Continuing the ‘Fs are off’ theme, the Honda CBR650F – which suffered the same worthy-but-dull image as it’s naked sibling – has also succumbed to the R treatment for 2019 to become the Honda CBR650R.
All of the mechanical upgrades are shared with the naked Honda CB650R, including the engine and fuelling upgrades, higher rev limit, 5% power boost at peak, improved torque curve and 6kg reduction in mass through the frame, tank and other efficiencies.
Overall, that means an 8% improvement in power-to-weight ratio, which is enough that you ought to feel the difference on the road.
Just like the CB650R, the rider triangle has got a dose more aggression, with the clip-ons drifting forward by 30mm, while also being lower, and the footpegs making the same 3mm rearward migration before also getting 6mm higher. The seat remains at 810mm.
Underpinnings aside, the new CBR650R is absolutely defined by Honda attempting to plug the hole left by the CBR600RR with a bike that delivers that baby Fireblade aesthetic with a decent slug of supersport-level power and torque, married to some everyday practicality.
If the original pre-RR Honda CBR600F had been in continuous production, this is where it would have ended up. Chuck the optional quickshifter into the mix and this could be the surprise middleweight sportster of 2019.
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