In 2013, Honda dropped the Honda CBR500R, a 500cc, middle-of-the-road edition to Honda’s industry-recognized sportbike line.
The Honda CBR500R’s twin-cylinder engine torques the bike through corners, where its state-of-the-art nimble handling shines.
Its sporty maneuvering and full-covered bodywork make it look like it rolled right off the track, but how long does a Honda CBR500R last?
Find out in this article!
Here’s the Short Answer to How Long a Honda CBR500R Lasts:
A well-maintained Honda CBR500R can last well over 70,000 miles, as there are real-life examples of 500Rs with over 100,000 miles on the odometer. Honda motors are reliable, but the CBR500R’s longevity depends on regular service, proper storage, and responsible riding habits.
How Many Miles Do You Get on a Honda CBR500R?
You can get over 70,000 miles on a Honda CBR500R, provided it’s been stored and winterized attentively, serviced per the intervals outlined in the owner’s manual, and ridden regularly without abuse or used as a stunt bike.
The used market considers sportbikes like the Honda CBR500R to be high-mileage after 20,000-30,000 miles, partially because of an unfair assumption that the bike has been ridden hard.
To dispute this number, we’ve dug up 8 real-world examples of 500Rs that have passed that measly figure:
- One rider we heard from clocked 56,000 miles onto their odometer and counting. They mentioned they ride hard, having replaced 3 front tires, 4 rears, 3 sprockets, 3 chains, and they’ve changed their fork seals once. They noted that they carefully winterize the bike every season since they’ve had it.
- Another rider we encountered put 46,000 miles on the clock on the same brake pads, with one tire change and one chain replacement.
- We heard from the owner of a 2014 Honda CBR500R on which he put 83,000 miles on the clock. He noted it’s the most dependable bike he’s ever owned as long as he services and rides it regularly, and added that just the other day, a truck skidding out in front of him, and his stopping power was as good as the day he bought it.
- Another 2014 500R owner we ran into just hit 40,000 miles, passed the point of “high-mileage” for a sportbike, so although he said he’s aware his resale value may have diminished, to him, the bike is as valuable as the day he bought it; it runs tight and smooth like it’s brand new. Whether he’s sport touring the mountains or running errands in the city, there’s no doubt in the rider’s mind that he’ll pass 100 miles. He’s gone through 3 front tires, 5 rear, 2 chains, a front sprocket, and both brake pads—the dude rides hard, and he’s never had a problem.
- Another Honda CBR500R enthusiast we encountered put 70,000 km on their bike without a single issue, having never even burned a drop of oil, with regular services at 5,000 km.
- Here are the big facts: We encountered a CBR500R ripper with 100,000 miles and counting on his clock. No problems, regular maintenance.
- Another rider we heard from has a CBR500R odometer that reads 246,000 km, just under 153,000 miles. He keeps his bike indoors and services and rides it regularly, with love, having no donuts that his bike will outlast his car.
- And to close us out, we encountered a CBR500R rider who claims he’s put 320,000 miles on his Honda with regular services. Impressive, considering the bike’s only been in production since 2013.
What Is Considered High Mileage for These Models?
As a mid-sized sportbike, the Honda CBR500R motorcycle is considered high mileage between 25,000 and 30,000 miles. The mileage on a 500R’s odometer has little bearing on the bike’s longevity, though, as considerations like storage, riding habits, and maintenance matter more.
You can obtain more functional insight into the lifespan of a used Honda CBR500R and any other bike by investigating how well the bike’s previous (or current) owner looked after their bike.
Regular service and routine maintenance are critical fundamentals of assessing how long a CBR will last.
A Honda that’s well maintained can last well over 100,000 miles, but a 500R that was stored in the snow and ridden like a stunt bike without any oil changes probably won’t last 15,000 miles.
If you’re in the moto-market for a used CBR500R, here are three questions you can ask the seller to give you a better idea of how much life the bike has left:
- How frequently did the previous owner change the 500R’s oil, oil filter, and air filter? If it was less than the regularity outlined in the owner’s manual, bad sign.
- Where was the bike stored? If the previous owner stored it outside, was it covered? If they stored it in a garage, were there airborne-corrosive chemicals stored nearby?
- How regularly was the bike ridden? This last question gives testimony to the irrelevance of a CBR’s mileage—a 500R moto that’s been ridden regularly is likely in better condition than a 500R bike that’s been sitting unused. Without preparation or winterization, a sitting bike often incurs rust, corrosion, and damage to its seals and gaskets.
If you like the seller’s answer to the above line of questioning, go ahead and ask for some service records and records of any upgrades or aftermarket installations.
How Many Years Does a Honda CBR500R Typically Last?
A CBR500R that’s well-serviced with high-quality oil can last over 20 years. A bike is ridden 3,000 miles per year on average—there are Honda CBR500R’s on the road with over 70,000 miles. The 500R has only been around for 8 years; 500R riders have proven longevity by hitting high-miles fast.
The 500R was revealed in 2013, making it one of the more recent additions to the Honda sportbike family. Being such a new bike gives it the advantage of modern engineering and innovative research and design and industry-leading technology.
Still, as we’ve mentioned earlier, the Honda CBR500R is a sportbike, and some sportbike riders hit high RPMs regularly, using their bike to stunt around town or roasting up the track for hours.
Other riders use their 500R as a simple and nimble commuter and generally don’t push it past its limit. Ridden responsibly, a Honda CBR500R motorcycle can last for decades.
Is the Honda CBR500R Reliable?
The Honda CBR500R sportbike is made reliable by a 471cc parallel-twin motor, topped with dual overhead cams. Honda’s industry-leading engineering and design team equipped the 500R with a 6-speed transmission; putting less strain on the gearbox makes this bike reliable.
That’s right, the mid-weight 500R packed the same number of gears as the pro-level roasters double its size. Spend a little time on this buttery smooth 6-speed transmission, and you won’t worry about a single thing failing on your 500R.
The 500R was designed with all the modern Honda techniques behind its engine. You get more power than you need for the size of the bike, making the 500R’s motor quite literally worth its weight, and not just for the sake of speed.
An overworked motor wears itself out, impairing its reliability. A bike like the Honda CBR500R sportbike, however, is still yawning at 70 MPH.
Of course, like all the other categories on our little list, reliability is a byproduct of responsible motorcycle-owner-etiquette.
With routine maintenance and regular service, this bike will be exponentially more reliable. And that exponent increases if you’re storing it out of the elements.
Does a Honda CBR500R Last Longer Than Other Motorcycles?
A well-kept Honda CBR500R will last longer than anything else in the mid-weight class due to its modern engine design and Honda’s world-class engineering. The CBR500R is closer in size and resilience to full-sized sportbikes than to its class’ smaller, 500cc street fighters.
And it doesn’t stop at the bigger body.
The tires on the 500R are wider than other small and medium sportbikes, contributing to a more full-sized street-fighter feel overall.
The full-sized feel makes the bike less likely to incur damage from debris, a heavy contributor to early wear-and-tear.
A bigger body means more room for suspension, and Honda took full advantage of that fact and gave it softer stock shocks than most of its sub-600 competitors. It’s heavier than 300, with more power, so it handles better at high speeds, especially in the wind, without pushing its motor to the limit.
It might not look as mean as a small Ninja, but the 500R moto packs a full fairing, double headlights, and a windscreen—I’d put money down that a CBR500R will last longer against the wind at highway speeds than any other motorcycle in its category.
What Typically Breaks First on a Honda CBR500R?
The first thing to break on a Honda CBR500R sportbike is the general wear-and-tear on the chain, sprockets, and valves. These wearable items are integral to the 500R’s reliable motor; inspecting and replacing them early prevents them from breaking.
That said, in the early years, there were a few recalls on the CBR500R, and we’ve dug up the details in case you’re looking at a 500R from that era.
Honda recalled many of the CBR500Rs manufactured between 2013 and 2015 due to a defective fuel level sensor—if you’re on a CBR from that era, this might be the first thing to break.
The float arm in the fuel level sensor on particular 500R models could deform with use. Eventually, the float arm could break off of the sensor body.
Even if the arm didn’t break, its deformity caused the fuel meter to misread. Another more severe side effect of the funky float arm could happen if the deform arm made contact with the positive and negative terminal. It would cause a short, blow a fuse, and stall out the engine.
CBR500Rs suspected to be fitted with the faulty part were recalled to have the fuel level sensors replaced at no cost, so if you’ve experienced any of these symptoms on a 2013-2015 500R, take it in, as it’s possible that the previous owner never had the upgrade performed.
Another recall was issued on 2013 CBR500Rs due to oil leaking from the retaining bolts on the rocker arm shaft. During assembly, some of these bolts didn’t get treated for anti-corrosion. As a result, the corrosion was causing the bolts to come loose and allowing oil to seep past them.
In more severe cases, the bolts actually fell out of the cylinder head and dislodged the rocker shaft. This would cause power loss and stalling.
Again, Honda did the right thing and claimed responsibility, replacing the bolts on all affected models at no cost via recall. If you have a 2013 CBR500R and you’ve experienced any of the symptoms, you know what to do! Contact Honda, run your VIN, and get your free upgrades.
5 Great Tips to Make Sure Your Honda CBR500R Will Last Long
Here are five tips to improve the longevity of your CBR500R:
- Perform oil and fluid changes, inspections, and routine maintenance following the Honda CBR500R’s owner’s manual
- Ride your Honda CBR500R responsibly, without using it as a stunt bike or redlining the engine for extended periods of time.
- Store your 500R indoors or covered and protected from the elements.
- Winterize/adequately prepare your 500R motorcycle before storing it for extended periods of time. A sitting CBR is a sad CBR, so…
- Ride your Honda CBR500R motorcycle regularly!