Honda is showing how serious it is about the light-middleweight class, strangely abandoned by most other manufacturers. After three years on the market, the versatile but sporty CBR500R has been freshened up with a raft of improvements. Most obvious is the more aggressive bodywork. There’s a new muffler that better centralizes weight on the bike and sounds better, according to Honda. There’s better gear-lever feel, an adjustable brake lever, and a convenient, hinged fuel-cap. More important, the fork has adjustable spring preload, and there are new shock settings. It’s still powered by a lively 471cc parallel twin with double-overhead cams, eight valves, and electronic fuel-injection. Price is yet to be announced, but expect it to be a screaming bargain like the original CBR500R.
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