CB gets fruity

Honda mid­dleweight gets Neo styling and more power

Motorcycle News (UK) - - CONTENTS -

Honda mid­dleweight gets a Neo makeover

The CB650F was al­ways a good bike, if a lit­tle or­di­nary, but the charge into what Honda call their Neo Sports Café look that first ap­peared on last year’s CB1000R has reached the 650. The sim­i­lar­i­ties to the 1000/300/125 that are al­ready in deal­ers are clear to see, but that’s not a com­plaint; this is the funki­est mid­dleweight CB since the un­der­seat-pipe Hor­net.

It’s not just a cos­metic slap and tickle. There’s a new frame, tank and other changes mean that the CB has ditched 6kg of mass, while the en­gine has sprouted an­other 1000rpm at the red­line via some fu­elling and me­chan­i­cal tweaks, re­sult­ing in a 5% power boost at peak and a smoother and stronger torque curve.

The rid­ing po­si­tion hasn’t gone un­fet­tled ei­ther. Now more ag­gres­sive in terms of rider po­si­tion­ing, the bars have drifted for­ward and down (13mm and 8mm), the foot­pegs have moved back and up (3mm and 6mm), while the seat height re­mains at a sen­si­ble 810mm.

The 1.9kg lighter frame has, Honda say, a stiffer head­stock and more flex­i­ble side sec­tions to give bet­ter tor­sional con­trol with a new preload and re­bound ad­justable 41mm Showa SFF fork look­ing af­ter the front end. The main brak­ing hard­ware is also new, com­pris­ing Nissin four-pot ra­dial calipers and 310mm discs at the sharp end. The wheels are also new, there’s more gas flow from the big­ger bore ex­haust, and an at­trac­tive all-new LCD dash that’s shared with the CB500 fam­ily.

FAST FACTS 649cc in­line-four 94bhp and 47ftlb O 202kg (kerb) O £6999

Sharper, lighter and funkier; meet the new CB650R

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