The Honda CBR500R twin first appeared in 2013 and we loved it. Here is our CBR500R review. Test: Jeff Ware Photography: Lou Martin
The CBR500R 471cc liquid-cooled parallel twin engine is an absolute gem. Honda has five decades of experience building the best, smoothest parallel twin small and mid capacity engines in the game and this new generation, liquid-cooled fuel injected version is brilliant. DOHC four-valves per cylinder cylinder-heads with lightweight rocker valve actuation, counterbalancer and 180º crankpin provide broad torque and minimal vibes. The 67mm bore is shared with the CBR600RR, with 68.8mm stroke, lightweight but high flow waterpump, lightweight pistons and high tech PGM-FI to ensure good fuelling and one of the most fun yet versatile engines I’ve experienced using.
The gearbox is slick as is the clutch and fuelling is fantastic. The engine makes around 47 ponies and plenty of torque is on hand from bottom end through to upper mid-range.
The CBR500R chassis is a steel backbone frame and conventional suspension combo. Geometry is fantastic and the overall package adequate without being brilliant but in typical Honda fashion everything works well.
The fork action is well suited to the purpose of the bike as is the shock, however, sportier riders will want to put some dollars aside for some upgrade work with firmer springs and damping. The ABS equipped brakes (optional but not as tested), a 320mm front rotor and twin piston caliper up front and 240mm single rear rotor at the back, are up to the job and adequate. Sportier riders could easily fit a Hel brake line and softer pads to get more performance.
The riding position is more upright than sports but very comfortable and natural with plenty of room and good protection from the small screen. Long distance riding will have you in pain so buy a sheepskin, as our 500km loop had most of us journos wincing in pain!
The CBR500R is a fantastic bike and well priced and placed in the market. If you are considering a LAMS bike then make sure you try the 500 as well as the others. A pipe and some bling and it’d be a real mini Fireblade…
SPECIFICATIONS: 2013 Honda CBR500R
Price: $6,990 / $7,990 (ABS) + ORC
Warranty: Two year/unlimited kilometre
Colours: Red, Black, Tri-Colour
Claimed power: 37kW[49.6]@8500rpm
Claimed torque: 43Nm[31.7 ft-lbs]@7000rpm
Wet weight: 194kg
Fuel Capacity: 15.7L
Engine: Liquid-cooled, parallel twin, DOHC, eight-valve, 67 x 66.8mm bore x stroke, 471cc, 10.7:1, PGM-FI, six-speed, chain final drive
Chassis: 35mm diameter steel diamond-tube, steel square pipe swingarm, Wheel base: 1410mm, Seat height: 790mm
Suspension: Front: 41mm conventional Telescopic, Rear: Prolink mono with nine-stage preload adjuster
Brakes: Front: Single 320mm wavy rotor, two-piston caliper, Rear: Single 240mm wavy rotor, one-piston caliper
Wheels & Tyres: Cast aluminium wheels, Dunlop D222s (CHECK) Front: 120/70 – ZR17 Rear: 160/60 – ZR17
Instruments: Digital multifunction dash.