HONDA CBR650F (2014-on) Review

Published: 13 November 2014

A peerless ‘bike for all reasons’ at a value price that’ll disappoint no-one

HONDA CBR650F  (2014-on)

A peerless ‘bike for all reasons’ at a value price that’ll disappoint no-one

  • At a glance
  • 649cc  -  86 bhp
  • 49 mpg  -  186 miles range
  • Medium seat height (810mm)
  • New: £6,999
    Used: £4,300 to £7,400 See all HONDA CBR650Fs for sale

Overall Rating 4 out of 5

Honda’s all-new, completely revitalised and reinvented CBR is a CBR worthy of the name. The original CBR was such as success simply because it was a good, affordable, all-round bike, with a touch of Honda class. Just as much is true of this newcomer. It’s not perfect – no bike is. The snob in me envies the adjustable forks of the old; the steering lock’s a little restricted, the standard screen’s too low for my 6’3” (though a taller version is available as an extra), the clocks look a tad budget and Honda’s new generation switchgear, with indicator and horn reversed from the norm, still annoy. But it’s still a peerless ‘bike for all reasons’ at a value price that’ll dissappoint no-one

Ride Quality & Brakes 4 out of 5

The new CBR’s chassis is equally impressive. Where the outgoing CBR600F had multi-adjustable inverted 41mm forks the newbie has RWU, non-adjustable versions, presumably to save money. Even so, and with spring and damping rates wound up a little stiffer than on the CB, they worked just fine, complimenting the beautifully precise steering.The new CBR is a doddle to ride normally: light, stable and easy. And yet, when you wind up the wick, is both rewarding, engaging and never particularly gets out of shape.

Engine 4 out of 5

Identical to that of the earlier CB650F in being an all-new 649cc four focussed on improved torque and cleaned-up looks, with external plumbing replaced by internal water channels. Header pipe design inspired by classic ‘70s CB400/4.
Though no grunt meister (however ‘meatier’ it may be than old the new CBR is still, ultimately, a middleweight four characterised by a free-revving, uber-smoth delivery) it pulls away easily from minimal revs. You need to rev it and slip the clutch a bit, of course, that’s the nature of this type of beast – but nothing extreme or difficult. 3K or so does the job and from there-on up the new CBR builds utterly predictably. If you want to potter and travel, 3-6K is ample; a bit bolder and brisker will have you opening its lungs more crisply to eight. And if you want to thrash back and forth between country corners, nine to 10 thou delivers enough hooning, howling fun to satisfy most.

Build Quality & Reliability 4 out of 5

CBRs have always had more class than most middleweight all-rounders and though no VFR this latest version has enough to please. fit and finish, though built in Thailand, as good on this evidence as any of Honda’s Japanese-made wares. Jury’s still out on reliability – it’s too early to say.

Insurance, running costs & value 4 out of 5

Whichever way you look at it it’s a decent amountof bike for the money with a fair sprinkling of Honda quality on top. Not quite as classy as the original, but the world’s moved on. Should hold its value better than most, too.

Equipment 4 out of 5

The twin LCD displays, though hardly cutting edge, are an improvement on the last version’s single LCD sweep and with clock, fuel gauge, odos, tacho, speedo and more, they lack only a gear indicator while the faux carbon inner fairing panels look good. Riding light and taillight both LEDs while accessories include: carbon look hugger, seat cowl and front mudguard, 35l top box, seat bag, rear carrier, heated grips and alarm. Yes, the CBR is built to a budget, but you have to look hard to see any giveaways.

Owners' Reviews

11 owners have reviewed their HONDA CBR650F (2014-on) and rated it in a number of areas. Read what they have to say and what they like and dislike about the bike below.

Review your HONDA CBR650F (2014-on)
Summary of Owners' Reviews
Overall Rating 4.2 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 4.8 out of 5
Engine 4.5 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 4.5 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 4.3 out of 5
Equipment 4 out of 5
4 out of 5

23 August 2017 by bernardv

Pros: - excellent build quality, - very flexible 4 cylinder engine, - 15-25 HP more power than twin competitors with similar displacement, - sporty looks and handling, - still comfortable enough for shorter trips, 2 up as well. Cons: -... Read more no gear indicator, - less torque than most twins, - a bit heavier than most direct competitors, - a bit pricier than most competitors (depends on point of view). Comparing this to the twins with same cc, you basically you get a bit more bike for a bit more money. If you compare it with twins and triples with a bit larger displacements, you get a bit less bike for considerably less money. Are there any other 90 HP street bikes around these days?

Ride Quality & Brakes
5 out of 5
-
Engine
4 out of 5
-
Build Quality & Reliability
5 out of 5
-
Value & Running Costs
4 out of 5
-
Equipment
3 out of 5
-
4 out of 5

Honest review after switching from 600F to 650F

14 July 2017 by Davey L

After 4 years on my old 2005 CBR600F it was time to change bike. Now had my 650F 3 months so long enough to accurately review it. (3,500 miles) This is my daily commute bike, 11,000 miles a year, so i need reliability and comfort The CBR650F is a... Read more good all round bike. Handling and cornering very good Pros: First the ride position is more sit up and less sporty than the 600F, which is better for commuting The engine is lower revving than the 600F and gives a lot more Torque. No need to drop gears at 50mph to overtake like had to do with the 600F, Pulls very well at low revs in any gear. Having said this has less power so at the top end it feels a little lacking if you want have some real fun! More economical than the 600. Riding steady, gentle accelerating riding 84 miles per day i am getting 65 miles per gallon. Ride like your granny, cruising at 56 i got 76 miles/gallon at best. I am driving Cambridge to central London so half open road and half heavy traffic. Ride with more fun, 60 per gallon Instruments are a bit out. computer will say i average 58 mile/gallon but in reality it is 65. I know this because i fill up every other day, 168 miles. Maybe i should go back to Honda and get my speedo etc calibrated. Brakes are very good, just getting used to the ABS Headlights and tail lights are very bright. Cons: Ideally needs a little more power top end. They have increased it on the 2017 models No centre stand i find a pain. Had to by a paddock stand to aid oiling the chain

Ride Quality & Brakes
5 out of 5
Excellent ABS Brakes
Engine
4 out of 5
Good Torque through the gears at low revs The engine just lacks a little power at the top end.
Build Quality & Reliability
5 out of 5
-
Value & Running Costs
5 out of 5
Economical engine
Equipment
4 out of 5
really needs a centre stand
5 out of 5

24 May 2017 by bervel

No direct competitor IMO. Tracer 700 is weaker and flimsier in general to be honest. F800 GT is a rather strange bike, once you start looking into details and quite a bit more expensive. Read more

Ride Quality & Brakes
5 out of 5
Great breaks, very comfortable for the rider and pillion as well, maybe not the most flickable on the market, but you can't have it all (comfort vs agility). All in all it's a very thought out compromise.
Engine
5 out of 5
You need to ride it a just bit higher (10% more revs) than your best twin (Yamaha ... 7) to get the same punch but you got waaaay more head room (and a bit more power) up there. Sound - twins don't come even close.
Build Quality & Reliability
5 out of 5
Honda ...
Value & Running Costs
4 out of 5
Should be fine, proven tech, but not really sure - brand new.
Equipment
3 out of 5
Nice to have LED lights, but not much other candy.
4 out of 5

Great, sporty all around bike

30 December 2016 by Sparky99

Great looking and very comfortable to ride. Read more

Ride Quality & Brakes
4 out of 5
Very comfy ride
Engine
3 out of 5
Was hoping for a bit more torque, i don't see the low end on this bike but mid-range is very nice
Build Quality & Reliability
4 out of 5
It's a Honda, i'm sure it is well built bike
Value & Running Costs
4 out of 5
I have only had the bike a couple months so i don't have any maintenance cost for it yet
Equipment
4 out of 5
Windscreen and faring are very nice but not a fan of the banana seat, though it is comfortable stock seat
Buying experience

I'm not a fan of most dealers but the deal on this bike was outstanding with a price cut of $2500, well worth the purchase

4 out of 5

Good commuter bike - be prepared for vibrations at motorway speeds

27 July 2016 by Munted

Good all-rounder and commuter - but vibrations get uncomfortable at motorway speeds Read more

Ride Quality & Brakes
5 out of 5
Great bike to sit on once you get comfortable on it. Handles the usual bumps and holes on the road well and the brakes with added ABS stop quite well. I've added Metzeler Roadtec 01's to the bike and these have massively improved braking and ride quality compared to the stock Dunlop's.
Engine
5 out of 5
Mid-weight engine that is built for commuting. Pulls in pretty much any gear from 2000 or so revs. Throttle can be a little snatchy when filtering in 1st, but when you get used to the way the bike behaves it isn't a problem.
Build Quality & Reliability
4 out of 5
Usual Honda reliability, in 9000 miles only issue I've had has been fuel related. Some panels are fitted with velcro that has lost its stickiness.
Value & Running Costs
5 out of 5
Great value for money and gets about 130 miles on 10-11 litres of petrol. I have higher servicing costs as I do 20000 miles a year.
Equipment
3 out of 5
Has everything you need but could do with a gear position indicator and a temperature gauge. Would also like more suspension adjustability than just a rear shock preload adjustment.
5 out of 5

Honda CBR650F (88Kgs, 5ft 7inch Rider)

11 May 2016 by Farrel

A really reliable, quality and solid all round bike. (Reveiw based on maiden trip from showroom (brand new) to home up North, covering 700miles over two days - Motorways, country roads and city riding.) Read more

Ride Quality & Brakes
5 out of 5
Suspensions - Front: - Medium - Not too soft not too hard, handled twisties very well. Headlight: - Adequate - Could clearly see on unlit roads - Fog lights would be helpful Mirrors: - Absolutely need to upgrade or use extenders. - Stock too small not enough coverage and clarity. Handle bars: - Perfect for my height and size. May lead to sore wrist on longer journeys like mine. Nothing too serious, maybe I little getting used to will help. - Vibration present but not too much that would make anyone uncomfortable. Tank: - Good Enough - Long Journeys will need many fuel stops - Good Range - I got 58 mpg average. Seat: - Comfortable even for two up. - Uncomfortable for long journeys - needs something softer. Foot Rests: - Plush for rider. - OK for pillion Gear Lever: - May need adjustment as it needs to go through its full travel in order to shift up to the next gear. - It depends on your boots especially touring full boots. Suspension - Rear. - Adjustable. - Handles twisties very well in collaboration with front suspensions. - Can be a bit harsh on uneven surfaces. Exhaust: - Neat and quite. - May not be too exciting in the long run. Tail Light: - Not too shabby - Kept pillion 100% clean - Lightly wet roads. - Aftermarket not necessary unless you want it. Indicators: - Smoked. - Look good - unless you want to change. Lever: - Clutch biting point too far out. - Front brake adjustable RECOMMENDATION: HONDA / AFTERMARKET ADJUSTABLE CLUTCH LEVER AFTERMARKET ADJUSTABLE CLUTCH LEVERS AFTERMARKET MIRRORS OR MIRROR EXTENDERS AFTERMARKET SEAT (for long journeys)
Engine
5 out of 5
Engine: - Smooth, solid and sounds great when revving. - Linear power delivery. - More than enough power on tap.
Build Quality & Reliability
5 out of 5
Handle bars: - Perfect for my height and size. May lead to sore wrist on longer journeys like mine. Nothing too serious, maybe I little getting used to will help. - Vibration present but not too much that would make anyone uncomfortable.
Value & Running Costs
4 out of 5
For a first service - £130 is a bit over the top I would say. Considering the consumables are just an oil filter and 3 bottles for engine oil which come roughly about £35. I could do it easily at home but considering a brand new bike and warranty, decided to give it to the dealer.
Equipment
5 out of 5
Bodywork/Paint: - Paint is First Class, bodywork styling is superb. - Some body parts are stuck by velcro and some clearances between joints - Not good for £7099 bike. - Windscreen may need upgrade as doesnt really keep the wind off even after attaching higher Honda windscreen. Instrument Cluster: - Good eough, though cant see anything in the sun, night time use it has no issues. Backlight is bright and all info is very clear. - Nothing spectacular - Standard digital gauge with trips, average mileage, gas consumption, clock, fuel gauge, rpm range and speedometer. - Fuel Gauge - prefer the analogue. Tyres: - Dunlop - Adequate, seems to take a while to scrub in. RECOMMENDATION: AFTERMARKET GEAR INDICATOR, HEATED GRIPS BETTER TYRES HEAVIER BAR ENDS AFTERMARKET WINDSCREEN
Buying experience

Bought from Honda Dealer, Brand new, £7099 on 0% PCP, Free Accessories: Oxford Heated Grips, Honda High Windscreen, MotoGP Ceramic Coating, Datatool Alarm.

4 out of 5

Great bike, good looks, good value and fun, but buzzy

04 April 2016 by Hellellennium

Had this bike for a year and a half and have done almost 10k miles on it. I ride 6 days a week, practically anywhere I need to go around London (including commuting to work). It's fun, looks quite good, very easy to ride, holds a corner really well,... Read more really comfortable seat, very nice smooth acceleration with enough power for the city or even motorways. The build quality is excellent, very strong chassis and very reliable engine regardless of weather. It's not a hoon, and soon get used to its power rather quickly, but that was not Honda's intent I suppose. Where it does let me down is, and I'm not sure if many face this problem, is the vibrations. It is a rather buzzy engine and this shouldn't be an issue a new big bike rider has to deal with as my hands have been numbed up a few times within a 30 minute ride, esp if I keep the rpm range between 3k and 4k for a little longer than usual. You do start to the feel the vibrations around the 8k range as well through the footpegs. It's a great bike, but the vibrations has let me down and now having to change the bike at the end of its 2nd year as my hands have had it. On the track, it handled corners very well, great grip, amazing braking & feedback with no fade, but the vibrations really wore out my hands by the third session, and that's also where you really start to feel the engine being under powered. Final opinion, this should have at least some more power, like its predecessor (600F) to make it a complete package.

Ride Quality & Brakes
4 out of 5
Vibrations put me off having a thoroughly enjoyable ride.
Engine
5 out of 5
Slightly under powered
Build Quality & Reliability
5 out of 5
-
Value & Running Costs
4 out of 5
-
Equipment
4 out of 5
Dials are clear and functions exceedingly well, but looks dated - nothing visually appealing or attractive about it, and I'm certain there was room for gear indicator (especially if aimed at new riders).
5 out of 5

27 March 2016 by muzz2007

I bought this bike as it was my favourite one seen at the bike show last November. Mainly because I'm 6'2" tall and wanted to be comfy rather than have a full on sports bike (been there done that). For me it ticks all the boxes nice looking bike that... Read more does everything I need, would recommend to a friend. I love it so no worst features for me....

Ride Quality & Brakes
5 out of 5
Ride is really smooth and positive, well balanced even in bends its overall just effortless to ride. Brakes are abs and are spot on.
Engine
5 out of 5
If you want a full on rocket ship this would not be the bike for you. If you're an older rider and like a sports bike look with enough power to make you grin then its ideal, with super smooth power delivery and great performance, especially in the higher rev range.
Build Quality & Reliability
5 out of 5
For the money it costs the build quality is excellent usual Honda standard, cannot really comment on reliability as Ive only covered 75 miles so far. Engine is super smooth and found no problems clutch and gear selection.
Value & Running Costs
5 out of 5
-
Equipment
5 out of 5
-
5 out of 5

Great "graduation" bike!

23 March 2016 by CBR650ferg

First "big bike" since passing my full licence test so didn't want anything too mental...So bear that in mind while reading the rest... The CBR650f was recommended by a former instructor and bike shop owner and every biker I've met has also agreed... Read more it's a good mid-sized bike to get started! Whether it's just going for a fun-run or commuting it seems to blend perfectly with both. Great bike for building confidence on and stepping up to the bigger classes from a 125!

Ride Quality & Brakes
5 out of 5
Great seating position, can sit comfortably upright just as much as hugging the tank. Longest ride has only been 2hrs so far but didn't feel too tired or uncomfortable after it at all. Planning on doing the NC500 at some point so I guess that will test it! Brakes seem good enough! Not failed yet....
Engine
5 out of 5
Pretty smooth in town traffic and still plenty of power to open the throttle up with an empty motorway ahead.
Build Quality & Reliability
5 out of 5
It's a Honda... after living in the garage all winter it started first time as if it'd been running the whole time.
Value & Running Costs
4 out of 5
Servicing costs will obviously vary but £160 seemed pretty fair. Can be a thirsty machine if you're really hammering it but otherwise it's pretty average. Insurance is a bit high at £800/year but I'm guessing that's due to it being my first year and not so much the bike.
Equipment
5 out of 5
Plenty of extras available if you want them. My bike's white so I got the pillion seat cowel and a double-bubble blacked out screen and it really makes the bike stand out that bit more.
Buying experience

I bought on finance from a dealer and cost around £6.5K

1 out of 5

22 October 2015 by Walshy

Great looking bike that steers and goes well. Finish a bit iffy compared to cbr600f in the 90's but main problem was that it melted the wiring harness whilst at the TT. 9 weeks later the parts arrived but here we are in October and now a product... Read more recall means we're off the road again waiting a new part. I totally empathised with Marquez when he was shouting at his bike in Aragon!

Ride Quality & Brakes
5 out of 5
-
Engine
3 out of 5
Ok - lacking a few ponies but pretty sweet. Would be a 4 if we didn't have to keep off roading it whilst we wait for new starter motors or wiring harnesses.
Build Quality & Reliability
1 out of 5
See above. built to price when compared to earlier cbr's and the customer service was terrible. No empathy, no consideration - mechanical "computer says no" kind of approach. Having a call centre deal with problems where a product is bought 90% based on emotion is totally stupid. I would not, could not recommend buying any Honda in the future based on my experience. I've had 400 fours, 550 fours cbx 750 and a number of cbr600f's which have all been brilliant but based on this experience I would buy a Yamaha next time.
Value & Running Costs
3 out of 5
-
Equipment
3 out of 5
fine but indicator switch position pretty annoying!
Buying experience

poor.

Read all 11 owners' reviews in full

Facts & Figures

Model info
Year introduced 2014
Year discontinued -
New price £6,999
Used price £4,300 to £7,400
Warranty term Two year unlimited mileage
Running costs
Insurance group -
Annual road tax £85
Annual service cost £170
Performance
Max power 86 bhp
Max torque 46 ft-lb
Top speed 145 mph
1/4-mile acceleration -
Average fuel consumption 49 mpg
Tank range 186 miles
Specification
Engine size 649cc
Engine type Liquid-cooled, dohc, 16v transverse four. Six gears, chain drive
Frame type Steel twin eliptical spar frame with with forged pivot plates
Fuel capacity 17.3 litres
Seat height 810mm
Bike weight 211kg
Front suspension 41mm telescopic forks, no adjust
Rear suspension 7-way preload adjustable rear shock
Front brake 2 x 320mm wavy front discs, Nissin 4-piston calipers, ABS
Rear brake Single 240mm disc with two-piston caliper. ABS
Front tyre size 120/70 x 17
Rear tyre size 180/55 x 17

History & Versions

Model history

2014: Model introduced

Other versions

CB650F: Roadster version shares same running gear

Photo Gallery

  • HONDA CBR650F  (2014-on)
  • HONDA CBR650F  (2014-on)
  • HONDA CBR650F  (2014-on)
  • HONDA CBR650F  (2014-on)
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