Honda CBR 650F

Sports-tourer gets mi­nor re­vi­sions

Auto Today - - Dashboard - PIC­TURES Nis­hant Jhamb

Three years ago, when I had a go at the Honda CBR650F, I was stoked. The re­fine­ment of the in-line four, the fran­tic build up of power at the top-end and the plush ride qual­ity left lit­tle else to be de­sired. If any­thing, the weight of the CBR650F was my only ma­jor grouse. The good news is that for 2018, Honda has re­tained all the lik­able traits of the mo­tor­cy­cle and launched the mid­dleweight sports-tour­ing mo­tor­cy­cle with a few up­grades.

Aes­thet­i­cally, the ma­jor ad­di­tion is the all-LED head­light that lends an ag­gres­sive look to the front. There are new side vents around the head­lamp thanks to the more com­pact de­sign af­forded by the use of LEDs. Their per­for­mance how­ever, was a tad lack­ing. The il­lu­mi­na­tion in low beam is suf­fi­cient while high beam didn’t quite add much to the light throw. Side il­lu­mi­na­tion too suf­fers a lit­tle and the beam could’ve been more spread out. Apart from this, there’s the matte black paint scheme that you see on the mo­tor­cy­cle here, that’s new.

Me­chan­i­cally, the 649cc en­gine re­mains more or less un­changed. Honda has tweaked the gear­ing to let the en­gine de­velop more power in the mid-range. This was ev­i­dent as there’s a marked


shift in the way power is de­liv­ered from 6,000rpm on­wards as the tacho nee­dle races to its 11,500rpm red­line. The ini­tial revs gets a bit of boost too as the 650F pot­ters about in traf­fic with ease, mas­sively aided by the short ra­tio gear­box. The slick 6-speed trans­mis­sion will see you sit in top gear very quickly and the en­gine won’t jud­der even when the speedo falls be­low 50kmph. Such ver­sa­tile tractabil­ity of this en­gine not just makes it more man­age­able as a daily ride, it also helps achieve an in­di­cated 19.1kmpl in reg­u­lar use.

The steel di­a­mond type frame of­fers rigid­ity that can be ex­pe­ri­enced with the im­mense sta­bil­ity es­pe­cially at high speeds. This rock steady na­ture is also helped in part by the 215kg kerb weight that sees the CBR planted ir­re­spec­tive of the road con­di­tions. The 25.3 de­grees of rake helps the 650 tip into cor­ners but with ease rather than alacrity of a su­pers­port. This na­ture fur­ther high­lights the CBR650F’s ca­pa­bil­i­ties as a sport tourer. We would only wish for a bit more feed­back from the rather numb feel­ing front end.

Best of all, the price re­mains nearly the same as be­fore mak­ing the up­dated CBR650F well worth its price.

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