The 2013 CBR500R is the second bike in Honda’s new 500cc trio and brings sporting performance down to a whole new level of affordability. Powered by a liquid-cooled, fuel-injected, DOHC parallel-twin that produces 47 horsepower and 43Nm of torque, and with a claimed fuel efficiency figure of up to 27km/l, the CBR500R is a new take on the marriage of practicality, affordability and sporting performance. The bike has been engineered primarily for emerging economies in Asia (India, China, Thailand and so on…), but will also be launched in Europe and the US.
The CBR500R shares its steel tube chassis with the CB500F and CB500X, but has its own unique riding position, feel and character. “Fast, frugal, affordable and fun, the CBR500R offers a great entry point to the world of sports motorcycles, with high a build quality plus pride of ownership that will last,” says a press release from Honda.
While ABS is standard on the CBR500R, there’s no electronics overkill here – no traction control, no selectable engine mapping etc., and the bike doesn’t really need any of that. It’s just an honest, old-school 1980s kind of sportsbike that offers adequate performance, reasonably decent styling and all-around practicality.
With its 41mm telescopic fork, Pro-Link rear monoshock, 17-inch cast aluminium wheels, 120/70 (front) and 160/60 (rear) radial tyres, disc brakes at both ends and 194kg kerb weight, the CBR500R isn’t exactly a cutting-edge sportsbike, but then not everyone wants or needs one. Honda will, in fact, go racing in the European Junior Cup (EJC) series with this bike in 2013, which probably says something about the bike.
On the street, the CBR500R’s 15.7-litre fuel tank gives it a range of more than 400km and its comprehensive instrumentation – digital speedo and tacho, dual trip meters, digital fuel level gauge and fuel consumption and HISS (Honda Intelligent Security System) that’s built into the ignition – makes it a ‘proper’ mid-size sports-touring machine.
We can’t say we love the Honda CBR500R, but that doesn’t matter – there will be thousands of young real-world buyers across the globe, who want a bike like this and who’d rush to Honda showrooms to buy one. More power to them, we say.