New Honda CBR500R targets the young

CAPTION: Racetrack styling hides pop-down-the-shops intent on Honda's new CBR500R.

HONDA has released specifications and pics of its 2016 CBR500R.

Styling is all super sports. If you squint from a distance you might mistake it for a CBR600RR.

But the 500 is not a hot rod. With a parallel twin engine producing a modest 50hp or so, it should win friends from youngsters who have outgrown their first-bike 125 or 250 and who are smart enough to know a 100hp rocketship is not what they need. That doesn’t meant they can’t look like they’re riding a rocketship, of course …

Here’s what Honda says: “With all-new styling that offers a sharper, more aggressive look and improved airflow for increased rider comfort and better handling, plus refinements like LED headlights and taillights, the new CBR500R adds great curb appeal to legendary performance and reliability. Other updates include a new muffler design for improved mass centralization, lighter weight and an improved exhaust note, plus an adjustable front brake lever, smoother gear-change feel, a larger fuel tank with a hinged fuel cap and front suspension with adjustable preload. The CBR500R also now uses a wave ignition key for smoother function. The inline-twin 471cc engine offers accessible power output that smoothly revs up to redline, while emphasizing low- to midrange torque for real-world usability. Honda Genuine Accessories are also available for the new CBR500R, including a high windscreen, seat cowl, tank pad, 12v accessory socket and seat bag.”

Improved exhaust note? A smoother-functioning ignition key? Good grief. I must be getting old …

We haven’t seen a price yet, but you can get a cardillion other details on the Honda Australia website here.

Also see:

New bikes

CAPTION: Equally at home in the suburbs or, er, in the suburbs, the CBR falls in the sensible-but-looks-loopy category.

CAPTION: Equally at home in the suburbs or, er, in the suburbs, the CBR falls in the sensible-but-looks-loopy category. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. Some of my best friends are sensible but look loopy. The rest are loopy, but look sensible.