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2023 Honda CB650R

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Honda’s CB650R is now available in Matte Grey Metallic, for $9,399. (Honda/)

Ups

Inline-four engine unique to the classStable chassis matched with smooth power deliveryHonda fit and finish

Downs

The competition is getting stiffer each yearLimited technologyMSRP inching closer to the $10,000 mark

Verdict

Honda has proven time and time again its ability to build practical, well-handling standard bikes that hit all the right marks, and the CB650R is no exception. Here is a bike that might not offer all the canyon-carving performance that some of its competitors might, but deserves praise for its well-rounded build sheet. The only thing going against the CB650R is the small price gap between it and its very capable competition.

Overview

Inline four-cylinder engines have been a staple of Honda’s lineup since the 750 Four debuted in 1969. Fast-forward 50 years to 2019, when Honda’s CBR650F and CB650F middleweights were heavily revised and given the R suffix to better match the bike’s sporty performance. The outgoing streetfighter-styled CB650F was replaced with a freshly designed naked middleweight that now represents what Honda calls its Neo-Sports Café segment. This new styling, reminiscent of the late ‘90s/early ‘00s Hornet/Honda 599, is seen in today’s CB650R, modernized with blacked-out paint and burnished bronze detailing.

Today, the CB continues to bring the classic high-revving spirit of its flamboyant predecessors with its liquid-cooled 649cc mill. The CB650R claims a unique spot in today’s current middleweight class as being one of the only 650cc bikes equipped with an inline-four engine, unless your definition of “middleweight” includes the GSX-S750 or Z900.

The midsize CB makes for an appropriate step up from beginner bikes or a reintroduction to riding. Its engine, comfortable ergos, solid braking performance, and top-quality receive top grades that, for those interested, may outweigh the somewhat unbalanced suspension and high price.


The CB650R was shaped around Honda’s Neo-Sports Café design philosophy. (Honda/)

Updates for 2023

If it’s not broken, don’t fix it. The 2023 CB650R is unchanged for 2023 hold for a $100 price increase and move to Matte Grey Metallic paint (versus Matte Black Metallic). Keen observers will notice a few more small differences, like the red shock spring which replaces last year’s yellow spring.

The last major update for the CB650R was in 2021.

Pricing and Variants

The CB650R is available in just one trim, for $9,399.

Competition

No shortage of options in the middleweight naked-bike category, with every manufacturer offering something a little different. Intended use and experience will play a big role in finding the right bike, and the Honda CB650R slots itself somewhere in the middle of the competition.

Main contenders in this space include the Triumph Trident 660 ($8,595), Yamaha MT-07 ($8,199), Suzuki SV650 ($7,399), and Kawasaki Z650 ($7,749). Those in search of top-tier performance might look at the Aprilia Tuono 660 ($10,699) or Aprilia Tuono 660 Factory ($10,999).

Keep in mind that larger-displacement naked bikes aren’t far from the CB650R. Triumph’s Street Triple R ($9,995) and Street Triple RS ($12,595) might be considered, as well as Yamaha’s MT-09 ($9,799) and Öhlins-equipped MT-09 SP ($11,499). Twin-cylinder options include the Suzuki GSX-8S ($8,849), KTM’s 790 Duke ($9,199) and 890 Duke R ($12,949), plus Ducati’s Monster Plus ($12,995) and up-spec Monster SP ($15,595).


The CB650R is one of the only middleweight naked bikes with an inline-four engine. (Honda/)

Powertrain: Engine, Transmission, and Performance

The twin-spar frame houses the same powerplant seen in the CBR650R, a liquid-cooled DOHC 649cc inline-four. The CB’s engine is tuned for high rpm, as is evident in its peak power figures and real-world character. As seen in Cycle World’s dyno test, its peak 81.9 hp is achieved at 10,870 rpm and its 42.97 lb.-ft. of

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By: Cycle World Staff
Title: 2023 Honda CB650R
Sourced From: www.motorcyclistonline.com/honda/cb650r/
Published Date: Thu, 11 May 2023 18:57:03 +0000

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