The CBR650F and CB650F have been popular additions to the range, and get both a little sharper and fruitier for 2017.
The 649cc engine gets an extra 4bhp at peak, taking it up to perfectly useable 89.8bhp at 11,000rpm. The increase – which Honda say is most apparent from 5000rpm upwards – is due to new intake and exhaust flow management: shorter air intake funnels feed four 32mm throttle bores from a down-flow airbox (which itself draws through larger intake ducts) and in turn the side-swept CB400-aping 4-1 exhaust now employs a dual-pass internal structure (rather than triple-pass) in the muffler, reducing back pressure – before belching its gasses from a larger end can exit.
- 4bhp power increase
- Showa Dual Bending Valve fork
- Uprated Nissin calipers
The facts – CBR650F
- Seat height 810mm
The facts – CB650F
- Seat height 810mm
Combine the power gains and freer-flowing exhaust with shorter gear ratios from second through to fifth, and the new CBR650F should get off the line faster than the previous model, and Honda say it’ll pull three lengths on the old one over 400m during a 2nd gear roll-on.
Slightly increased peak torque means 47.2ftlbs arrives at a peak of 8000rpm, and the engine’s tractability allows it to pull smoothly from idle at 1500rpm in sixth gear.
Fuel consumption is a claimed 59.3mpg, which should get you over 220 miles from where you last brimmed the 17.3L fuel tank.
Up the pointy end is a brand new 41mm Showa Dual Bending Valve (SDBV) fork which is claimed to improve ride comfort and handling, and which delivers proportional rebound damping with firmer compression damping. At the back end is a preload-adjustable monoshock, mounted direct to the die-cast aluminium swingarm.
Cast aluminium six-spoke wheels wear 120/70-17 and 180/55-17 tyres and feature L shaped air valves for easier pumping. Revised two-piston Nissin front calipers work 320mm wavy discs, with a single-piston rear and 240mm disc. Two-channel ABS is fitted as standard.
Gifting some weather and aerodynamic protection, the new front fairing not only adds a bit of sporting style, but also channels airflow from the high pressure area at the front into the airbox intake duct. From the fairing backwards the two models are the same, with minimal sidepanels sharpening up the rear and the clear-lensed LED taillight matching the crisp LED headlight. The seat’s narrow middle profile helps standover for the vertically challenged – while the seat is quite high at 810mm.
The dash comprises twin large digital screens. On the left are the rev-counter and speedometer; on the right are a fuel gauge, clock, odometer and the warning lights. Both sides are lit by a white back light. It’s quite a long way from being the best dash we’ve ever seen, but it’s inoffensive.
The naked CB650F is very much the same bike, with only the lack of fairings and clip-ons to tell them apart – replaced with a neat headlamp and binnacle, and a set of handlebars. Take your pick of style – everything else is the same.
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