Honda has discontinued the CBR650F in the country. It was one of the large-capacity motorcycles that Honda sold in the country via its Wing World outlets, and it was brought to India as a CKD. This comes after Honda replaced the 650F in its international markets with an updated bike for 2019, called the CBR650R which was revealed at EICMA 2018.
The new CBR650R represents quite a large evolution for the motorcycle. Starting with the name, the ‘R’ suffix reveals an increased focus towards sportiness, which makes sense given that Honda has recently discontinued the CBR600RR supersport. The new CBR650R features updated styling, a mild bump in power and is lighter than the bike it replaces.
An increased compression ratio of 11.6:1, up from 11.4:1, and a reinforced valve train allow for the 648cc, inline, four-cylinder engine to rev higher and produce 95hp at 12,000rpm and 64Nm of torque at 8,500rpm, up from the previous bike’s 90hp and 63Nm. The increase in performance is aided by an improved air-intake system. Other significant updates are the addition of a slipper clutch and Honda’s version of traction control – Honda Selectable Torque Control System (HSTC). This feature is available only on the ABS variant of the bike and can be toggled on or off.
While the front fork diameter stays the same, at 41mm, Honda has improved the unit by using a USD fork compared to the conventional telescopic fork on the 650F, this one also by Showa. The front brakes have been improved as well, with the dual-piston calipers on the 650F giving way to four-piston units working with 310mm twin discs. The updated bike also loses about 4kg by the use of a revised frame and redesigned wheels, resulting in a kerb weight of 207kg. The frame revisions are minor and include updated pivot plates, engine hangers and seat rails.
In terms of styling, the CBR650R now looks a lot more like the brand’s flagship motorcycle – the Fireblade. Honda has equipped the new bike with Fireblade-inspired LED headlights and a new full-LCD instrument cluster that displays more information, including a gear-position indicator – something the previous-gen model did not have. The ergonomics are sportier as well with further rear-set foot pegs and clip-ons that have been moved forward by 30mm.
The CBR650F was the only middleweight motorcycle that Honda offered in the country and it did quite well for the brand. We’ve also gotten news from our sources that the bike has been sold out and it is safe to assume that it will be replaced by with the updated CBR650R. However, there is no clarity on how soon Honda intends to do so. Given the big increase in kit, the price is likely to go up, but the CBR650F was always on the expensive side, and if Honda can retain the Rs 7.3 lakh (ex-showroom) price point, the bike will be a more valuable proposition. It is worth noting that the 650F was mildly detuned for Indian conditions and the India spec model produced 86hp at 11,000rpm and 60.5Nm of torque at 8,000rpm. Whether Honda will do something similar with the 650R remains to be seen.