Honda upgrade their baby 'Blade with a new look and screen for 2024

Last year’s parallel twin Honda CBR500R did a passable impression of a Fireblade and for 2024 the firm have taken matters a step further by tweaking the fairing to mimic its big brother even more closely.

The new CBR500R also shares the same technical upgrades as the CB500 Hornet and NX500 (CB500X replacement), which means a new 5in TFT screen, connectivity to allow turn-by-turn navigation and new backlit left hand switchgear. The 471cc twin-cylinder motor and chassis are unchanged. 

Honda claim the new fairing – complete with winglets, like last year’s bike – “contributes to a linear steering feel with increased feedback and feel for front tyre grip.” We’ll take that with a pinch of salt given that most aerodynamic changes are only noticeable well above 100mph (CBR500R top speed: 110mph). 

More important is the new TFT screen, which replaces the old model’s basic LCD effort. This should improve the Honda’s premium feel and help close the gap to better specified rivals.

The KTM RC390, for example, has cornering sensitive electronics, a Supermoto mode and fully adjustable suspension. The latest CBR500R does now have traction control as standard though.

2024 Honda CBR500R

But there’s a reason Honda hasn’t meddled too much with the CBR; it’s got the fundamentals right. The parallel twin engine is smooth, fun to rev, well-nigh indestructible and remarkably frugal, while the suspension is plush and copes well with being ridden hard.

Also, the riding position is relatively roomy, especially compared to physically smaller rivals such as Yamaha’s R3. Despite the clip-on bars and winglets, the CBR500R is a plausible commuter.       

Honda CBR500R spec

  • Power 47bhp @ 8600rpm
  • Torque 32lbft @ 6500rpm
  • Weight 191kg
  • Seat height 785mm
  • Price TBC