Honda update 650s and give Africa Twin new colour option

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Honda have given their 650s a small handling and convenience boost while also treating the Africa Twin to a new paintjob in their latest range update for 2021.

First up, the Africa Twin because the change is very minor: you can now get the lovely HRC-inspired red, white and blue paint scheme from the Adventure Sports model on the standard AT.

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Apparently, 70% of punters who take home the Adventure Sports model opt for the classic look, so they’re offering it as an option alongside the existing red and black choices. And that’s it for the AT as it was Honda’s first Euro5 ready model when it was refreshed last year.

2021 standard Honda Africa Twin in tricolour paint

At the same time Honda have announced the CB650R and CBR650R get much more meaningful updates.

The biggest change for the 650s is in the handling department, with both now coming equipped with Showa’s Separate Function Big Piston forks. So named because one leg does the suspending while the other leg does everything else, Honda say the new forks will offer a significant improvement on front end feel compared to the existing bike.

To bring both 650s into Euro5 friendly 2021, Honda have had to make considerable changes to the engine including change to the ECU, revised cam shape (with altered intake timing) as well as changes to the exhaust and catalytic converter.

Despite these changes Honda have kept peak power the same with just a 500g weight increase. The two 650s also benefit from some small usability changes including a USB-C socket under the seat for faster charging and a small dash update for easier reading.

2021 Honda CB650R

There’s some cosmetic changes too including styling changes to the side panels while the rear mudguard is now steel instead of plastic, which is a nice touch. The CB also benefits from slightly revised bar position, which Honda say improves low speed handling.

No word from Honda on pricing or delivery but we’d expect retail prices to remain about the same, with bikes in dealers over the coming months.