaggeration but anyhow. Thanks Dirck for the article, looking forward to more info and pictures to come.

  16. endoman38 says:

    The bike in the picture is the CB500, not the CBR500 expected to be released. I would expect the CBR500 to look alot like the CBR250. I’m sure it’s not China-made, but perhaps Malaysia.

  17. inthemountains says:

    I love it myself. These bikes are what I grew up on (Honda mid weights). The 350 and 450 twins in the 60’s and 70’s well, I happen to have a soft spot for ’em. This would be an obviously more refined bike. So it doesn’t rule the roads. I don’t care. This is the kind of bike I’d have a blast on. Looks nice as well. If they can make them in-expensive (like I’m betting they will be) they’ll sell a lot to both old timers and new riders as well as asphalt chompers. Looks like an ideal commuter bike.

  18. darmahman says:

    While they are at it, bring the retro CB 1100 also!!!!!!!!!!! PLEASE!!

    • blackcayman says:

      check the web / new world-wide site on that bike. So start stacking your bills, you’ll be riding one.

  19. Bill says:

    Not meaning to be harsh but while I think that Honda 500 would have been a big deal ten or twenty years ago I don’t think it will sell well in today’s market. It’s not sporty enough for some and not practical enough for everyone else. Bill

    • Thoppa says:

      It’ll have to be cheaper than Kawasaki’s 650 twin to have any chance at all. Made in China ?

    • Vrooom says:

      I think that’s a CB500, which is a standard, but the bike they refer to will look more like the CBR series of bikes. In otherwords with a full fairing and bring colors. Just what seems to sell.

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