HONDA CBR650F (2017 - 2018) Review

Highlights

  • Middleweight sports bike version of the CB650F
  • Makes an excellent sports tourer
  • Great build quality, cheap to run

At a glance

Owners' reliability rating: 5 out of 5 (5/5)
Annual servicing cost: £160
Power: 90 bhp
Seat height: Medium (31.9 in / 810 mm)
Weight: Medium (465 lbs / 211 kg)

Prices

New N/A
Used £4,700 - £6,000

Overall rating

Next up: Ride & brakes
3 out of 5 (3/5)

The Honda CBR650F is a fully faired middleweight with 649cc engine shared with the naked CB650F. It's got a steel frame, basic suspension and optional ABS.

As an easy-going sporty machine with a budget price tag you could do a lot worse. In fact, the CBR is now almost slipping into budget sports tourer territory and with a set of panniers fitted would be a great machine for solo weekends away or quick trips to Europe.

This bike replaced the 2014-2017 Honda CBR650F

There's a popular online forum for the CBR650F at www.650f.bike.

Ride quality & brakes

Next up: Engine
4 out of 5 (4/5)

Where the CB650F has a single flat bar, the CBR gets semi-sporty clip-ons that are located above the top yoke for comfort. Compared to the naked bike’s bars they are 30mm narrower and set a little lower, giving a sports tourer style riding position that is more aggressive than the CB but not over the top. The new Showa forks give an excellent ride and the CBR is surprisingly assured in the bends.

Engine

Next up: Reliability
4 out of 5 (4/5)

If you want to ride the CBR gently you can, it’s more than happy to cruise around at low revs, but go searching the top end of the rev range and the inline four explodes into life. Tap it down a few gears, get the digital rev counter up into the high notes and not only does it sound much sportier, it responds better too. It’s not supersport fast, and lacks the punch of some of its twin-cylinder rivals, but it is spirited.

Reliability & build quality

Next up: Value
4 out of 5 (4/5)

CBRs have an excellent reputation for reliability and the CBR650F is based around the tried and trusted RR engine in a lower state of tune, so all should be well on that front. The build quality is pleasingly good for a bike built to a budget.

When buying a used bike, make sure you get both original keys, along with the original tag which carries the key number and a bar code — you’ll need this to get any replacement keys coded by a dealer. Keep the spare key and tag safe — if you lose them you’re stuffed – the only solution is to change the bike’s ECU, lock set and new keys. Just the new ECU is around £550...

We've got one Honda CBR650F owners' review on the site, with an overall rating of 4 stars out of 5. It was marked down for its poor standard suspension. 

Value vs rivals

Next up: Equipment
3 out of 5 (3/5)

A price tag of £7399 on launch put the CBR in a strange place. It is far cheaper than other bigger capacity sports tourers, but there again it lacks their advanced electronics and equipment. It’s more expensive than Yamaha’s Tracer 700, but it has the feeling of being a better built machine and is an inline four rather than a twin. It could do with being a few quid less, but it’s not bad value at all. Other rivals include the Kawasaki ER-6F and the Suzuki GSX650F.

Honda CBR650F parts and servicing

Service schedule - Sensible 8000-mile intervals for the CB and CBR and there’s nothing complicated involved. Oil and filter are changed at every service, air filter and spark plugs every other one, as well as a valve-clearance check. Apart from that it’s mostly just sensible checks on all sub-systems, including suspension and head bearings (and we’d build re-greasing into the main service).

Brake fluid’s changed every two years, coolant at three but no specified fork-oil change interval — again, we’d do that at every main service. The CB/CBR is pretty easy to work on — good access and not too tricky for home mechanics.

New and used parts prices - Genuine Honda bits aren’t that cheap, as you might expect. An oil and air filter will rush you £16 and £36.32 respectively, and a chain and sprocket kit is over £200. Front discs are £170-odd each, with pads at £47.47 a pair.

A new headlight is £250 and a radiator, £514.49. The aftermarket’s on the case for service items though — Wemoto offers oil and air filters for £5.28 and £14.40 each, and chain and sprocket kits from £75. Front-wheel bearings are £9 the kit, and tapered head bearings £26. Pattern brake discs are £108 each and pads (EBC HH compound) £14.54 a pair. There’s a reasonable supply of used bits but usually from badly crashed bikes, so front parts are hard to find. A pair of forks will be over £200, for example.

Equipment

3 out of 5 (3/5)

You don’t get much in terms of equipment and only the shock is adjustable. The CBR’s biggest crime is the fact it lacks a digital gear indicator, which its inline four is crying out for as you do need to keep it on the boil if you want to go fast. ABS is standard.

Honda CBR650R modifications

There are a few sensible mods, which most people treat as priorities. A front mudguard extender and rear hugger are a good idea – the first will help keep your engine and radiator clean and the latter, the rear shock and passenger. A taller screen on the R is worthwhile too. 

Heated grips are popular, and the charging system is easily up to the job. Most owners stick with the standard exhaust, because changing isn’t just a matter of swapping a can – the Akrapovic full system is the favourite option, but at nearly a grand. 

One of the most popular mods is an aftermarket gear position indicator. The Healtech unit is reckoned to be best, but many owners prefer cheaper versions, available online. Be aware that none will tell you what gear you’re in while the clutch is pulled in, and they won’t give you a neutral indication either. 

Many owners find the standard seat unforgiving for longer rides. Aftermarket alternatives are available or you can get the original modified by a specialist upholsterer. 

Finally, though the CB/R isn’t hard on chains and sprockets, a chain oiler will double the life of both and save a lot of time and hassle with adjustments — especially as there’s no centrestand and it’s not easy to use paddock stands unless you fit bobbins.

Specs

Engine size 649cc
Engine type Four-stroke, liquid-cooled DOHC inline four
Frame type Tubular steel cradle
Fuel capacity 17.3 litres
Seat height 810mm
Bike weight 211kg
Front suspension 41mm conventional forks, -non-adjustable
Rear suspension Monoshock, adjustable spring preload
Front brake 2x320mm discs two-piston calipers, ABS
Rear brake 240mm disc, one-piston caliper. ABS
Front tyre size 120/70X17
Rear tyre size 180/55x17

Mpg, costs & insurance

Average fuel consumption 59.3 mpg
Annual road tax £93
Annual service cost £160
New price -
Used price £4,700 - £6,000
Insurance group -
How much to insure?
Warranty term 2 year unlimited

Top speed & performance

Max power 90 bhp
Max torque 47.2 ft-lb
Top speed 140 mph
1/4 mile acceleration -
Tank range 190 miles

Owners' reviews for the HONDA CBR650F (2017 - 2018)

2 owners have reviewed their HONDA CBR650F (2017 - 2018) 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 (2017 - 2018)

Summary of owners' reviews

Overall rating: 4.5 out of 5 (4.5/5)
Ride quality & brakes: 4 out of 5 (4/5)
Engine: 4.5 out of 5 (4.5/5)
Reliability & build quality: 5 out of 5 (5/5)
Value vs rivals: 5 out of 5 (5/5)
Equipment: 3.5 out of 5 (3.5/5)
Annual servicing cost: £160
5 out of 5 Performance, value, versatility & excellent build quality
04 October 2020 by Rob

Year: 2018

Annual servicing cost: £150

Lovely smooth creamy engine and good ergonomics. Easy to manage and confidence inspiring . Comfortable enough to ride all day and have done so. It presents something different to all the vibey twins that have flooded the market in recent years. You're getting really good value for money with a bike that's very capable.

Ride quality & brakes 4 out of 5

I've ridden this bike for commuting, sunday rides and 3 day tours. It's a joy to ride and will give you many smiles. Although I hate the aesthetics of any luggage. I've tried a tailpack (Kriega US 30) but it steals too much room on the seat and you cant see what it's doing. Don't like the idea of panniers. Best combo for me is a tank bag (essential) and a simple rucksack. I've completed 400 miles in one day without much more than a niggle. Can be hard on the wrists if you're doing these kind of distances, though. Wouldn't fancy taking a pillion as there's not a lot of room on there .

Engine 4 out of 5

This bike has plenty of performance for British roads. The power comes in quickly as the needle spins round. Down low it's a pussycat around town and very easy to manage, but gets up to speed quickly enough should a gap in the traffic present itself. Overtaking is not a problem, plenty on tap.

Reliability & build quality 5 out of 5

This bike has performed very well and ridden over 2 winters. Fit and finish is excellent. Some paint has rubbed of the swing arm where the heel of my boot sits, but I believe this is a common complaint for other bikes as well. Otherwise it still looks new.

Value vs rivals 5 out of 5

Average usually 55 mpg. Dropping to 50 or rising to 60 depending on how you ride. Allow 6,000 -8,000 for a rear tyre. Allow £180 for chain & sprockets.

Equipment 4 out of 5

The engine is definitely the star, cannot applaud it highly enough. Power in every gear, you can get your mojo on or pootle around town, whatever the mood takes you. As much reported dashboard is def dated now but I've seen much worse, at least it's visible in all but harsh direct sunlight. This is my 1st bike that I've fitted with heated grips , transforms the whole riding experience. Might look at changing the screen as it's ok for A & B roads but you do take a beating on long motorways. Running on pirelli angels at present and they're great for getting cranked over.

Buying experience: Dealer from new 2018, circa £7k

4 out of 5 Great all rounder in Honda's finest tradition.
22 April 2020 by Steve Hyson

Version: Standard 2018 model

Year: 2018

Annual servicing cost: £175

Great bike to ride on British roads, fast enough, good handling which copes well with poor surfaces. Typical Honda ease of use, light clutch, precise gear change. Surprisingly good two up. The instrument panel is basic but adequate. The seat needs a tad more padding.

Ride quality & brakes 4 out of 5

The ride is excellent considering there's very little adjustment in the suspension. The slightly hard seat is good for two hours, by which time you'd probably want to stop for a cuppa anyway. I regularly ride mine non stop from Portsmouth to Milton Keynes.

Engine 5 out of 5

As ever Honda's vast experience with engines shines through.

Reliability & build quality 5 out of 5

I've had nothing but reliable service from my bike.

Value vs rivals 5 out of 5

I've had good miles a gallon out of mine on my long jaunts around the back road ofsouth east England (60+mpg)

Equipment 3 out of 5

It's got what you need and no more.

Back to top