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Honda CBR 650F Review: Performance Backed by Practicality

Manav Sinha | News18.com @manav_sinha

First published: September 29, 2016, 2:57 PM IST | Updated: October 1, 2016
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Honda CBR 650F Review: Performance Backed by Practicality
Honda CBR 650F. (Photo: Siddharth Safaya/News18.com)

Performance is loved by everyone. But that performance often comes at a price, and then a few other things. Like fuel efficiency for example, or perhaps these performance-oriented machines are not always ideal for riding every day because the riding position is demanding and hard on the rider’s wrists, back and shoulders.

But what if there was a bike that could give you that adrenaline rush and still be fit for everyday riding? Honda Motorcycles claims that the CBR 650F is just that bike.

At a price tag of Rs 7.3 lakhs (ex-showroom, Delhi) does it live up to its promise? We put it to the test.

The Looks

The red, white and blue paint scheme will remind you of the 650F’s litre-class sibling – the CBR1000RR. The large 17.3-litre fuel tank and the fairing design is unmistakably Honda and if you ignore the sharp, angular livery that the bike sports, then you’ll notice that it has a very neat, simple and a clean design language.

Honda-CBR-650F-FrontHonda CBR 650F resembles its litre-class sibling. (Photo: Siddharth Safaya/News18.com)

The neat styling carries on to the back as well, with a neatly placed tail lamp and the rising tail along with the flat seat and the wide rear tyre (180/55) results in a sporty stance.

The CBR 650F’s headlamps provide ample visibility and are nicely complimented by the LED outline on the top. Other than that, the bike pretty much has a no-nonsense design and has a good build quality.

What’s Cool?

It is powered by 648.7 cc inline-four cylinder engine that delivers 85 horsepower and 62.9 Nm of torque and comes connected to a slick 6-speed transmission. The liquid-cooling takes care of the heat-dissipation very well.

But that’s all figures on paper, what it translates into while riding the bike is a wonderful experience. The engine is one of the smoothest ones out there that puts the power down in a very linear fashion. Something that will come in handy for those who are riding a middleweight motorcycle for the first time.

The clip-on handlebars are placed well within the reach of the rider and the 810 mm seat height means that people with average height will be able to plant their feet on the ground comfortably.

Honda-CBR-650F-RearHonda CBR 650F from the back. (Photo: Siddharth Safaya/News18.com)

When it comes to stopping, the twin-310 mm petal disc brakes do not disappoint and the bike feels planted even at high speeds.

What’s Not So Cool?

The CBR 650F has a good build quality and design but the instrument cluster looks dated. Don’t get us wrong, though, it displays all the information that the rider would need in a glance, except the gear position indicator.

Honda-CBR-650F-Instrument-ClusterHonda CBR 650F's instrument cluster. (Photo: Siddharth Safaya/News18.com)

Another aspect of the bike that made us scratch our heads was the positioning of the horn and indicator switch which have been swapped and takes some time getting used to.

Honda-CBR-650F-HornHonda CBR 650F's horn and indicator switch positions take some time getting used to. (Photo: Siddharth Safaya/News18.com)

Competitors

The price tag of the motorcycle pits it against the likes of the Kawasaki Z800, which sports a larger engine but that’s a street-naked motorcycle and not a full-faired commuter.

The cubic capacity of the engine the CBR 650F carries, pits it against the likes of the Kawasaki Ninja 650 and the Triumph Daytona 675. The Ninja is cheaper than the CBR but also less powerful, the Daytona is more expensive but also way more powerful.

Also Read: Triumph Daytona 675R Review: A Shotgun Among the Swords

But keep in mind, that none of these motorcycles fits in the same category as the CBR 650F as it is a sports-tourer and not a dedicated performance machine.

Verdict

The heel of this Achilles is the pricing. The CBR 650F is a make-in-India product and yet comes at a price tag of Rs 7.3 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi) which is a little bit on the expensive side.

But if the pricing isn’t a constraint for you, then the Honda CBR 650F is an absolutely wonderful motorcycle. It has a lovely engine that will keep you smiling and offers you performance along with practicality that makes it a definitive sports-tourer.

Also Read: The All-New Honda CBR250RR Is Finally Here and It's Absolutely Gorgeous

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