I went from 600RR to 500F because of the seating position. I also own a 300R and used to own a 250 R and a 125R, I can easily say that the 300 to 500 is a nice little upgrade, but you'll get bored of it easily.
It sucks to say since it's not a Honda, but a NICE upgrade and something that will keep you happy for the years to come, would be the Yamaha FZ-07.
I'm planning to change my 500 to an FZ-07 or FZ-09 in the near future.
After riding a 2016 FZ-07, here's the verdict:
- Same seating position as the CB500F.
- Way better braking. (dual calipers in the front makes all the difference)
- Better acceleration (it's got more power, which is a given)
- Rides smoother throughout any gear, which makes over taking a breeze.
- The gears engage easier. (did not expect that!)
- It's the easiest oil change! Everything is on the left side of the bike. (Drain bolt, oil filter, oil level indicator and the oil top up)
- It can wheelie rather easily without even pinning it all the way. (For those that want to start stunting)
- Fancier cluster (tells you outside temp and engine temp, both of which is not available on the Honda).
- Comes with straps so that you can tie down stuff on the rear seat. That's standard as opposed to Honda, which it is an option.
Cons for the FZ-07:
- The CB500F has the LED head light (Put a projector on the FZ-07 and this con will be gone)
- The blinker switch is much more convenient on the CB500F (I'm sure it just takes some getting used to on the FZ-07) since it is super small on the FZ-07.
- The trunk space is MUCH bigger on the CB500F, not so important to me, but to others it may be.
- The start/kill switch takes some getting used to.
- The CB500F has a better key.
- The CB500F has adjustable front forks.
- The CB500F has solid turn signals, unlike the FZ-07 that are flapping around with the wind.
Both bikes have high attention to detail, therefore the looks is neither in the pros or cons, since that is totally up to the buyer. The color scheme on the Yamaha is larger than the Honda, but again, that's personal taste.
The price for both bikes is the same here (Montreal). I'll try the FZ-09 before buying one, since I have a feeling that's a keeper!
And to sum it up, the Honda 500 has what the Honda 300 is missing but the FZ-07 has what the Honda 500 is missing.
I hope this helps!