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HONDA CBR500R (2019-on) Review

Published: 14 January 2019

Updated: 16 January 2020

A2 licence holders will be chuffed when they discover just how dazzling 47bhp can be

Honda CBR500R at launch

A2 licence holders will be chuffed when they discover just how dazzling 47bhp can be

Overall Rating 4 out of 5

A2 licence holders should be feeling pretty chuffed when they discover just how dazzling 47bhp can be. The new CBR500R is refined, well balanced, beautifully built and peppy.

It’s easier to ride than ever, but it’ll dig hard into corners when asked and will bring a smile to the more experienced, too, especially at the price.

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Ride Quality & Brakes 4 out of 5

A new Showa rear shock and fork internals, featuring progressive springs (hard in the middle, soft at the top and bottom) keeps the Honda composed when you're jamming it into corners like Marquez, or maintaining Lorenzo-like momentum. It’s stable and plush with an unquenchable appetite for corner speed.

After all, it’s more exciting carving through a 60mph corner on a fizzing CBR500R, than doing the same on a Honda Fireblade SP, as it yawns back at you. A single wavy 320mm disc and twin piston Nissin caliper set-up has decent power, but is best supplemented by the rear to really get the Honda stopped.

Bars are now fitted beneath the top yoke, canting you eight degrees further forward, but the new riding position doesn’t hammer wrists and the seat is all-day cosy.

Engine 4 out of 5

With its new valve timing, bigger airbox and straighter inlet tracts the CBR500R now has a surprising amount of grunt, so there’s no need to chase gears and revs on a rainy commute, but it’s properly fast when you poke it with a stick and well…abuse it. Breaking the ton and beyond, is a piece of cake, which isn’t surprising when you realise it has the same power as the beloved Yamaha RD350LC.

We never thought that was slow, did we? Unlike that smelly two-stroke, the Honda has a wide spread of perfectly delivered power and its throttle, new assist and slipper clutch and new gearbox are buttery and precise.

Build Quality & Reliability 5 out of 5

CBR500Rs are pretty much bomb proof and our online reader reviews give nothing but glowing comments. It’s also a machine used at the Honda Ron Haslam School, thrashed for thousands of miles around Donington Park with zero mechanical problems.

Insurance, running costs & value 5 out of 5

Six grand is very little for a machine that offers so much. Service intervals are every 8000 miles and you can expect over 70mpg with a careful right hand. You also get a Datatag, two years unlimited mileage warranty and European breakdown cover.

Equipment 3 out of 5

LED headlights, blue anodised fork tops, MotoGP winglets and carbon effect fairing infil panels all sum up the attention to detail lavished on this 47bhp 500.

Paint and finish wouldn’t look out of place on a 20-grand superbike and a new LCD dash now has a gear position indicator. Its Blade-style screen is low, but manages to offer decent wind protection even for a taller rider.

Facts & Figures

Model info
Year introduced 2019
Year discontinued -
New price £6,099
Used price £4,300 to £5,400
Warranty term Two years
Running costs
Insurance group -
Annual road tax £66
Annual service cost -
Max power 47 bhp
Max torque 32 ft-lb
Top speed 112 mph
1/4-mile acceleration -
Average fuel consumption -
Tank range -
Engine size 471cc
Engine type liquid-cooled parallel twin
Frame type Tubular steel diamond
Fuel capacity 17.1 litres
Seat height 785mm
Bike weight 192kg
Front suspension 41mm Showa forks, adjustable for preload
Rear suspension Showa shock, adjustable for preload
Front brake 320mm petal disc with twin-piston calipers. ABS
Rear brake 240mm rear petal disc with single-piston caliper. ABS
Front tyre size 120/70 x 17
Rear tyre size 160/60 x 17

History & Versions

Model history

2013: 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

CB500F (naked), CB500X (adventure)

Owners' Reviews

No owners have yet reviewed the HONDA CBR500R (2019-on).

Review your HONDA CBR500R (2019-on)

Photo Gallery

  • Honda CBR500R at launch
  • Honda CBR500R right side
  • Honda CBR500R cornering left
  • Honda CBR500R headlight
  • Honda CBR500R on the road
  • Honda CBR500R left side
  • Honda CBR500R cornering right
  • Honda CBR500R close-up
  • HONDA CBR500R  (2019-on)
  • An LCD display shows all the most important riding features
  • Aggressive styling maintains a sporting look
  • The CBR500R is powered by a parallel twin
  • A neat twin-exit exhaust completes the look
  • The CBR500R is available in multiple colour schemes
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