The new CB650R mirrors the CB1000R, with pared-down lines designed to put maximum machine on show – this is the motorcycle laid bare. Its super-compact, trapezoid form draws extremities in tightly, and the four-cylinder engine – blacked-out with cam and engine covers highlighted in burnished bronze – is very much the centrepiece of the machine.
Compared to the streetfighter-styled CB650F, which it replaces in Honda’s line-up, 6kg has been saved from the chassis thanks to a revised frame, fuel tank and footpegs. A 41mm Showa SFF USD fork, radial-mount four-piston calipers, floating discs and new wheels are further features not present on the CB650F
Tapered handlebars make for easy steering, and the riding position is on the sporty end of the naked spectrum. The CB650R also shares the CB1000R’s distinctive round LED headlight (all lighting is LED) and modern LCD instrument display, which includes a Shift Up and Gear Position indicator.
For the 650cc engine, a revised intake and exhaust, plus new cam timing and compression ratios bring a 5% peak power boost and smoother, stronger torque delivery through the mid-range. The engine revs to 12,000rpm, an extra 1,000rpm compared to the CB650F.
An assist/slipper clutch is fitted to ease upshifts and manage fast, successive downshifts; Honda Selectable Torque Control (HSTC) maintains rear wheel traction.