2014 Honda CBR650F: New Middleweight Sportbike

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2014 Honda CBR650F.

Rivaling bikes like the Kawasaki Ninja 650 and Suzuki SFV650, this new 2014 Honda CBR650F is a practical, middleweight sportbike delivering accessible performance for the road.

Like the new 2014 Honda Interceptor, the CBR650F was first unveiled at EICMA last November, with no mention of U.S. availability. Well, here you go, it goes on-sale here this summer priced at just $8,499.

It features a brand new, 649cc in-line four cylinder engine making 87 bhp at 11,000 rpm and 46 lb.-ft. of torque at 8,000 rpm. It also features an all-new twin-spar steel frame and new aluminum swingarm. It’s rear shock is adjustable for preload and rebound, while the front 41 mm forks are non-adjustable. ABS is a $500 option. Weight is 461 lbs with the 4.5-gallon fuel tank filled.

2014 Honda CBR650F
The 2014 Honda CBR650F will be available in black, red or blue, not the European tri-color pictured here.

The unique selling point here over the rivals from Kawasaki or Suzuki or Honda’s own range of affordable 500s is the inline-four motor. It will be smoother and higher revving than an equivalent parallel-twin (as used on those other bikes) and feel more like its big brother, the Honda CBR600RR.

Think of this 650 not as a wannabe sportbike, but welcome step along the Sportbike Progression, giving riders a quick, versatile machine that will be equally at home commuting to work as it will on a fun mountain road.

More Photos, Page Two >>

  • Daniel

    I honestly didn’t think this would make it over. More importantly…I hope they bring the naked CB650F!

    • http://www.pattonstrength.com/ PattonStrength

      I’d buy that naked in a heartbeat. Trying to convert my F4i to a naked with bar risers, etc. is looking fairly pricey.

      • http://krtong.com/ Kr Tong

        Hit me up on the FB if you want help with that. I know a place that can cut the brake lines to measure locally. After that you just need, bars, risers and two holes in your upper triple.

        • http://www.pattonstrength.com/ PattonStrength

          Don’t the two extra holes seriously compromise the integrity of the upper triple?

          • http://krtong.com/ Kr Tong

            No it’s fine. Its been done many times before. If you’re worried you can reinforce he upper triple.

            • das not compute

              Do you guys have any pics of your naked F4i’s?
              That sounds SICK!!!

              • http://krtong.com/ Kr Tong

                You can check my instagram. http://instagram.com/krtong

                • das not compute

                  Awesome and thank you!!! And OMG I just saw your leg!!! Eep!!! I hope you heeled up fine.

    • chris ordanez

      Agreed. Covering up that gorgeous header is a crime!

    • atvman29

      Forget the naked (F), bring on the X!!
      Side note, I wonder if that headlight with the sweet LEDs would fit on my CB500X?? Looks VERY similar.

      • runnermatt

        If not you can probably find the LED replacement bulbs, if not for the main bulb at least for the smaller bulbs up top. That is what I did with my CBR250R. See attached pictures. The main bulb is still the one from factory, but I intend to swap it out with a better one from PIAA before too much longer. The little LED bulbs I put in are simply the T10 style with 5 white LEDs. I found them online shipped for like $2.50 or something.

    • Paul Cypert

      Good Lord, I just saw the naked version in Thailand. I’m not a sports bike guy, but that thing looks incredible. And it has a front headlight I don’t want to immediately take a hammer to (cough, Stripple, cough).

  • bammerburn

    Cute bike. I’ll keep on thrashing my SV and hoping for a 4-cylinder 250-400.

    • Piglet2010

      While the idea of a screaming 400cc I-4 is tempting, it will only be seen in markets such as Japan where there are heavy tax advantages for staying under 400cc. US customers unfortunately still see value as dollars per cc.

      • おか

        The Japanese reason for staying under 400cc is not exactly the tax, but that’s the maximum cc available for people with the middle-range license (A2 in EU). I own CB400SF, an excellent 400 cc.

    • james

      It cant happen anymore, they do not and wont ever pass emissions in europe, thats why they phased them out and use parallel twins these days.

      Source previous owner of a i4 250 honda and current owner of a v4 400cc honda.

  • Stuki

    Now THIS is a sporty bike I could see buying. Looks comfortable enough for over an hour, but still has enough power to not hold up more committed riders on most road rides. While retaining the userfriendly endless revs that make multis so appealing. Hope the ergos are more CBR500, and less Ninja 650. The latter has supersports like kneeroom, and no obvious way of bringing the pegs down. And that there are a few grand of overrev past the power peak.

  • Joe

    Now THIS is something I’d buy. Bring over the naked CB, and I’m sold.

  • E Brown

    I like this and the VFR, though for my use I think the CB500F or X would be a better fit.

    • Mark D

      If you’re not a speed junky or somebody who does many 1,000+ mile tours a year, its rare than a 500 wouldn’t be a better fit! That being said, 85 hp is a lot more fun than 50…

      • hunkyleepickle

        The problem, at least for my neck of the woods, is that the way our insurance brackets are set up, the cost of bikes in the 400-750cc range is identical. So buying a 500 is sometimes a tough sell when their are 650′s and a few 750′s coming down the pipe.

    • Sentinel

      If you have no plans for much two-up riding or packing and riding off on long distance adventures, then the 500 would be a fine choice, otherwise more room, and a lot more power in the other bikes would be a worthy alternative.

      • E Brown

        The International Motorcycle Show is in Chicago this weekend. Hopefully I’ll get a chance to sit on all three and see how I like them.

  • BryonCLewis

    “The unique selling point here over the rivals from Kawasaki or Suzuki or Honda’s own range of affordable 500s is the inline-four motor. It will be smoother and higher revving than an equivalent parallel-twin (as used on those other bikes)”

    I believe while the 500s and kawasaki 650 are parallel twins the Suzuki sfv is still a V-twin

    • http://RideApart.com/ Wes Siler

      Ah, your’e right, the Gladius is a V, d’oh.

    • Michael Howard

      What kind of idiot votes down something like this?

      • BryonCLewis

        I don’t know, I guess I could be technically wrong if he was talking about the Suzuki GS500F when referring to affordable 500s

      • Dennis Hightower

        The same guys that upvote Wes’ acknowledgement?

  • Larry

    With that under slung exhaust this is a nicer, more contemporary looking bike than the CBR600.

  • Justin McClintock

    Not really a SFV650 competitor as much as it is bike in the same niche as Suzuki’s now gone (for the US anyway) GSX650F. Weight isn’t great but doesn’t seem bad for its intended mission/audience/pricepoint. I just wonder how good the suspension will be with a normal sized person on it.

    This thing makes me miss the SV650S.

    • Jim Keane

      I am totally smitten with my ’08 GSX 650 F & I’d buy a new one ( now with ABS) in a heartbeat. My major worry has been that when the time comes, I won’t be able to find a new, I-4, “sporty”, faired, comfy,do-it-all machine. (like the rest of the world can) As of today…..problem solved! Here’s my beloved 650 F , but with ABS, a few pounds lighter, Honda build quality, & those pipes! I’ll be there, check in hand in 2015.

    • JordanH

      as a fellow sv1000 owner, I’ll always join you in praising sv650s and hoping for a redesign. That said, this bike would look better with a sv650s type bikini fairing that showed off the full exhaust pipe while providing a little bit of wind protection to the rider.

    • JordanH

      Oh, and I want the gold wheels of the naked on this half-faired version.

  • 200 Fathoms

    Tasty. What *isn’t* Honda doing right these days? Completely reinvigorated the low-displacement bike class (starting with the 250R and then the 500s) and now this.

    • TP

      Bringing the naked version. Also right now it looks like they f’ed up the RCV1000R. I feel for Nick

  • http://krtong.com/ Kr Tong

    Can’t wait to see this thing out there with the SV and the 650r. It would be nice to see honda dominate a racing class, though i doubt this will be any different. Its definitely the nicest looking of them.

    • runnermatt

      I’m curious, why does it not being a twin matter?

      • http://krtong.com/ Kr Tong

        The race class is 650 twin.

        • runnermatt

          Got it. Thanks!

  • taba

    Perfect.

  • mrniceguy715

    D’oh now I have to choose between this and the Yamaha fz-09

    • Reid

      Not that I’ve ridden either, but the FZ seems like the much better choice unless you must have fairings.

      • mrniceguy715

        I do like the little bit of wind protection. I currently have huge bikes! A Goldwing and a CBR1000f. So something smaller, but just used to fairings.

    • Joe

      Make sure you get each quoted by your insurance company first. I’d be riding the FZ right now, except for the fact that they want to charge me $1500 more per year for the FZ as opposed to a street triple.

      • mrniceguy715

        That’s a crazy difference. Hopefully it won’t hit me too hard. Once it goes on sale I will quote them both.

      • hunkyleepickle

        Is that strictly a cc type of rate hike? I know around my area, thats all the insurance cares about, how big the cc’s are. Dumb, shortsighted, and frustrating, to say the least.

        • Joe

          No it is not. That’s why i was so surprised. I live in NYC. I have a spotless record, 15 years riding. I was quoted (by 3 companies) $2700 per year for full coverage on the FZ09. For reference, i was quoted $1600 for the street triple, and I pay $600 for my 2003 SV1000s.Last year I paid $450 per year for my 1200 Sportster. It was also cheaper to insure a CBR600RR. I was really baffled. Maybe because it;’s a brand new model? Maybe they anticipate a high theft rate? I really have no idea, but I’ve yet to find a bike that would cost more to insure.

          • Nathan Haley

            Two principle reasons:

            1) FZ-09s are brand new bikes and they don’t yet know how easy they are to total/steal from a statistical standpoint
            2) There is strong demand for the FZ-09s so the insurance companies know they can hike the rate and people will just deal with it. Low price elasticity of demand.

          • runnermatt

            WOW, I paid $144.00 per year for my CBR250R in Virginia last year. $1500 seems insane to me!

            • Nathan Haley

              My rate was something on that order of magnitude to insure a handful of dual-sports. When I added my ’83 XL250R my rate actually went down – presumably because the insurance company assumed I’d be riding it instead of my KTM!

  • Reid

    Good lord but that thing is heavy!

  • http://www.eastwestbrothersgarage.com/ East-West Brothers Garage

    Hallelujah! This is a brilliant addition to the range and to the market. I look forward to giving this one a try as a mid-range bike like this is the perfect stepping stone or even starter bike.

  • Ayabe

    9G’s for the model with ABS? I think this just shows how hard it is to compete with Triumph right now in this space.

    Street Triple please unless you have to have a fairing and an I4 for mega whahhhwhahhhhh.

  • Aaron

    I like it. I would LOVE a naked version.

    • Aaron

      CB650 is what I want…what I need.

      • Sentinel

        I’m sure you could convert the CBR to a CB with little trouble. :)

  • Cody

    I don’t understand why. Honda reintroduced the CBR600F (next generation F4i) in Europe a couple years ago. It looks like it’s practically the same bike for the same market segment—and nobody legitimate rider ever turned their nose up at an F4i.

    • http://RideApart.com/ Wes Siler

      So what’s your point? The 650F replaced this 600F.

      • Cody

        The 600f is still for sale. Does the American market just get an extra 50cc?

        • Rob

          The 600F looks considerably more high-spec than the 650. USD forks and 4-pot calipers. Racier too. The 650F seems more street focused. Not a lot of peak power for a 4 cylinder bike, might be pretty rider friendly though. And I like the pipe/swingarm. Price seems pretty fair.

          • HyperLemon

            I too like the look of the USD. The 600F also had more horsepower than the 650F. Maybe it’s to increase the gap between 600F and 600RR again?

            I do like the tri-color paintjob. I think it looks a bit boring in all black.

        • Sentinel

          No, the US only gets the 650, Europe will have both the 600 and the 650.

          • Lourens Smak

            I’m pretty sure the 650F replaces the 600F here in Europe. Dealers still list both because there probably are some left in the supply chain but I just checked the Honda NL website and the 600F is gone… http://www.honda.nl/motorfietsen/index.php (modellen -> supersport)

            One of the things is (I assume) that for the A2 license (max 47hp) you can restrict a more powerful bike, but there are certain rules for that… you can’t have a 47 hp Hayabusa. The 600F is also too powerful, the 650F isn’t… So, you could buy this as your A2 bike, and remove the restriction when you get the A license, and keep the same bike. (A2 period is 2 years) The 600F was designed before these new rules.

            • Sentinel

              On second look I think you’re right about that, thanks.

    • Sentinel

      On this new 650 the engine will be considerably torquier and the power-band will
      be broader in the low and mid-range, making this bike much more streetable and
      usable overall than the 600 is. This is the main area of complaint owners have
      had with the 600, and this new model has addressed that. Honda has been paying
      attention, and this is a good thing!

  • dreygata

    Power and specs sounds very similar to my Honda 599. Love the bike though, needs a naked version

  • roma258

    Glad they brought it over and hope it does well. Seriously compelling package as a do-it-all, everyday bike.

    • hunkyleepickle

      probably similar to the cb600f i would imagine…..and Ninja 650 et al.

  • Jack McLovin

    Too expensive.

    • hunkyleepickle

      yeah, but think about how this will drive down the price of late model used 600rr in 1-3 years. Throw on some bar risers for your comfort, and your golden, with a wallet full of cash!

    • Sentinel

      To expensive compared to what?

      • Jack McLovin

        Are you simple or something? Oh I don’t know, maybe a little bike known as the FZ-09. It’s not about what category it fits in, it’s about budget brakes and a steel frame propped up by nonadjustable suspension (the effing GROM gets a USD fork) for more money than a bespoke motor, aluminum frame, radial brakes, and somewhat tuneable pogo sticks. And all this is a downgrade from the current CBR600F as some have pointed out, in every possible way. Why didn’t they just bring that bike? Though I’m glad they brought this here and the VFR. Someone will buy it, someone will buy it second hand, more bikes on the road win win win.

        • Sentinel

          Yes, I was speaking in terms of “category”, not strictly on a budget basis. And while all those things you mention would be nice additions, functionally on the street at anywhere near a sane pace, but even when pushed within reason all of those would make a negligible difference at best. The bike from them that I’m actually disappointed in is the “new” VFR, being just slightly tweaked for the most part over the past decade or so, and with a price tag like that they really should have made this an all new and greatly evolved bike, but they simply did not, and that’s a damn shame.

          • Jack McLovin

            No man, It won’t make a small difference. The technology of a damping rod fork vs. a cartridge type is night and day. The ability to upgrade is wide open with modern suspension in terms of components or the whole fork. And if I’m paying for it I want it even if I never use 60% of what it is capable of. Why do you want to pay more but get less? I am mystified by guys like you.

            • Sentinel

              You know what? You are really far too easily mystified; you need to get that looked at! lol But seriously, of course I’d prefer a higher spec anything and everything I could get at a relatively budget price, but what matters even more than that is how well the bike has been engineered and built overall, and specifically here how well engineered it has been engineered to perform with whatever components it has been given, whatever spec level they may be, and in that regard, no bike manufacturer I know of surpasses Honda’s engineering, or any other regard for that matter. Now you comparing this bike with the FZ-09 is a real apples to oranges comparison, and simply doesn’t fly. And very ironically, this bike you’ve brought up to make a comparison with, and speaking of higher Vs. lower spec forks, apparently you didn’t know that one of the primary complaints about the FZ-09 from testers is of all things…. are you ready for this…? The front-end feel and handling, fancy forks be damned! lol Are you beginning to understand this all a bit better now? I’ll bet you this “garbage” spec Honda will outperform the FZ-09 big time in that regard, and that even in spite of its “garbage” spec fork and all. Speaking of which, a simple re-valve, spring kit, and oil change would get it as good as would ever be realistically usable for street duties anyways. Clearly this bike’s only real and most direct competitors are the Ninja 650 and the FZ6R. So consider that while the Honda CBR650F does cost about $800 more than the Ninja 650, it will likely beat it out in every category of comparison, and while it costs about $700 more than the FZ6R, it will surely be a far better bike than FZ6R by a long shot. So for me at least, between those three competitors, barring some glaring and terrible issue that we find out about the CBR650F that just ruins it, which is highly unlikely of course, I’d choose the CBR650 hands down.

              • Jack McLovin

                Broseidon, you strike me as the type of guy who uses knowledge gathered from reading online and magazines as his opinion and experience. Maybe you work for Honda I don’t know. I have actually done fork and shock swaps and the like. You’re just going to have to trust me :-)
                Don’t take everything you read online as gospel, about Honda quality or suspension shortcomings. It pains me to see people rationalize parts bin bikes as worth the cost.

  • MotoEnthusiast

    Will the naked version also be available?

  • Nathan Haley

    I respect the opinions of middleweight sportbike connoisseurs who seem to like it but it just looks bland to me. Damper rod forks on an $8,500 bike – if they’re tuned well, it might not matter that they’re unadjustable, but for $8,500? A sub-$5,000 CRF250L gets cartridge forks.

    The design doesn’t really have any defining visual characteristics – at first glance it looks just like a CBR500R (even if it does have almost double the horsepower). Yawn.

    Just another data point that lies squarely within the existing speed/practicality spectrum.

    • hunkyleepickle

      I hear what your saying, and i’m also curious what kind of redline this bike will get. Half the fun of an inline 4 is that screaming engine. I was sad to see such a pedestrian engine put in the 500 series. User friendly, but somewhat dull.

      • Nathan Haley

        You’re right – we haven’t ridden the thing and it could have the most bonkers-fun engine of anything in existence. However, $8.5k is way too much for a bike that will be quite practical, reasonably comfortable, pretty zippy and average in every other way.

        • Piglet2010

          Or you could spend twice as much on a H-D cruiser that has really nice paint and chrome, is impractical, uncomfortable, slow, and below average in every other way.

          • Nathan Haley

            favorably comparing to an H-D cruiser does not a good bike make.

            • Piglet2010

              But pointing out the double standard is fun.

              • Nathan Haley

                apples to oranges.

        • Sentinel

          Now you’re just being ridiculous…

        • Justin

          8.5 for a fast, efficient, comfortable and bulletproof bike that does quadruple duty as a commuter, city bike, sport tourer and track day machine? Complete with fairing to make it just as comfortable on the highway as it is cruising into town for groceries…how is that way too much, considering the price of rivals like the ninja 650, who’s platform is much older, gets less gas mileage, less hp and only a inline twin?

          I think for many people who aren’t interested in super sports as a daily bike who want something for real world use that’s versatile and fun, this fits the bill quite nicely.

      • appliance5000

        The 500 twin is a wonderful engine – frisky like a puppy. More fun than a bag of frogs.

      • Lourens Smak

        Dashboard picture suggest a 11500 rpm redline, with max power being at 11000 according to the fact sheet. Rev limiter could be at 12 or 12.5k.

    • runnermatt

      Even the Grom has USD forks.

      Also, the CBR500R looks nothing like the CBR650F. 500R has twin headlights and large exhaust can. 650F has single headlight and small under engine exhaust. 500R single front disc brake, 650F twin discs upfront.

      • Nathan Haley

        Exactly! If it’s economical to put USD cartridge forks on a $3,000 125cc Grom, why cut corners and put damper rods on an $8,500 bike? Am I the only person who notices or cares?

        From what I’ve read about the 650F, it’s going after the same people who might have previously gone for a 500R but wanted something with a little more oomph (an inline-four is a TOTALLY different powerplant compared with a twin). That’s great, I think that market exists and this engine should do nicely – but why doesn’t the rest of the bike match? From what I can tell (and I’d like to emphasize again that I have not ridden it and am just keyboard-mashing my opinion, as are we all), the componentry does not compare well with other $8,500 bikes from Yamaha such as the FZ-09, etc. Even a Street Triple is priced at $9,400 MSRP but I believe that price includes ABS, putting it within spitting distance of a CBR650F with ABS. The price also puts it pretty far out of reach of someone whose just looking for a “practical middleweight sportbike”, which sounds to me more like a CBR500R.

        • GetUrHeadOutUrArse

          $500 for ABS on a bike that costs $7500 MSRP. Stop your whining.
          You want to buy it and install Ohlins and Brembo front and rear, be my guest.

  • kawatwo

    Awesome! Was hoping they would bring this over. Almost exactly the same weight as the 650 Ninja (which was and may still be my next bike depending on reviews). 84 HP sounds about right. More power than it’s rivals for about 1000 dollars more with the ABS version. The Ninja still looks better but this ain’t bad. If it has low end torque like they say and can still rev up high should be an amazing all around bike.

    • Justin

      I was set on the ninja 650 as my first ‘big bike’ but them this comes along…I agree with you that the ninja is a good looking bike but the platform being so old worries me…this platform is brand new and I actually think I like the styling of this more than the ninja.

      Both similar ergo’s and power but I like the idea of a inline 4 vs inline twin.

  • Mark D

    If it has the same “complete package” feel of the 500s, this will be a great buy. Suspension seems a little basic, but Honda knows what they are doing. I wonder if CBR600rr forks will fit…hmmmm….

    • Piglet2010

      If sales are decent, RaceTech will soon have a Gold Valve cartridge emulator available.

      • GetUrHeadOutUrArse

        and if the sky is clear, they will soon be wearing shades

  • Duke

    No love for the FZ6R?

    • hunkyleepickle

      ha, nope. That and the FZ8 can both go quietly into history, imo.

      • Piglet2010

        The FZ8 is being replaced by the FZ-09 for 2014. Since the FZ6 is being phased out (pun intended) for the MT-07 in Europe, would not be surprised to see it replaced in the US market by a “FZ-07″ in the near future.

        • zedro

          Didn’t hear about the 07 till now, had been looking at the 09 but wasent sure if it was too much of a jump from my little Klx. That 700 CC looks like the sweet spot.

    • Kevin White

      FZ6R is an outstanding bike. Torquey, tossable, comfortable, extremely smooth, and with suspension that belies it’s price. It’s better in every single way than the 2005 ZZR600 it replaced (except for over 10K RPM power, which is never a concern in my riding).

      • GetUrHeadOutUrArse

        the 6R and 8R are both underrated bikes

        ironically lambasted by those who think that they have too much power, and those who think they have not enough

  • Michael Love

    The hornet returns!!!!

  • hunkyleepickle

    Dear Honda, happy for both your announcements today. Now kindly take the single sided swing arm off the vfr, combine it with the exhaust on this new cbr650r, and make everyone happy.

    • GetUrHeadOutUrArse

      …Honda say, you buy bike, you put whatever swingarm you want on it…

  • Jack Meoph

    ABS shouldn’t be an option. It should come standard. The time is long past when manufacturers can get away with putting ABS as an option on their vehicles, of any kind. I’m disappointed with Honda for not taking the lead. Unless you are some god on the brakes, ABS will never get in your way, and will probably save you in an emergency situation, or in bad weather. BUT, middle weight bikes that aren’t disguised racers, and nice ergos? what’s not to like?

    • Piglet2010

      Blame the customers and the dealers, not Honda. Many motorcycle salesmen (yes, men) will tell you that you do not need or want ABS.

      • John

        I think the problem is seamlessness. When ABS is so good that you don’t know if it’s working, that’s when it should be on everything. Maybe we’re there, but we weren’t. So I can see the hesitation.

        • Piglet2010

          My preference is for mechanical feedback to know the ABS is activated, otherwise important information on how slippery the pavement is goes missing. If you brake gently and the ABS comes on, you know not to corner quickly or get on the throttle hard.

          • John

            I think a bright flashing lite would be better! But if you’re using ABS, I think you probably know it because you just grabbed a fistful of brake.

            • Nathan Haley

              I agree – even if the ABS system is really good, you’re probably going to know it’s there. (but a flashing light never hurts!) I think a flashing light would be particularly helpful if you ever had to troubleshoot (e.g. you’re doing 60mph down loose gravel and want to know why your brakes aren’t working…)

              • Piglet2010

                Why is it so hard to get motorcycle ABS to work on gravel – both my cages have ABS and stop well on loose surfaces?

                • Nathan Haley

                  Loose gravel appears to violate the physical properties of surfaces around which we design braking systems. For example, we model static (non-skidding) friction as being always greater than kinetic (skidding) friction but that property isn’t as clear-cut over gravel. In other words – it’s sometimes quicker to stop on gravel with a small amount of wheel lock – I think this is because your wheel “digs” below the loose upper surface into less loose gravel beneath (the top layer of gravel is almost always the loosest). ABS detects when your wheels lock and it modulates braking force. Four-channel four-wheel ABS (the best and most common type found in modern cars) can do that with four wheels independently whereas a motorcycle can only do it with two at maximum (often only one). In my experience (I wouldn’t claim it to be objective truth), car ABS allows a little *more* slippage than motorcycle ABS, so it works better on gravel.

                  Different systems will work differently. My Tiger’s ABS stops pretty well on loose gravel – about as well as it does with the ABS disabled. With or without ABS, loose gravel is pretty difficult to stop on so I drive/ride accordingly.

                • IOException

                  The same principles hold on gravel. The reason why you stop quicker when the tires “bite” into the gravel is the increased rolling resistance. ABS only accounts for the friction coefficient, not the rolling resistance. It is the same reason why professional drivers can stop significantly quicker in a car without ABS. If the driver is capable of modulating brake pressure up to the point of lock up, that would be better than an automated system alternating between full pressure and no pressure. This difference is amplified in adverse or unusual conditions, where a good driver can account for the difference but an ABS system simply alternates faster.

                  Of course, the real world is different and the consequences of an uncontrolled skid are far more severe on a motorcycle in commuter traffic. Some believe they have the skills, concentration, and experience to skip the ABS. Reality is that ABS increases stopping distance in favor of maintaining total maneuverability and control.

                  Should the average driver have ABS? Yes, because most fools simply slam on the brakes. But does everyone NEED it? No, and I would argue that someone riding a motor is typically a better motorist than the average driver.

        • GetUrHeadOutUrArse

          no, clearly the problem is that some people just don’t want it on their bike and that others do not care about that.

          • Nathan Haley

            This is analogous to the whole “some people don’t want helmets on their head” argument. Helmets are mandatory because society is sick of paying the ER costs associated with you riding without a helmet. The same argument applies for ABS – we’re not worried about the damage you’ll cause to yourself, we’re worried about you causing damage to other people directly or indirectly when you lock up the rear wheel and high-side on a public highway.

            All street-legal bikes should be equipped with ABS. If the bike is racing- or off-road focused (i.e. it’s going to be run on a closed course), the ABS should be switchable.

            • John

              The cost of crashing with a helmet is generally greater than the cost of not, because with a helmet, you will live and spend 6 months or longer in a hospital, like my bunkmate.

              • Nathan Haley

                This is a terrible argument. You’re assuming the value of a human life is zero – it isn’t. People generate a lot of value by being alive. Additionally, the average brain injury costs way, way more than the average other injury. I’m sorry to hear about your bunkmate but we cannot say “it would have been better if he had wrecked without a helmet because then he’d be dead”. See http://www.nhtsa.gov/people/injury/pedbimot/motorcycle/safebike/costs.html

                • John

                  You keep moving the goalposts. Is a motorcyclist’s life precious or not?

                • Nathan Haley

                  Where have I said it’s not?

                • John

                  “we’re not worried about the damage you’ll cause to yourself”

                • Nathan Haley

                  In other words, we’re not trying to say “we know what’s best for you” – imo, people should be allowed to take their own risks (and even take their own lives if they want). If motorcyclists’ deaths didn’t impact anyone except themselves, we probably wouldn’t insist they wear helmets on public roads (though there’s an argument to be made that we should protect them for their own sake as well). However, they impose great costs on the medical system and those costs *alone* amount to economic rationale to mandate helmet usage. They should also mandate (at least switchable) ABS on all street bikes.

                • Piglet2010

                  Are we going to mandate forced exercise and healthy diets too?

                • Nathan Haley

                  It’s been suggested! I doubt it, but there’s a strong argument to be made that we should tax unhealthy foods and use those tax revenues to pay for the treatment of people suffering from the health issues associated with those foods. In that vein, maybe we should just tax helmetless riding, or tax riding an unsafe motorcycle. (in a way, we already do in the form of tickets given to bikers who are breaking the law somehow – but that system isn’t very good)

                  so…about that CBR650F…

                • Piglet2010

                  “so…about that CBR650F…”

                  I see nothing wrong that a trip to a Race Tech authorized shop cannot fix. The 95% of super-sport buyers that do not race, do track days, or drag knees in canyons would be better off with a sport-tourer like the CBR650F.

                • Nathan Haley

                  Actually, I see nothing “wrong” with the bike that would require a trip to Race Tech – damper rods work fine on a bike priced accordingly. However, for $8,500 on a bike described as “sport” anything, I don’t expect to see corners cut in something as apparent as the fork – especially when the old CBR600F had USD cartridges.

        • Nathan Haley

          Car ABS has been around for decades and saved tens of thousands of lives over the year (see NHTSA’s “The Long-Term Effect of ABS in Passenger Cars and LTVs”, or Google for some other studies) – and yet if you smash the brakes on your car, you know it’s there. The economic savings alone attributed to ABS far outweigh cost of installing it. Anyone who says ABS shouldn’t be mandatory **for street machines** because it costs too much is shortsighted.

          Now, if you’re a racer (and you have the skills to match), I understand the necessity for switchable ABS. But if your bike has a plate, it should have ABS.

          • John

            ABS on my truck has almost gotten me into several wrecks because it absolutely is slower to stop with it than without it. The cost of ABS is artificially high, IMO, i can’t see how it could possibly cost more than $50 to implement on a bike. And I’m all for it, as long as it’s notably better than what I have in my pickup. The ABS on my Mazda is phenomenal. The only problem is that you stop so fast that you almost look silly doing it. Like “oh shiite, this is is going to……oh, wait, no, stopped with 20′ to spare…..”

            • Nathan Haley

              I call BS. Some ABS systems are worse than others but it is almost unheard of for them to systematically increase braking distance over typical surfaces (unless you’re on loose gravel, etc.). I hear so many people blaming their wrecks on their ABS when they “could’ve stopped quicker without it”. Teenage texters. If the ABS on your truck is that bad and it fails to meet minimum DOT brake performance standards, you should definitely get your brakes looked at – you can’t cite that as a reason to not put ABS on other vehicles. In any case, the point of ABS is not to actually decrease your stopping distance – it’s to keep you in control of the vehicle when you panic-brake. And it seems to work – whatever their stopping distances, ABS vehicles wreck less often.

              Also, if you’re exploring the limits of your truck’s braking in routine driving, maybe you’re following too close. Some people drive around for hundreds of thousands of miles in ancient Volvos with drum brakes that barely stop them and they never wreck – because they know not to tailgate.

              • John

                Call BS all you want. I know other people that have reported the same. The truck actually stops decelerating as quickly.

    • Nathan Haley

      amen to this. ABS has been standard on cars forever now and I argue it’s actually more important on bikes from a safety standpoint. Unfortunately the world of bikers is full of “experts” who are convinced that the ABS is going to hurt more than help. The manufacturers are just responding to what their customers demand.

    • Kirk Roy

      I can do without extra complexity on bikes. I’m not going to make the claim that I’m better than ABS although I haven’t felt anything was missing in more than 300k miles. I will simply say that I would prefer there to be some bikes remaining on the market that are simple and easy to work on. ABS isn’t a selling point for me.

    • Jack McLovin

      Fun fact; there is no law on the books that mandates automobile manufacturers are required to have ABS in any vehicle they make.

      • Mykola

        interpretation: automobile manufacturers understood the real and perceived advantages of ABS and proactively designed, improved, and refined such systems, obviating governmental intervention.

        • Jack McLovin

          Or they all use the same marketing agency.

      • Nathan Haley

        Sorry, this is incorrect in the USA as of 2012 (see http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/cars/new-cars/news/2006/nhtsa-proposal-to-make-esc-standard-on-all-cars-9-06/overview/nhtsa-proposal-to-make-esc-standard-on-all-cars-9-06.htm). All street-legal cars MY 2012 or later in the USA are equipped with electronic stability control which includes ABS, per NHTSA requirements.

        • Jack McLovin

          Nope, you can’t read (so I’m not sure what’s the point of replying to you through the majesty of the written word) The NHTSA requires stability control after 2012 and stability control on some cars relies on ABS. Nothing in the law specifically states ABS is required.

          • Nathan Haley

            You’re confused – you cannot get ESM without ABS because ESM is defined by the NHTSA as including ABS. The only reason they didn’t mandate ABS is because it’s included in ESM (according to the NHTSA’s definition). 100% of street-legal cars sold in the US MY 2012 or later are equipped with ABS as standard.

            “ABS and traction control will become a standard feature across all segments, including low-cost models that traditionally have been difficult to purchase with ABS.”

            • Jack McLovin

              I feel like I’ve already explained this Nathan and I will argue that there is no specific law mandating ABS.

              • Nathan Haley

                Condescend all you want, Jack – “explaining” is not the same thing as “evidence”. Go to http://www.nhtsa.gov/Laws+&+Regulations/Electronic+Stability+Control+(ESC) and click on the link at FMVSS 126, the PDF titled “Final Rule” and go to page 247. These are US laws for light vehicles (cars).

                “We further note that this rule also has the effect of causing all light vehicles to be equipped with anti­lock braking systems (ABS) as a foundation for ESC.”

                If you want more explanation -
                1. ABS is required as a foundation for ESC. You cannot have ESC without ABS by the NHTSA’s definition.
                2. ESC is mandated.
                3. Therefore, ABS is mandated.

                • Jack McLovin

                  Yeah, I’m not gonna do that. I barely have the energy to type a reply. You’re welcome for giving you a purpose in life if only for a while.

    • John

      Obviously, you don’t have a Dodge Dakota. The ABS is frightening, because when it kicks in, it’s like you’ve lost your brakes entirely.

    • GetUrHeadOutUrArse

      Your opinion should be optional. Not mandatory.

  • Von

    Oh man, I was all set to get the CB500F as my first bike, but now this guy comes around?! If it’s a faster and better version of the CB500, I’m all in. Can’t wait for your review on this bike @wessiler:disqus. I’m sure the side fairing could be un-bolted for those of us who prefer the naked look. Regardless, I think this is a nice looking bike and wouldn’t mind the extra wind protection over a naked bike. Nice job Honda, bringing another great bike to the USA! ‘Merica!

    • Sentinel

      This new 650 all day long my friend…

    • Ayabe

      First bike, like first first first bike?

      Absolutely not.

      • Von

        I should clarify. I grew up racing motocross on bikes that have same or greater power to weight ratio as this bike. This would just be my first street bike. It would be nice to get a 650 so it’s not outgrown like a 500 or smaller bike.

        • http://RideApart.com/ Wes Siler

          If you’re already an experienced MX rider, this would make a great first street bike.

      • ih8momjokes1 .

        I started on a Fz6r and my moto school considered me to be above average rider and I’ll say there are better beginner bikes… Inline 4 any cc’s is not a wise choice. Hard to learn a bike with too much hidden power in the high rpm. Catches you offguard

  • Piglet2010

    So Honda brings back the middleweight sport tourer. Wonder if USian customers will be sensible enough to buy them, instead of cruisers and race replicas?

    • Sentinel

      I’m very seriously considering it! :)

  • Flying Couch

    I wish they’d kept more of the old 600F’s styling. It looks too much like the FZ6R. And those rims are pretty atrocious too… I dig it though.

  • kevin

    I think this is a great decision for Honda. This is exactly the sort of bike they need in the lineup to bridge the gap between the 500cc CBR’s and the supersport bikes. Sorta like the old CBR600F4i. Maybe I need to see one in person, but I think based on that picture the headlight looks unusually ‘gixxer’ ish for a honda, which is a strange choice lol

    • ih8momjokes1 .

      I would say their design is similar of the Yamaha Fz6r. I had one and many people including me didn’t like the looks of the yam so i find it shocking to see Honda copy such a design

  • Antonio Bošković

    honestly this is crap, because the older cbr600f was a much better bike it was based on hornet600 (cb600f) and it had aluminum frame with upside down forks around 100hp much better in every single way

  • William Connor

    I like it a lot. Now we need insurance companies not to just see CBR and make it impossible for people to own it. It’s a cost benefit thing at the end of the day. Why buy this when a CBR 600 RR is the same money to insure and most places have leftover bikes selling for a little more money. If they insure this as it should be based on performance then it will sell, otherwise potentially a dead duck. For the record a guy I work with ran into this with the CB500 models. They were so expensive to insure they weren’t worth buying, it was cheaper to buy a pricier bike that was less expensive to insure.

  • runnermatt

    Quick question on the CBR650F in regards to the sportbike progression. Obviously this is above the CBR500R, but if a rider started on a CBR or Ninja 250/300 would be okay to go straight to a 650 class bike? Starting on a 250/300 wasn’t mentioned in the sportbike progression, but the CBR650F, SVF650, and the YZF600 make 3x the power of my CBR250R and about double the power of the Honda 500s.

    • GetUrHeadOutUrArse

      …do you really need to ask?

      • runnermatt

        Well, I would assume that since I personally plan on keeping my CBR250R and sincet I will be able to use that to school myself that it wouldn’t be as critical for me to hit every rung on the sportbike progression. My second bike, in addition to the 250R will more than likely be a V-strom 650 or a G650GS so that I can do some adv touring/motocamping. After that the CBR650F and VFR800 look really tempting.

    • http://RideApart.com/ Wes Siler

      CBR250 —–> CBR500 ——> CBR650

    • John

      Dirt bike ——> CBR500 ——-> CBR650

  • Nick Frage

    It’s just like the 600′s of old. 450lb+ weight and more reasonable prices

  • Donnie Byers

    Me likey. Alot.

    If I didn’t already have a CBR1000RR, I would’ve strongly considered buying one of these. I prefer its styling over the CBR600RR, although the performance may be a bit less. Still looks like a sales winner for Honda.

  • ThinkingInImages

    Excellent! The CBR650F is a classy looking motorcycle. The styling is a curious break from the smaller CBR’s. On the CBR300R and the CBR500R Honda went to dual headlights which made them look a little cliche/generic. Here, they have the single headlight. This model doesn’t suffer from all the plastic vanity panels the smaller models have, too. It’s a clean looking design.

  • MichaelEhrgott

    Would be more interested in a twin or triple. Still its a sweet looking bike for sure! Better than the 600s IMO.

  • John

    Nitpicking, but since there’s already a CBR600 4-cylinder, they should have developed a 650cc triple for this machine for more torque and all around usability.

    • E Brown

      Yeah, because developing a whole new powerplant won’t be any trouble or cost any money! :)

      • John

        Their desire to make a high profit margin is not my problem. Yamaha came out with the FZ-09 and a whole new engine for the same price, so……..which would you rather have? At $7000-$7500, you’d have a better point. A lot of us are making the same or less money than 5-6 years ago. Besides, it IS a whole new powerplant. They could have taken the basic 470cc twin engine and engineered it as a 700cc triple for the same price and had a far more interesting product. I much prefer triples to an I4, but there are several I4s for every triple that is available. The V4 in the VFR800 is the only thing the VFR actually has going for it, really. Otherwise, BMW 800 GT, Sprint GT or Tiger 800. Or Ninja 1000 or V-Strom, all potentially better choices unless you love that V4.

        • GetUrHeadOutUrArse

          wow, I guess your desire to have a 650 triple is not theirs.

  • Sentinel

    Wes, it looks like you managed to find all the best pics available for this bike so far, thanks!

    • http://RideApart.com/ Wes Siler

      I try!

  • Sentinel

    When I first heard that Honda was releasing the then new
    CBR600F I was really excited and was considering purchasing one, but then the
    terrible news came that Honda had decided not to import the bike into the US,
    and man I was really poised off about that! And then the CBR500F came out,
    although I liked it, I knew I wouldn’t ever buy one because I knew it just
    wouldn’t be enough bike for me and my needs, and had only really wished for a
    larger motor. And then when I saw the announcement a few months back about this
    bike being released I got really excited, but then it appeared that Honda had
    decided not to bring it to the US, and I was thoroughly pissed off and upset
    all over again, because for the most part, this was the bike I wanted more than
    anything other. Now that Honda has done the right thing and decided to import
    this bike into the US, I’m one very happy and excited biker! While this bike is
    not perfect or built “exactly” the way I’d like, it’s damn close, and will be
    easily upgradable enough to get it to where I want it. I’ll very likely be
    purchasing one of these beauties upon their first day of availability here in
    the states; at least that’s my hope. This is as close to the ideal bike for me
    I’ve ever come across, and having previously owned the very first and original
    Honda “Hurricane” CBR600F from 1987, in the gorgeous, sexy, and sinister black
    and red color scheme no less, which was a groundbreaking and freaking beautiful
    and amazing bike; this one here captures much of the qualities that made me
    love that old bike so much, not to mention the nostalgia aspect for me is off
    the charts! :)

  • Afonso Mata

    It’s quite a cute bike, but there’s something I don’t get: It’s predecessor, the CBR600F, is a very popular bike here in Europe, because of everything you mentioned in this article, plus it had 100hp. Why increase displacement and decrease horsepower? Is it just to meet CO2 emission regulations?

    • Sentinel

      The new 650 will make a lot more power lower in the rev range and over a much wider range than the 600 does, so it will be a much better “street” bike in every way. The difference in usability on the street will likely be night and day.

  • juliansr

    46lb ft is actually pretty good. only 2.5lbft off of the full on 600RR and it makes that torque over 3000 RPMs sooner. This ought to be the perfect CBR for the streets with the juice moved to low end and midrange.

    • Sentinel

      Indeed! I can hardly wait for some comparative dyno-graphs and such! :)

  • Benjamin Reynolds

    I really like this bike, too bad I never buy new.