Honda CBR 650F
Sports-tourer gets minor revisions
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
THE STEEL DIAMOND TYPE FRAME OFFERS RIGIDITY THAT CAN BE EXPERIENCED WITH THE IMMENSE STABILITY ESPECIALLY AT HIGH SPEEDS
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.