The Fireblade-aping style of the new Honda CBR650R has also been maintained on the 500cc A2-compatible CBR500R. It already had the looks, but a little sharpening of the styling and an even more overtly superbike-aping paintjob rams home the message.
It’s a strong look for a 47bhp middleweight sportsbike. The naked Honda CB500F version doesn’t get ignored either, with a host of light upgrades to make it more attractive.
The biggest upgrade for both comes inside the engine, with a 4% boost to power and torque between 3-7000rpm, giving you more oomph where you want it. This has come about thanks to revisions in the inlet and exhaust valve timing thanks to closer timing and an increased lift.
The inlet tract is also now straighter, and the exhausts have been reconfigured to improve gasflow. The addition of a slipper/assist clutch also means lighter lever pressure with no loss of positive engagement, and the ability to be a little more aggressive on downshifts without fear of locking the rear.
The R model gets a more canted forward riding position (by 8-degrees), with the clip-ons now mounted under the redesigned top yoke. The fairing also has a lower profile for a sportier stance. The F gets new bodywork, too – also aimed at improving its kerb appeal.
Both get LED lighting all round and a new LCD dash that’s shared with the CB650 family.