Honda will soon add its half-litre sports touring machine, the CBR650F, to its Indian big bike portfolio. The practical CBR650F shares almost the same nomenclature as the track-focused CBR600RR, but serves a distinct purpose much unlike the ‘Race Replica’, which is not in the pipeline for India currently. This said with good reason, because the CBR650F makes for a comfortable yet sporty motorcycle, while the CBR600RR is a sharp, track focused tool.
The CBR650F is one of the 15 bikes that Honda plans to launch this year, and is expected to be here by March. The motorcycle has a single headlight unit upfront and a twin, all-liquid crystal display. The CBR650F is powered by an all-new 649cc, four-stroke, 4-cylinder DOHC engine that produces 87bhp at 11,000rpm and a peak torque of 6.4kgm at 8,000rpm. The engine is mated to a six-speed gearbox. The motorcycle’s engine will be tuned to produce immediate power right from the beginning of its powerband to aid hassle-free riding on Indian roads.
Suspension duties will be carried out by a set of telescopic front forks and a monoshock will absorb at rear. The motorcycle is equipped with twin disc brakes up front and a single disc at rear, radial mounted to the alloy swingarm. ABS braking, also provided on this bike, is sure to be a boon.
Honda is set to price the CBR650F under Rs 7 lakh in India, and this value for money proposition is possible only because Honda will assemble the motorcycle here. Expect a top quality product from Honda, just as we have experienced in the past with its larger motorcycles.
Honda’s CBR650F though will face the heat from rivals such as Triumph’s Street Triple, a three-cylinder naked street bike and the Kawasaki Ninja 650, a twin-cylinder, fully faired sportsbike that is also a comfortable tourer.
Apart from that, Honda’s four-cylinder sportsbike comes in at a time when Italian motorcycle expert Benelli is also planning to launch its four-cylinder sportsbikes here in India. Let’s wait until we get astride the CBR650F to say more on the subject.