2019 Honda CBR500R Review of Specs / Features + NEW Changes Explained! | CBR Sport Bike @ EICMA 2018

– 2019 Honda CBR500R Review / Specs + Changes Explained in CBR Buyer’s Guide –

2019 Honda CBR500R Review / Specs + Changes Explained!

The 2019 CBR500R is back with a bang with loads of NEW Changes from top to bottom! Like I mentioned in the 2019 CB500X Review, it’s not often we see changes made to a bike following the year after Honda already threw changes and upgrades its way but thankfully Honda wanted to step-it-up this year with the 500cc CBR sport bike and not only that bike but also tweaks were made to the 2019 CB500F too. Check out the laundry list of new 2019 Motorcycles with changes and upgrades by Clicking Here.

Honda’s midsize 500cc CBR gets an aggressive, aerodynamically driven, sporty makeover, plus a racier, more aggressive riding position. It’s an ergonomic design that also features improved aero management. Clip-on handlebars now mount below the revised top triple clamp, and the riding position is canted further forward. Thanks to revisions to the inlet, exhaust and valve timing, the engine has more low-to-midrange power and torque and is also now equipped with a slipper clutch. New LCD gauges feature Shift Up and Gear Position functions, and the turn signals are now LED, to match the rest of the lighting. A new shock absorber borrowed from its larger CBR siblings delivers consistent damping performance and improved control over the previous generation. Below, we’ll take a deep-dive into everything you need to know about the 2019 CBR500R from its changes when compared against the previous year model as well as all of the nitty-gritty specs and features you guys want to know about…

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Key 2019 CBR500R Info (for those in a hurry):

  • 2019 CBR500R Price / MSRP: $6,699
    • 2019 CBR500R ABS Price / MSRP: $6,999
  • 2019 CBR500R Release Date: March 2019
  • 2019 CBR500R Colors: Grand Prix Red (USA), Matte Gray Metallic (USA), Matte Axis Gray Metallic, Pearl Metalloid White
  • 2019 CBR500R Horsepower: 49.6 HP @ 8,500 RPM
  • 2019 CBR500R Torque: 31.7 ft/lb TQ @ 7,000 RPM
  • 2019 CBR500R MPG: TBA
  • 2019 CBR500R Seat Height: 30.9 inches
  • 2019 CBR500R Weight: 419 lbs / ABS 423 lbs (curb)
  • 2019 CBR500R VS 2018 CBR500R Price / MSRP Increase: +$100
  • 2019 CBR500R VS 2018 CBR500R Changes: Yes, I break down the details more in-depth below.  

2019 Honda CBR500R Review / Specs + Changes Explained!

  • 2019 CBR500R Review Contents:
    • 1. | CBR500R Introduction
    • 2. | CBR500R Model Overview
    • 3. | CBR500R Key Features / Development
      • 3.1 | CBR500R Styling / Chassis
      • 3.2 | CBR500R Engine
    • 4. | CBR500R Accessories
    • 5. | CBR500R Pictures / Photo Gallery
    • 6. | CBR500R Technical Specifications

1. | 2019 CBR500R Introduction


Honda’s CBR500R sport bike – launched in 2013 alongside the naked CB500F and adventure-styled CB500X – gives a genuine sporting energy to its fun-focussed twin-cylinder ‘light middleweight’ trio.

Suitable for riders looking to move up from a smaller machine, it instills the excitement of sports bike ownership into every ride yet also delivers sensible running costs, making it a great bike to both commute through the working week and enjoy at the weekend. It’s also found favor with experienced riders looking to downsize their machinery, while preserving the essence of enjoyable motorcycling.

In 2016 and 2017 the CBR500R assumed sharper styling and LED lighting to go with upgrades to its front suspension; for 2019 it gets an even more aggressive makeover, with a new form and riding position that outlines a keener sporting intent. Its engine is stronger off the bottom and spins readily to the redline, delivering a thrilling howl in the process

The CBR500R has always proved fast, frugal, affordable and fun. And for 2019 its spirit has not changed – more of the same, yes; and a little something extra.

2. | 2019 CBR500R Model Overview

Contrasting angles and shaping – between the very slim and more muscular – from the fairing nose to the seat unit outline the CBR500R’s new look. It’s an ergonomic design for the rider to use aggressively which also features improved aero management. Clip-on handlebars now mount below the revised top yoke and the riding position is canted further forward.

While its engine maintains the same 49.6 horsepower output (35kW required for A2 licence holders), it now makes 4% more power and torque between 3,000 – 7,000 RPM thanks to revisions to the inlet, exhaust and valve timing. It also now features an assist/slipper clutch.

New LCD instruments feature a Shift Up and Gear Position function and the indicators are now LED, to match the rest of the lighting. While the chassis remains essentially unchanged a new rear shock absorber delivers consistent damping performance and improved control.


3. | 2019 CBR500R Key Features / Development

3.1 | 2019 CBR500R Styling & Chassis

  • Aggressive new lines with purposeful, dual LED headlights
  • Aerodynamically efficient and ergonomically comfortable
  • Re-sited clip-on handlebars give a sportier riding position
  • New LCD instrument display, with Gear Position and Shift Up indicators
  • LED indicators

For 2019, the CBR500R’s fully faired form is made even more aggressive with straight, wedge-like feature lines and extended lower fairings that emphasize 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 chiseled dual LED headlights stare menacingly ahead, and the addition of LED turn signals means all lighting is now LED.

The view forward from the CBR500R’s cockpit is pure sport. The handlebars now clip on beneath the redesigned top triple clamp, 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 fundamental concept for Honda’s CBR range dating back decades.

New LCD instruments feature a Gear Position and Shift Up indicator; this is set to a default 8,750 RPM but can be adjusted in 250 RPM increments between 5,000 and 8,750 RPM.

2019 Honda CBR500R Speedometer / Gauges / Meter Display / Instruments

2019 Honda CBR500R Review / Specs + Changes Explained!

The 35mm diameter steel diamond-tube mainframe is unchanged for 2019. It’s light and strong, with a tuned degree of yield that gives plenty of feedback to the rider as road surfaces change. Vibration is minimized by the shape and position of the engine mounts, plus the frame’s rigidity balance.

Wheelbase is 55.5 inches (1410mm) and rake and trail are set at 25.5°/ 4.0 in. (102mm) giving nimble, yet confidence-inspiring steering. 

Mass centralization, with the engine in close proximity to the swingarm pivot point, delivers turning agility, while optimum front/rear weight distribution ensures stability. Curb weight on the CBR500R (measured with fluids) is 419 lbs and 423 lbs for the ABS version. With a low seat height of 30.9 inches, the CBR500R is very easy to manage, and its riding position comfortably accommodates riders of any height. 

Seat height remains low at 30.9 in. (785mm), making the CBR500R very easy to manage and its riding position comfortably accommodates riders of any height. Overall dimensions are 81.9 in. x 29.7 in. x 45.1 in. (2080mm x 750mm x 1145mm), with 5.1 inches of ground clearance (130mm). The fuel tank holds 4.5 gal., including reserve and combined with the engine’s excellent fuel economy gives a range of over 260 miles (480km).

2019 Honda CBR500R Review / Specs + Changes Explained!

 The 41mm telescopic fork delivers a compliant yet controlled ride and gives great front-end feel. A new single-tube rear shock (as found on larger-capacity sport bikes) replaces the double-tube design of the previous model, its large-diameter piston ensuring excellent suspension response and temperature management. It has nine-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 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 with a 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 available as an option for the USA but in some countries around the world, ABS comes standard

The CBR500R will be available in the following color options:

  • Grand Prix Red (USA)
  • Matte Gray Metallic (USA)
  • Matte Axis Grey Metallic
  • Pearl Metalloid White

3.2 | 2019 CBR500R Engine

  • Lively twin cylinder power plant’s internal architecture mirrors that of the CBR1000RR
  • Revised inlet, exhaust and valve timing delivers 4% more mid-range power and torque
  • Sportier sound from new dual exit muffler
  • Assist/slipper clutch eases upshifts and manages downshifts

2019 Honda CBR500R Engine Specs: Horsepower & Torque, MPG + More!

The CBR500R’s, 8-valve liquid-cooled parallel twin-cylinder layout offers a well-proportioned balance of physical size and willing, enjoyable power output, with an energetic, high-revving character and zappy top end. The CBR500R is still A2 license friendly.

Already strong off the bottom, the target for 2019 development was faster acceleration through a boost in low-to-mid-range power and torque in the 3,000 to 7,000 RPM range; the 4% improvement comes via altered intake valve timing—with “close” timing accelerated by 5°—and lift increased by 0.3mm to 7.8mm.

  • 2019 CBR500R Performance Numbers:
    • CBR500R HP – 49.6 HP @ 8,500 RPM
    • CBR500R TQ –  31.7 ft/lb TQ @ 7,000 RPM
      • CBR500R kW – 35kW @ 8,500 RPM
      • CBR500R Nm – 43Nm @ 7,000 RPM

Feeding the PGM-FI fuel injection is now a more-or-less straight shot of airflow through the airbox and throttle bodies. The battery has been repositioned further away from the rear of the airbox intake duct (1.7 inches versus 0.5 inches) to allow greater airflow; the exhaust muffler now features dual exit pipes, adding a sportier-sounding edge to each pulse. Peak horsepower arrives at 8,500 RPM (35kW), with maximum torque delivered at 7,000 RPM (43Nm). 

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 centre of gravity. The 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 is light to allow the engine to spin freely, with reduced inertia.

Acting as a stressed member, the engine complements 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 wear. Inlet valve diameter is 26.0mm with exhaust valve diameter of 21.5mm.

The piston shape is based upon those used in the CBR1000RR Fireblade 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 CBR1000RR, an AB 1 salt bath process, used after isonite nitriding, forms a protective oxidization membrane.

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 the CBR1000RR.

The crankcase uses centrifugally cast thin-walled sleeves; 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 qt.

A six-speed gearbox mirrors that of the RR and uses the same gear-change arm structure and link mechanism. New for 2019, an assist/slipper clutch enables lighter upshifts and smoother downshifts.

4. | 2019 CBR500R Accessories

A range of Genuine Honda Accessories are available for the CBR500R. They include:

  • 35L top box
  • Rear carrier
  • Tank bag
  • Seat bag
  • Tall screen
  • Heated grips
  • 12V Socket
  • Seat Cowl
  • Wheel Stripes
  • Tank Pad

5. | 2019 CBR500R Pictures / Photo Gallery

6. | 2019 CBR500R Technical Specifications

2019 CBR500R Specifications
Model CBR500R ABS CBR500R
Type 471cc liquid-cooled parallel-twin four-stroke
Valve Train DOHC; four valves per cylinder
Bore x Stroke 67.0mm x 66.8mm
Compression Ratio 10.7:1
Induction PGM-FI fuel injection w/ 34mm throttle bodies
Ignition Full transistorized ignition
Starter Electric
Transmission 6-speed manual
Clutch Multiplate wet
Final Drive O-ring-sealed chain; 15T/41T
Front 41mm telescopic fork; 4.3 in. travel
Rear Pro-Link® single shock w/ nine-position spring preload adjustability; 4.7 in. travel


Single two-piston caliper w/ 320mm petal-
style disc; ABS
Single two-piston caliper w/ 320mm
petal-style disc


Single one-piston caliper w/ 240mm petal-
style disc; ABS
Single one-piston caliper w/ 240mm
petal-style disc
Front 120/70R-17
Rear 160/60-17
Rake (Caster Angle) 25.5º
Trail 102mm (4.0 in.)
Length 81.9 in.
Width 29.7 in.
Height 45.1 in.
Ground Clearance 5.1 in.
Seat Height 30.9 in.
Wheelbase 55.5 in.
Fuel Capacity 4.5 gal.
Color Grand Prix Red, Matte Gray Metallic
Curb Weight* 423 lbs. 419 lbs.

* 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.