Honda CBR650F Review
“ There's a surprising amount of power for only 650cc and in the six months I've owned it the CBR has spanked anything that isn't a litre-plus superbike. ”
What Is It?
The 2017 Honda CBR650F is a mid-range everyday sports bike which originally launched in 2014 and is closely related to the naked CB650F.
Engine: 649 cc Inline Four, 90 bhp
Economy: 50 mpg
Range: 190 miles
Seat Height: 810 mm
What Is It Like?
Choosing The 650F
As a fairly new rider, I was looking for a mid-size sports bike for my first big bike. Having ridden a 125 for a year, I was ready for something with a bit more power and something brand new without inherited gremlins.
There's a surprising amount of power for only 650cc and in the 6 months I've owned it it's spanked anything that isn't a litre-plus superbike, and can even keep up with those fairly well.
I sat on a lot of midsize sports bikes, and the Honda was the most comfortable and had the best numbers. I was torn between the CBR650F and the VFR800F, but picked the CBR because of the better power-to-weight ratio.
The test drive confirmed it; as soon as I'd gotten away on my own, the exhaust note convinced me. Being 6'2", comfort is important to me, and the CBR650F isn't perfect for that, especially on longer rides.
- Lots of power, accelerates near instantly.
- VERY responsive, handles wonderfully.
- Stops on a sixpence thanks to the big dual front discs. Don't even need the ABS unless it's an emergency stop.
- Great on twisty roads, right down to single-track country lanes.
- Wonderful exhaust note without an aftermarket exhaust.
- Looks lovely in red.
- Light enough to shove into a parking space or garage on your own.
- Feels fast with the clip-ons and the forward-leaning stance.
- Lots of bang for your buck; feels like a superbike, but doesn't have the price of one or drink fuel like one.
- Seat is uncomfortable after an hour or so.
- Slightly cramped riding position causes knee cramps after an hour or so.
- Hard to stay under the speed limit.
- No gear indicator, so you need to count.
- Stiff suspension makes it a poor choice for low speeds, bad roads and very tight cornering. Stick to the open road, not the town centre.
- Official Honda accessories are expensive.
- GIVI Monokey topbox rack.
- Oxford heated grips, wired into the ignition.
- Robin D, 2018
Honda CB650F - Naked version with high bars and no fairing.
Honda CBR650F (2014-2016) - Previous generation.