Honda’s A2 twin-cylinder sports bike gets a sharp, Fireblade-inspired style refresh for 24YM. Power and torque remain the same for the 471cc, engine – at 35kW and 43Nm – while an ECU update improves acceleration feel and Honda Selectable Torque Control is now standard. A high-quality chassis specification includes 41mm Showa SFF-BP USD forks, Showa rear shock and dual discs up front with four-piston calipers. Brand-new dual LED headlights open up better visibility at night, while a new 5-inch TFT screen offers Honda RoadSync smartphone connectivity, operated by a simplified and backlit 4-way toggle switch.
Fast, frugal, affordable and – most importantly – fun, Honda’s fully-faired CBR500R, launched in 2013 alongside the naked CB500F (now CB500 Hornet) and adventure-styled CB500X (now NX500) 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, 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, followed by an even more aggressive makeover in 20YM. 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.
Having proved its undoubted star quality alongside its siblings, for 22YM the CBR500R received 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.
For 24YM the CBR500R moves on again. Sharper new ‘RR-R’ style, updates for the engine and premium new screen technology and connectivity make Honda’s ‘pocket rocket’ even more desirable.
- Model Overview
Crisp new CBR1000RR-R inspired bodywork and LED headlights gives the CBR500R a keener edge as it scythes into 24YM. Premium new tech too, in the form of a 5-inch TFT screen – operated by an intuitive and easy-to-use lefthand switchgear – features the smartphone connectivity of Honda RoadSync.
The A2-compliant, slipper clutch-equipped twin-cylinder engine benefits from the addition of Honda Selectable Torque Control (HSTC) as well as ECU updates to improve acceleration.
Chassis specification includes Showa 41mm SFF-BP USD forks as before, with dual radial-mount four-piston brake calipers.
With a graphics update that keep it in line with the CBR1000RR-R Fireblade and the new CBR600RR, the 24YM CBR500R will be available in the following colour options:
Grand Prix Red (Tricolour)
Matt Gunpower Black Metallic
- Key Features
3.1 Styling & Equipment
- New supersport style inspired by CBR1000RR-R Fireblade incorporates updated aerodynamics to improve steering and feedback
- New dual headlight and taillight
- New 5-inch full colour TFT screen includes Honda RoadSync connectivity for on-screen turn-by-turn navigation and access to other smartphone functions
- New, simplified left hand switchgear easy to use and backlit for night-time
The CBR500R aggressive new bodywork is inspired by the racing DNA of its bigger Fireblade sibling and directed by the design banner ‘The Shape Of Speed’. Sharp edges front to rear exude the essence of what makes a CBR a CBR.
And there’s function to the form; the design includes winglets to direct airflow and the angles of the fairing. This aerodynamic package contributes to a linear steering feel with increased feedback and feel for front tyre grip.
New dual LED headlights maintain beam penetration but throw out wider light distribution, for increased visibility when riding – and cornering – at night. They’re matched to a new taillight; all lighting is LED.
Premium technology – in the form of a brand new, 5-inch full colour TFT screen – uses optical bonding to improve visibility in bright sunlight a first for a Honda motorcycle. By sealing the gap between the cover glass and TFT screen with resin, glare is reduced and backlight transmittance improved. It’s customisable between Bar, Circle and Simple display patterns and also offers the IOS/Android smartphone connectivity of Honda RoadSync.
This new feature – alongside a simplified, easy-to-use, backlit 4-way toggle-switch on the left handlebar – allows straightforward, on-screen turn-by-turn navigation as well as the option (via a Bluetooth helmet headset) for the rider to make calls or listen to music. All an owner has to do is download the Honda RoadSync app from the Play Store or the App Store, connect to the CBR500R, and go.
Seat height is low at 785mm, making the bike very easy to manage and its sporting 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.
- 41mm Showa Separate Function Fork Big Piston (SFF-BP) USD forks
- Dual 296mm discs, Nissin radial mount four-piston calipers
- Lightweight wheels and swingarm
Light, strong and unchanged for 24YM, 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, keep vibration to a minimum.
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 footpegs are purposeful, lightweight aluminium.
Wheelbase is 1410mm with rake and trail of 25.5°/102mm, and front/rear bias percentage of 50.7/49.3. Kerb weight is 191kg.
Showa 41mm Separate Function Fork Big Piston (SFF-BP) USD forks divide the functions – Big Piston pressure separation damper in one leg, spring mechanism in the other – and reaction and ride quality are top draw. The four-cylinder CBR650R uses the exact same set-up.
The swingarm is constructed from 2mm steel and employs a hollow cross member; it is stiff rotationally, and flexible laterally to improve handling. The single-tube Showa rear shock absorber, with its large-diameter piston, ensures excellent response and temperature management and features 5-stage preload adjustment.
Dual 296mm front discs are worked by Nissin radial-mount, four-piston calipers; the rear 240mm disc a single-piston caliper. Lightweight rims use 5 Y-shaped spokes; the 3.5-inch front wears a 120/70-ZR17 tyre, and the 4.5-inch rear a 160/60-ZR17 tyre.
- Lively twin-cylinder powerplant now equipped with Honda Selectable Torque Control (HSTC)
- New PGM-FI settings improve low-rpm acceleration and power delivery across the rev-range
- Assist/slipper clutch eases upshifts and manages rear wheel through downshifts
The 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. And 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.
A 24YM addition is HSTC to manage rear wheel traction for increased peace of mind and a real boost for rider confidence. The system compares front and rear wheel speeds to detect rear slip and controls the fuel injection to smoothly reduce torque. HSTC can also be turned off completely if the rider wishes.
Feeding the PGM-FI fuel injection is a more-or-less straight shot of airflow through the airbox and throttle bodies. Optimisation of ignition timing and air/fuel ratio equals more powerful acceleration feel from low rpm, with linear power delivery and throttle feel. The exhaust muffler features dual exit pipes, giving a sporting edge to each pulse, and a rasping high-rpm howl.
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 engine. 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 and the crankcases employ 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.
A slick-changing six-speed gearbox is managed by an assist/slipper clutch, eliminating rear wheel ‘hop’ under hard braking and downshifting.
A range of Genuine Honda Accessories are available for the CBR500R, as individual items or grouped in packs, and ready to bolt straight on:
Maximising the sports style, the colour-matched Seat Cowl neatly replaces the pillion seat, adding a sharp shape designed integrally with the motorcycle. The Wheel Stripes highlight the rims, a carbon pattern Tank Pad protects the paint and features the CBR logo, while the 400mm taller Smoked Screen enhances air deflection and comfort at speed.
For longer journeys, the Comfort Pack features Heated Grips – with 5 heat levels, a memory function and full TFT screen integration. There’s an ACC Socket for smartphone charging under the seat and a practical, 3L Tank Bag (with see-through pocket) for easy-access storage, plus rain cover.
The accessory line-up is complemented by a practical 15L Seat Bag, a 35L Top Box and its required carrier. All the accessories featured in packs can also be purchased individually.
- Technical Specifications
|Liquid-cooled 4 stroke, DOHC parallel twin
|No of Valves per Cylinder
|Bore & Stroke
|67mm x 66.8mm
|Max. Power Output
|35kW @ 8,600rpm
|43Nm @ 6,500rpm
|Noise Level (dB)
|Lurban 73.5dB Lwot 76.8dB
|PGM FI electronic fuel injection
|Fuel Tank Capacity
|17.1L (inc reserve)
|CO2 Emissions (WMTC)
|Fuel Consumption (WMTC)
|Wet multiplate, Assisted slipper clutch
|2,080mm x 760mm x 1,145mm
|Showa 41mm SFF-BP USD forks,
|Prolink mono with 5 stage pre-load adjuster, Steel hollow cross swingarm
|5Y-Spoke Cast Aluminium
|5Y-Spoke Cast Aluminium
|Rim Size Front
|17MC x MT3.5
|Rim Size Rear
|17MC x MT4.5
|ABS System Type
|Dual 296mm x 4mm disc with Nissin radial-mount four-piston calipers
|Single 240mm x 5mm disc with single piston caliper
|INSTRUMENTS & ELECTRICS
|5in TFT Meter with customisable layout, including but not limited to Speedometer, Tachometer, Clock, Gear position, Shift UP Indicator
|Yes (Honda RoadSync)
|Auto Winker Cancel
|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.