Honda CB650R Review
What Is It?
The 2019 Honda CB650R is an A2 licence friendly naked bike with a dash of retro styling and is closely related to the naked CB650F / sports CBR650R.
Engine: 649 cc Inline Four, 94 bhp
Economy: 50 mpg, 170 miles
Top Speed: 140 mph
Seat Height: 810 mm
Wet Weight: 202 kg
|✓||Looks amazing, those pipes, fancy dash, engine, easy A2 restriction|
|×||Dash is only LCD, needs a tail tidy, optional quickshifter is up only|
Having passed my Mod One I decided early I wanted a naked and had initially opted for an MT-07 however after a rainy Sunday visit to Vertu Honda Grantham I purchases the CB650R. The traction control and ABS as standard was one of the main factors. As an inexperienced rider I thought it may come in useful.
It's almost the same bike as the CBR650R apart from the obvious fairing omission, slightly less race positioned pegs and a rumoured 5% down on power over 100mph due to the CBR's altered air scoops.
The bike was sold as perfect for all skills. From taking the CBT to passing Mod Two I only had 5 hours riding time on a 15 year old bandit. I was apprehensive about getting on the new bike.
I need not have worried. The slipper clutch is superb and the bike instils confidence. The gearbox is geared long in 1st and allows time to get composed before needing to find second. The Honda seems to offer flexibility to ride a number of gears and 2nd is fine for 20mph all the way through to 96.
I am confident this bike could be ridden hard, it encourages you to twist the throttle and has the potential to be a hooligan bike.
The bike really hits its stride at about 8,000 rpm all the way through to 12,500rpm. An adjustable gear change indication flashes white to notify you to change and the bike has a top speed of 146mph but "it will be a while before I get there".
The bike is attractive looking however the rear end design is horrendous and a tail tidy is a must.
I have done a 100 mile stint on the bike and it remained comfortable throughout. The full LED lighting system is fantastic and the head light is superb. This is one of the first bikes to have the front indicators permanently on changing to conventional flashing indicators when used for direction.
The dash is basic but functional. Gear, rev, trip, fuel gauge and mpg are all visible and clear however a smoked visor does take some of the clarity away.
Build quality is superb. It feels solid, well built and reliable. I managed to get the first service thrown in, worth £129 and due at 600 miles.
The bike retails at £6999 and a £1500 deposit resulted in a PCP of £96 per month but deals are hard to come by with this being such a new model.
Overall 5 stars. Fantastic!
- Jason B, 2019
How Does It Compare?
- CBR650R: Faired sports version with low clip-on bars and a more aggressive riding position