Honda has a brand new middle-weight sportsbike in the line for India with the CBR500R. Its going to launch in the country by the end of this year.
We have already reported to you that Honda will be bringing a brand new family of 500cc motorcycles to India. That includes the CMX500 Rebel, CB500F, the CB500X, and the CBR500R. The Honda CBR500R should particularly be quite interesting as we do not have many 500cc sportsbikes in India. Its also expected to be as versatile as its larger cousin, the CBR650R. Let’s look at the Honda CRB500R in a little more detail.
The Honda CBR500R is powered by a 471cc, parallel-twin, liquid-cooled engine that develops 47.58PS at 8500rpm and 43Nm at 6500rpm. The engine comes mated to a 6-speed gearbox with a slip and assist clutch. Honda says the motor has been tuned to deliver better low to mid-range grunt and claims to deliver a fuel efficiency of 28.6km/litre. With a tank as large as 17.1 liters, you can cover more than 450kms on a single tank of fuel.
In terms of hardware, the CBR500R is underpinned by a steel diamond-type frame that uses the engine as a stressed member. At the front, the motorcycle gets 41mm pre-load adjustable forks while there’s a pre-load monoshock at the rear. For braking duties, there’s a single 320mm disc at the front and 240mm disc at the rear, with dual-channel ABS certainly. It gets 120/70-ZR 17 front and 160/60-ZR 17 rear radial tyres.
Although the underpinnings are quite simple, the motorcycle gets premium features in the form of all LED headlamp and tail lamps including LED turn indicator and a fully digital instrument cluster as well. The motorcycle is however on the heavier side with a kerb weight of 192 kgs. That brings down its power to weight ratio for a motorcycle of this size. In comparison, the Kawasaki Ninja 650 is juts 4 kgs heavier but a lot more powerful with 68PS at 8,000 rpm.
That aside, the Honda CBR500R should be accessible to most rider with its low seat height of 785mm. The ground clearance of the motorcycle is also pretty low at 130mm and you’d have to be careful over the larger bumps, or else you might be scratching its belly. The motorcycle has a long wheelbase of 1410mm and that should make it a neat handler around the bends. We can’t wait to find out.
The pricing for the CBR500R will be the key in India. Honda will initially bring the CBR500R to India via the CKD route but has plans to fully localize it in the future. We expect this middle-weight sportsbike to be priced near the Rs 5 lakh mark. However, after localization, the prices could drop below the Rs 4.5 lakh mark. If Honda is able to get the prices even lower, they might just have an excellent package up their sleeve. The Honda CBR500R is expected to reach our shores by the end of this year.