Staff blog: Back to the CBR

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It was a huge relief to return from the States and get back on the Honda CBR500R.

I'd had a fantastic time riding a Harley-Davidson Electra Glide down Route 66 and up the Pacific Coast Highway. But hustling such a big bike loaded up with wife and luggage had taken its toll.

On the move it was brilliant but low-speed manoeuvres required concentration and a lot of care. Even on the move I found myself looking and planning as far ahead as possible.

The brakes weren't great on the big Harley and you needed plenty of warning to bring the big old girl to a halt. I also had to make sure I took big, wide, seeping lines to keep the footboards from scraping.

Back in Blighty and the CBR seemed like a svelte-like machine in comparison. It felt so narrow and all of the foot controls felt like they were right underneath me. It all felt a bit weird to begin with.

It wasn't long before I was (quite literally) back in the swing though. It's such an easy bike to ride and moving it on and off the drive and in and out of parking places was so easy!

Approaching 2000 miles the budget bike is showing a few signs of wear. Footrest hangers have gone a little furry and no amount of rubbing will clean them up.

Overall the bike is holding up well, but let's see what the next few months bring.
I've had quite a few emails about the bike's expensive first service – due to the valves having to be checked, but Honda have explained that once they are done early on, it's ages before they need checking again so that over a decent period of time it levels itself out.

Overall, the CBR is good value for money and will return 60mpg when ridden conservatively and within speed limits…

I am still impressed with the little Honda and enjoy the ride every time I take it for a spin – however near or far!

BLOG13 | CBR50013

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Andy Calton

By Andy Calton

Content director, motorcycling, and Suzuki Katana rider