The two roadsters Kawasaki ER-6n and Yamaha XJ6 are currently the favorite motorcycles of apprentices bikers and their bikes-schools, but the new entry level Honda CB500F account well change the given. Bikesdoctor.Com compares to you. Test!
Two references, a new
For almost 20 years, the Honda CB500, Kawasaki ER-5, Suzuki GS500 and other Yamaha XJ600 have developed the boot the footrest to countless riders. Today, two models are the delight of beginners (pupils of bikes-schools and youth permit): the Kawasaki ER-6n and the Yamaha XJ6.
Lighter and less powerful than their big sisters Z750 and FZ8, Kawasaki and Yamaha are currently among the favorite of French bikes. In 2012, Kawasaki was even the best selling motorcycle in France.
It must be recognized that the update of the ER-6 (‘n’ for the roadster, ‘f’ for its version faired) had been deep and relevant last year: new framework, new swing arm, strengthening of bottom and mid-schemes of the twin-cylinder, aesthetic ‘Ensemble River die’ and increased comfort were in the program.
Unfortunately – for Kawasaki, not for journalists looking for negative and constructive criticism! -, Katherine friend had failed to erase all faults: vibrations remain sensitive, the riser and the power of the engine can leave a few bikers on their hunger, the closure of the new saddle is not obvious and the ABS option costs still too expensive (€600).
Launched in 2009, the Yamaha XJ6 has to be distinct advantages of those of the Kawasaki ER-6, starting with its 4-cylinder engine derived from the Fazer, itself inherited from the R6 online! During his Duel test facing the Suzuki Gladius – exit the same year-, small Yam’ argued the flexibility and the extension of its engine.
Featured Kawasaki and Yamaha
The suspension of the Yamaha XJ6 is also significant because they show all ensure the driver and his passenger eventual excellent comfort and outstanding efficiency. Among the ‘positives’, test particularly highlighted the excellent behavior of the front axle.
Conversely, the not very expressive substantial of its engine had disabled it face the brilliant V-twin of Hamamatsu, as well as its too conventional look, it’s a little rough gearbox and its storage space under the seat not to ship only a small U.
‘The success of the Yamaha XJ6 is related to the intrinsic qualities of the machine’, says one Yamaha, ‘namely its dynamic attributes of weight and performance without forgetting its easy access for drivers in the learning phase thanks to its low seat height ‘(785 mm, Ed).
On average, Yamaha Motor France (YMF) says sell 400 Yamaha XJ6 per year to the French bikes market, either as far as Kawasaki with its Kawasaki ER-6N. However, these figures are expected to increase this year, ‘with the renewal of parks following the regulation which allows since 1 January 2013 versions ABS’, considers YMF.
Of course, Honda does not intend to let his opponents play only on this ground: in addition to the significant number of registrations in game, this ‘market in the market’ is of crucial importance for manufacturers…
The new Honda 2013
It should be recalled that under their shell of leather and in bad faith, the bikers are at the bottom of great sentimental? Their first motorcycle brand will remain anchored in their hearts, if not their memory, and resurrected at the time to switch to larger. Hence the interest in reds, Greens and blues to propose ‘the’ ideal bike for beginners!
From Honda, its newest entry, the Honda CB500F, answer the expectations of apprentices bikers, but also to those of their schools. Among its assets, one that Honda France puts forward is the price, a shock for the two categories of clients referred argument!
Displayed in concessions to €5590 incl. VAT (ABS series of 1509 euros less than the Kawasaki ER-6n ABS and Yamaha XJ6 ABS), the Honda CB500F is proposed to schools motorcycle priced ‘well-positioned €4490 excluding tax and included protection kit, until 30 September’, tells US Honda France.
The winner of the 500 return
Unlike the roadsters ‘medium displacement’ competition, the Honda models are not followers of the increase. The Hornet, in particular, continues to cube 600 cc against 675, 750 or even 800 cc in its current rivals.
With its new Honda CB500F, Honda even decided to get back to basics by offering apprentice riders an average displacement authentic, powerful, agile and fun ‘. Besides the glorious return to 500 cc (471 cc exactly), the Reds have also sought to limit the weight of their bike.
Displaying on balance – manufacturer – weight all full of 192 kg, the Honda makes 14 kg to the Kawasaki er-6n ABS and 18 kg to the Yamaha XJ6 ABS.
If the Honda CB500F is easier to maneuver, it is obviously due to its lower weight but also thanks to its center of gravity positioned low and its wide, flat and right handlebar. The Kawasaki er-6n, with its very high reservoir, its more curved handlebars and his extra pounds, is less easy to understand.
But the less obvious of all is the Yamaha XJ6, mainly due to a very closed from the other two handlebars. Yamaha tries to catch up by offering a shorter turning radius than twenty centimeters the Kawasaki … in vain, as the Honda also running dry as the Yam! ‘
The Honda for small arms
But this first battle granted to the ‘little 500’ does not worry the Greens or Blues. At Kawasaki first, one can argue that the 300 Ninja is still lighter and maneuverable than the new Honda CB500 (read our CBR500R Vs Ninja 300 Duel: the sportsbike, so A2!).
Yamaha is proposed no alternative, and for good reason: ‘propose a XJ4?’ almost surprised French officials. ‘This displacement has unfortunately never had success in France and estimated volumes remain low to be able to propose a price demand’, analysis YMF: ‘we know all that the volumes are involved in positioning commodity prices’.
It is a subject, however, where Honda is no exception to the current rules of aesthetics! The chassis very basic fact of the Honda CB500F receives a plastic housing – we like it or not, but it is not merely a ‘yuck’ in the comments! – Which relates to its ‘average’ and ‘big’ sisters?
More than the CB600F – codenamed the Hornet! – Is the little Honda CB1000R that reminds details when it’s optical block, its scoops radiators, and its reservoir end, his decks footrest, the rear loop completed in a triangular stop fire and shoe engine that is reminiscent of the low pot maxi roadster winged.
Their side also, the Kawasaki er-6n and Yamaha XJ6 inspired greatly by their elders. Thus the Kawasaki is played big arms by dressing its hydraulic fork (41 mm, as on the Honda) of plastic, like the Z1000. It also installs its switch on the tank.
At the same time, the Kawasaki er-6n still cultivates its own look, including via its pretty frame and its swingarm banana steel double tube, as well as its mono damper deported to red spring ‘retinue’ (in the colors black and red, white spring for the Green model).
Tunes obvious family
In its ‘Race Blu’ livery, the Yamaha XJ6 attempts to attract the eye. Unfortunately, Matt complexion and its rims painted electric blue are not to nothing: five years than the Yam’ circulates in our streets and bikers crossed in this trial were granted that little attention compared to the new CB…
At bikesdoctor.com, we doubt that the new version of the Yamaha XJ6 ‘ SP’ reaches further divert the glances: the unique color black and grey, the kit decals, caches at the finishing carbon and even the saddle in two parts does the distinguished not enough other Yamaha XJ6.
Relationship between the Yam’ and its sisters FZ6, FZ8 and FZ1 feel the straddled bike: tank, frame and its skin copiously dismiss knees! On its two competitors of the day, the thighs are more aligned, which allows better enclose the motorcycle and facilitates its handling at low speed.
Credited with the lowest seat height, Yamaha accepts smaller riders but his footrests relatively low and vertical buttocks do not bother as long games large.
Flatter, the saddle of the Honda CB500F to take advantage of its width on the rear. Found on the Honda the right position of the bust that is naturally adopted on Yamaha, straight and flat handlebar plus! There is therefore no doubt that it is on the Honda CB500F that beginners will be the most comfortable.
A little outfit!
Of course, Kawasaki offers a welcoming seat as thick. But the big guys as the means to complain of marked decline in their knees put their feet up and their heels slightly apart from the long decks footrest (driver and passenger).
The Kawasaki er-6n drivers adopt a slightly more ‘sporty’ position – looked on forward – only Yamaha XJ6 and Honda CB500F drivers. However, in enumerating the list of practical aspects and equipment, one realizes that the Kawasaki tends his biker.
If the game is tight in relation to instrumentation (tied with the Honda, Yamaha does not indicate average or instantaneous consumption), the Greens stand out combining the practical points.
As the ‘CB’ and the ‘XJ’, ‘ is equipped with a coded key, warnings and a safe welcoming a small U. It differs from its two opponents with its two adjustable levers (brake and clutch), its six tie-down hooks and his licks-wheel rear – small, but still…
There during two subtleties of the Honda CB500F. The first relates to the control of the horn which is above flashing – not below, as the overwhelming majority of motorcycles. The first intersections are happily punctuated with a little bit of warning…
The second is more boring every day: it’s the absence of hinge on the cap of the Honda CB500F tank. As if removing his helmet and pay full in advance was not sufficiently annoying, still need to find a clean place to lay his Cap…
Full three bikes made (15.7 liters in the Honda, Kawasaki and 16 in 17 in the Yamaha); bikesdoctor.Com is ready to jump on the motor roads, action!
Three roadsters very different
Bikesdoctor.com began taxiing to the handlebar of the youngest of this comparison. On board controls are sweet, perfectly set injection, transparent transmission, flexible and voluntary engine: this Honda CB500F is perfect for his first laps of wheel – hey, what did you expect?
The rather summary look cycle is just as seductive. The shock absorber including – the only one of the band to be mounted on rods! -gum particularly well the bumps of the road, they consist of short fittings of bitumen or they last adopted a paved alley…
The Yamaha XJ6 offers the same comfort suspension, but developments in the city are a little less easy because of its small curved handlebars of his jerk-sensitive injection and its gearbox selection rougher. Fortunately, Yamaha makes up for in terms of engine flexibility.
While the small block accepts Honda down below 2500 rev / min in sixth gear – is lower than the ‘six-and-half’ Kawasaki – the 4-cylinder Yamaha restarts him without flinching from idling on each report!
Young allowed – and city-dwellers in General – will appreciate this that only faculty has the Yamaha. After all, it is not shelter, in its infancy, biker or in the middle of a dense traffic to forget to return a speed or two…
Honda to start
The Kawasaki er-6n is more tiring suspicion in the city, due to its driving position as we have seen, but also because of its less likely to be struck the rear suspensions train driver. The Katherine grew on this point – and comfort saddle – but still one notch below the Yamaha XJ6.
Another annoyance penalizes the Kawasaki er-6n: vibrations, which transit footrests to the saddle from 4000 RPM. In this scheme, the Kawasaki tickles the butt of its pilot… but also begins to kick the butt of his opponents!
If we can congratulate the Honda CB500F for the total absence of crackling on board on the beach usual diet (between 2500 and 6000 r/min, beyond the bike snorts nicely), we can only regret the absence of a character of its engine.
For the small twin proves too linear. Although the red box placed at 9500 RPM brings him the riser that lacks its Ben NC700S, the heart isn’t there always. We spin the right handle, it still spins before mounting a report, but nothing helped, the Honda CB500F should throw in the towel prematurely against its two rivals of the day.
Already hammered by the Ninja 300 296 cc twin (read our CBR500R Vs Ninja 300 Duel: the sportsbike, so A2!), 471 cc Honda does not weight against the 599 cc of the Yamaha and the 649 cc of the Kawasaki. The Yamaha XJ6 and the Kawasaki er-6n literally leave the CB on-site at each rotation of handle.
The fight is however not more balance between the two ‘big’ when we share of low engine speeds: much better filled, the 650 puts a good slap to the 600 on the first two-thirds of the tachometer. In order to keep the pace of the pilot Kawasaki, that of the Yam’ has no choice other than to scream his half!
With honest times from 4000 rpm, the Yamaha must be maintained beyond the 9000 RPM to accelerate – quite – frankly. It notes that the sensation of power and acceleration is Overdrive by the raucous tone of the air box: no doubt, in sound, Yamaha is the reference!
Yamaha to progress
The counterpart of this admirable soundtrack acts on Highway, where the Yamaha XJ6 tends to stun a little its driver. The feet are also not better off, because the chirps them around 120 km/h.
Well struck by his horse far, the driver of the Honda arrives on a small little cooler available and that these two comrades roads. Agile and easy to carry in the winding with its front end light and large handlebars, Honda managed to deceive … until a stretch is looming.
In a Flash, the Kawasaki er-6n is propelled at the head of the trio and retains his place in the first big brake. The right lever of the Kawasaki is a little hard but does not brake hard. More biting, front brake of the Yamaha XJ6 is dive – a soft pile – fork of the Yamaha, which can disrupt.
On the corner are more natural at the controls of the Kawasaki because it reacts less than the Yam’ to the solicitations of the gas or brakes. But it’s the Honda that locks the more curve on ‘the’ front brake input (remember, it has only a disk!): for the first time, an adjustment period is necessary on the Honda CB500F.
In exit of turn however, no need to procrastinate at the controls of the ‘CB’: opens big! Once clamped on its rear wheel (160/60, as the other two), the bike passes without any harm 47.5 horses of the engine ground.
In the same way, as long as one remains in the substantial, the Yamaha ‘cover’ its driver and avoids any surprises. Is that in seeking to follow – or even double! -the Kawasaki ‘Blue’ must redouble its vigilance to release its 77.5 horses (72.1 on the Kawasaki).
The eve is this constant time on the Green: more alert engine level, it is also more nervous on roads deformed. Less firmly planted on his nose, the Kawasaki er-6n can incite to make hand earlier than the Yamaha XJ6. Its 64 Nm of torque (59.7 for the Yam’, 43 for the Honda) make it more expand out of turn.
The Kawasaki assailed
More balanced and consistent – but also less biased by his twin! – The Honda CB500F performs better than the Kawasaki er-6n on bumpy roads. It requires less effort parallel to the Yamaha driver to move from one corner to the other. In raids, it is possible to compete!
At the end of this comparative test, the Honda CB500F clear victorious perfectly adapted to the new category A2 license, the small Honda won the match with his grip obvious its tariff tight and standard ABS, a factor not to be underestimated while winters are now spread over eight months …
Another good point for the Honda: consumption, the average on this test is restricted to 4.4 l / 100km (we have yet severely whip it!), against 5.9 l / 100km for the twin cylinder Kawasaki and 5.8 l / 100km for the 4-cylinder Yamaha.
Thanks to its flexible as furious engine, Yamaha XJ6 (that young licenses will curb their dealership, as the Kawasaki er-6n) brand big points, supplemented by those provided by its suspension as being efficient and comfortable its great adaptation to all types of use of the quieter dynamic capacity, regardless of the route.
On perfectly smooth road however, it will be hard to beat the Kawasaki er6n, presenting himself as the more ‘daring’ choice for new permits: its agile chassis and its powerful engine require some restraint in the city and a sustained focus on departmental dented.
Less easy to tame than the Honda, the Kawasaki and the Yam’ tire therefore slower young motorcyclists, who expect to have toured their machine ‘Full power’ to switch to a bigger bike… Among Honda CB500F buyers, few should be those who will retain their motorcycle beyond the first two years. Except the most reasonable, perhaps