All Duels – Duel CBR650F vs CBR600RR: enemy sisters? – We are two sisters … not twins!

Duel CBR650F vs CBR600RR: enemy sisters ?

All Duels - Duel CBR650F vs CBR600RR: enemy sisters? - We are two sisters ... not twins!

Updated in 2013, the CBR600RR saw a CBR650F land this year in its box. Should Honda’s – real – Supersport fear competition from this new sports bike? To find out, Site confronted them on the road and circuit.

We are two sisters … not twins !

In 2014, a CBR650F made its appearance in the Honda catalog. This bike, which replaces the faired Hornet CBR600F, is this time based on the CB650F roadster (read our). The CBR600RR, official Supersport for the Tokyo Reds, should she be worried about the arrival of this unprecedented "six-enemy"? MNC conducted the investigation…

On the occasion of this new Site duel, the small Honda sports cars have both donned the classy colors of the Honda Racing Corporation (HRC). This color is charged 200 euros on the "F", while for this amount the "RR" is dressed in a Repsol livery (read our).

However, this subtlety does not change the problem posed by Site: is the difference of 3000 euros between these two motorcycles justified? The brand new "road sports car" is effectively exchanged for a check for € 7,890 in the "HRC" version, while the Supersport (without ABS) requires a loan of € 10,849….

From a purely aesthetic point of view, the general appearance of the CBR650F convinced the entire Site editorial staff. We particularly appreciate the fairing which mimics that, double layer, of the luxurious VFR1200F and allows to admire the beautiful engine casings.

The fairing is more enveloping on the CBR600RR and further hides its mill – water like the 650 -: a "small" 4-cylinder 599 cc conforming to the current World Supersport regulations, a championship that Michael van den Mark has just won at the Honda controls (read our) !

Seen from the front, the differences between the two sisters are obvious. The sharp optics of the F surmounted by two LEDs play the card of elegance, while those of the RR rely on their bestiality to seduce. The face of the "pure and hard" sportswoman in fact evokes American "Muscle Cars" … of the 21st century, of course !

This 2013 facelift of the CBR600RR is all in all logical, since the bulk of sports motorcycle volumes are sold in the United States. This also explains the fact that the "RR" indicators work continuously: this American-style nightlight system is now approved on our side of the Atlantic..

Unfortunate consequence of the homologation in Europe of the US standard: ugly reflectors overhang the beautiful 4-piston calipers with radial mounting of the CBR600RR … The CBR650F may be devoid of orange pads, its 2-piston calipers are however hardly more attractive.

Still on the "six-and-a-half", the fully non-adjustable (!) Non-inverted fork seems basic next to the inverted fork that fitted the previous CBR600F, and even more so when compared to the imposing fork. of the current CBR600RR.

Installed last year on the Honda Supersport, the Showa "Big Piston" has also proven itself on the Suzuki GSX-R Kawasaki ZX-6R. In addition to its robust appearance, riders will appreciate the ease of access to settings: two small screws (compression and rebound) overhang the "electric blue" caps of the sleeves, while a third (preload) is at the base of the dip tubes.

The triple tree and the half-handlebars are also more "serious" on the RR. The Japanese tried to save money and weight on the F. If we have seen that the first mission was largely achieved, the second is not quite….

On the manufacturer’s scale, a difference of 25 kg indeed separates the two machines (see the technical sheets on the last page). In addition to its more noble peripherals, the "real" sports car benefits from an all-aluminum "diamond" type frame when that of the small road is content with steel..

The "double R" can also show off in front of the "single F" thanks to its rims, which it shares with its big sister Fireblade. The CBR650F tries to compete with petal-style discs, but sporty bikers are not fooled: this "bad boy" look has no effect on the clock. Otherwise, we would find this cutout style on MotoGP prototypes, no ?!

Equally useless from a dynamic point of view, the CBR600RR proudly wears the RC213V badge on its tank, an emblem found only on the top models of the range: Goldwing, F6B and F6C, CTX1300, CB1100, Crosstourer , VFR800 and 1200 … without forgetting the CBR1000RR Fireblade Herself !

Two CBRs, really ?

At this point in the description, some observers may wonder – and rightly so – if this new "six-and-a-half" really deserved its prestigious "CBR" prefix. Before slicing, they will have to turn to the rear of the motorcycle…

While the 650’s rear buckle with its tubular steel frame looks a bit basic compared to the 600’s more airy backsplash, the all-new CBR has a short, low pot that many sporty trackers and roadsters have adopted. . Even the Daytona 675 and Street Triple have succumbed to this fashion !

For its part, the CBR600RR – whose last update dates from 2013, but whose! – remains faithful to the good old pot under the saddle. The integration remains super neat, the charm still acts, but the arguments – of a certain Erik Buell, in particular – on the centralization of the masses have gained ground.

Higher than that of the CBR650F, the rear end of the 600RR also appears more massive. As long as the owner of the 650F changes his prominent original plate holder with a finer and more aesthetic appendage, and the "six enemy" will be as sporty as the "six hundred". In doing so, the view will be even clearer on the 180mm tire mounted on the rear of the CBR650F, the same width as that of the CBR600RR..

The brushed aluminum swingarm of the 650F capped with its (stock) hugger is more beautiful than that of its predecessor 600F, but it remains less majestic than that of the 600RR, but it is beefy and fully polished..

Our test CBR600RR may have been adorned with a few carbon parts from the Honda Racing catalog, the CBR650F also supports the comparison thanks to elements – carbon imitation this time – placed on the sides of the tank which are quite illusion..

We discover with happiness the same finish at the level of the trim of the meter block of the 650F. On this point, the 600RR is satisfied with a covering in pieces of raw plastic, neither painted nor worked as on the 650F, which is less neat.

Likewise, the "road sports car" has more stylish mirrors than the chubby elements decked out in the Supersport. We note, however, that the rearview is satisfactory on both motorcycles: no use on their handlebars to play contortionists to see what happens – or rather, disappears! – behind you.

The CBR650F marks new points in terms of instrumentation, which is more complete because it is more recent: the latest addition to the "CBR" indicates its instantaneous and average consumption (see practical aspects and equipment on the penultimate page). On the other hand, neither of the two CBR embeds controls on the handlebars.

Climbing on the "double R" requires a bit more effort than the "single F" due to a passenger seat higher than the second stage of the CBR650F seat. The saddle – rider this time – of the CBR600RR is taller, but with track boots a 1.70m rider touches both sides with no problem.

The Honda Supersport by definition requires to move forward and down the bust to catch the handlebars. The pressure on the wrists is sensitive, the feet are high and set back: the rider is thrown into the leather of a pilot, but his position is one of the least brittle in the category.

Logically, the streamlined roadster induces a more relaxed attitude. The CBR650F shares its saddle with the CB650F: as on the roadster, accessibility is excellent thanks to its low height (810 mm) and its finesse on the front.

Attracted by the nicely sporty look of this almost CBR, the companion of an MNC test taker literally fell in love with her after noticing that it was possible for her to tiptoe on either side of the CBR650F from the top of her small 1.60 m.

The half-handlebars are significantly higher and closer to the rider than those of the CBR600RR. The new licenses () which have just passed the test on a roadster will therefore be less lost than on the – real – sports car. !

However, there is one small detail to take into account before setting off on the CBR650F: as on all the latest Honda models, the turn signals and horn have been reversed. The first intersections and roundabouts will necessarily be punctuated by honking … A blow to take.

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