Honda expands its U.S. sportbike line-up with a new long stroke 650cc Inline Four entry. Find out how it performs in the 2014 Honda CBR650F First Ride review.
- Although it’s assembled in Thailand, the build quality is very high and close to that of a Japanese-built machine.
- The CBR650F ($8499) is available in three colors for the ’14 model year: Candy Blue, Red, and Matte Metallic Black (w/ ABS $8999).
- The CBR-F’s seat height is an inch taller than the CBR500R, but still a little bit shorter than Honda’s sportier and track-oriented CBR600RR.
- We’re big fans of the CBR650F’s styling. It has a unique form that is clean yet edgy, but not overly so.
- The Honda CBR650F employs twin 320mm diameter disc brakes at the front with double-piston calipers by Nissin. There is plenty of stopping power on tap.
- The CBR650F’s cockpit is relaxed and conducive to long days in the saddle. The instrumentation is functional and easy to decipher at a glance.
- Although the CBR-F’s engine appears the same as the CBR600RR, the parts fiche confirms that the engine cases and cylinder head are indeed different with the CBR650F tuned for torque and low-to-mid acceleration performance.
- Honda engineers copied the styling of the CBR-F’s symmetrical headers from that of the ’74 CB400.
- The CBR650F’s ergonomics are laid out well. This is one of the least demanding sportbike-style motorcycles on the road.
- The weak link it the CBR650F’s otherwise great handling are the OE-fitted Dunlop Sportmax D222’s. The tires perform fine at a moderate pace but are still the first components we’d replace if it was our motorcycle.
- The CBR650F’s handling is typical of a modern Honda sportbike: agile, accurate and easy to get a feel for.
- The CBR650F’s engine has a peppier bottom-end than a standard 600cc Supersport. And although it’s a little slower to rev it performs well on the road with decent acceleration in its first three, or four gears.