2016 Honda CBR500R + CB500F

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16YM CBR500RWhile Yamaha and Ducati unveiled some willy-wavers in Milan, Honda’s 2016 highlights are resolutely more middleweight and include the A2-friendly CBR500R and CB500F.

Both share an unchanged 471cc parallel-twin motor (A2 restrictions mean very little performance increases) wrapped in a steel diamond-tube frame, plus several upgrades coming next season: LED lighting, a larger 16.7 litre fuel tank, preload adjustable 41mm forks and a redesigned exhaust that shaves 2kg. Unsurprisingly, the CBR500R is 2kg heavier at 194kg.

You can’t deny the motor’s smooth execution and refinement, and Honda’s middleweights have never lacked agility – in fact, they’re easier to ride than any other of the A2 brigade. But for many, styling has been the issue with Honda’s efforts in recent years, although 2016’s aesthetics look to have alleviated these woes. There’s certainly additional big-bike presence rather than the usual A2 sparrow-limbed curves…

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