2024 Honda CBR500R Top Speed: An In-Depth Exploration

2024 Honda CBR500R Top Speed

The Honda CBR500R has long been a fan favorite in the entry-level sportbike segment, offering an exciting blend of performance, agility, and affordability. As we eagerly await the 2024 model year, one question remains at the forefront of many riders’ minds: what is the top speed of the latest Honda CBR500R? This article delves deep into the specifications, real-world performance, and owner experiences surrounding this bike’s top speed capabilities.

Key Highlights of the 2024 Honda CBR500R

Before we explore the top speed numbers, let’s familiarize ourselves with the key highlights that make the 2024 Honda CBR500R a compelling choice in its class:

Sleek and Sporty Design: The CBR500R boasts a sleek and aggressive design language, complete with dual LED headlights, a sculpted fairing, and a sporty split-seat configuration. Its aerodynamic lines not only look great but also contribute to improved high-speed stability.

Powerful Parallel-Twin Engine: At the heart of the CBR500R lies a 471cc liquid-cooled parallel-twin engine, delivering a peak power output of 46.2 horsepower. While not earth-shattering, this powerplant packs a punch in the lightweight CBR package.

Updated Aerodynamics: For 2024, Honda has updated the CBR500R’s fairing with integrated winglets, which are claimed to contribute to a more linear steering feel and increased front-tire grip feedback – both crucial factors for high-speed performance.

New 5-inch TFT Display: Keeping up with the times, the 2024 model features a vibrant 5-inch TFT display, providing riders with crucial information in a clear and easy-to-read format.

Lighter Weight: Despite the addition of modern amenities like traction control and the new TFT screen, the 2024 CBR500R has shed a kilogram compared to its predecessor, now tipping the scales at a svelte 191 kg (wet).

What is the Top Speed of the Honda CBR500R?

Now, let’s address the burning question: what is the claimed top speed of the 2024 Honda CBR500R? According to Honda’s specifications, this lightweight sportbike can reach a top speed of around 110 mph (177 km/h).

While this figure may not seem earth-shattering in the world of superbikes, it’s important to consider the CBR500R’s positioning as an entry-level and beginner-friendly motorcycle. Its top speed is more than adequate for most riding scenarios and provides a thrilling yet manageable experience for newer riders.

Interestingly, some owners have reported slightly higher top speeds in ideal conditions, with a few claiming to have reached the 115-120 mph range. However, it’s essential to note that these figures can vary based on factors such as rider weight, wind conditions, and the specific bike’s state of tune.

“The CBR500R’s top speed might not be groundbreaking, but it’s more than enough for a bike in this class. Plus, the way it builds speed is just so much fun!” – Alex, CBR500R owner

Acceleration and Performance

While top speed grabs headlines, a motorcycle’s real-world performance is often better judged by its acceleration and overall power delivery. In this regard, the Honda CBR500R impresses with its punchy parallel-twin engine and lightweight construction.

With a peak torque output of 31.7 lb-ft (43 Nm) at 6,500 rpm, the CBR500R offers a decent mid-range punch that makes it feel lively and responsive around town or on twisty backroads. Owners frequently praise the bike’s eager acceleration and nimble handling, which more than make up for its modest top speed.

“The CBR500R might not be a rocket off the line, but once you get it revving, it pulls like a champ! The power delivery is so linear and predictable, making it a joy to ride hard.” – Sarah, CBR500R enthusiast

To provide a comprehensive overview, here’s a table summarizing the key specifications of the 2024 Honda CBR500R:

Engine471cc liquid-cooled parallel-twin
Power46.2 hp (35 kW) @ 8,600 rpm
Torque31.7 lb-ft (43 Nm) @ 6,500 rpm
Transmission6-speed, chain final drive
Front Suspension41mm Showa SFF-BP USD forks
Rear SuspensionProlink monoshock, 5-stage preload adjustment
Front BrakesDual 296mm discs, radial-mount 4-piston calipers
Rear BrakeSingle 240mm disc, single-piston caliper
Curb Weight191 kg (wet)
Fuel Capacity17.1 liters
Seat Height785 mm

What Determines a Motorcycle’s Top Speed?

While the Honda CBR500R’s top speed figure is readily available, understanding the factors that influence a motorcycle’s maximum velocity can provide valuable insights. Several key elements contribute to a bike’s top speed potential:

Engine Displacement and Power Output: Larger displacement engines with higher horsepower ratings generally translate to higher top speeds, all else being equal. The CBR500R’s 471cc parallel-twin, while potent for its class, is inherently limited compared to larger-displacement superbikes.

Aerodynamics and Riding Position: The way a motorcycle cuts through the air and the rider’s positioning play a crucial role in minimizing drag and maximizing top speed potential. The CBR500R’s updated fairing with winglets aims to improve aerodynamic efficiency.

Gearing and Final Drive Ratio: A motorcycle’s gearing and final drive ratio determine how effectively the engine’s power is translated to forward momentum. Taller gearing can increase top speed at the expense of acceleration.

Rider Weight and Riding Conditions: Factors like rider weight, wind resistance, and riding conditions (e.g., altitude, temperature) can all impact a motorcycle’s ability to reach its claimed top speed in the real world.

Maximizing the CBR500R’s Top Speed Potential

While the Honda CBR500R’s top speed is respectable straight from the factory, some owners and enthusiasts may seek to eke out every last mph through a range of performance modifications. Here are some popular upgrades that can potentially increase the CBR500R’s top speed:

Exhaust Systems: Aftermarket exhaust systems can improve airflow and potentially unlock a few extra horsepower, translating to a higher top speed. However, be mindful of emissions regulations and potential impacts on low-end torque.

Air Filters and ECU Tuning: High-flow air filters and dyno tuning (e.g., Power Commander) can help optimize the engine’s air/fuel mixture and ignition timing, potentially yielding more power and higher top speeds.

Aerodynamic Upgrades: Aftermarket windscreens, fairings, or even seat humps can improve aerodynamic efficiency, reducing drag and enabling higher top speeds.

Gearing Changes: Installing a larger rear sprocket or changing the final drive ratio can effectively “tall-en” the gearing, potentially increasing the CBR500R’s top speed at the expense of acceleration.

“After installing a slip-on exhaust, Power Commander, and making a few other tweaks, I managed to see an indicated 122 mph on my CBR500R’s speedometer. Not bad for a little parallel-twin!” – Mike, CBR500R modifier

It’s important to note that any modifications should be carefully researched and installed by a qualified technician to ensure safety and reliability.

How Does the CBR500R’s Top Speed Compare to Competitors?

While the Honda CBR500R’s top speed is respectable within its class, it’s always interesting to see how it stacks up against key competitors. Here’s a quick comparison to some of the CBR500R’s closest rivals:

  • Kawasaki Ninja 400: With a top speed of around 105 mph, the Ninja 400 falls slightly behind the CBR500R in outright top speed, but it’s still a capable and popular choice in the entry-level sportbike segment.
  • Yamaha R3: The Yamaha R3, with its 321cc parallel-twin engine, has a claimed top speed of around 110 mph, putting it on par with the Honda CBR500R’s figures. However, the R3 falls behind slightly in peak power and torque output compared to the CBR.
  • KTM RC 390: KTM’s lightweight and powerful RC 390 boasts a top speed in the neighborhood of 115-120 mph, edging out the CBR500R when it comes to outright velocity. With its 373cc single-cylinder engine producing 43 hp, the RC 390 is a potent contender in this class.
  • Aprilia RS 660: While not a direct competitor, the Aprilia RS 660 represents a step up in displacement and performance. This parallel-twin sportbike can reportedly reach a top speed of around 145 mph, showcasing the potential of larger engines in this category.

It’s worth noting that while top speed figures garner a lot of attention, they don’t tell the full story. Factors like power delivery, handling characteristics, and overall riding experience often play a more significant role in a rider’s enjoyment and satisfaction with a particular motorcycle.

Owners’ Take: Pros and Cons of the CBR500R

To gain a well-rounded perspective on the Honda CBR500R’s performance, it’s essential to consider the opinions and experiences of actual owners. Here’s a summary of some of the most commonly cited pros and cons:


  • Excellent power-to-weight ratio for its class, resulting in lively acceleration and agile handling.
  • Affordable pricing makes it an accessible entry point into the world of sportbikes.
  • Impressive fuel efficiency, with some owners reporting over 60 mpg in mixed riding conditions.
  • Low seat height and narrow chassis make it approachable for shorter riders or those with limited experience.

“The CBR500R punches well above its weight in terms of performance and handling. It’s an absolute hoot to ride!” – Jeff, long-term CBR500R owner


  • Top speed is limited compared to larger-displacement sportbikes, which may be a consideration for some riders.
  • Non-adjustable front suspension can feel underdamped or harsh over certain road surfaces, according to some owners.
  • Smaller rider triangle and ergonomics may not suit taller riders as well, leading to potential discomfort on longer rides.
  • Some owners have reported issues with the rear suspension feeling too soft or underdamped at higher speeds.

“While I love the CBR500R’s overall performance, the lack of suspension adjustability is a bit of a letdown, especially on rougher roads.” – Alex, CBR500R critic

It’s important to remember that these pros and cons are subjective and may vary based on individual riding preferences and expectations.

Top Alternatives to the Honda CBR500R

While the Honda CBR500R is a compelling choice in the entry-level sportbike realm, it’s always wise to consider alternative options to ensure you find the perfect fit for your needs and preferences. Here are a few top alternatives to the CBR500R:

Kawasaki Ninja 400: The Ninja 400 is a direct rival to the CBR500R, offering similar performance and pricing but with a distinct styling and ergonomic package. Some riders may prefer the Ninja’s aggressive looks or its slightly more upright riding position.

Yamaha R3: For riders seeking a more budget-friendly option, the Yamaha R3 offers comparable performance to the CBR500R at a lower price point. However, it does sacrifice some displacement and outright top-end power compared to the Honda.

KTM RC 390: If you’re willing to stretch your budget slightly, the KTM RC 390 presents an intriguing alternative with its potent single-cylinder engine and ultra-lightweight chassis. It promises even sharper handling and a more visceral riding experience compared to the CBR500R.

Suzuki SV650: While not a direct competitor in terms of displacement or pricing, the venerable Suzuki SV650 remains a popular option for riders seeking a balanced blend of performance, comfort, and versatility in a slightly larger package than the CBR500R.

Ultimately, your choice should be guided by your specific needs, riding style, and budget considerations. Test-riding multiple options can help you make the most informed decision.

Pricing and Availability

One of the Honda CBR500R’s key selling points is its attractive pricing, which makes it an accessible option for many riders. For the 2024 model year, the CBR500R has a starting MSRP of $9,313 in the United States.

In terms of color options, the 2024 CBR500R is available in two striking shades:

  • Grand Prix Red (Tricolor): A bold and sporty red hue with contrasting accents, reminiscent of Honda’s racing heritage.
  • Matte Gunpowder Black Metallic: A stealthy and understated matte black finish for those seeking a more understated look.

As for availability, the 2024 Honda CBR500R should be arriving at authorized Honda dealerships across the United States in the coming months. Interested buyers are encouraged to inquire with their local dealers or check online listings for updates on stock and delivery timelines.

Is the Honda CBR500R Right for You?

With its combination of performance, affordability, and user-friendliness, the Honda CBR500R appeals to a broad range of riders. Here’s a quick overview of who might find the CBR500R particularly well-suited:

New Riders and Beginners: The CBR500R’s manageable power output, low seat height, and nimble handling make it an excellent choice for those just starting their two-wheeled adventures. Its forgiving nature and predictable power delivery provide a confidence-inspiring platform for skill development.

Commuters and Urban Riders: Thanks to its compact dimensions, agility, and impressive fuel efficiency, the CBR500R can make an excellent daily commuter or urban runabout. Its lightweight and responsive nature make it a joy to navigate through city traffic.

Weekend Warriors: For riders seeking an affordable and capable sportbike for weekend canyon carving or track day adventures, the CBR500R delivers an engaging and thrilling experience without overwhelming power or intimidating ergonomics.

However, the CBR500R may not be the ideal choice for riders seeking blistering straight-line performance, long-distance touring comfort, or those significantly taller than average, as its ergonomics and top speed capabilities may fall short of their expectations.

Common Issues and Potential Fixes

While the Honda CBR500R has garnered a reputation for reliability and user-friendliness, no motorcycle is immune to potential issues or areas for improvement. Here are some common complaints and potential fixes reported by CBR500R owners:

Soft Rear Suspension: A recurring critique of the CBR500R is its tendency for a soft or underdamped rear suspension, leading to a somewhat unsettled feeling over undulations or at higher speeds. Potential fixes include upgrading to an aftermarket rear shock or adjusting the stock unit’s preload settings.

Lack of Front Suspension Adjustability: Unlike some of its rivals, the CBR500R’s front fork lacks any form of adjustability, which can be frustrating for riders seeking a more dialed-in setup. Upgrading to aftermarket cartridge-style fork internals or investing in a fully adjustable fork setup can alleviate this issue, albeit at a significant cost.

Vibration at Higher RPMs: Some owners have reported heightened vibration levels at higher engine speeds, which can be fatiguing over extended periods. Installing aftermarket bar-end weights or upgrading to a lighter rotating assembly (e.g., lighter clutch components) can help mitigate this issue.

Rear Brake Performance: While the CBR500R’s front brakes are generally praised, some riders have found the rear brake to feel underpowered or lacking in initial bite. Upgrading to higher-performance brake pads or a larger rear disc can potentially improve rear brake feel and performance.

It’s important to note that many of these issues can be addressed through careful maintenance, adjustments, or the installation of aftermarket components. Additionally, some riders may not experience these issues to the same degree, as individual riding styles and preferences can vary.

FAQ on the Honda CBR500R Top Speed

To address some of the most frequently asked questions regarding the Honda CBR500R’s top speed, here’s a quick FAQ section:

Can the CBR500R actually reach its claimed top speed of 110 mph?

Yes, the CBR500R can realistically achieve its claimed top speed of around 110 mph in ideal conditions, according to numerous owner reports. However, factors like rider weight, wind resistance, and altitude can influence the actual top speed attained.

Is the CBR500R fast enough for highway riding?

Absolutely. With a top speed of around 110 mph, the CBR500R has no issues maintaining highway speeds and provides enough passing power for safe overtaking maneuvers. Its compact size and agility also make it a confident highway companion.

How does the CBR500R’s top speed compare to larger displacement sportbikes?

As an entry-level and beginner-friendly machine, the CBR500R’s top speed falls understandably short of larger-displacement superbikes and literbikes, which can reach top speeds in excess of 160-180 mph. However, for its intended purpose and target audience, the CBR500R’s performance is more than adequate.

Can aftermarket modifications increase the CBR500R’s top speed significantly?

While certain upgrades like exhaust systems, ECU tuning, and gearing changes can potentially unlock a few extra mph, the CBR500R’s parallel-twin engine displacement ultimately imposes a ceiling on its top speed capabilities. Substantial top speed gains would likely require more extensive (and costly) engine modifications.

Is the CBR500R’s top speed suitable for track day use?

For novice and amateur-level track riding, the CBR500R’s top speed is more than sufficient for most circuits. Its nimble handling and accessible power delivery make it an excellent tool for honing one’s skills on the track before moving up to more powerful machinery.

The Bottom Lines

As we’ve explored in this comprehensive article, the 2024 Honda CBR500R offers an impressive blend of performance, agility, and affordability in the entry-level sportbike segment. While its claimed top speed of around 110 mph may not set any outright records, it provides more than enough thrills and velocity for most riding scenarios and skill levels.

The CBR500R’s true strengths lie in its user-friendly nature, responsive parallel-twin engine, and lightweight chassis, which together deliver an engaging and confidence-inspiring riding experience. Whether you’re a newly minted rider, a daily commuter seeking a fun and efficient ride, or a weekend warrior looking to hone your skills, the CBR500R could be an excellent choice.

Of course, like any motorcycle, the CBR500R isn’t without its quirks and potential areas for improvement. Owners have cited issues like soft rear suspension, lack of front fork adjustability, and heightened vibrations at higher RPMs. However, many of these concerns can be addressed through careful maintenance, adjustments, or the installation of aftermarket components.

Ultimately, the Honda CBR500R’s top speed is just one aspect of a larger package that prioritizes accessibility, affordability, and sheer riding enjoyment. As long as your expectations align with its intended purpose, the CBR500R is sure to provide countless miles of two-wheeled thrills and smiles, whether you’re carving up your favorite backroads or simply commuting to work in style.

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