Model updates: Honda’s A2-compatible ‘pocket rocket’ receives major performance-focussed improvements led by Showa 41mm Separate Function Fork Big Piston (SFF-BP) USD forks, dual disc front brakes and radial-mount calipers. Front tyre grip is heightened with more forward weight bias; handling is further improved by the new swingarm, which is lighter with more lateral flex. The rear shock has new settings to complement the new forks. Redesigned wheels and a lighter radiator save more weight and new fuel injection settings improve engine character. More powerful headlight LEDs offer greater visibility.
Fast, frugal, affordable and – most importantly – fun, Honda’s fully-faired CBR500R, launched in 2013 alongside the naked CB500F and adventure-styled CB500X, injects a genuine sporting energy to its twin-cylinder ‘light middleweight’ trio.
Hugely popular with younger riders looking to move up from a smaller machine with more than 50% of owners under the age of 30, the CBR500R instils the excitement of sports bike ownership into every ride yet also delivers sensible running costs, making it a great bike to both commute through the working week and enjoy at the weekend.
In 2016 the CBR500R assumed sharper styling and LED lighting to go with updated front suspension; in 2019 it got an even more aggressive makeover, with a new form and riding position that outlined a keener sporting intent. Developments were also applied to the engine for stronger performance off the bottom, a distinctive surge through the rev range to the redline and more distinctive exhaust howl. It gained EURO5 compliance in 2020.
Having proved its undoubted star quality alongside its siblings, for its 2022 year model it receives a major suspension upgrade in the form of high-quality Showa 41mm SFF-BP USD forks, plus dual front discs, new lightweight wheels and swingarm and other detail updates including a striking new colour.
- Model Overview
Alongside engine changes such as revised fuel injection settings and a new lighter radiator, the chassis benefits from the addition of Showa 41mm SFF-BP USD forks, dual Nissin radial mount two-piston calipers biting 296mm discs, lighter-weight 5-spoke wheels and redesigned swingarm – for improved high-speed handling and braking. Weight bias also moves fractionally forward for enhanced front tyre grip and feel.
Styling is updated with a new front mudguard, inherited from the CBR650R, and sporty aluminium footpegs are also now standard fit. As before, LCD instruments feature a Shift Up and Gear Position function and all lighting is premium LED; the new headlight, also inherited from the CBR650R, now spreads a broader beam.
The 2022 CBR500R will be available in the following colour options:
Grand Prix Red
Matt Gunpower Black Metallic **NEW for 2022**
- Key Features
3.1 Chassis & Styling
- New 41mm Showa Separate Function Fork Big Piston (SFF-BP) USD forks
- New dual 296mm discs matched to Nissin radial mount two-piston calipers
- Lighter weight wheels and swingarm, plus aluminium footpegs
- Weight bias further forward for enhanced front end grip
- New headlight inherited from the CBR650R
Light, strong and unchanged for 2022 the 35mm diameter steel diamond-tube mainframe has a tuned degree of yield that gives plenty of feedback to the rider as road surfaces change. The shape and position of the engine mounts, plus the frame’s rigidity balance, also keep vibration to a minimum.
Immediately obvious is a brand-new front end set-up. With the aim to heighten sports handling performance the 41mm telescopic forks of the previous design have been replaced by Showa 41mm Separate Function Fork Big Piston (SFF-BP) USD forks, clamped by new top and bottom yokes. By dividing the functions – Big Piston pressure separation damper in one leg, spring mechanism in the other – reaction and ride quality are both improved. The four-cylinder CBR650R wears the exact same set-up.
In a further effort to improve the ride quality, the 22YM CBR500R features new lighter wheels with 5 Y-shaped spokes rather than the 6 of the previous model. The front wheel width remains 3.5inch with a 120/70-ZR17 tyre and the rear 4.5inch with 160/60-ZR17 tyre.
A redesigned swingarm also shaves grams; it’s now constructed from 2mm steel (rather than 2.3mm) and employs a hollow cross member and crisply redesigned chain guard. Stiffer rotationally, the new swingarm is also more flexible laterally to improve handling. The single-tube rear shock absorber (as found on larger capacity sports bikes) with its large-diameter piston ensures excellent response and temperature management; it features 5-stage preload adjustment with spring rate and damping settings optimised to match the forks.
In line with the dynamic improvements to the chassis and suspension, the braking performance has also been improved. The single 320mm and two-piston caliper front brake from the previous model has been replaced by dual 296mm discs and Nissin radial-mount, two-piston calipers. The introduction of the smaller discs not only keeps any additional weight gain to a minimum, but also reduces the required pressure on the lever when braking.
The new CBR500R weighs in at 192kg and places slightly more weight on the front wheel to promote more nimble handling and improve front end grip: front/rear bias percentage is now 50.7/49.3, compared to 50.1/49.9 of the previous version. Wheelbase remains 1410mm with rake and trail of 25.5°/102mm.
And nimble responsiveness is what the CBR500R is all about. The view forward from the cockpit is pure sports. The handlebars clip on beneath the top yoke and as a result the riding position is unmistakably aggressive; the fairing is also set low. Purposeful aluminium footpegs replace the previous rubberised parts; between the pair they save 104g and offer maximum support for more spirited riding. The compact front mudguard is drawn from the CBR650R.
New sharply-chiselled dual LED headlights, inherited from the CBR650R, stare menacingly ahead with a wider volume of light emission, matching by LED indicators. LCD instruments feature a Gear Position and Shift Up indicator; this is set to a default 8,750rpm but can be adjusted in 250rpm increments between 5-8,750rpm.
Seat height is low at 785mm, making the CBR500R very easy to manage and its riding position comfortably accommodates riders of any height. Overall dimensions are 2080mm x 760mm x 1145mm, with 130mm ground clearance.
The fuel tank holds 17.1L including reserve and combined with the engine’s excellent 3.5L/100km (28.6km/litre) fuel economy, gives a range of over 485km.
- Lively twin-cylinder powerplant delivers usable power and torque across the rev-range, plus sporty sound from its dual-exit muffler
- New PGM-FI settings improve torque feel and character
- New radiator design more stylish and lighter
- Assist/slipper clutch eases upshifts and manages downshifts
- Homologated for EURO5
The 22YM CBR500R’s A2-licence friendly 471cc, 8-valve liquid-cooled parallel twin-cylinder layout offers a well-proportioned balance of physical size and willing, enjoyable power output, with an energetic, high-revving character and zappy top end. The 2019 upgrades created faster acceleration through a 4% boost in low-to-mid-range power and torque in the 3-7,000rpm range. It’s very much an engine whose overall performance and character belie its relatively small capacity. Peak power of 35kW arrives at 8,600rpm, with 43Nm torque delivered at 6,500rpm.
Feeding the PGM-FI fuel injection is a more-or-less straight shot of airflow through the airbox and throttle bodies and for the 2022 year model, new settings improve torque feel and character without compromising performance. The exhaust muffler features dual exit pipes, giving a sporting edge to each pulse, and a rasping high-rpm howl. A new more aesthetically pleasing radiator design contributes a 100g weight saving, with no loss of cooling efficiency.
Bore and stroke are set at 67mm x 66.8mm and compression ratio is 10.7:1; the crankshaft pins are phased at 180° and a primary couple-balancer sits behind the cylinders, close to the bike’s centre of gravity. The primary and balancer gears use scissor gears, reducing noise. The crank counterweight is specifically shaped for couple-balance and its light weight allows the engine to spin freely, with reduced inertia.
Acting as a stressed member, the engine complements the frame’s rigidity with four frame hangers on the cylinder head. Internally the cylinder head uses roller rocker arms; shim-type valve adjustment allows them to be light, for lower valve-spring load and reduced friction.
A silent (SV Chain) cam chain has the surface of its pins treated with Vanadium, reducing friction with increased protection against wear. Inlet valve diameter is 26.0mm with exhaust valve diameter of 21.5mm.
Piston shape is carefully designed to reduce piston ‘noise’ at high rpm. Friction is reduced by striations on the piston skirt (a finish that increases surface area, introducing gaps in which oil can flow for better lubrication). The ‘triangle’ proportion of crankshaft, main shaft and countershaft is efficiently compact. The crankcases uses centrifugally cast thin-walled sleeves; their internal design reduces the ‘pumping’ losses that can occur with a 180° phased firing order. A deep sump reduces oil movement under hard cornering and braking; oil capacity is 3.2L.The slick-changing six-speed gearbox is managed by an assist/slipper clutch.
A range of Genuine Honda Accessories are available for the CBR500R. They include:
35L top box
High smoke windscreen
12V/USB Type-C sockets
- Technical Specifications
|Type||Liquid-cooled 4 stroke, parallel twin|
|No of Valves per Cylinder||4|
|Bore & Stroke||67mm x 66.8mm|
|Compression Ratio||10.7: 1|
|Max. Power Output||35kW @ 8600rpm|
|Max. Torque||43Nm @ 6500rpm|
|Noise Level (dB)||L-urban 74dB L-wot 76.4dB|
|Carburation||PGM FI electronic fuel injection|
|Fuel Tank Capacity||17.1L (inc reserve)|
|CO2 Emissions (WMTC)||80 g/km|
|Fuel Consumption (WMTC)||3.5L/100km (28.6km/litre)|
|Battery Capacity||12V 7.4AH|
|Clutch Type||Wet multiplate, Assisted slipper clutch|
|Transmission Type||6 speed|
|Dimensions (L´W´H)||2080mm x 760mm x 1145mm|
|Caster Angle||25.5 degrees|
|Type Front||Showa 41mm SFF-BP USD forks, pre-load adjustable|
|Type Rear||Prolink mono with 5 stage pre-load adjuster, Steel hollow cross swingarm|
|Type Front||5Y-Spoke Cast Aluminium|
|Type Rear||5Y-Spoke Cast Aluminium|
|Rim Size Front||17 x MT3.5|
|Rim Size Rear||17 x MT4.5|
|Tyres Front||120/70ZR17M/C (58W)|
|Tyres Rear||160/60ZR17M/C (69W)|
|ABS System Type||2-channel|
|Type Front||Dual 296mm x 4mm disc with Nissin radial-mount two piston calipers|
|Type Rear||Single 240mm x 5mm disc with single piston caliper|
|INSTRUMENTS & ELECTRICS|
|Instruments||LCD Meter with Speedometer, Bar Graph Tachometer, Dual Trip Meters, Fuel Level and Consumption Gauge, Clock, Water Temp, Gear position, Shift Up Indicator|
|Security System||HISS (Honda Intelligent Security System)|
All specifications are provisional and subject to change without notice.
** Please note that the figures provided are results obtained by Honda under standardised testing conditions prescribed by WMTC. Tests are conducted on a rolling road using a standard version of the vehicle with only one rider and no additional optional equipment. Actual fuel consumption may vary depending on how you ride, how you maintain your vehicle, weather, road conditions, tire pressure, installation of accessories, cargo, rider and passenger weight, and other factors.
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