For its 2019 evolution the CBR500Rs fully faired form is made more aggressive still with straight, wedge-like feature lines and extended lower fairings that emphasise a real sense of speed. The rider’s seat pad and seat unit – plus the upper and side fairings – have been narrowed to improve ergonomics and movement. Sharply- chiselled dual LED headlights stare menacingly ahead, and the addition of LED indicators now means all lighting is LED
The view forward, from the CBR500R’s cockpit, is pure sports. The handlebars now clip on beneath the sporty, redesigned top yoke and as a result the riding position is canted 8° further forward; the fairing is also set lower, to give the rider Total Control ¬– the design philosophy behind the styling redesign, and a mantra for Honda’s super sports range since the 1992 arrival of the Fireblade.
New LCD instruments feature a Gear Position and Shift Up indicator; this is set to a default 8,750rpm but can be adjusted in 250rpm increments between 5-8,750rpm Seat height remains low at 785mm, making the CBR500R very easy to manage and its riding position comfortably accommodates riders of any height. The fuel tank holds 17.1L, including reserve and combined with the engine’s excellent fuel economy gives a range of 480km (over 260 miles).
The 41mm telescopic front fork, with 120mm stroke, delivers a compliant yet controlled ride and gives great feel for front tyre grip. A new single-tube rear shock absorber (as found on larger capacity sports bikes) replaces the double-tube design of the previous model; its large-diameter piston ensures excellent suspension response and temperature management. It has 9-stage spring preload adjustment and works through a rigid box-section steel swingarm, which now features pressed steel chain adjustment end-pieces. Final drive is via sealed 520 chain. Lightweight, 17-inch cast aluminium wheels employ hollow cross-section Y-shaped spokes. Front wheel width is 3.5inch with a 120/70-ZR17 tyre, the rear 4.5inch with a 160/60-ZR17 tyre. A single front 320mm wavy disc and two-piston brake caliper is matched to a 240mm rear disc and single-piston caliper. ABS is fitted as standard.