How fast are 500cc motorcycles? Detail Overview

How fast can a 500cc motorcycle go Detail Overview
How fast can a 500cc motorcycle go Detail Overview

Most of us have a question before purchasing any motorcycle: its speed or, say, top speed. We need to consider multiple specifications before buying a motorcycle, but the most crucial thing is engine displacement. Thus, in this post, we will discuss the top speed a 500cc bike can reach. Here is the data regarding 500cc speed.

So, How fast can a 500cc motorcycle go? A 500cc motorcycle can reach the top speed of 102 mph (164 km/h). The average time it takes for 500cc motorcycles to reach 0 – 60 mph is 4.8 to 5.0 sec. The speed can vary by engine types and other specs, i.e., a 500cc sports bike will provide better top speed than other types like cruisers or naked. 

Note:- 500cc motorcycle production is not high as 400cc or 600cc motorcycles. These motorcycles are still produced, but there are not too many models.

Generally, a 500cc motorcycle equipped with a single-cylinder makes 40 horsepower and has a top speed of 105 mph. The speed can vary depending on the motorcycle type and engine type provided on it.

you want to know detailed information on the top speed of motorcycles then you should give “average motorcycle top speed” a view. I am sure it will help you.

A sports motorcycle equipped with a high-revving engine generates more power than a cruiser or a naked one. That’s what makes sports motorcycles aggressive and provides better top speed than other motorcycle types.

I have included a table listed with some top 500cc motorcycles or below one in the below table.

Here is the list of top 500cc motorcycles with their top speed chart.

Motorcycle ModelTop speed of 500cc motorcycles modelsTime taken to reach 0-60 mph acceleration
Kawasaki Ninja 400190 km/h (118.06 mph)4.63 seconds
Honda rebel 500153 km/h (95.06 mph)5.9 seconds
Honda CB500F185 km/h (114.9 mph)4.7 seconds
Honda CBR500R 185 km/h (114 mph)4.7 seconds
Harley Davidson street 500159 km/h (99.7 mph)5.6 seconds
Benelli TRK 502X160 km/h (99.4 mph)7.5 seconds
Bullet 500110 km/h (68.4 mph)12  seconds
Table including data of 500cc motorcycles comparison

Is 500cc too much for a beginner?

A 500cc is a balanced powered motorcycle for a beginner to drive. Therefore, beginner riders who have ridden any motorcycle in the past, like 250cc or 300cc, can go ahead riding 500cc motorcycles without any problem. The engine displacement can’t specify its top speed because it depends on various factors.

As you can see above, a 500cc cruiser has a lesser top speed than the sports one because of the fundamental engine structure difference. Thus, you can ride a 500cc motorcycle without having any problem but make sure not to have it as your first bike.

But, if you have decided to buy a motorcycle having engine displacement 500cc or higher than it, then you should be buying a second-hand budget motorcycle before buying yourself a new one.

Apart from this, if you are a total beginner, you can go with a 250cc or 300cc motorcycle. These motorcycles are perfect for beginners to get into the riding world, and then you can explore other things at your pace. After it, there are many options like 400cc, 600cc, 750cc, 1000cc, etc.

Let’s talk about some of the factors that affect motorcycle speed.

What are the factors that affect the speed of motorcycles?

There are many factors that can affect the speed of motorcycles, but in this list, I have talked about the major ones:

Weight of the motorcycle

The primary factor that affects the speed of the motorcycle is the weight of the motorcycle itself. Most of the manufacturers are trying to cut out the weight of the motorcycle. Every year they release a new model where the key message is about how much lighter it is than before without compromising the performance.

To achieve the light-weightiness in the motorcycle, most of the part has been replaced with the lighter and durable ones that can cut down the weight.

Thus, if you are looking to reach maximum speed, you must consider the motorcycle’s weight. This is the reason most sports motorcycles are made lightweight.

If you buy a lightweight motorcycle, then you can easily reach the maximum top speed of the heavy ones with the same engine configuration.

Weight on the motorcycle (Rider, Pillion, Luggage)

The second factor affecting reaching the maximum speed is the weight on the motorcycle, like the Rider, the number of pillions, and Luggage weight.

If you are concerned about speed, make sure you keep your weight in control easily with regular exercise.

Make sure to put as little luggage as required if you are going for a long ride. Apart from this, make sure to ride alone if you are concerned about speed.

I think reaching the top speed on any motorcycle is mainly required by the racers, but if you are a regular rider whose aim is to ride while enjoying nature and experiencing the ride. Then, the variation in speed doesn’t matter that much.

Overall Ergonomics & Aerodynamics

The third important factor affecting the speed of the motorcycles is their chassis design and overall ergonomics.

In ergonomics, the handlebar position also plays a significant role, and its position can affect the motorcycle’s speed.

If you have noticed, then all the racing and sports motorcycle comes with an aggressive forward-leaning riding position. The leading cause of this is to help increase the aerodynamics of the bike.

At high speed, the position of the sports and super sports motorcycle helps the aerodynamics to be maintained and the air to not become resistant to the speed.

Because of the aggressive forward-leaning riding position, the air does not become resistant to the Rider, which helps to maintain the speed.

So always look at the chassis design and windshield because it will help you achieve the maximum top speed on your motorcycle.

Engines used in the motorcycle

The last and the most crucial factor affecting the whole motorcycle performance and speed is the engine itself.

As we are talking about the range of 300cc – 400cc engine motorcycles, we will consider the strokes and cylinders that can influence the engine performance.

Because even if the engine displacement is the same but if the strokes and cylinder configuration vary, then the whole performance, speed, and life of the engine changes.

As I don’t want to bore you with engine specifications, I will give you a little insight to help you make your initial decisions and know how these affect the performance.

First, let’s talk about the strokes of the engine, and then we will talk about the cylinder configuration in the motorcycle.

Two-stroke vs Four-stroke engine

First, let me clarify that the stroke is not an engine type of motorcycle. It is just the engine design for Automotive engines in motorcycles, cars, etc.

So, we have two types of engine design, namely Two strokes and Four strokes. Let’s talk about it separately and get to know the way it affects motorcycle performance.

Two-stroke engine

The two-stroke engine provides more speed and RPM than Four-stroke engines. Thus, Two-stroke engines are more powerful than Four-stroke engines.

So, if you are looking for speed, then Two-stroke engines will provide more speed and RPM than the comparable cc with the Four-stroke cylinder design.

But one thing to know here is Two-stroke engines are cheaper, less reliable, and durable than Four-stroke engines.

Apart from this, the two-stroke engine starts to vibrate and create a loud noise when driving at high speed.

The two-stroke engine produces a lot of pollution because by releasing burnt oil and fuel into the air than four-stroke.

Four-stroke engine

Although a Four-Stroke engine is not as fast as a Two-stroke engine, it has other advantageous factors.

A four-stroke engine is more reliable, durable, and efficient than a two-stroke engine. It is generally quieter than the Two-stroke engines, thus making it environment friendly.

Typically, four-stroke engines have more parts than two-stroke; thus, it is expensive, and maintenance costs are high. 

Four-stroke engines don’t require pre-mixing of oil and fuel like two-strokes. Also, Four-stroke engines are environmentally friendly because it doesn’t release burnt oil in the air along with burnt fuel like Two-stroke engines.

Thus, the final verdict is that you can go with the Two-stroke engine if you are looking for speed. But if you are looking for reliability, durability, and efficiency with then go with Four-stroke engines.

Numbers of cylinder

Cylinders are the power unit of the engine; it is the place where fuel burns and turns into power.

The number of cylinders directly affects the speed and RPM of the motorcycle. An engine with more cylinders will have better performance and speed than fewer cylinder engines.

But the more cylinder, the more fuel consumption is also likely to be increased. At the same time, an engine with fewer cylinders is expected to be fuel-efficient.

Thus if your primary goal is speed, then go for more cylinder motorcycles like four-cylinder engines. Or you can go with fewer cylinder engines also if you are looking for fuel-efficient motorcycles.

Is 500cc enough for the highway?

A 500cc is a good and balanced powered motorcycle for a beginner to drive. A 500cc motorcycle makes 40-50 horsepower that can generate a top speed of 100 to 105 mph. Thus, a 500cc motorcycle is more than enough for a highway; you can enjoy overtaking vehicles and leave your friends behind.

But, if your friend’s motorcycle engine displacement is higher than yours, like 600cc or 650cc, then you already know it will be hard to compete with them.

But, if we talk about the highway, then 500cc is a good bike for cruising and roaming around; you will not face any problem.

Wrapping up

500cc displacement motorcycles are not manufactured in the volume as other displacements like 400cc or 600cc. Also, there is not much difference in speed-wise between 400cc and 500cc. But there are still some manufacturers that produce 500cc motorcycles.

I have listed some of the above in the list. If you want to know about other engine displacement top speeds, you should read my complete series. These combined posts will help you to make the right decision while buying the motorcycle.


What is the fastest 500cc motorcycle?

Honda CB500F is the fastest 500cc motorcycle has a top speed of 185 km/h (114 mph) that can reach 0-60 mph only in 4.7 sec.

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