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Honda SA launches CBR500R sport bike

2014-04-23 08:38

GET OFF THOSE TRAINING WHEELS: Honda's new CBR500R could be just the machine you need to upgrade for leisure riding and commuting. Image: Honda Motorcycles

  • Sports middleweight twin
  • Low ownership and running costs
  • CBR1000RR design queues
  • 35kW engine

Most bikers start out on something like a 125ccc machine but the urge to go bigger soon bites as experience and skill kick in - the new Honda CBR500R could be just the thing for an upgrade.

It's a fully-faired twin-cylinder machine that, Honda believes, provides "an excellent first big sports bike experience". It could also, the bikemaker says, appeal to experienced riders looking for avalue alternative to even larger sports bikes.


A little history lesson... Honda motorcycles go back more than 60 years and its first parallel-twin engine appeared in 1957 in the 247cc Dream C70. Then, through the 1960's, the DOHC CB450 twin regularly out-performed larger-engined rivals and now the CBR500R proudly carries the CB prefix (with an extra dash of race-inspired R).

"It proves the point," Honda says, "that sometimes less most certainly can be more."

GALLERY: Honda's new CBR500R

The CBR500R, the bikemaker adds, should appeal to a wide variety of riders for a wide range of uses, from commuting and touring to sports riding. "It's  easy to manage and delivers all-round practicality and efficiency - enjoyable to ride in every scenario."

The DOHC, twin-cylinder, fuel-injected engine produces 35kW and, Honda claims, can deliver less than four litres/100km. It hangs in a steel frame which in turn rides on 41mm telescopic front forks and a Pro-Link rear monoshock all kept off the tar by 17-inch cast aluminium wheels - 120 section front, 160 section rear tyres.


The shape and position of the engine mounts and the frame's rigidity have been carefully balanced to reduce vibration and a wheelbase of 1410mm and rake and trail of 25.5°/102mm respectively promise nimble steering. Mass centralisation, with the engine in very close proximity to the swingarm pivot point, delivers turning agility and an optimum front/rear weight distribution ensures stability.

"Kerb weight is 194kg and seat height 790mm make the CBR500R easy to manage," Honda says, "and its sporty riding position will comfortably accommodate riders of varying heights thanks to a relatively high handlebar position."

The fuel tank holds 15.7 litres, including reserve, for a theoretical range of 420km.

Digital instruments include speedometer, bar graph tachometer, odometer, two trip meters, clock and fuel gauge/consumption. An anti-theft system is contained in the ignition and the headlights use two 55W halogen bulbs and multi-reflectors.

There is space under the seat for a U-lock.


The CBR500R's engine is a DOHC, eight-valve, liquid-cooled, parallel twin whose bore and stroke are set at 67mm x 66.8mm. PGM-FI fuel-injection provides 35kW at 8500rpm, 43.1Nm of torque at 7000rpm.

A secondary air injection system is built into the cylinder heads, Honda says, and an oxygen sensor and catalyser inside the 2-into-1 exhaust should keep the volume of noxious emissions low

The Honda CBR500R is sold with a free rider training course at the Honda Academy, a year's free roadside assistance and a two-year unlimited distance warranty.

Price, including VAT - R69 990 (plus on-the-road charges).

Read more on:    honda

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