Honda today reveals its full 2019 European motorcycle line-up at the EICMA show in Milan, with the introduction of two new model names and three extensively upgraded models, which bring new energy to the middleweight area of Honda’s uniquely broad and deep product line-up.
Having introduced the CB1000R, CB300R and CB125R trio of naked models for 2018, Honda now brings its unique ‘Neo Sports Café’ look to the middleweight arena. The styling ‘language’ is modern and minimalist, and mixes café racer inspirations and a super-compact ‘trapezoid’ form to eye-catching effect. The in-line four-cylinder engine is fully on display, and the signature round headlight and sculpted fuel tank underline the ‘Neo Sports Café’ family feel.
With the premium look comes premium specifications: 41mm Showa upside-down ‘Separate Function’ forks, radial-mount four-piston front brake calipers, Honda Selectable Torque Control, assist/slipper clutch and ultra-modern instruments.
The result is a desirable naked middleweight with a unique combination of looks, performance and top-line specifications.
Another new model name on the Honda line-up is the CBR650R sports middleweight.
It features new styling which draws strongly on the CBR1000RR Fireblade for its sharp, aggressive lines and extended side fairings, plus super-short rear section and narrow dual LED headlights. The CBR650R is 6kg lighter than the CBR650F (which it replaces) with a sportier riding position thanks to handlebars repositioned 30mm forward, and footpegs moved both rearward and higher.
Its classically-Honda in-line four-cylinder engine revs 1,000rpm higher, producing 5% more top end power with peak output of 70kW arriving at 12,000rpm ensuring that – along with the sculpted looks and honed chassis – the new machine’s new ‘R’ designation is well deserved.
CB500F, CBR500R and CB500X
Honda’s lively parallel twin 500cc engine has been sold in over 75,000 motorcycles in Europe since its arrival in 2013.
Having first arrived in the A2 licence-friendly CB500F, CBR500R and CB500X, for 2019 the engine has stronger power and torque between three and seven thousand rpm, and powers the light middleweight trio in upgraded packages with higher specifications and stronger roadster, sport and adventure identities.
All three models now have new rear suspension, assist/slipper clutch, full LED lighting, modernised LCD instruments with gear position and shift-up indication, and new dual-exit muffler for a richer engine note.
The CB500F roadster has sharper new styling from front to back, with more angled nose fairing and side shrouds that interlock cleanly with the fuel tank. The CBR500R is also re-styled: it’s narrower and sharper with strong Fireblade styling inspiration and a sportier riding position.
The CB500X compact adventurer, meanwhile, has a much stronger ‘X factor’ thanks to a new 19” front wheel, longer suspension travel front and rear, slimmer seat, wider steering angle and tougher, more rugged fairing which also improves wind protection.
The 500cc and 650cc engine platforms constitute 35% of Honda’s large motorcycle sales in Europe. These five new products for 2019 offer a well-rounded balance of exciting middleweight performance for riders of all experience levels, while providing potential stepping stones to Honda’s flagship roadster, adventure and sports models.