Sporty – CBR650R 2019 test: the new Honda has no shortage of R! – CBR650R test Page 1: Accessible supersport

2019 CBR650R review: the new Honda has no shortage of R !

Sporty - 2019 CBR650R test: the new Honda has no shortage of R! - CBR650R test Page 1: Accessible supersport

The Honda CBR650F, launched in 2014, gave way five years later to the 2019 CBR650R with more sporty overtones. A new "R" for this faired motorcycle from the CB650R roadster? Answers in our MNC essay.

CBR650R Test Page 1: Accessible Supersport

Take a deep breath of R and concentrate, because with the become and the transformed into, the R of nothing must follow to stay on the right R with these two new Honda 2019 models tested on the same day … But no time to throw a crisis of naves: barely that already, the Journal moto du Net seizes the half-handlebars of its streamlined version. For our greatest pleasure – and yours, we hope !

  • MNC special file : Everything you need to know about the CB650R 
  • MNC CB650R 2019 Test : Too good to be a Hornet ?
  • Duel MNC CBR600RR Vs CBR650F : Enemy sisters ? 

Ouch! The pressure on the wrists is pronounced on this new CBR650R, far from the comfort delivered by the raised and flat handlebars of its organ donor CB650R. Logical transition … but brutal! Moderately qualitative, its straps lowered under the upper crown induce a more leaning posture than on the old CBR650F: this is the first proof of its additional "R" !

Apart from this typical "sport" aspect, the CBR650R is not that different from the CB650R: normal, since they come out of the same mold. The roadster and its streamlined version have in common the same steel frame (lightened by 1.9 kg), the same 4-cylinder boosted to 94.6 hp and all the peripherals including a new inverted fork (not adjustable) and calipers 4-piston radials (details in).

The main difference is the added fairings on the CBR650R, which give it a salivating “R” of. The sublime front part, modeled on the Fireblade, spins a nasty old-fashioned shot at the old CBR650F! The rear is identical to the roadster, as is the new LCD display (without handlebar controls) detailed in

Sporty - CBR650R 2019 test: the new Honda has no shortage of R! - CBR650R test Page 1: Accessible supersport

In fact, most of the comments (d) written by MNC in the are valid for this CBR650R: its saddle located at 810 mm is just as accessible from 1.70 m but quite firm, its footrests – unfortunately without rubbers – do not bend the legs excessively and the knees wedge comfortably around the amputated tank of 2 liters (15.4 l). 

The CBR650R is pleasantly welcoming for a 649 cc motorcycle, offering more space than its direct rival: the petite and its twin of identical displacement. Motorcyclists over 1.75 m will appreciate its superior "roominess" mainly due to the difference in engine architecture: the "4-legged" takes up more space than the "bi".

Nose in the – short – bubble ! 

This engine, precisely, warms up nicely by delivering a shy metallic hiss. The opportunity to take an interest in certain details, such as its offset mirrors on the fork crown, which are easy to adjust and efficient. MNC plague on the other hand against the non-adjustable clutch lever: fortunately it is quite close to the handlebars and extremely progressive !

 Sporty - CBR650R 2019 test: the new Honda has no shortage of R! - CBR650R test Page 1: Accessible supersport

More annoying: the bubble is ridiculously short and above all devoid of the possibility of height adjustments, unlike that of the Ninja 650. Frankly stingy on a motorcycle all the same billed at 8899 euros, supposed to offer a fun alternative between exclusive sports and more bulky roads… 

This gap – – is at the origin of a protection reduced to its minimum portion, requiring the dab position to shelter the bust and part of the helmet. Funny on a beautiful sunny road, much less in winter on the periphery … Some "real" sports bikes do better: a shame !

In the same vein, one may wonder why a USB socket is not available under the saddle … Too expensive, really? Its presence would have partly compensated for the low capacity of the trunk: a yellow vest and a disc lock hold it, but little more. The new traction control and the clutch now assisted by an antidribble were undoubtedly considered more essential by the engineers.

A well-framed sport-GT motorcycle

First curves and first observations: the CBR650R without much surprise requires more involvement than the CB650R, the fault of the additional weight placed on the front by its fairings (+5 kg Vs the roadster). The bike has, however, improved in agility compared to the old CBR650F thanks to its 6 kg less (207 kg).

Sporty - 2019 CBR650R test: the new Honda has no shortage of R! - CBR650R test Page 1: Accessible supersport

The less sporty profile of its original tires (Dunlop Sportmax D214) also explains its liveliness in withdrawal against the CB650R – and its Metzeler Roadtec 01 – tested just before, in the same conditions. But rest assured: this necessarily unfavorable comparison to the CBR650R does not imply that it is cumbersome to handle !

The Honda is on the contrary obvious and considerate: its steering is just less responsive than that of the roadster. Nuance! Certainly, a "real" Supersport like fire offers it more cutting edge. But at what cost ? Count in fact 13,999 euros for the, one of the last "SSP" with the !

And thanks to the excellent compromise of its Showa inverted fork, the CBR650R shows itself to be more accommodating on dented surfaces! Honda engages in a delightful demonstration of know-how with this shock absorption beyond criticism: the front is riveted to the ground in all circumstances, just like the rear axle.

 Sporty - CBR650R 2019 test: the new Honda has no shortage of R! - CBR650R test Page 1: Accessible supersport

The resulting comfort and confidence are remarkable: only the most sporty braking ends up showing a slight lack of support at the start of the race. But we are talking to you here about super brutal brake taking at shameful speeds (the engine easily hangs 230 km / h), like Tourist Trophy !

The exercise is facilitated by the formidable power of the radial 4-piston calipers: the Nissin clamps are not there to make wallpaper and relegate to oblivion the old 2-piston device with axial fixation of the CBR650F! The new CBR650R brakes hard, very hard even, to the point of requiring a certain dexterity to dose its bite: in this, it deserves its name of CBR !

The rear brake – efficient and easily adjustable – is for its part the ally of a peaceful driving and makes it easy to tighten a trajectory. MNC does not deprive itself of it, just to take advantage of the excellent ground clearance and flawless traction of this CBR650R !

A fun engine, but…

In the mechanical chapter, unsurprisingly, the CBR650R identically reproduces the sensations experienced a few hours before on the roadster: its 4-cylinder is exquisitely flexible from idle, but shows hollow below 4000 rpm. Its 64 Nm are a little fair to tow with conviction in the first part of the tachometer, to the detriment of the sensations.

Sporty - 2019 CBR650R test: the new Honda has no shortage of R! - CBR650R test Page 1: Accessible supersport

This docile acceleration is, however, the ally of urban travel, where the bike evolves without the slightest jerk at the option of gear changes without resistance. Beginner bikers and commuters will appreciate this smoothness superior to that of a twin-cylinder, as well as the absence of heat from the "4-legs".

In addition, the sudden injection shown by the CB650R on the go-around has practically disappeared on its streamlined version. The accelerator of the CBR650R offers all the precision and the pleasure necessary for a flexible and efficient dosage of the gases, which is much more difficult to achieve with the roadster..

The reason for this difference in behavior? The admission of the CBR650R is different, because it uses cones located in its fairings returns. This characteristic will likely favorably impact the operation of its injection. Remember that MNC had already made the same observation between the old CB650F and CBR650F.

 Sporty - CBR650R 2019 test: the new Honda has no shortage of R! - CBR650R test Page 1: Accessible supersport

These ducts also provide the CBR650R with a more "high-sounding" soundtrack in mid-range, the threshold from which the 4-cylinder begins to sing and push with conviction. This transition occurs at the 6000 rpm mark, i.e. at 80 km / h … in 3rd! The scene is set: on winding roads, forget the upper gears !

The CBR650R asks to be whipped and then offers devilishly energetic and demonstrative revivals! It is a treat to keep it between 8000 and 12000 rpm (breaker at 13000 rpm) and then take advantage of its extremely rigorous cycle part. The whole thing being to appreciate being constantly in high revs…

Sporty - CBR650R 2019 test: the new Honda has no shortage of R! - CBR650R test Page 1: Accessible supersport

Another characteristic with which the 4-cylinder forces to compose: its invasive vibrations perceptible from 5000 rpm between the thighs, under the hands and the feet. The CBR650R, like its organ donor CB650R, suffers from severe tremors that fulminate against the absence of rubbers on the footrests.

MNC wonders what fly has stung Honda on this subject, knowing that the previous CBR650F had one and that … Its passenger grab handles in the form of notches are not enough to erase this black spot !

Verdict: with an R, like Racee

The very successful new plastic of the CBR650R gives it the additional cachet that was somewhat lacking in its predecessor. Likewise, its mechanical evolutions give it a really noticeable extra pep from mid-revs. Below, however, the beautiful Honda remains not very demonstrative.

 Sporty - CBR650R 2019 test: the new Honda has no shortage of R! - CBR650R test Page 1: Accessible supersport

MNC also deplores its significant vibrations and the lack of consideration given to practical aspects. At 8,899 euros, this bike also available for A2 licenses should have at least an adjustable screen, or even integrate as standard the excellent shifter with which our test model was provided (+220 €).

Admittedly, Honda can boast of offering the only 4-cylinder in this range of displacement: an attractive argument for bikers resistant to twin cylinders and fans of the characteristic howls of a 4-legged! In this, the CBR650R is an excellent representative of the genre.

But will this be enough in the face of a competition as formidable as it is versatile? The Kawasaki Ninja 650 has an adjustable windshield and weighs 14 kg less (193 kg)! Admittedly, its power is much lower (68 against 94.6 hp), but its price also: € 7,499, or 1,400 euros less !

Sporty - CBR650R 2019 test: the new Honda has no shortage of R! - CBR650R test Page 1: Accessible supersport

In another register, typical "roadster-trail", the has an adjustable screen, hand guards and "real" passenger handles. Its chassis is less efficient and its twin-cylinder only outputs 75 hp, but the Yamaha weighs 12 kg less (195 kg) and its sensational CP2 engine has a lot of vigor, all for 8,400 euros !

Bikers with higher purchasing power and seeking more torque can also turn to it, provided of course to include the category "roadster-GT" in their research. In this case, the 90 hp delivered by the BMW twin and its belt transmission are likely to appeal, even if the bill climbs to € 11,150..

The CBR650R will therefore have a lot to do to find its place on the French market, which is not so fond of this kind of motorcycles: proof with the rather modest objectives given by Honda France to MNC, of ​​the order of "500 units in full year ", to be compared with the" 2000 sales "forecast for the CB650R !

  • All the details of our CBR650R test with MNC captioned photos in

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