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Honda CBR650R Review (2019)


Honda CBR650R

Honda have done a great job updating the CBR650F with all the extra bits for only a few pounds added to the RRP.
- Rating: 10 / 10

What Is It?

The Honda CB650R is an A2 licence friendly naked bike with a dash of retro styling which is closely related to the CBR650R sports bike. It's powered by a liquid cooled 649 cc inline four cylinder engine, producing 93.9 bhp at 12,000 rpm and maximum torque at 8,500 rpm.


  • Seat Height: Average (810 mm / 31.9 inches)
  • Weight: Heavy (202 kg / 445 lbs)
  • Economy: Average (50 mpg / 5.6 l/100km / 17.7 km/l)
  • Range: High (170 miles / 274 km)
  • Power to Weight: Average (0.465 bhp/kg / 0.347 kW/kg)
  • Top Speed: High (145 mph / 233 km/h)


  • Easy A2 restriction
  • Looks amazing
  • Those pipes
  • Fancy dash
  • Engine
  • Lights


  • Optional quickshifter is up only
  • Non-adjustable fork
  • Dash is only LCD
  • Needs a tail tidy

What Is It Like?

Honda CBR650R

Upgrading From The F

I owned a 2017 model CBR650F for 19 months and loved the bike, but when the CBR650R became available I wondered what the differences would be apart from looks and a few tweaks for the extra £319 increase in RRP, so I took one for a test ride and of course bought one.

Honda CBR650R

What's Different?

Upside down forks which look better and feel better planted on the road. Four pot calipers on the front brakes instead of two, which you notice in the stopping ability straight away, even though the brakes are not fully bedded in yet.

The riding position is sportier than the F version but not uncomfortable on the wrists, which was a small concern of mine for longer rides.

The bike looks better at the front, like a mini Fireblade, it also feels smaller than the F which is great for new riders coming from a 125 cc machine and looking for their first big bike.

Honda CBR650R


The dash is much better looking and now comes with a gear indicator at last. A rev change light that can be altered to let you know when to change up and it has traction control, which is a nice feature to have.

Honda CBR650R


The increase in BHP isn't much over the F but with the weight loss as well it feels quicker and there is a slipper clutch which is so light to use and a nice addition. The engine has a revised ECU and a few smalls changes, all of which help the bike to run much smoother.


All lights including indicators are now LED and the headlight does a much better job of lighting up the road ahead at night, something I found lacking in the F version.

Honda have done a great job in updating the bike with all the extra bits for a few pounds added to the RRP of the CBR650F.

Honda CBR650R


  • Looks stunning, like a mini Fireblade
  • Much better headlights for night riding
  • Lighter weight
  • Cheap insurance, for me at least
  • Fun to ride


  • Needs a tail tidy
  • Screen is very low

- Rob S, 2019

Deals, specs and pics

Price Guide

Part Ex

Gear & Accessories

Related Bikes

Honda CB650R: Stylish neo-retro naked version with higher bars and a more relaxed riding position.

The Second Opinion

Honda CBR650R

Upgrading From The CBR650F

I've recently bought the CBR650R as an upgrade from my previous CBR650F. The exhaust is pointed up rather than down like it was on the F so it sounds better.

I've had the bike now four months and what can I say, other than it's fun and it's lighter. The new model has 4bhp more than the F and you can tell. It has more mid range power, so when you give it some, it takes off and it's smooth like the F.


The handle bars are 10mm more forward and the foot pegs 10mm further back. You cant really tell to be honest, apart from on longer journeys. So, maybe it's not really good for touring like the F version.

You seem more connected to this bike as you are more forward and you tend to lean more over the tank. This bike also corners well.

Any Downsides?

The bad thing about the R is the number plate hanger haha. I got rid of that straight away!

To Sum Up

What can I say, it puts a smile on my face every time I go out and it's also a really good bike for pottering around towns and villages.

It's a good all round bike.

- Shelley R, 2019

Add Your Review

Do you own this bike? We would love to hear anything good, bad, unexpected or that you have changed plus anything that a prospective new owner might find interesting or useful.

More Info

Check out this video review from The chronicles of mr fish.