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Honda FMX650 Naked Motorbike Review

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Honda FMX650 motorcycle review - Riding
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MCN overall verdict rating is 2

When faced with the prospect of an exciting new genre – supermoto – Honda eschewed the concepts of excitement and boldness and instead produced the Honda FMX650 - a squidgy suet of a motorcycle. It is perky enough if you’re a new biker, possibly, but unless mere adequacy is your buying criteria there are better motorcycles than the Honda FMX650.

 

Engine

MCN rating rating is 2
Owners' rating rating is 3

The Honda FMX650 has the same air-cooled SOHC old badger that powered the long-departed Honda Dominator. It’ll eventually chuff out about 30bhp, but keep it in town or it quickly feels wheezy. Hang on until 80mph and the Honda FMX650 becomes tiresomely vibey. The gearbox is precise and easy, the clutch light.

Ride and Handling

MCN rating rating is 3
Owners' rating rating is 4

The Honda FMX650 feels light, flickable and the beefy 45mm upside-down forks handle town action with contempt. But start pressing on and the lack of adjustability means the Honda FMX650 soon begins to feel a little uneasy. One thing the Honda FMX650 doesn’t want for is brakes – it may only have a single disc and a sliding pin, twin-piston front brake but it’s a combination that’s well able to haul the motorcycle up quickly.

Equipment

MCN rating rating is 2
Owners' rating rating is 2.5

The Honda FMX650's analogue clocks are bum basic, look rubbish and the headlight’s poor. Fortunately there’s a basketful of Honda tweaking parts from bodywork to exhausts from to customise your Honda FMX650.

Honda FMX650 (2005-2012)

Detail Value
New price £3,999
Dealer used prices
£2,400 (2005) - £3,020 (2007)
Private used prices
£2,160 (2005) - £2,720 (2007)
  View full used price info
Engine size 644 cc
Power 37 bhp
Top speed 96 mph
Insurance group 11 of 17
  MCN ratings Owners' ratings
Overall rating is 2 rating is 4
Engine rating is 2 rating is 3
Ride & Handling rating is 3 rating is 4
Equipment rating is 2 rating is 2.5
Quality & Reliability rating is 3 rating is 4.5
Value rating is 3 rating is 4

Quality and Reliability

MCN rating rating is 3
Owners' rating rating is 4.5

The Honda FMX650 is well made of proven components borrowed from other, older Honda motorcycles. It’s sturdy and low-speed drops do nothing than scratch the Honda FMX650's cheaply replaceable plastics.

Value

MCN rating rating is 3
Owners' rating rating is 4

Likely supermoto-style competitors are Suzuki’s DR-Z400S (lighter and easier to tune), KTM’s Duke (better, more tunable and much more fun) and Husqvarna’s SM610 – more powerful and more fragile.  But the wise thing to do is buy Suzuki’s SV650 – you’ll save money and have a better all round motorcycle to boot. Find a Honda FMX650 for sale.

Insurance

Insurance group: 11 of 17

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Model History

2005: Honda FMX650 introduced.

 

Other Versions

None.

Specifications

Top speed 96 mph
1/4-mile acceleration 14.6 secs
Max power 37 bhp
Max torque 36 ft-lb
Weight 163 kg
Seat height 875 mm
Fuel capacity 11 litres
Average fuel consumption 42 mpg
Tank range 115 miles
Annual road tax
Insurance group 11 of 17
Engine size 644 cc
Engine specification 4v single, 5 gears
Frame Steel cradle
Front suspension adjustment None
Rear suspension adjustment Preload
Front brakes Single 296mm disc
Rear brake 220mm disc
Front tyre size 120/70 x 17
Rear tyre size 150/60 x 17

See all Honda FMX650 motorcycles for sale

Honda
FMX650

8727 miles

£2,750

Honda
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27500 miles

£2,200

Honda
FMX650

20194 miles

£2,199

Honda
FMX650

5350 miles

£2,695

Honda
FMX650

422 miles

£3,495

Owners' Overall Rating rating is 3.5(3 reviews)

  • 3 years on

    sbikerbud

    Average rating rating is 4

    Show Details

    Overall
    Ride and Handling
    Equipment
    Quality and Reliabilty
    Value
    Engine

    after owning the bike for 5 years now i still love it. I've used it for hooning around, commuting around town and a few two up 200+ mile motorway trips with luggage. It's still slow as you like, but still brings a smile to my face. It's the longest i have ever owned a single bike, i wish honda had made one sooner :-)

    11 September 2010

  • Not a proper competition tool, but immense fun to ride.

    urbanfox

    Average rating rating is 3.5

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    Overall
    Ride and Handling
    Equipment
    Quality and Reliabilty
    Value
    Engine

    I’ve recently bought an FMX650 as a second bike and I also feel that this MCN review is unduly harsh on the bike. If you’re in the market for a supermoto-style bike then don’t dismiss the FMX without at least taking a good look at one first. It may fall short when judged against the standards of purer, more competition-focussed supermotos from the other manufacturers, but if you're not going racing then there’s something to be said for Honda reliability and build quality when the alternative offerings have a reputation for being fragile and high maintenance. And that reassuring build quality is something that’s actually quite tangible from the first moment you sit on an FMX. My experience from the saddle suggests that for back-road and city riding the FMX delivers all the real-world benefits of the supermoto format: grunty bursts of acceleration, agile handling from a stance that affords optimal control, strong effective brakes, and enough height to give you a commanding view. On the down side, that saddle is very firm and unforgiving over any distance, but really, so what? If you want all-round versatility then it’s best to steer clear of supermotos. However, for short, intense shots of riding satisfaction - without the licence-shredding speeds - they're hard to beat. And you can really hustle this thing around. If you hook up the engine's power right then the FMX delivers strong, immediate drive, that can slingshot it off the line and straight up to 60. Beyond this it continues to pull with less urgency to 90-plus - if you can take the wind-blast! But show it some curves and it promotes confidence in spades and rewards a vigorous riding style, encouraging you to explore a fairground-ride combination of brisk thrapping acceleration, deep braking and hilariously extreme lean angles, all with an inspiring composure. I also ride a sports bike, but I’ve found that I’m way, way quicker on the FMX in any kind of tight, twisty, comparatively low-speed situation. Horses for courses! While it’s certainly no race-derived switchblade, the FMX’s engine is far better in reality than it looks from the specification. The bhp figure is irrelevant; what matters is the satisfying amount of torque being churned out. Trying to rev it hard achieves nothing; instead, clutch slipping and short-shifting to stay within the fat wedge of mid-range torque makes for perfectly rapid progress. There's an endearing quality to the power pulses thudding out from the big capacity single, and Honda have even managed to make it sound quite fruity, despite the restrictive, emissions-compliant exhaust system (Arrow make a full system replacement, though it's expensive). Of course an early priority of ownership is to remove the ridiculous ‘Funmoto’ stickers from the side panels – mercifully easy, peeling off to leave no trace. Those aside, it’s a good looking bike, with a purposeful presence and nice detailing, not least the imposing gold forks and black, spoked rims. Another attractive feature is the price - it seems to be widely discounted to well below the stated list price.

    07 August 2007

  • Great but slow performer

    Anonymous

    Average rating rating is 3.5

    Show Details

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    Ride and Handling
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    Quality and Reliabilty
    Value
    Engine

    A much under-rated bike this one. I agree to some extent with MCNs verdict but only if you're rating it against other supermotos and use their price of £4699 as up-to-date. However I got my FMX brand new from a franchised dealer for £3500 and I believe the RRP is now £4000 otr. I recently moved to the sticks and found that my ZR-7 was totally unsuitable to the road conditions I now faced - bumpy country B-roads virtually all the way to work and not a decently surfaced road within miles. So I fixed up a few testrides - the FMX, DRZ400SM and XT660X. All great bikes in their own way, the XT having the beafiest engine, the DRZ being the lightest and the FMX being the easiest to ride slowly. I'd be happy to own any of them, but the price, dealer and handling of the FMX suited me the best. The FMX is certainly not the fastest of the bunch, so if you're interested in going over 70, then this isn't the bike for you. But low speed handling couldn't be better - I've owned bigger and faster bikes (VFR800, Bandit, Transalp, Hornet 600) but none come close to this bike on b-roads. Very forgiving suspension and powerful brakes make country roads fun again! Overall the FMX is nicely put together, although the controls and clocks look basic. This bike makes mincemeat of traffic jams, but it might not be a great winter commuter - it's engine is very exposed to grime and if it's wet, dirt gets sprayed all over the engine and exhaust which runs under the rear mudguard. The exhaust note is fairly tame and I'm sure there's more power to be had from this engine, which is a low state of tune. The exhaust looks good though, being stainless and alloy, so it would be a shame to junk it. Another nice touch is the front suspension, USD forks. The engine starts first time, should prove reliable due to it's low state of tune and it's been around for eons. Being a dry sump engine, you have to check the oil level AFTER you've run the engine, which if odd (check it straight away after killing the engine or the oil will disappear back into the frame/engine). The wide Renthal bars make handling very easy compared to more traditional road bike - in fact the bike reminds me of a MTX200R trailbike I used to own (and the FMX isn't much faster). Plastics are fairly soft too, as with all dirt bikes and isn't painted, it marks quite easily compared to the painted bodywork found on most bikes. However being solid plastic there's no undercoat to expose. The tank is matt black paint but this protected by plastic side panels and seat - no chance of the rider scratching it. I personally think the bike look great, better than either the DRZ and XTX. The gearbox is very positive, neutral being very easy to find. The engines got loads of low down pull but run out of puff fairly quickly, gear selection is important, as with all singles. It'll zip up to 60 very quickly, if a doddle to ride slowly and would make an ideal bike for someone whos just passed their test (as long as they didn't ride with friends on faster bikes who would leave the FMX for dead). Provided you understand this bikes limitations, you can't fail to like this bike. It's the best bike I've owned in a long time and for once I'm not now thinking "what's my next bike going to be?". The last bike that was this much fun was a Hornet, which was great little bike, but would suit the local roads near me. And what price £3500, what can you get for that these days?? Overall very happy with it!

    18 June 2007

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funmoto3

funmoto3says

FMX the business

I had one.Got rid of it a few months ago and have regretted it ever since.The grass is not always greener on the other side.I'm 6ft 3in,so it suited me on size perfect.I fitted stainless scorpion cans and it sounded fantastic.Fitted a continental rear supermoto tyre and it stuck like glue too the road.Vibes,yes.So what,expected from a thumper.Fuel,90 miles tops.Time for a brake anyway.FUN,FUN,FUN,FUN.Always.Every time I got off it I was smiling.I went for a few charity rides with all types of bikes ,and I had more fun at 60mph than captain plastic at 100mph.Sure it's not a powerful bike,but with torque out of bends and insane lean possible I don't need much else to smile.Brakes were good enough too lift the back wheel and I learned a lot about sliding the back,in a local car park the first two weeks I had it.I never owned a bike of this type before,so it was nesscary too practice before enjoying.It looked good,never broke,and I loved it so much I am getting another one.I thought of other more powerful bikes,Ktm and so on.Irish roads are not the best and others are more expensive for parts and too work on.There is a bike too suit everyone somewhere.I found mine by looking at something I would have previously not considered.Happy biking everyone.Ride safe and have fun.

02 September 2012 13:07

sj_edinburgh

User's Badge

sj_edinburghsays

Two years on - still a great bike

I thought I'd post an update having now owned my FMX for two years. Still very happy with this bike and perfectly suited to what I use it for, namely summer commuting 10-15 miles each way along country lanes and traffic filled urban roads. Plenty of low down pull from the engine, good view over cars and hedges and very easy slow speed handling. The bike accelerates well up to about 60-70 mph but then the fun stops. If you're looking for a bike to fill a summer's day riding, look elsewhere. Finish is pretty good, keep on top of the cleaning and it seems to last quite well. No rust appearing on this bike so far and it's used in the rain. Totally reliable so far, but this isn't too surprising since it's based on the Dominator engine, which is as reliable as they get, for a single. Handling is good, but I feel the fork is a bit harsh, not happy with the bumpiest country lanes, but the rear does a good job. I must admit it's taken me while to learn to ride a big single properly, despite having ridden an XR400 offroad for a while. But once you've learnt to change up early, not rev it too hard and use the back brake more entering corners, then it's a lot of fun. So much fun in fact the my next bike will probably be a single too - that's after 20 years of 2, 3 and 4 cylinder bikes! I'm in no rush to sell though, good that the DRZ400SM and XT660X are (in some way better than the FMX), they're not enough of a step-up for me, the DRZ feeling a bit gutless and the XT660X feeling a LOT heavier in the flesh. So I'll be keeping the FMX until Suzuki or Honda bring out a more modern single (can't see Yamaha ditching the XT range any time soon). Rear tyre wear is a bit of an issue on big singles, my first rear only lasted 1800 miles, but have replaced that with a BT92 which is fairing a lot better than the original soft Pirelli. Servicing is cheap and easy. For a single starting is very good, provided you shut the fuel at the end of a run and let the bike run for a while with the fuel off - this makes starting a lot easier, but isn't necessary if you're starting the bike the same day (also never use the throttle when starting from cold, only choke). Fuel consumption averages out a about 52 mpg for me, not brilliant but better than some bikes I've had. In terms of price, the secondhand prices of these bikes are holding up pretty well, in fact seem to have increased recently, my '07 would probably be £2300 privately or £2800 from a dealer. You might find the VERY last new FMX's going pre-reg for £3700-£3800 which is actually more than I paid for mine (£3500 new). In some ways I can see why the tests and reviews of this bike so bad, it's performance is a bit limiting, it hates motorways, seat hard and anyone who spends their life testing bigger / faster bikes is going to find this bike a bit boring. To enjoy it you have to accept that this is NOT a fast bike in terms of acceleration or top speed, but will make mincemeat of town traffic. I also like the simplicity of it's design and ease ownership - come winter I just plug in the optimate and leave it. Looks good too. In summary, know this bikes limitations and you won't be disappointed - a much under-rated bike!

26 May 2009 14:30

mikey1964

User's Badge

mikey1964says

FMX 650

Alot of bike for the money but a bit of a let down. turning to reserve at 66pmg is just too soon and it sounds like a lawnmower.

You have to be sure what you want from a bike before you buy a FMX, sheep in wolves clothing.

great around town commuter but i would'nt take it out of the town you live in.

 

 

06 December 2008 00:57

steveburrows

User's Badge

steveburrowssays

seems a good bike

Thinking of swapping my DRZ400SM for one. Been offered a 2005 FMX with full titanium Arrow exhausts for £1650. Only done 6000 miles & has fsh. From the above reviews seems to good a bargain to miss

18 July 2008 20:27

sbikerbud

sbikerbudsays

Good Bike

I agree whole heartedly with the other two comments on this page. The FMX is one of the most enjoyable bikes i've ever owned. Yes its slow compared to an R1, but who cares? I can still exceed the speed limit should i want to. Its a feel good machine, it doesn't scare you (in fact it makes you feel like you could never crash) and it makes back roads fun again. The tank range is a bit of a pig (95 miles to reserve) but its liveable with. It could do with a tad more power but its a pleasant motor to use, it feels sufficiently punchy to keep you amused as long as you stay away from M-way/dual carriage way. As one other postee says "i'm not immediately thinking what my next bike will be"

15 September 2007 17:34

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