By John Burns the more practical one. Guess what, that’s how it shakes out. Having said that, though, the practical Honda is really pretty damn sporty and the sporty little cheap KTM is practical enough to be your commuter – if you’re not much taller than 5’10, anyway. It’s way more compact than the CB500F.
We charted the changes Honda applied to the 2016 Honda here last week; in a nutshell, they totally revised the looks of the thing with bold new plastic, a bigger (4.4-gallon) fuel tank and a new tucked-in-tighter exhaust that gives the CB more a shrunk-down CB1000R look (designed by Honda of Italy) than the built-in-Thailand-on-the-cheap decor of the previous 500F.
It’s proven to be a highly worthy recipient of our Best Lightweight/Entry Level Motorcycle of 2015, taking us in inexpensive style to a variety of destinations from lunch down the street to a trackday at Chuckwalla 200 miles away.
Actually there was one complaint, concerning the KTM’s lackadaisical front brake, which we remedied with an SBS pad upgrade that we decided to not undo for this little comparison. Which is cheating, but at least we admit it.
In fact, these two bikes are a better match-up than at first meets the eye. They both make just enough horsepower to bust pretty easily through 100 mph, but with little danger of flattening your retinas. The Honda makes 8% more horsepower, but it’s heavier… the KTM is, well, it’s quite a bit cheaper but in some ways it feels like it. After a while …read more