2018 Honda CBR500R Review of Specs + R&D / Development Info | 500cc CBR Sport Bike / Motorcycle

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Honda CBR500R Review / Specs

– Detailed 2018 CBR 500 R Review / Buyer’s Guide Overview: HP & TQ Engine / Performance Info, Features, Frame & Suspension + More! –

2018 Honda CBR500R Review / Buyer's Guide: Price, HP & TQ Performance Info, MPG, Colors + More! | CBR Sport Bike / Motorcycle

2018 Honda CBR500R Review | Price, Colors, Horsepower & Torque Performance Info - CBR Sport Bike / Motorcycle (CBR500 R)

Today, we’re going to break down all of the nitty-gritty details and specs that you need to know about the 2018 500cc CBR sport bike from Honda; the CBR500R. This page will break down everything from the development behind the CBR500R including behind-the-scenes details looking into all of the R&D that went into this motorcycle from the engine and electronics to the chassis with detailed info on the frame and suspension etc. You’ll also find all of the ‘regular’ specs like seat height, pricing, horsepower and torque, miles per gallon as well as pictures and walk-around videos plus more! If there’s something specific that you’re looking for about the 2018 CBR500R and don’t see it on this page, post your question up in the comment box at the bottom of the page and I’ll get right back to you with the answer. If you enjoyed checking out the info or found it helpful, please take a second and slap that ‘like’ button and or share this page as that lets me know you guys found the info useful and lets me know that I need to keep doing these detailed model break-downs / overviews etc. Now, let’s get to what you’re here for and that’s more information on the 2018 CBR500…

2018 CBR500R Changes / Model Updates: Is the 2018 CBR500R VS 2017 CBR500R any different? Technically, yes and no. The CBR500R received comprehensive upgrades for 2016, sporting a distinct, aggressive new look, and armed with revisions that included LED lighting, larger fuel tank, adjustable front forks – plus a satisfying howl from its redesigned mass-centralized exhaust. For 2017, the CBR500R stayed the same except for new color options and that is also became EURO4 compliant on its emissions. For 2018, there are no changes to the actual specs on the CBR but you do have new colors to choose from on the 2018 CBR500R.

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2018 CBR500R Color Names Changed: Honda has mixed up the color names and what they look like for 2018 on the CBR500R… What do I mean by that? Well, in 2016 Honda had a color called “Pearl White” and it was pearl white with blue mixed in as well. In 2018, the “Pearl White” name is back but this time around for 2018 it has red mixed in with it instead of blue. Personally, I think Honda should use a name that includes all colors so it doesn’t confuse some people if they are looking at a spec-sheet where something says “Pearl White” as most people will think it’s just white and that’s it. Also, the “Red” color-scheme that Honda has used in the past few years on the CBR500R is now being changed up slight too. It is now being called “Grand Prix Red” for 2018 and the only noticeable change compared to the past few years when Honda just called it “Red” is that the black and white graphics have been flip-flopped to have more black than there is why instead of the other way around. 

2018 Honda CBR500R Review / Specs: Price, HP & TQ Performance Info, MPG, Colors + More! | CBR Sport Bike / Motorcycle

2018 Honda CBR500R Colors | Review / Specs: Price, HP & TQ Performance Info, MPG, Colors + More! | CBR Sport Bike / Motorcycle

2018 CBR500R Review Contents:

  • 1. | Introduction / Overview
  • 2. | Key Features
    • 2.1 | Styling / Equipment
    • 2.2 | Engine
    • 2.3 | Chassis
  • 3. | Quick Overview of Features
  • 4. | Development (CBR500R / CB500F / CB500X Trio)
    • 4.1 | Photo Gallery
  • 5. | Technical Specifications

1. | CBR500R Introduction / Overview

Fast, frugal, affordable and fun, Honda’s CBR500R – on sale since 2013 – has helped redefine and re-energize the middleweight class and brings sporting energy, plus engineering DNA of larger CBRs, to Honda’s twin-cylinder line-up. Suitable for riders looking to move up from a smaller cc motorcycle and even those with years of experience it injects the excitement of sports bike ownership into every ride, yet also delivers real-world comfort with sensible running costs, making it a great bike to commute through the working week – and cut loose at the weekend on. And with its giant-killing capacity, the CBR500R has also found favor with experienced riders looking to downsize their machinery, while preserving the essence of enjoyable motorcycling. Dozens of young riders from around the world developed their racecraft on CBR500Rs in the first two seasons of Honda’s one-make European Junior Cup race series. It’s no wonder that the CBR500R has become one of Honda’s most popular-selling motorcycles the last few years!

While its 471cc DOHC parallel-twin engine (producing 49.6 horsepower and returning 71 miles per gallon) that offers acceible power and output that smoothly revs up to redline, while emphasizing low to midrange torque and steel diamond-tube frame remain unchanged, the CBR500R was recently redrawn with aggressive and flowing new lines front to back and improved airflow for increased rider comfort and better handling. The styling integrates fluidly and creates an aerodynamic form ready to carve cleanly through the air; Speaking of the engine used in the CBR500R, it’s been such a huge hit for Honda – they are now utilizing it in more than just the CBR500R, CB500F and CB500X… Honda is now throwing it in the all-new Rebel 500 that was introduced last year! If that doesn’t tell you that this engine is a masterpiece, I don’t know what will. Other updates from the most recent redesign include a new muffler design for improved mass centralization, lighter weight and an improved exhaust note thanks to different and ‘tuned’ internals that help give it a little more character to better match its CBR prefix. Plus an adjustable front brake lever, smoother gear-change feel, a larger fuel tank to help extend range before fuel fill-ups on the CBR500R with a hinged fuel cap and front suspension with adjustable preload abilities so you can dial in the ride at the front forks and just bringing an overall improved ride. Honda also threw a redesigned shift drum at the CBR500R too borrowing from the CBR600RR and CBR1000RR for smoother and more precise gear changes. The CBR500R also now uses a wave ignition key for smoother function.

Honda Genuine Accessories are also available for the CBR500R, including a taller windscreen, seat cowl, tank pad, 12v accessory socket and seat bag.


  • CBR500R History:
    • 2013 CBR500R – Model Introduced
    • 2014 CBR500R – New Colors (no other changes)
    • 2015 CBR500R – New Colors (no other changes)
    • 2016 CBR500R – New Changes (listed above)
    • 2017 CBR500R – New Colors (no other changes)
    • 2018 CBR500R – New Colors (no other changes)

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2. | CBR500R Key Features

2.1 | Styling, Equipment & Colors

The CBR500R has found popularity among owners because of its manageable size for riding in and around town, and sports performance out on the open, twisty roads. For the next stage of the machine’s development, the target for Honda’s engineers was to maintain its compact form, but give it a unique and hard-edged look. The styling concept is simply headed ‘Aggressive Speed Shape.’

It starts at the front of the sharply angled fairing, and each curve and angle flows through to the sporty upswept tail unit. The sharply-angled dual LED headlights are compact but bright, and – combined with twin position lights – contribute to the CBR500R’s assertive forward stance.

Narrow slits feature above each headlight, guiding air inside the fairing, reducing frontal pressure; a duct in the lower part of the screen reduces turbulence and promotes smooth flow around the rider’s helmet.

There’s a sense of continuity in the design theme with the angular contour surface of the fairing cowls – which also feature ducting to help aerodynamics and air flow to the airbox – plus heavy side slits, tying in with the ’character’ line and shaping of the side cowls and fuel tank. Each line interlocks and complements the next, and partially blacked-out fairing lowers and side cowls underscore the whole design.

Detail upgrades for rider benefit include a hinged fuel cap and 5-step adjustable span brake lever. The new ‘wave’ key also has a smoother, more premium feel in use. Both rider and passenger footpeg hangers have been reduced in size, with die-cast Aluminum footpegs and integrated grab rails for the passenger adding further touches of class and quality. The rear seat unit is eye-catchingly small, and finished with a clear-lensed rear LED light unit and sharply-designed (and easily removable) steel fender mount.

The comprehensive dash features a digital speedometer, digital bar graph tachometer, odometer, dual trip meters, clock, plus digital fuel level gauge and fuel consumption. HISS (Honda Intelligent Security System) is built in to the ignition; there’s space under the seat to store a U-lock. The HISS feature is not available on the USA model.


2018 CBR500R Colors (USA shown below):

  • Grand Prix Red (red / white / black)
  • Pearl White (white / red)
    • * USA models do not include wheel stripe decal
      • * Color options vary by country


2018 CBR500R Colors (Europe / Misc other countries shown below):

  • Grand Prix Red, Black Stripe
  • Pearl Metalloid White, Red Stripe
  • Graphite Black, Silver Stripe
    • * Color options vary by country

2018 CBR500R MSRP / Price:

  • 2018 CBR500R Price: $6,599 | MSRP
  • 2018 CBR500R ABS Price: $6,899 | MSRP
    • * Prices / MSRP will vary by country. The prices listed above are Honda’s MSRP in the USA.

2018 CBR500R Release Date: January 2018

Honda Accessories for the 2018 CBR500R include heated grips, carbon-look front mudguard, seat cowl, U-Lock, sports tail pack, rear hugger, tank pad and AC charging socket.

2.2 | Engine

The CBR500R’s 8-valve liquid-cooled parallel twin layout offers a great balance of physical size and flexible output. The ‘triangle’ proportion of crankshaft, main shaft and countershaft is very similar to that of Honda’s four-cylinder RR engines and much of the internal structure and engineering is taken directly from both the CBR600RR and CBR1000RR.

Bore and stroke is set at 67mm x 66.8mm; the crankshaft pins are phased at 180° and a primary couple-balancer sits behind the cylinders, close to the bike’s center of gravity. The primary and balancer gears use scissor gears, reducing noise. The crank counterweight is specifically shaped for couple-balance and its light weight allows the engine to spin freely, with reduced inertia.

  • 2018 CBR500R Horsepower / HP: 49.6 at 8,500 RPM
  • 2018 CBR500R Torque / TQ: 31.7 lb ft at 7,000 RPM

PGM-FI fuel injection provides superb throttle response and peak power of 49.6 HP (35kW) arrives at 8,500rpm, with 31.7 lb/ft TQ (43Nm) torque delivered at 7,000rpm.

The engine acts as a stressed member, reinforcing the frame’s rigidity with four frame hangers on the cylinder head. Internally the cylinder head uses roller rocker arms; shim-type valve adjustment allows them to be light, for lower valve-spring load and reduced friction. A silent (SV Chain) cam chain has the surface of its pins treated with Vanadium, reducing friction with increased protection against dust. Inlet valve diameter is 26.0mm with exhaust valve diameter of 21.5mm.

Bore size of 67mm is identical to that of the CBR600RR. The piston shape is based upon those used in the CBR1000RR to reduce piston ‘noise’ at high rpm. Friction is reduced by the addition of striations on the piston skirt (a finish that increases surface area, introducing gaps in which oil can flow for better lubrication). As with the CBR600RR and CBR1000RR, an AB 1 salt bath process, used after isonite nitrating, forms a protective oxidization membrane.

The crankcase uses centrifugally cast thin-walled sleeves, and the same bore interval as the CBR600RR helps them be as compact and light as possible. Their internal design reduces the ‘pumping’ losses that can occur with a 180° phased firing order. Using the same internal relief structure as that of the CBR1000RR, the oil pump features improved aeration performance, with reduced friction; a deep sump reduces oil movement under hard cornering and braking. Oil capacity is 3.4 quarts.

A six-speed gearbox mirrors that of its RR siblings using the same gear change arm structure and link mechanism. In an update for 2016, for easier urban riding, the shift drum stopper spring load has been revised, along with the shape of the shift drum center. The result is smoother, easier gear changing.

The gasflow route from airbox to exhaust is as straight as possible and a plate in the airbox separates the airflow to each cylinder. A new exhaust muffler design uses two internal chambers, joined by a punched link pipe; it’s physically shorter (aiding mass centralization), 1.2 pounds lighter and delivers a crisp exhaust note as rpm rises.

2.3 | Chassis

The CBR500R’s 35mm diameter steel diamond-tube mainframe is light and strong, with a tuned degree of yield that gives plenty of feedback to the rider as road surfaces change. The shape and position of the engine mounts, plus the frame’s rigidity balance, reduces vibration.

Wheelbase is 1410 mm and rake and trail are set at 25.5°/4.01 inches giving nimble, yet reassuring steering. Mass centralization, with the engine in very close proximity to the swingarm pivot point, delivers turning agility and optimum front/rear weight distribution ensures stability. The 2017 CBR500R curb weight comes in at 423.2 lb.

Seat height is low at 30.7 inches, making the CBR500R very easy to manage and its sporty riding position will comfortably accommodate riders of varying heights thanks to a relatively high handlebar position.

Overall dimensions are 81.8 inches x 31.1 x 45 inches (2080mm x 750mm x 1145mm), with 5.51 inches ground clearance. The fuel tank now holds 4.4 gallons, including reserve, and combined with the engine’s excellent fuel economy gives a range of over 300 miles.

The 41mm telescopic front fork, with 120mm stroke, delivers a compliant yet controlled ride; you can adjust the spring pre-load on the CBR500R and the fork legs are topped with Blue Aluminum. Pro-Link monoshock rear suspension features 9-stage preload adjustment and works through a rigid box-section steel swingarm. Final drive is via 520 sealed chain.

Lightweight, 17-inch cast Aluminum wheels employ hollow cross-section Y-shaped spokes. Front wheel width is 3.5 inch with a 120/70-ZR17 tire, the rear 4.5 inch and 160/60-ZR17 tire. 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.

3. | Quick Recap of 2018 CBR500R Info / Features

  • Supersport Styling
    Take a close look. Like what you see? The CBR500R offers all-new styling for 2016 that keeps it right at the front of the pack in terms of eye-appeal. The aerodynamic bodywork also provides significant advantages in air management for added rider comfort, along with a low drag coefficient and effective cooling.
  • LED Headlights
    The CBR500R has extremely bright dual LED headlights. It completely changes the CBR500R’s presence and gives the front end a unique look while also projecting plenty of light on the road for visibility.
  • Stainless Steel Exhaust
    Beautifully polished stainless steel exhaust is integrated with the rear footpeg set for clean, functional design. The exhaust tucks in tighter this year for better mass centralization (and consequently better handling) while also providing a crisper exhaust note.
  • DOHC Twin-Cylinder Engine
    Honda twins are famous for their versatility, and the CBR500R engine is one of our best ever. Using the same piston bore size as our CBR600RR sportbike, the parallel-twin engine offers accessible performance across all RPM ranges. Choosing a 500 isn’t a compromise, especially when it’s an engine with as much development behind it as Honda’s parallel twins. Liquid-cooling, double-overhead cams and bulletproof reliability make this a great all-around powerplant for any kind of riding you have in mind.
  • Step Seat
    The CBR500R offers a stepped two-piece seat with a low height. Perfect for around-town riding or winding roads, it also offers plenty of room for a passenger and is specially designed to fit a wide range of riders.

  • Pro-Link® Rear Suspension
    Last year the CBR500R received new shock settings that carry over for 2017 for improved ride comfort. Its sophisticated chassis uses Honda’s Pro-Link® rear suspension; the nine-stage preload and 4.7 inches of travel gives you a comfortable ride over small bumps, while capably absorbing bigger bumps to increase riding comfort and handling.
  • Cast Wheels
    Strong and stylish, the CBR500R’s aluminum 12-spoke cast wheels are easy to keep clean, look great, and are another feature that just makes sense.
  • Steel-Tube Frame
    A motorcycle’s frame is the basis for its handling. A take on a classic construction, the CBR500R’s diamond-shaped 35mm steel-tube mainframe ties to the engine with four mounts, offering a rock-solid foundation for a superior ride and handling.
  • Programmed Fuel Injection (PGM-FI)
    Programmed Fuel Injection (PGM-FI) continuously monitors several variables to ensure the correct fuel mixture is delivered for the existing riding and atmospheric conditions, ensuring a crisp throttle response throughout a wide variety of riding.
  • Digital Instrumentation
    A full LCD screen features a digital speedometer and tachometer and more, including a clock, odometer, trip meter, real-time and average fuel consumption meters, and illuminated engine diagnostic indicators.
  • Disc Brakes
    The front 320mm wave-style disc brake and 240mm rear provide strong stopping power. And new for 2016, the front-brake lever is now adjustable for a perfect fit.
  • Anti-Lock Braking System (ABS)
    Available ABS on the CBR500R helps you make confident stops under less-than-ideal conditions.
  • Passenger Seat Strap
    A handy rear passenger seat strap offers a firm handhold for your passenger or tie-down point for smaller items.

4. | Development

Development (Models: CBR500R / CB500F / CB500X)

Honda 500 Motorcycle Concept / Prototype Bike - CBR500R / CB500X / CB500F

First, there’s the CBR500R, a lightweight and nimble middleweight sport bike that’s just right for riders moving up in displacement categories, as well as for experienced riders who just love riding a great-handling bike. Next, there’s the CB500F naked sport bike, a great choice for independent-minded riders in search of a mid-sized entry-level bike with extra attitude, but one that’s also a great daily ride. And there’s also a middleweight adventure-style bike, the CB500X, a bike that follows the lead of the popular NC700X introduced in 2012 and now NC750X. For riders who want to add a smaller, lighter and eminently affordable adventure-style bike to their lives, the CB500X is just the ticket.

Each of these brand-new models has its own look and personality plus a tie-in to larger bikes in the Honda lineup, and they also share that distinctive, high-quality Honda feel. Despite their unique appearances, these three bikes share the same basic chassis components and engine—a smart move, since sharing common elements helps reduce development and production costs, resulting in a markedly lower consumer price point.

Engine Technology

Honda CBR / CB 500 cc Engine Review & Specs - Horsepower / Top Speed / Torque & Performance Numbers

Honda’s objective when developing the engine for the CBR500R, CB500F, CB500X series was to produce a global, kind-to-the-environment parallel twin-cylinder engine that looks ahead to the next generation and, by being both sporty and easy to handle, transcends regions to appeal equally to those in both developed and emerging countries.

They kept the original advantages of a parallel-twin engine (being economic and easy to handle), but aimed to realize output characteristics that would deliver comfortable but speedy controllability. We developed a new lightweight and compact 500cc engine that operates smoothly in the low-to medium-rpm range and maintains that smoothness into the higher rpm range.

Special Engine Characteristics

As regards engine performance, we decided on a maximum output of 8500rpm, placing the usual emphasis on high-rpm output characteristics while seriously considering the low-to-mid rpm range that will be most frequently used by the entry user.

In keeping with the engine’s characteristics, and in order to maximize the effectiveness of air intake volumes in all ranges up to 8500rpm, we debated the optimum size of valves and pistons and the best number and positioning of cylinders. In the end, we opted for a liquid-cooled parallel twin-cylinder engine with a bore/stroke ratio of 67mm×66.8mm. The stroke of 66.8mm was the maximum possible, given the compact engine dimensions the engineers had also set as a priority. The 7mm bore interval in this engine is the same as the bore intervals in the CBR600RR; this tight distance results in a compact—and light weight—engine.

The cylinder head design also incorporates a roller rocker arm for a more compact layout along with reduced friction. The choice of a shim-type valve adjustment system allowed incorporation of a lighter rocker arm setup that, in turn, allowed for a lower valve-spring load to further reduce power losses through engine friction. The cams are driven by a silent-type cam chain for reduced engine friction, and the surfaces of the cam-chain pins are treated with vanadium for lower friction and increased toughness. Compression ratio is set at 10.7:1, and to reduce piston noise and friction at the relatively high top engine speeds slated for these bikes (redline is 8600 rpm and rev-cut occurs at 9100 rpm), the short 67mm piston features asymmetrical skirts that are the same length but differ in width. Using technology applied to the CBR600RR, striations on the piston skirts aid oil retention for better lubrication, and the piston pins and connecting rods are also treated with a friction-reducing special protective coating. The 180-degree crankpin design and an engine counterbalancer help smooth operation, and preloaded scissor gears are used for the primary and balancer gears to reduce gear whine/engine noise. All in all, a sophisticated package.

At the same time as keeping vibration to a minimum by using pins phased at 180°on the crankshaft and a couple balancer behind the cylinders, we also achieved an engine that looks compact and stylish.

Honda’s Programmed Fuel Injection (PGM-FI) system delivers the appropriate fuel mixture according to existing riding and atmospheric conditions for crisp throttle response. A pair of 34mm throttle bodies feed the engine, with the injectors located within the throttle-body assembly. All of this technology helps give all three 500s an especially responsive, revvy nature and a high-quality feel.

The crank counterweight specifically shaped for couple balance, not only enabled us to obtain the crankshaft moment of inertia required to achieve the characteristics of an easy-to-handle engine, but also meant it was possible to make it thoroughly lightweight.

Honda Engine Specs: CBR500R / CB500F / CB500X Motorcycles | Sport Bike, Naked StreetFighter, Adventure

Crankshaft CG

Flow analysis of the cooling liquid through CAE simulation maximized efficiency in cooling performance, which enabled us to make the water pump smaller and more lightweight, but still more than capable of doing its job during periods of high output.

In order to maximize air intake and exhaust efficiency, we straightened the profile from the air cleaner through the intake port to the exhaust pipe. Although the diameter of the valves was increased, along with that of the intake and the exhaust, the valve stems were made narrower, reducing friction and increasing exhaust efficiency.

Furthermore, in order to achieve easy-to-handle characteristics in the low-to mid-rpm range and sustained pull at high revs, we exhaustively analyzed air intake and exhaust mechanisms to calculate the ideal length and diameter of pipe required.

Honda CBR / CB 500 cc Engine Review & Specs - Horsepower / Top Speed / Torque & Performance Numbers

Water Pump

Honda CBR500R Engine Review / Specs: HP, TQ, MPG | Sport Bike / Motorcycles

Intake and Exhaust Port

Environmental Performance

When it comes to environmental performance, in order to amply meet the basic performance requirements of a Sports bike as well as the challenging environmental performance targets we had set ourselves, a variety of technologies were introduced in all areas of the power unit.


Compared with SOHC, DOHC gave us free rein to choose the shape of the combustion chamber, the shape of the ports and the layout angle of the valves, and also make the valves more lightweight, so we went with DOHC. While DOHC naturally improved performance, it was also a factor in making the end-product more attractive as a Sports bike.

For the valves, by deploying a roller rocker arm extremely compactly, we were able to realize small cylinder heads with low friction valve drives. By choosing shim-type valve tappet adjustment we were able to lighten the weight of the rocker arm, which meant we could set a lower valve-spring load and so reduce friction. The valvetrain incorporates four valves per cylinder actuated by dual overhead camshafts. The intake valves measure 26mm in diameter, the exhaust valves 21.5mm, and narrow valve stems help reduce reciprocating weight and engine friction. This DOHC configuration was chosen for higher performance; it gave the engineering team greater latitude in developing the shape of the combustion chamber, the shape of the ports and the layout angle of the valves, while also allowing the use of lighter valves. Careful attention was paid in particular to creating a markedly straight-line flow from the air cleaner through the intake ports and out the exhaust pipe to maximize efficiency.

Also, by using a silent cam chain (SV Chain) with which the surface of the pins is treated with vanadium, we were able to both reduce friction and increase protection against dust.

Honda 500cc Motorcycle Engine Review & Specs - Horsepower / Top Speed / Torque & Performance Numbers

Roller Rocker Arm

Honda Engine Specs: CBR500R / CB500F / CB500X Motorcycles | Sport Bike, Naked StreetFighter, Adventure

Silent Cam Chain

Piston, Connecting Rod

For the piston, we chose the same φ67 bore size as employed on the CBR600RR. We also optimized the balance between piston rigidity and strength and made maximum use of CAE technology to make the piston thoroughly light weight.

We also worked to reduce friction by adding Striations on the piston skirt, and by combining the AB1* process used on the CBR600RR for the piston pin/connecting rod.

* AB1 process: AB1 salt bath process used after isonite nitriding in order to form a protective oxidization membrane.

Detailed Honda Engine Specs: CBR500R / CB500F / CB500X Motorcycles | Sport Bike, Naked StreetFighter, Adventure

Piston, Connecting Rod

Detailed Honda Engine Specs: CBR500R / CB500F / CB500X Motorcycles | Sport Bike, Naked StreetFighter, Adventure

Striations on the Piston Skirt


For the crankcase, in order to keep cylinder irregularity to a minimum we used centrifugal-casted thin-walled sleeves and as in the CBR600RR, made the crankcase more compact and lightweight by making the bore interval 7mm.

Also, through measures such as eliminating partitions in the 180° phase crankcase transmission chamber, we reduced the pumping losses that occur during piston oscillation.

Oil Pump

For the oil pump, we used the internal relief structure used in the CBR1000RR and as well as reducing friction, improved aeration performance and simplified the shape of the oil pan.

Honda CBR Sport Bike Engine Review & Specs - Horsepower / Top Speed / Torque & Performance Numbers

Crank Case

Detailed Honda Engine Specs: CBR500R / CB500F / CB500X Motorcycles | Sport Bike, Naked StreetFighter, Adventure

Oil Pump

Emission Equipment

As well as building an AI system into the cylinder heads, we also put an O2 sensor and catalyzer inside the exhaust pipe to meet the EURO 4 exhaust gas regulations and achieve our own higher environmental targets.

In order to meet regulatory requirements in Thailand and California, we have also used an evaporative emission control system (a device that inhibits the emission of fuel evaporative emissions) that satisfies the Level 6 emission gas regulations in Thailand. This is a power unit that truly respects the environment.

Honda CBR 500 R / CB500 F / CB500 X Engine Review & Specs - Horsepower / Top Speed / Torque & Performance Numbers

AI System

Top Grade Engine

Aiming for a top grade motorcycle powered by a lightweight, compact engine that is an extension of the rider’s will, we examined the engine balance from every aspect of the finished bike and increased its presence by giving it a more powerful form than conventional parallel-twin engines.

At the same time, we added 4 frame hangers to the engine head. Hangers enable part of the frame rigidity to come from the rigidity of the engine itself, which allowed us to simplify the shape of the frame and make the finished article more lightweight and compact.

Also, we reviewed the positioning of the balancer in conventional parallel-twin engines and for this machine decided to position it near the engine’s center of gravity which is nearer the finished bike’s center of gravity. This not only delivered sporty handling, but also gave us freedom in styling.

We used the same head cover cap as is being used on the CB1100 and the CB1300 Super Four.

For the first time on CB and CBR models, we used a socket bolt as the tightening bolt on covers in our pursuit of quality design down to the finest detail.

Silence and Vibration

Utilizing the noise and vibration characteristics of its twin parallel cylinders, we were able to realize an engine that is both easy to handle and very quiet, which imparts a discreet sense of quality.

Firstly, for the primary and balancer gears, we used scissors gears to achieve improved noise performance and also facilitate global roll-out productivity.

Also, the piston shape, arrived at after CAE analysis of piston balance and behavior, delivers the optimum piston balance and reduces piston-generated noise.

For vibration, we used a couple-balanced crank counterweight and a primary couple balancer. This resulted in a top grade parallel-twin engine that we were also able to make more lightweight.

Honda 500cc Motorcycle Engine Review & Specs - Horsepower / Top Speed / Torque & Performance Numbers

Balancer Layout

Gear change feeling

A six-speed gearbox complements the power output of this engine, and the triangulated layout between crankshaft, mainshaft and countershaft is very similar to that of the four-cylinder CBR-RR engines, which aids in creating a very compact unit. Engine weight, at 116 pounds, is laudably light. In addition, the gear-change mechanism uses the same gearshift structure and gearshift link design used in the ultra-high-performance CBR600RR and CBR1000RR sport bikes to yield high-quality shifting action and feel.

Honda CBR500R / CB500X / CB500F Engine / Review & Specs - Horsepower / Top Speed / Torque & Performance Numbers


– Frame & Chassis Technology

The CBR500R and CB500F share the same wheelbase of 55.5 inches, while the CB500X spans 55.9 inches between axles. The X model also has one degree more steering rake than its two siblings (26° 5′ versus 25° 5′), and its 41mm fork yields 4.9 inches of travel in contrast to the 4.3 inches of fork travel with the other two bikes. All three share the same Pro-Link® single-shock rear suspension system, which offers nine-step cam-style spring preload adjustability and 4.7 inches of travel. Thanks in part to this slightly taller suspension setup the CB500X seat is slightly taller at 31.8 inches, versus 30.7 inches for the CBR500R and CB500F. Even so, the CB500X seat is perched nearly an inch lower than that of the larger NC700X / NC750X adventure-style bike, which makes it distinctly more friendly feeling for riders with shorter inseams.

All three models share the same lightweight cast aluminum wheels, a 120/70-17 front and 160/60-17 rear. These wheels follow the designs used for the latest CBR600RR and CBR1000RR wheels. The brake setups are likewise identical among all three 500s: a twin-piston caliper and 320mm wave-style disc up front, and a 240mm wave disc in back. The front brake in particular offers excellent stopping power and feel. The wave design reduces unsprung weight and it also offers excellent heat-dissipating qualities. ABS is an option with all three bikes and the ABS systems are independent, not linked, between the rear and front brakes.

Honda’s development target for the frame and chassis was to achieve a high-level fusion of flexibility and rigidity. This was to involve concentrating mass while satisfying basic operational functions, imparting a ‘sporty’ feel that is evident the moment you straddle the bike, achieving controllability and the optimum body size and dimensions for a broad spectrum of users, from the novice to the veteran, to experience the unique fun of riding a motorcycle and enjoy using the bike in daily life, for touring or for sports riding.

Honda CBR500R / CB500F / CB500X Engine / Review & Specs - Horsepower / Top Speed / Torque & Performance Numbers

Frame CG

In order to deliver gentle and straightforward handling on a bike powered by a satisfyingly responsive lightweight and compact engine that delivers power across the range from the low-to high-rpm range, the frame that supports the engine has to be lightweight but sufficiently rigid to facilitate Sports riding. The engine hangs as a stressed frame member housed in a monocoque frame evocative of Honda’s MotoGP racing machines. The cylinder head features four solid attachment points for engine hangers, which allows the rigidity of the engine to add to chassis rigidity. Such a design lends itself to a more simplified frame shape, yielding a more lightweight and compact chassis. The resulting frame is a diamond-shaped unit with a 35mm steel tube main member, and the final design is approximately 33 lbs (15 kg) lighter than other comparable designs, which adds greatly to the handling prowess of all three bikes, and therefore that much easier to maneuver.

Meanwhile, because there is an appropriate degree of yield in the rigid steel tubes of the frame, it responds lithely to constant changes in the road surface, parrying gaps and feeding back road information to the rider, allowing him or her to take a freer line. Agreeable vibration from the engine enhances the sense of a quality ride.

Also, by optimizing the shape of the rear shock attachment components, we have been able to draw out the maximum performance from the pro-Link suspension.

Honda CBR500R / CB500F / CB500X Frame, Chassis, Suspension Review & Specs - Horsepower / Top Speed / Torque & Performance Numbers

Pro-Link Suspension CG

Moreover, by keeping the seat attachment section of the frame on a par with that of 250cc class bikes, the seat height has been set at 30.7 inches (785 mm), a good height to keep the ground within easy reach of a rider’s feet.

Body Dimensions and Positioning of Componets

The dimensions of the bike have been set to deliver honest, reassuring handling and agility.

To achieve this, we utilized the newly developed compact engine to achieve a wheel base of 55.5 in. (CB500X: 55.9 in.), a caster angle of 25.5° (CB500X: 26.5°) and a seat height of 30.7 in. (CB500X: 31.8 in).

Mass was concentrated by positioning heavy items near the bike’s center of gravity, and by optimizing weight distribution fore and aft were able to achieve a high degree of stability and agility.

By optimizing the position and shape of the engine mount and the frame rigidity balance, we were able to make the bike more lightweight and deliver reassuringly honest handling at the same time as reducing unpleasant bike vibration.

Front Suspension

The upright telescopic front suspension with an inner tube diameter of 41mm optimizes the rigidity balance with the frame.

Securing a suspension stroke of 120mm (CB500X: +20mm) delivers a soft but firm ride and gives a strong sense of connection with the road when on the move.

Rear Suspension

Optimizing the ratio on the rear Pro-Link suspension delivers powerful road adhesion and contributes to the lightening of suspension weight and the concentration of mass.

Honda also used a 9-stage preload adjuster which makes it possible to adjust the suspension to a rider’s preference or when riding tandem.

The length of the rear swing arm is 564mm. Its 70×30mm square cross-section pipe delivers high rigidity as well as appropriate toughness.

Front & Rear Wheels / Tires & Chain

The simple hollow cross-section Y-shaped spokes of the lightweight cast aluminum wheels are designed to flexibly parry changes in the road surface and so contribute to the bikes nimble maneuverability.

The chain is a size 520 sealed chain which helps control friction and reduce unsprung weight.

Tire sizes are 120/70/17 on the front and 160/60/17 on the rear.


Given that the bike is going to be put to use on all sorts of roads in all sorts of environments across the world, its 320mm large diameter front disc brake has been fitted with a 2-pot caliper for powerful control, while the 240mm rear disc has been fitted with a 1-pot caliper.

Wave disc brakes are used with superlative heat-dissipating qualities that are lighter than conventional discs of the same diameter, which also contributed to reducing the bike’s unsprung weight.


CBR500R / CB500F / CB500X Family Photo Gallery

5. | 2018 CBR500R Technical Specifications:

Type Liquid-Cooled, parallel twin
Displacement 471cc
No of Valves per Cylinder 4
Bore & Stroke 67mm x 66.8mm
Compression Ratio 10.7:1
Max. Power Output 49.6 HP (35kW) @ 8500rpm
Max. Torque 31.7 lb/ft TQ (43Nm) @ 7000rpm
Oil Capacity 3.38 qt (3.2L)
Induction PGM FI
Fuel Tank Capacity 4.4 gal (16.7L)
Fuel Consumption (WMTC) 71 MPG (29.4km/L)
Starter Motor
Battery Capacity 12V 8.6AH
ACG Output 23.4A/2000rpm
Clutch Type Wet multiplate
Transmission Type 6 speed
Final Drive Chain
Type Steel, Diamond
Dimensions (L´W´H) 81.8 inches x 31.1 x 45 in (2080mm x 750mm x 1145mm)
Wheelbase 55.5 in (1410mm)
Caster Angle 25.5 degrees
Trail 102
Seat Height 30.7 in (785mm)
Ground Clearance 5.51 in (140mm)
Curb Weight 423.2 lb (194kg)
Type Front Conventional telescopic, 41mm, pre-load adjustable.
Type Rear Prolink mono with 9 stage Preload adjuster, steel square pipe swingarm
Type Front Multi-spoke Aluminum Cast
Type Rear Multi-spoke Aluminum Cast
Rim Size Front 17 x MT3.5
Rim Size Rear 17 x MT4.5
Tires Front 120/70ZR – 17M/C
Tires Rear 160/60ZR – 17M/C
ABS System Type 2-Channel
Type Front Single Wave Disk, 320mm, 2 pot calliper
Type Rear Single Wave Disk, 240mm, 1 pot calliper
Instruments Digital Speedometer, Digital Bar Graph Tachometer, Dual Trip Meters, Digital Fuel Level Gauge & Fuel Consumption Gauge, Digital Clock
Security System HISS (Honda Intelligent Security System) * European models
Headlight Low 3.8W. Hi 6.4W x 2 lights
CBR500R Pearl White (USA)
CBR500R ABS Pearl White, Grand Prix Red (USA)


Engine: Specification, Units: mm (in)
Cylinder arrangement: 2 cylinders in-line, inclined 20° from vertical
Bore and stroke: 67.0 x 66.8 mm (2.64 x 2.63 in)
Displacement: 471 cm³ (28.7 cu-in)
Cylinder compression at rpm: 1,372 kPa (14.0 kgf/cm², 119 psi)
Standard: 0.010 – 0.045 (0.0004 – 0.0018)
Service Limit: 0.10 (0.004)
Intake: 0.16 ± 0.03 (0.006 ± 0.001)
Exhaust: 0.27 ± 0.03 (0.011 ± 0.001)
Recommended engine oil/classification/viscosity: Pro Honda GN4 4-stroke oil/API: SG or higher, JASO T 903 standard: MA/SAE 1
Oil capacity after draining/engine oil filter change: 2.7 liters (2.9 US qt, 2.4 Imp qt)
Oil pressure at oil pressure switch: 93 kPa (0.9 kgf/cm², 13 psi) at 1,200 rpm/80°C (176°F)
Final Drive: Specification
C/S sprocket: 15
Rear sprocket: 41
Drive chain size (x) links: 520 x 112
Drive chain slack: 35 – 45 (1.4 – 1.8)
Cooling System: Specification
Recommended antifreeze/concentration: Pro Honda HP Coolant/1:1
Coolant capacity,radiator and engine: 1.4 liters (1.5 US qt, 1.2 Imp qt)
Fuel System: Specification
Type/throttle bore: PGM-FI (Programmed Fuel Injection)/34 mm (1.3 in)
Carburtetor/throttle body ID #: GQBJA (A-type), GQBJB (AC-type)
Idle speed (+/- 100 rpm): 1,200 ± 100 rpm
Fuel pressure at idle: 343 kPa (3.5 kgf/cm², 50 psi)
Throttle grip/lever free play: 2 – 6 mm (0.1 – 0.2 in)
Suspension: Specification
Recommended fork fluid: Pro Honda Suspension Fluid SS-8 (10W)
Fork fluid capacity/and level: 503 ± 2.5 cm³ (17.0 ± 0.08 US oz)/130 (5.1)
Tires: Specification
Front  Size: 120/70ZR17M/C (58W)
Cold tire pressure: 250 kPa (2.50 kgf/cm², 36 psi)
Rear  Size: 160/60ZR17M/C (69W)
Cold tire pressure: 290 kPa (2.90 kgf/cm², 42 psi)
Battery/Charging System: Specification
Charging system type: Triple phase output alternator
BatteryCapacity/Model: 12 V – 8.6 Ah (10 HR)/FTZ
Fully charged: 13.0 – 13.2 V
Needs charging: Below 12.4 V
Normal: 0.9 A/5 – 10 h
Quick: 4.5 A/1 h
Regulated voltage at rpm: Measured BV < Measured CV < 15.5 V @ 5000 rpm
Alternator charging coil resistance: 0.1 – 1.0 O
Lighting Equipment: Specification
Lo: 12 V – 60/55 W
Brake/tail light: 12 V – 21/5 W
Front turn signal/running light bulb: 12 V – 21/5 W x 2
Rear turn signal light bulb: 12 V – 21 W x 2
Ignition System: Specification
Ignition system type: Full transistorized ignition
Ignition timing (F mark): 6° BTDC at idle speed
Standard – NGK: CPR8EA-9
Spark plug gap: 0.80 – 0.90 mm (0.031 – 0.035 in)
Ignition coil peak voltage: 100 V minimum
Ignition pulse generator peak voltage: 0.7 V minimum
Torque value: Specification, Unit: N.m (kgf.m, lbf.ft)
Front axle bolt/nut: 54 (5.5, 40)
Front axle holder/pinchbolt/nut: 22 (2.2, 16)
Rear axle nut: 88 (9.0, 65)

* Includes all standard equipment, required fluids and full tank of fuel—ready to ride. Meets current EPA standards. Models sold in California meet current CARB standards and may differ slightly due to emissions equipment. Specifications subject to change.

1 Comments on this post

  1. How much weight can 2018 CBR 500r handle and still operate smoothly

    jason martin /

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