Honda CB650R vs rivals: Specifications comparison

Honda CB650R vs rivals: Specifications comparison

1st Apr 2021 10:52 am

We take a look at how the new Honda CB650R compares against similar bikes, as well as other bikes that are similarly priced.

Honda’s eagerly awaited CB650R has just been launched in India, marking the first time Honda has sold a naked, four-cylinder middleweight in our market. The CB’s natural rivals include the likes of the soon to be launched Triumph Trident, but since Honda has priced this bike at Rs 8.67 lakh, it also ends up competing with more powerful machinery like the Kawasaki Z900 and the Triumph Street Triple R. Here’s how the four bikes compare on paper.

Honda CB650R vs rivals: Engine

The CB650R uses the exact same engine as the 2021 CBR650R, which was also recently launched at Rs 8.88 lakh. Internationally, this 648.7cc inline four-cylinder motor makes 94hp and 64Nm of torque. However, in India, it has been detuned to 84hp and 57.5Nm. For reference, that's 4hp and 2.5Nm less than the India-spec 2019 CBR650R.   

The bike that comes closest on paper is the Trident. It runs a 660cc three-cylinder motor that makes a little less power, but more torque than the Honda – 81hp and 64Nm, respectively. The Triumph’s power and torque both peak at a lower rpm than the Honda, so it should offer better tractability, but this will depend on how both bikes are geared.

Honda CB650R vs rivals: Specifications
Honda CB650RTriumph Trident 660Triumph Street Triple RKawasaki Z900
Engine648.7cc, liquid cooled, four-cylinder660cc, liquid cooled, inline three-cylinder765cc, liquid cooled, inline three-cylinder948cc, liquid cooled, four-cylinder
Power84hp at 12,000rpm81hp at 10,250rpm118hp at 12,000rpm125hp at 9500rpm
Torque57.5Nm at 8500rpm64Nm at 6250rpm79Nm at 9350rpm98.6Nm at 7700rpm
Power-to-weight ratio407.7hp/tonne428.5hp/tonne631.01hp/tonne589.6hp/tonne

Moving upwards, the Triumph Street Triple R’s 765cc three-cylinder engine produces 118hp and 79Nm, while the Kawasaki does even better with 125hp and 98.6Nm from its 948cc four-cylinder motor. The difference in power-to-weight ratios is substantial and there’s no doubt that in a straight line, the Street Triple and Z900 will leave the other two in the dust.

Honda CB650R vs rivals: Chassis

Like its faired sibling the CBR650R, the CB650R uses a steel chassis with an aluminium swingarm. Suspension is handled by a non-adjustable, 41mm USD Showa Separate Function Big Piston Fork and a pre-load adjustable monoshock. Braking is taken care of by radially-mounted Nissin calipers biting down on twin 310mm discs. At 206kg, CB650R is on the heavy side, with only the Kawasaki weighing more.

The Triumph Trident also uses a steel frame and a steel swingarm. Despite this, the Trident weighs a full 17 kilos less than the Honda and at 189kg, it’s just two kilos heavier than the Striple. The suspension set-up includes a non-adjustable, 41mm Showa SFF (not the Big Piston fork) upside-down fork and a pre-load adjustable rear shock. Where the Triumph falls back on the Honda is in the braking department where it gets dual-piston axially-mounted callipers that clamp onto two 310mm discs. The Triumph’s 805mm seat height is a little lower than the Honda’s 810mm unit.

Moving onto the Street Triple R, it uses a racier aluminium chassis as well as an aluminium swingarm. The suspension is of a higher-spec, with a fully adjustable 41mm Showa Separate Function Big Piston Fork and a fully adjustable monoshock. The brakes are a step up as well, in the form of Brembo M4.32 monobloc calipers. The Street Triple R is the lightest bike here.

Honda CB650R vs rivals: Underpinnings
Honda CB650RTriumph Trident 660Triumph Street Triple RKawasaki Z900
Kerb weight206kg189kg187kg211kg
Seat height810mm805mm825mm820mm
Brakes (f)Dual 310mm discsDual 310mm discsDual 310mm discsDual 300mm discs
Brakes (r)240mm disc255mm disc220mm disc250mm disc
Suspension (f)41mm USD41mm USD41mm USD41mm USD
Suspension (r)MonoshockMonoshockMonoshockMonoshock
Tyres (f)120/70R17120/70R17120/70R17120/70R17
Tyres (r)180/55R17180/55R17180/55R17180/55R17
Fuel capacity15.4-ltr14-ltr17.4-ltr17-ltr

The Z900 keeps things simple with a steel frame and swingarm, as well as the biggest kerb weight figure of 211kg. Like the others, it gets a 41mm USD fork, but this one is preload and rebound adjustable, as is the monoshock. Like the Trident, the Z900 uses axially-mounted

brakes, but with the 300mm twin-discs. The seat height of 820mm is the second highest here, after the 825mm Striple.

Honda CB650R vs rivals: Features

The handsome CB650R comes with full-LED lighting, dual channel ABS, a slip/assist clutch and traction control, or as Honda calls it, Honda Selectable Torque Control (HSTC). Beyond that, things are quite simple and the bike doesn’t offer a TFT display, but instead has an LCD display, similar to the one on the Honda CB500X we recently reviewed.

As with all the bikes here, the Trident also has full-LED lighting, dual channel ABS, a slip/assist clutch and traction control, but it also offers two riding modes – Road and Rain. It also gets a small TFT display, and self-cancelling indicators.

The Street Triple chooses to focus on performance-oriented features. This is the only bike with fully-adjustable suspension, it has the highest specification brakes and it’s the only one to offer a bi-directional quickshifter. While it has three riding modes, the Street Triple R misses out on a TFT display. 

The Z900, meanwhile, has four riding modes as well as two power modes. The bike also gets a 5-inch TFT display that includes smartphone connectivity. Its traction control system can also be adjusted by three levels. 

Honda CB650R vs rivals: Price

The Triumph Trident is the only bike without a price tag in India yet, but we expect to see its priced somewhere in the Rs 6.9-7.3 lakh range when it launches on April 6. In international markets like the UK, the Trident is a direct rival to the Honda CB650R, with just about GBP 100 (around Rs 10,000) separating the two. However, Honda India appears to be taking a more premium pricing strategy with its large capacity products and the CB650R is no exception. 

At Rs 8.67 lakh, the Honda costs nearly Rs 40,000 more than the Kawasaki Z900 and Rs 17,000 less than the Rs 8.84 lakh Triumph Street Triple R. 

How the Honda fares against these machines in the real-world is something that can only be answered after we ride it. 

All price, ex-showroom, India

Copyright (c) Autocar India. All rights reserved.


Tell us what you think.