Clymer Manuals Honda CB500T Motorcycle Walk Around Video CB500 Twin CB500
Clymer Manuals got an up-close look at Thomas Hemmen's custom 1975 CB500T at the 2013 HoAME Vintage Motorcycle Show.
Clymer on the lift didn't have to go far to attend the 2013 Heart of America Motorcycle Enthusiasts club 22nd Annual Vintage Motorcycle Show. Classic vintage antique motorcycles motorcycle bikes British, German, Japanese, Italian, European, American motorbikes were all on display. Manufacturers included Honda, Yamaha, Suzuki, Yamaha, BMW, Harley Davidson, Vincent, Triumph, BSA, Norton, Brough Superior, Indian, Cushman, Vespa, Laverda, Puch, Lambretta, MV Augusta, Ducati, Matchless, Zundapp, Moto Guzzi, AJS and more. There were 100% perfect restorations, bike ridden in, a few trailer queens, full-on customs, cafe racers, choppers, bobbers, trials bikes, dirt bikes, road racers...any type or style motorcycle you could imagine.
A decade after the CB450 Black Bomber had dwindled into legend, Honda resurrected the medium-size parallel twin with their 500T of 1975. This handsome motor cycle shared the old 450's specification — on paper — in having an all-alloy engine with twin overhead camshafts. The resemblance was more than superficial in at least one respect. Both had a 70mm bore, the stroke of the 500T being stretched from 64.8 to 67.8mm to give a full 499cc.
Having a 180° crankshaft arrangement and none of the trendy aids to smooth running, such as balancers and counterweights, the 500T was somewhat vibratory at any speed under 70 mph in top gear. It was more than somewhat vibratory in the 80s and 90s.
This together with obtrusive backlash in the transmission, which made traffic-threading something of a chore, ruled out any chance of the Honda impressing as an all-rounder.
But handling was good, the bike looked good (the well-finned cylinder head with massive camboxes being especially attractive), and it was decently quiet both mechanically and on the exhaust.
Overall, though, it goes down as another of Honda's few marketing mistakes. It did not appear in the range after 1978.
Honda CB550F, Honda CB500T, Suzuki GT380, GT550, Yamaha RD400C, Yamaha XS500C, Ka¬wasaki KH400 Triple
Air cooled, parallel twin cylinder, four stroke, DOHC, 2 valves per cylinder,
Bore x Stroke
70.0 x 64.8 mm
Ignition / Starting
42 hp 30.7 KW @ 8000 rpm
21.8 @ 7000 rpm
Transmission / Drive
5 Speed / chain
Telescopic hydraulic forks
The Honda CB500T was introduced to the UK in 1975 and seems to have died in 1978.
The engine was of course based on the earlier CB450, introduced to America in 1965. Changes to the engine include lengthening the stroke from 57.8mm to 64.8mm, replacing the CB450's roller mains with ball journal type and reducing compression ratio from 9:1 to 8.5:1.
The oil control rings on the pistons were also changed to a 3 piece design. I am using the earlier type in our current road bike without any problems. Carburetors were modified to prevent popping on the overrun, and a system to recycle blow by gasses fitted.
Obviously the bike was restyled over the last CB450's sold in the USA and used the front disc common to larger Honda's of the period. Honda launched a massive advertising campaign in the UK for 1975, to the extent that 4 pages were devoted to the CB500T ad in 'Bike' August 1975.
The advert begins with a copy of the Motorcycle News road test, headlined;
"Touching just over the ton, through the speed trap proves it’s no slouch."
Did you know that a CB500T was the 1,000,000 Honda motorcycle? The bike was ridden of the production line by Sochiro Honda himself.
Clymer Manuals Honda CB/CL450 & CB500T 1965-1976 M333
Honda CB450, CL450 and CB500T manual.
CB450 1965 1966 1967 1968 1969 1970 1971 1972 1973 1974
CL450 1968 1969 1970 1971 1972 1973 1974
CB500T 1975 1976
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