It’s hardly earth-shattering news (largely because we’ve been banging on about the CB650R becoming a Neo Sports middleweight for most of 2018) but it’s finally here.
The Honda four-cylinder engine looks very similar to the CB1000R funky naked roadster, comes with 41mm Showa SFF USD forks, radial-mount four-piston brake calipers, Honda Selectable Torque Control (HSTC), assist/slipper clutch and a new dash. A 35kW conversion for A2 licence holders will also be available.
Compared to the streetfighter-styled CB650F, which it replaces in Honda’s line-up, 6kg has been saved from the chassis thanks to a revised frame, fuel tank and footpegs. Those 41mm Showa SFF USD fork, radial-mount four-piston calipers, floating discs and new wheels are all new on the R, uprated from what we saw on the lower-spec F.
Tapered handlebars make for lighter steering and Honda says that the riding position is on the sporty end of the naked spectrum.
The CB650R also shares the CB1000R’s distinctive round LED headlight (all lighting is LED) and modern LCD instrument display, which includes a Shift Up and Gear Position indicator.
For the 650cc engine, a revised intake and exhaust, plus new cam timing and compression ratios bring a 5% peak power boost and smoother, stronger torque delivery through the mid-range. The engine revs to 12,000rpm, an extra 1,000rpm compared to the CB650F.
An assist/slipper clutch is fitted to ease upshifts and manage fast, successive downshifts; Honda Selectable Torque Control (HSTC) maintains rear wheel traction.