Honda GB500

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1989-Honda-GB500-Other-0.jpg
Honda GB500
Manufacturer
Also called Honda GB500TT Clubman Tourist Trophy
Production 89-90
Class Classic
Engine
499cc 4-stroke OHC RFVC dry sump single cylinder
Compression ratio 8.9:1
Top Speed 108 mph
Ignition CDI
Spark Plug NGK DPR8EA-9 '89-90
Battery YUASA YB12A-B '89-90
Transmission 5-speed transmission
Final Drive Chain: 525x108
Front Sprocket 15T
Rear Sprocket 37T
Suspension Front: 35 mm telescopic forks
Rear: Dual shocks with adjustable pre-load
Brakes Front: Single 256mm disc
Rear: 138mm Drum
Front Tire 90/90-18 '89-90
Rear Tire 110/90-18 '89-90
Seat Height 880 mm / 34.6 in
Weight 157 kg / 346 lbs (dry),
Oil Filter K&N KN-112[1]
Recommended Oil Honda GN4 10W-40
Fuel Capacity 20 Liters / 5.3 US gal
Related Honda GB400TT Clubman Tourist Trophy Special
Manuals Service Manual

Brochures · Reviews ·


The Honda GB500 is a motorcycle produced by Honda from 1989 to 1990.

By 1989 the British twin cylinder motorcycles were replaced by British triples and primarily by the Japanese bikes. Each year the Tourist Trophy race was held on the Isle of Man and Honda was determined to bring back the flavor of those British twins with a bike that had look of the Norton and Triumph racing bikes. Honda responded by launching its GB500 (commonly known as the tourist trophy) as a retro-bike with styling and components that recalled fond memories for many motorcyclists of the classic British cycles. The GB500 was a clever package, designed to appeal to a new market that no current motorcycle maker had tapped: the classic, collectible cycles and the older enthusiast. And while numerous British-cycle riders may have never given a second look at a Honda, the GB500 won many a heart.

GB for Great Britain[edit]

The GB500's nomenclature spelled out exactly what the cycle was designed to be: the GB stood for Great Britain, belying the bike's styling heritage; the 500 denoted the 500cc displacement, in itself a telltale, classic engine size. To top it of!', the black and gold paint scheme of the GB500's gas tank, side panels and rear seat cover immediately called to mind the Velocette and HRD-Vincent colors.

Revival of the "Thumper"[edit]

The most important aspect of a motorcycle is of course the engine, and Honda got that right as well. The GB500 was powered by a simple engine with a single, near-vertical cylinder, which reminded riders of many a classic British "thumper," from Norton to BSA, AJS to Matchless. And even with current noise and exhaust emissions regulations, the GB500's engine emitted a deep-throated howl that echoed back to the past.

The GB500 had no fairing or 16-inch wheels seen on Japanese sportbikes. Instead the wheels were wire-spoked. The forks had gaiters. The handlebars were clip-ons. The fuel tank was blocky. A tail fairing was placed behind the one person saddle. The engine was a 500 cc vertical single with a two-into-one header. However the single front disc brake belied the retro look.

The GB500 was likely too early for the retro craze of the 21st century.

1989[edit]

The Honda Tourist Trophy, designated GB500'89 (GB500L'89 in California), was sold in 1989. One color was available: Black Green Mettalic with gold pinstriping and emblems. It had both electric start and a kick starter. The engine was a 499cc 4-stroke OHC RFVC dry sump single cylinder with a 5-speed transmission. The California serial number began JH2PC161*KK000003 while the rest of the United States models began JH2PC160*KK000001 (where the * indicates a checksum number).

1990[edit]


The Honda Tourist Trophy, designated GB500'90 (GB500L'90 in California), was sold in 1990. There was no visual change from the 1989 model. One color was available: Black Green Mettalic with gold pinstriping and emblems. It had both electric start and a kick starter. The engine was a 499cc 4-stroke OHC RFVC dry sump single cylinder with a 5-speed transmission. The California serial number began JH2PC161*LK100003 while the rest of the United States models began JH2PC160*LK100001 (where the * indicates a checksum number).


Photos[edit]

Honda GB500TT Clubman Tourist Trophy Honda GB500TT Clubman Tourist Trophy Honda GB500TT Clubman Tourist Trophy

Overview[edit]

By 1989 the British twin cylinder motorcycles were replaced by British triples and primarily by the Japanese bikes. Each year the Tourist Trophy race was held on the Isle of Man and Honda was determined to bring back the flavor of those British twins with a bike that had look of the Norton and Triumph racing bikes. Honda responded by launching its GB500 (commonly known as the tourist trophy) as a retro-bike with styling and components that recalled fond memories for many motorcyclists of the classic British cycles. The GB500 was a clever package, designed to appeal to a new market that no current motorcycle maker had tapped: the classic, collectible cycles and the older enthusiast. The GB is a sleeved down XL600 engine displacing 498cc.. This means that it has the same stroke as the XL600 i.e 75mm. Its also running 8.9:1 compression so kickstarts are easy. The engine has a gear driven balance shaft that is positioned at the front of the engine. This certainly helps keep it tame all the way to its 7800 red line. The single overhead cam is driven by chain that is on the right hand side of the engine. The Honda RFVC (Radial Four Valve Cam?) valve gear is accessed through the four separate covers.

Specifications[edit]

Make Model Honda GB 500TT Clubman Tourist Trophy
Year 1989-91
Engine Type Four stroke, single cylinder, SOHC, 4 valve
Displacement 498 cc / 30.3 cu-in
Bore X Stroke 92 x 75mm
Cooling System Air cooled
Compression 8.9:1
Induction Keihin PH 69
Ignition CDI
Starting Electric
Max Power 38 hp / 27.7 kW @ 7000 rpm
Max Power Rear Wheel 33.3 hp / 24.8 KW @ 7000 rpm
Max Torque 35.6 Nm / 26.3 ft-lb @ 6000
Clutch Wet multi-plate coil spring
Transmission 5 Speed
Final Drive Chain
Gear Ratio 1st 2.384 (31/13) / 2nd 1.555 (28/18) / 3rd 1.200 (24/20) / 4th 1.000 (23/23) / 5th 875 (21/24)
Front Suspension 35 mm telescopic forks
Rear Suspension Dual shocks with adjustable pre-load
Front Brakes Single 256mm disc
Rear Brakes 138mm Drum
Front Tire 90/90 -18
Rear Tire 2.50 -18
Rake 64°
Trail 105 mm / 4.1 in
Seat Height 880 mm / 34.6 in
Dry Weight 157 kg / 346 lbs
Fuel Capacity 20 Liters / 5.3 US gal


References[edit]

  1. 2019 K&L Supply Co Catalog. K&L Supply Co. 2019. 
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