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.
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.
The 2014 CB500 range became the first multi-cylinder big Honda to be built in Thailand, but that legendary Honda build quality remains.
The sportier R is £500 more expensive than the roadster F. It's also £500 more expensive than its closest rival, KTM's RC390.
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.