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CB500... Too small??

4797 Views 23 Replies 12 Participants Last post by  Count Lurkula
I'm new to this site, the scene, motorcycles in general... Ive been a car man since before i could drive... know a lot about them, built them, and now i want a vintage bike. I looove the hondas and im interested in getting one. Im 6'2 290lbs. Is a CB500 too sall? I want a 750, but i keep gettin good deals on 500's help me out..
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are they 500 twins or fours?

I'm 6'5" and about 290lbs. I own a 550 four but it is heavily modified. I have commutted on the highway on a cj360T so I am leery when I hear people ask will that bike be too small for them. However, for me a cb750 is really damn comfortable, espically next to a 550 which can feel cramped at times.

Personally I am not a big fan of the 500 twin and don't recommend it to bigger guys.

What do you consider a deal?
If you are new to learning to ride, a dirt bike is the key. If anything it will teach you how to take a fall. I am not always convinced a vintage bike is the bike to learn on - the distractions on a vintage bike insure a steep learning curve (still the curve is less steep for old hondas than say old triumphs). Newbies and bikes that have the stopping distances of 1971 chrysler 300s with manual drum brakes are not always a good combination - espically since most newbies tend to have "watch this" moments (usually followed by something that makes the AFV audience cringe). However if you can ride vintage in everyday urban traffic I am convinced you can ride anything.

jaimesix - BTW the two piston calipers did not come into play until 1981 on the DOHC bikes. the 1979 and 1980 still used a design that the SOHC cb750s used in 77-78 - not very good brakes but decent for the time. The top hevay handeling of a DOHC cb makes me leery to recommend them to newbies.
I'm his weight and much taller than him, and the guys at vespa soho can attest to me riding a honda cj360 into work a couple times before I quit there in july. I wouldn't advise it but it carried my weight at highway speed and I was never want for power. The parallel twin hondas have surprisingly quick acceleration for being such docile and smooth bikes.

a cb500/550 four is an ok bike for a guy my size, I own one and it is only 10hp down from my SOHC cb750 but more than 50lbs lighter. The 500 twin is a decent enough bike but I wouldn't recommend it for anyone my size as the seat tends to feel too confining. However at 6'2 290lbs you can really throw it around.

The big hondas from the late 70's early 80's (DOHC cb, VFR, etc...) are all top heavy bikes and to me that is harder than riding a heavier bike with the weight down low. a beginner will surelly scare himself one day when the bike begins to pull him over in a turn and he may not know how to correct for it.

I learned on a dirt bike, and some of the best street riders I know learned on dirt bikes. After dirt bikes my first two mounts were a norton commando and the K5 cb750 I still own. Kawasaki and suzuki still make 500cc bikes that are faster and stop better than all of this old junk. The gs500 and ex500 fit just about anybody and can be had for cheap used as the people who learned to ride on them will graduate up to bigger bikes.
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I would be wary of kz twins from the 70's and 80's. Too many chains thrashing around inside (the kz400 has 4 internal chains). The gpzs are great bikes but a little heavy. I actually know of an early 80's one for sale on Long Island if anybody is looking (kinda cheap too).

I am not a big fan of the nighthawks but the nighthawk S is the last of the factory cafe racer and cool looking. it was a detuned 750 (700cc) and pretty docile.

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