HONDA CBR500R (2016 - 2018) Review

At a glance

Owners' reliability rating: 5 out of 5 (5/5)
Annual servicing cost: £300
Power: 47 bhp
Seat height: Medium (30.9 in / 785 mm)
Weight: Medium (428 lbs / 194 kg)


New N/A
Used £3,100 - £5,000

Overall rating

Next up: Ride & brakes
5 out of 5 (5/5)

An excellent introduction into the world of sportsbikes, with a proper big bike feel and enough power to keep even the most experienced riders entertained. The styling upgrades bring it right upto date, while the suspension and air flow tweaks help keep the ride engaging and easy.

Ride quality & brakes

Next up: Engine
5 out of 5 (5/5)

The R model feels a little more serious than the F model but is still plenty of fun and can be ridden surprisingly fast in the twisties. The slightly reworked suspension never crashes over bumps, it simply soaks them up with little fuss, feeling solid and planted all the way to the pegs touching down.


Next up: Reliability
4 out of 5 (4/5)

The A2 licence-friendly 47bhp engine provides enough go to get you up to speed quickly and motorway cruising isn’t a problem. Top speed is limited to 112mph and vibes are minimal throughout the entire rev range. Improvements to the air flow make it more efficient, sharper and more enthusiastic to rev. There’s just about enough torque to keep progress swift if you find yourself one gear too high. 

Reliability & build quality

Next up: Value
4 out of 5 (4/5)

The 2014 CB500 range became the first multi-cylinder big Honda to be built in Thailand, but that legendary Honda build quality remains.

Value vs rivals

Next up: Equipment
3 out of 5 (3/5)

The sportier R is £500 more expensive than the roadster F. It's also £500 more expensive than its closest rival, KTM's RC390.


4 out of 5 (4/5)

When it comes to equipment the CB range is pretty basic. ABS is standard as is preload adjustable suspension. The fuel cap is now hinged, so you don't have to find somewhere to set it down when you fill up anymore. The fairing and screen do a good job of keeping wind blast off the rider.


Engine size 471cc
Engine type liquid-cooled, DOHC, 8v, parallel twin, 6-speed chain drive
Frame type Tubular steel diamond, box section swingarm
Fuel capacity 16.7 litres
Seat height 785mm
Bike weight 194kg
Front suspension 41mm conventional forks, preload adjustable
Rear suspension Prolink monoshock, 9-stage preload adjustable
Front brake Single 320mm wavy disc, two piston caliper
Rear brake 160/60ZR- 17M/C
Front tyre size 120/70ZR - 17M/C
Rear tyre size Single 240mm disc, one piston caliper

Mpg, costs & insurance

Average fuel consumption -
Annual road tax £69
Annual service cost £300
New price -
Used price £3,100 - £5,000
Insurance group -
How much to insure?
Warranty term -

Top speed & performance

Max power 47 bhp
Max torque 31 ft-lb
Top speed 112 mph
1/4 mile acceleration -
Tank range -

Model history & versions

Model history

  • 2014: Original parallel twin-cylinder CBR500R launched to take advantage of new 47bhp A2 licence regulations.
  • 2016: Styling, suspension and airflow tweaks, hinged fuel cap, adjustable brake lever and new exhaust can.
  • 2019: Fireblade styling including MotoGP style wings, 4% more grunt, 3kg lighter, sportier riding position, refined suspension, new slip and assist clutch, new dash, LED headlights.

Other versions

  • Honda CB500F - naked roadster with higher wider bars and no fairing
  • Honda CB500X -adventure model with taller seat and more rugged looks

Owners' reviews for the HONDA CBR500R (2016 - 2018)

2 owners have reviewed their HONDA CBR500R (2016 - 2018) and rated it in a number of areas. Read what they have to say and what they like and dislike about the bike below.

Review your HONDA CBR500R (2016 - 2018)

Summary of owners' reviews

Overall rating: 5 out of 5 (5/5)
Ride quality & brakes: 4 out of 5 (4/5)
Engine: 5 out of 5 (5/5)
Reliability & build quality: 5 out of 5 (5/5)
Value vs rivals: 5 out of 5 (5/5)
Equipment: 4.5 out of 5 (4.5/5)
Annual servicing cost: £300
5 out of 5 CBR500R - Brilliant!
20 October 2020 by Luke Wiltshire

Year: 2018

Bought a pre-reg CBR500R in Feb 2019 after a short time away from biking to get me back into it. Previously had sports bikes including CBR600RR, GSX-R600, Daytona 650. If you want an all out sports bike then the CBR500R isn’t it. What it is is a brilliantly packaged bike, fun to ride, comfortable with enough power from the 47bhp engine to fly past several cars when overtaking. It doesn’t have that manic edge of super sport bikes but is perfect for commuting or a Sunday blast. ABS is a bonus, as is the amazing fuel economy which reaches around 80mpg

Ride quality & brakes 4 out of 5

Bike is super comfortable. Handlebars are higher and flatter than an outright sports bike, seat is well padded, fairing does a great job - 80mph with no wind issues. Only slight gripe when I first bought the bike was a minor vibration of the screen at around 4000rpm but I don’t even notice this now.

Engine 5 out of 5

Great engine. 47bhp more than enough for UK roads. Has power and flexibility and very forgiving. Easy and fun to ride.

Reliability & build quality 5 out of 5

Honda build quality amazing as ever

Value vs rivals 5 out of 5

A tank of fuel will reach 250 miles. Starts first time every time despite not being on a trickle charger (attached to my other bike). First annual service was £160.

Equipment 5 out of 5

ABS as standard, fuel gauge is useful. I bought with the factory fitted Termignoni sports pack including exhaust, pillion seat coal, under tray and rear hugger. Gives the bike a great look - buy it in black as it’s the best colour!

Buying experience: Bought from Wheels in Norwich. They delivered to my address in Wiltshire (around 150-200miles). Brilliant service. Bike was £6500 new with the sports pack. I got a 4 month old pre-registered bike for £4900 with zero miles on the clock. Absolute bargain for a new Honda!

5 out of 5 Why buy anything else?
08 July 2016 by Nick Rees

Year: 2016

Annual servicing cost: £295

A sportsbike with a sensible seat height compared to bar height. Who needs more than 47 bhp for everyday riding? Super-smooth engine that pulls from as low as 1500 rpm. Great value for money. Nit-picker says "where is the gear indicator?" Definitely recommend to a friend.

Ride quality & brakes 4 out of 5

Overall ride comfort is very good considering no high-spec suspension and no electronic aids. Fairing provides plenty of protection with the standard screen. CBR500R will tackle any road and holds a constant speed without any problem in built-up areas. Excellent fuelling - hard to find these days. I am over 6 feet tall and can manage 3-4 hrs without more than minor discomfort. It can do more than 260 miles on a tank of fuel.

Engine 5 out of 5

As I said above, super-smooth with excellent fuelling throughout the rev range. Plenty of performance for me. Fairly close ratio gear box with very low first gear (ideal for hill starts but otherwise short-shifting advisable). If no character means minimal vibration then bring it on!

Reliability & build quality 5 out of 5

Build quality appears to be excellent with a decent paint job. Easy to keep clean. No issues with reliability over 1000 miles.

Value vs rivals 5 out of 5

Service cost based on a 3-year service plan. 89 mpg over first 1000 miles brim-to-brim, trip computer only out by a couple of mpg.

Equipment 4 out of 5

ABS as standard, single disc front brake needs a good tug to stop quickly but it stops all the same. No electronic aids which I don't miss. Dash has all the information I need including a fuel gauge. The flashing information when on reserve is a bit weird until you get used to it. When 0.7 is displayed you'd better find a filling station quickly. Not sure about the Thai Dunlop Roadsmart tyres in the wet, they have plenty of grip in the dry but seem to pick up sharps easily.

Buying experience: I bought from a Honda dealer. Newcastle Motorcycles in fact as the dealer experience is exceptional, unlike some dealers I wouldn't care to mention. I paid the full price of £5599 but got a decent part-ex price and a free first service.

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