HONDA CBR650F (2014 - on) Review
At a glance
|Owners' reliability rating:|
|Annual servicing cost:||£190|
Overall ratingNext up: Ride & brakes
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 & brakesNext up: Engine
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.
EngineNext up: Reliability
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.
Reliability & build qualityNext up: Value
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.
Value vs rivalsNext up: Equipment
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.
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.
|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|
|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|
Mpg, costs & insurance
|Average fuel consumption||49 mpg|
|Annual road tax||£93|
|Annual service cost||£190|
|Used price||£4,000 - £6,500|
How much to insure?
Top speed & performance
|Max power||86 bhp|
|Max torque||46 ft-lb|
|Top speed||145 mph|
|1/4 mile acceleration||-|
|Tank range||186 miles|
Model history & versions
2014: Model introduced
CB650F: Roadster version shares same running gear
Owners' reviews for the HONDA CBR650F (2014 - on)
17 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.
Summary of owners' reviews
|Ride quality & brakes:|
|Reliability & build quality:|
|Value vs rivals:|
|Annual servicing cost:||£190|
Bike looks very nice and sporty, sounds good and low weight means easy to move around. Poor build quality, gutless engine low down in the Rev range and very very bad vibrations meant I only owned the bike for 2 months before selling it on again! One of the worst bikes I’ve owned!!
The vibrations from the bike at motorway speed are horrible, hands and fingers go numb within 30 mins, many people I’ve spoken to with the same bike have the same issue. Has good handling on twisty lanes and best kept in urban environments
Engine has absolutely no guts or eagerness low down in the Rev range. Go along at 30mph in 2nd gear twist the throttle all the way round.....and nothing happens for a second or two and then it very gently may start to move a bit quicker
No matter what you do, what you try, how many times you clean it or protection you use on it the very cheap and nasty components always rust. The rear shock, subframe and head stock were really bad within months along with all fixings and fasteners. Fairing panels vibrate and the cheap Velcro fixings holding them to the frame of course don’t!
Very basic, has abs but no gear indicator which on modern bikes should now be standard
Buying experience: Dealer (Lings) IMO were truly awful. Never returned calls, always had to be chased and even never sent the change o owner details through to the DVLA until I chased them up 2 months after owning the bike
Annual servicing cost: £240
Well it finally has arrived a 2018 'CBR6n' that's pretty well as good as the original CBR600F. It's got enough performance without being intimidating, but still enough to make overtaking when riding two up an easy affair. Everything works beautifully and smoothly with decent feel from the front brakes, not so much the rear brake though, I guess as long as it works for hill starts.
Considering the suspension only has pre-load adjustment it works really well. I've had three Fireblades and I find the CBR650F can be ridden just as fast on typical UK roads with all their usual road surface challenges as a Fireblade. No doubt a pristine track surface would see the Fireblade's advantage revealed.
I tried a twin Yamaha Tracer 700 and it's not a patch on a decent four cylinder engine.
I've ridden it through the winter of 2018/19 and it still looks like new and runs like new too.
I do not miss the old Honda servicing schedule of 4k, 8k 12k etc. The new bikes are much cheaper to look after with no of these 'mid' service 4k mile check ups.
I wish it had two things in the instrument cluster, an engine temp gauge and a gear indicator.
Buying experience: Great service and friendly staff at Cresent Honda in Southampton.
Annual servicing cost: £180
Excellent value sports tourer. Very good all-rounder. Owned the bike 6 months now and behaving faultlessly. Hard pushed to find anything similar. Lovely silky smooth free revving engine that has a good bit of grunt but peppy when you need it. No suspension adjustment bar rear preload, but I wouldn't want to adjust anyway, it is well designed and delivers to the performance on hand. Don't know what the moans are re finish, bollocks. Keep on top of cleaning and it's spotless with not a speck of rust in sight. I'm well pleased.
Brakes are very good. Handling is very good for this type of bike. Lack of suspension adjustment has not proved an issue. Has never got out of shape under pressure, but comfy enough on bumpy/increasingly normal roads!
After a V twin before, and a triple before that, I hankered after an inline 4, harking back to my old GPX750 sports tourer from years ago, that was one of those biked that I always loved. It ticks those boxes so well and beyond. The engine is a peach. Sweet, smooth and actually loves to play, but happy tootling too. The high rev whine is addictive though. I find this a nice all rounder. It is happy to commute at reasonable speeds, but you can rev it, have fun and not be doing mental speeds. I can only get away with one bike with the missus, so need an all rounder, and I have to say, if this is your situation, I doubt you will be disappointed.
No issues. I get lots of comments on wow, at that price. OK, I'm anal about polishing though! Part of the pleasure of bike owning in my book!
I paid £650 for the three year, unlimited mileage service plan including valve service, which for my mileage is good value.
Fine here. Screen works well. Mirrors were not great other than nice view of elbows. I had to invest in some extenders, but no big deal. Gauges work well, and other than a gear indicator which you get used to knowing revs, speeds etc, it is fine. Tyres fitted are Ok. Good in dry, Ok in wet but I am looking forward to getting something better re confidence and feedback. Not that they are bad, but I feel they could be better, allowing me to hoon a little more confidently when conditions/situations allow.
Buying experience: Dealer - P&H in Crawley. They were fab! Ray is on it. No pressure and very professional.
Only good thing about the bike is the engine and gearbox. Everything else from the cheap fasteners, the crappy budget suspension to the hopeless mirrors is rubbish.
Engine and box are very smooth as you would expect from Honda. That's its only redeeming feature
Decent pokey engine
Awful build quality. Cheap parts and finish
Buying experience: Bought from a dealer: Jordan Superbikes. As with all dealers, it was £500 overpriced
A dreadful aytempt by Honda. Cheap fasteners and parts. Budget crappy suspension. Even the finish was poor. Owned mine 3 months and took a £500 loss on it just to be rid of the thing. Built in Thailand and wow, you can tell.
Cheap rubnish fasteners and bolts etc
Only decent thing about the bike
Annual servicing cost: £250
Great easy riding let down by quality of some materials
Surperb set-up, comfortable and forgivin. I do agree with other comments regarding vibrations which I notice around 75mph
It's the corrosion on fasteners and washers I can't get my head around, plus the rear shock is looking tatty. Having ridden through the last two winters and 10500 miles on the clock in 18 months, the bike is looking more like it's 5 - 7 years old. UK weather and salting is not good for any bike, but mine is religiously washed down with cold water, then soaped up, followed by a new dose of ACF50 on a weekly basis. The engine, whels and fairings still look new.
Service at £250.00. To buy new it's cheap and to keep running it's cheap. I average 55mpg and have had to replace a rear tyre due to a puncture (road pilot 3 @ £135)
Your buying a budget bike, so don't expect too much. ABS is a nice touch though
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: - 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?
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 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
Excellent ABS Brakes
Good Torque through the gears at low revs The engine just lacks a little power at the top end.
really needs a centre stand
Annual servicing cost: £100
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.
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.
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.
Should be fine, proven tech, but not really sure - brand new.
Nice to have LED lights, but not much other candy.
Great looking and very comfortable to ride.
Very comfy ride
Was hoping for a bit more torque, i don't see the low end on this bike but mid-range is very nice
It's a Honda, i'm sure it is well built bike
I have only had the bike a couple months so i don't have any maintenance cost for it yet
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
Annual servicing cost: £300
Good all-rounder and commuter - but vibrations get uncomfortable at motorway speeds
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Annual servicing cost: £130
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.)
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: - Smooth, solid and sounds great when revving. - Linear power delivery. - More than enough power on tap.
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.
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.
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.
Annual servicing cost: £150
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, 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.
Vibrations put me off having a thoroughly enjoyable ride.
Slightly under powered
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).
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 does everything I need, would recommend to a friend. I love it so no worst features for me....
Ride is really smooth and positive, well balanced even in bends its overall just effortless to ride. Brakes are abs and are spot on.
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.
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.
Annual servicing cost: £160
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 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!
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....
Pretty smooth in town traffic and still plenty of power to open the throttle up with an empty motorway ahead.
It's a Honda... after living in the garage all winter it started first time as if it'd been running the whole time.
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.
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
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 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!
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.
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.
fine but indicator switch position pretty annoying!
Buying experience: poor.
A versatile bike that suits all needs in my opinion. I would definitely recommend anyone to get this bike, perfect for new and old riders. I particularly like the riding posture of the bike, the seat is nice and big meaning you can sit upright, or sit farther away for a more racing position. The engine is smooth and has a lovely upper powerband, although can pull easily in any gear. Nice sounding engine in the higher rev's, although can be a little quiet when cruising, which isn't always a bad thing. If I had to pick a fault it would be a tiny vibration at 2500 RPM, sounds like it's just a vibrating panel near the dash assembly. Although who rev's it that slow!