• 2022 Honda CBR500R

Help from the CBR650R gives this budding little Fireblade better handling, more power, and more torque down low

LISTEN 10:15

Honda hit its CBR500R with a whole battery of tweaks and improvements for MY2022 that go far beyond the cursory BNG treatment that frequently marks “updated” models. The frame rocks a new lighter swingarm assembly with re-tuned flexion baked right in. Showa provides their SFF-BP stems up front along with a weight shift forward to improve the front contact patch integrity. Tuned-up fuel injection delivers more of what the factory calls “torque feel and character” to complete the major improvements over the 2021 model.

  • 2022 Honda CBR500R
  • Year:
    2022
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Engine:
    Parallel Twin
  • Displacement:
    471 cc
  • Top Speed:
    115 mph (Est.)
  • Price:
    7199
  • Price:

2022 Honda CBR500R Design

  • Aggressive supersport styling
  • LED lighting
  • LCD display
  • CBR650-derived bodywork
2022 Honda CBR500R
- image 1076925
2022 Honda CBR500R
- image 1076916
Though this bike is most often piloted by young riders and A2-license holders across the pond, Honda treats the bodywork with the same attention to detail as the more-noble models.

The front fender on the CBR500R is cut down to minimize air contact and the associated drag with foil-shaped uprights that push the slipstream outboard and into laminar flow with the cowling, all in a bid to minimize drag. Penetration is further aided by the narrow bubblescreen that pushes the limits of functionality and makes for a compact rider’s pocket.

The angry-alien headlights are borrowed from its 650 sibling and are made more effective through brighter LED emitters, same as the front turn signals that are, unfortunately, the lick-em-stick-em sort. Gotta’ say; a mirror-blinker combo would be a good addition here, or at least some recessed turn signals, but it is what it is. Behind the glass is an LCD screen that handles all of the instrumentation and dead-short, clip-on handlebars that encourage a rather aggressive riding posture. The factory drops the rubber parts from its jockey-mount rider’s footpegs to shave 3.7 ounces between the two as part of its weight-saving measures.

A 4.5-gallon fuel capacity gives it some legs, especially in light of the 72 mpg fuel-efficiency rating that turns out around 300 miles per fill up, but it tapers nicely out back to meet the narrow waist that leaves plenty of room for some body English in the corners if you’re into that sort of thing.

The saddle rides 30.9 inches high, which is reasonably low for this sort of bike, and it comes with a step-up pillion pad and fold-up footpegs to complete the passenger’s ensemble. Out back, a swingarm-mount hugger, subframe-mount mudguard, and even the license plate complete the spray containment under a recessed LED taillight to finish out the gear in the rear.

2022 Honda CBR500R Chassis

  • 41 mm Showa SFF-BP forks
  • Agile handling
  • Quick reversals
  • ABS
2022 Honda CBR500R
- image 1076915
2022 Honda CBR500R
- image 1076917
We expect a bike of this caliber to be agile and flickable, and the CBR500R doesn't disappoint.

Steel tubing makes up the diamond-style main frame that connects up to the engine at four separate points to complete the structure and help it achieve its final rigidity. The swingarm is newly redesigned to be lighter, and to that end, the factory dropped the material wall thickness from 2.3 mm to an even 2 mm. The new shape also boosts rotational stiffness while working in more lateral flexion to improve behavior in the curves.

A single, large-bore, coil over Honda Pro-Link shock tames and supports the rear end, but only comes with an adjustable spring-preload feature, same as the 41 mm Showa SFF-BP forks that float the front. Suspension travel measures in at 4.3 inches and 4.7 inches on the front and rear, respectively, which is plenty for street use, but with only the preload tweaks, the lack of adjustability is a little disappointing.

Honda shaved some more weight in the brake hardware, namely by dropping the front rotor diameter from 300 mm down to 296 mm with two-piston Nissin anchors to slow the front wheel. Out back, a single-pot caliper bites a 240 mm disc, and ABS protection comes stock at both ends.

Cast-aluminum is the material of choice for the wide-spoke wheels that both roll in 17-inch diameter with “Z” rated hoops that will take all this machine can dole out in a 120/70 ahead of a 160/60 for the fat contact patches they bring to the table. The steering head establishes a rake angle of 25.5 degrees with an even four inches of trail to deliver the expected agility and flickability to the masses.

Front Suspension/ Travel: 41 mm Showa SFF-BP fork/ 4.3 inches
Rear Suspension/ Travel: Pro-Link® single shock with nine-position spring preload adjustability/ 4.7 inches
Rake (Caster Angle): 25.5°
Trail: 4.0 inches
Front Brake: Twin four-piston calipers with 296 mm discs; ABS
Rear Brake: Single-caliper 240 mm disc, ABS
Front Tire: 120/70R-17
Rear Tire: 160/60-17

2022 Honda CBR500R Drivetrain

  • Transverse-mount, liquid-cooled, 471 cc parallel-twin
  • 46.9 hp & 31.7 lb-ft of grunt
  • Improved torque feel in the mid-range
  • Smoother shifting
2022 Honda CBR500R
- image 1076920
2022 Honda CBR500R
- image 1076922
Tweaks to the PGM-FI that manages the fuel mixture improves torque feel in the mid-range without sacrificing horsepower elsewhere.

Power for the CBR500R comes from a transverse-mount, liquid-cooled, parallel-twin engine that remains largely unchanged for this new year-model. To be fair, Honda has itself painted into the corner here since power output can’t be increased, not if the factory intends this bike to remain in the A2-compliant sector.

Peak power comes in with 46.9 ponies at 8,600 rpm while the grunt tops out at 6,500 with 31.7 pound-feet on tap. Tweaks to the PGM-FI that manages the mixture are designed to improve torque feel in the mid-range without sacrificing horsepower elsewhere. Top speed is around the 115 MPH mark, plenty fast enough to get into plenty of trouble, to be sure.

Dual over-head cams time the top end with finger-follower actuation and shim-and-bucket adjustment to keep things light, and reciprocating inertia down, in the valvetrain. This is a trend that continues into the bottom-end components to lower overall mass wherever possible.

A straight-shot intake tract aids volumetric efficiency just a skosh through its low-resistance air delivery for a free-breathing effect that unlocks the engine’s full potential. Power pulses hit evenly with a 180-out firing order with balancers in the bottom-end equipment to tune much of the remaining shake out.

A slipper-type clutch connects engine power to the six-speed transmission with a tough chain-type final drive to put the power to the pavement. The engine layout is nearly square with a 67 mm bore and 66.8 mm stroke for its 471 cc displacement and 10.7-to-1 compression ratio that should tolerate mid-grade fuel just fine.

Engine: 471 cc Liquid-cooled parallel-twin
Bore x Stroke: 67.0 mm x 66.8 mm
Compression Ratio: 10.7:1
Induction: PGM-FI with 34 mm throttle bodies
Ignition: Fully transistorized
Transmission: Six-speed
Final Drive: O-ring-sealed chain; 15T/41T

2022 Honda CBR500R Price

2022 Honda CBR500R
- image 1076924
2022 Honda CBR500R
- image 1076927
MSRP is $7.2k in a choice of red or silver colorways.

The factory offers the MY22 CBR500R in two new paint packages; the Grand Prix Red with black and white graphics, and Sword Silver Metallic with black and yellow graphics, both of which roll for $7,199 MSRP. Honda offers a full line of accessories so you can make your own mark as you please.

Model ID: CBR500RA
Warranty: One Year Included, Transferable, unlimited-mileage, limited warranty, Extended coverage available with a HondaCare Protection Plan®
Colors: Grand Prix Red, Sword Silver Metallic
Price: $7,199

2022 Honda CBR500R Competitors

2022 Honda CBR500R
- image 1076919
2018 - 2022 Kawasaki Ninja 400
- image 767090

Honda’s ’22 CBR500R finds itself in rare company as far as displacement goes, so Kawasaki’s Ninja 400 will simply have to do.

Kawasaki Ninja 400

2018 - 2022 Kawasaki Ninja 400
- image 876629
A $5.6k sticker makes the Ninja just a tad more affordable but that lower price is justified.

Kawasaki pays the same sort of attention to the overall build in order to bring as much of a racebike experience as possible at this displacement and price point. I like that the front turn-signal indicators are integrated with the front fairing a lot more than the Honda’s blinkers, though both run with insect-like, standoff-style mirrors and aggressive headlight shapes.

The Ninja’s beating heart, a 399 cc twin, generates 49 ponies and 29 pounds o’ grunt against Honda’s 46.9/31.7, respectively, which is unexpected given the displacement advantage Honda’s entry enjoys.

Kawi loses ground in the suspension with plain vanilla front forks to go with the obligatory spring-preload adjuster out back, and relies on a single-disc front brake for the bulk of the stopping power, though ABS comes stock across the board here so you can safely get the most out of that single anchor up front.

Top speed on the Kawi is clocked at 116 mph to put it ahead of the Honda by a nose, but the real news is the $5,599 sticker that makes the Ninja just a tad more affordable to boot.

Read our full review of the Kawasaki Ninja 400.

He Said

“This bike is a near-perfect learner machine for riders who are looking to grow into even more-powerful sportbikes. It’s got the looks, handling, and performance that burgeoning stoplight burners need to nourish their skillset, but keeps itself legal within the same size category for our friends across the pond.”

She Said

My wife and fellow motorcycle writer, Allyn Hinton, says, “The CBR500R underwent a significant upgrade, probably its most comprehensive update since 2013 when it appeared on the scene. This budding little Fireblade has a new suspension from the CBR650R and retuned engine remapping gives the mid-displacement CBR a new feel and improved performance. Brakes are more than ample, and altogether, the CBR500R feels very put together. It would be nice to have an updated instrument display, as it only has a little LCD screen, and you’ll be able to keep a close eye on your elbows since that’s about all you can see in the mirrors without making an effort to bob your head around, but considering the price point it’s a nicely put together bike.”

2022 Honda CBR500R Specifications

Engine & Drivetrain:
Engine: 471 cc Liquid-cooled parallel-twin
Bore x Stroke: 67.0 mm x 66.8 mm
Compression Ratio: 10.7:1
Induction: PGM-FI with 34 mm throttle bodies
Ignition: Fully transistorized
Transmission: Six-speed
Final Drive: O-ring-sealed chain; 15T/41T
Chassis:
Front Suspension/ Travel: 41 mm Showa SFF-BP fork/ 4.3 inches
Rear Suspension/ Travel: Pro-Link® single shock with nine-position spring preload adjustability/ 4.7 inches
Rake (Caster Angle): 25.5°
Trail: 4.0 inches
Front Brake: Twin four-piston calipers with 296 mm discs; ABS
Rear Brake: Single-caliper 240 mm disc, ABS
Front Tire: 120/70R-17
Rear Tire: 160/60-17
Dimensions & Capacities:
Wheelbase: 55.5 inches
Seat Height: 31.1 inches
Fuel Capacity: 4.5 gallons
Fuel Economy: 72 mpg
Curb Weight: 423 pounds
Details:
Model ID: CBR500RA
Warranty: One Year Included, Transferable, unlimited-mileage, limited warranty, Extended coverage available with a HondaCare Protection Plan®
Colors: Grand Prix Red, Sword Silver Metallic
Price: $7,199

Further Reading

Honda

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Read more Honda news.

TJ Hinton
TJ Hinton
T.J got an early start from his father and other family members who owned and rode motorcycles, and by helping with various mechanical repairs throughout childhood. That planted a seed that grew into a well-rounded appreciation of all things mechanical, and eventually, into a formal education of same. Though primarily a Harley rider, he has an appreciation for all sorts of bikes and doesn't discriminate against any particular brand or region of origin. He currently holds an Associate's degree in applied mechanical science from his time at the M.M.I.  Read full bio
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