On the surface, the 2017 Honda CBR650F and its naked sibling the CB650F don’t look much different than their 2016 versions apart from their new graphic schemes. The overall visual design, including their oh-s0-sexy cascading header pipes are back, and the underslung silencer has only a slightly different shape. Underneath the familiar skin, however, are a few updates that further refine Honda’s two 650 models.

Honda shortened the air intake funnels for the 649cc inline-Four while adding a dual-pass internal structure (rather than triple-pass) in the exhaust to improve the overall intake and exhaust flow management. The result is a 4 hp increase in peak power output to 89.8 hp at 11000 rpm while maximum torque increased by three-quarters of a pound-foot to 47.2 lb-ft. at 8000 rpm.

Shorter ratios from second to fifth gear improve acceleration with Honda claiming the 2017 models can beat the previous model in a 60 kph (about 37 mph) second gear roll-on by three bike lengths over 400m (437 yards).

Honda also added a new 41mm Showa Dual Bending Valve fork. In our middleweight comparison against the Kawasaki Ninja 650 and Yamaha FZ6R, we found the Honda offered the firmest suspension settings but gave the lowest score in the suspension category. Honda says the new fork improves ride comfort and handling while offering more travel (up to 4.7 inches from 4.3 inches). The rear suspension remains the same monoshock with seven-stage preload adjustment.

In our shootout, we noted the CBR650F had the best brakes. That didn’t stop Honda from further revising the Nissin front brake calipers, though no specific details were offered.

The 2016 models already had LED taillights but the 2017s receive LED headlights as well.

111116-2017-honda-cb650f

The CBR650F’s fairing looks very similar to the outgoing version but for some open gaps in the side panels under the seat. The CB650F on the other hand has a much smaller radiator shroud, further emphasizing the angular shape of the fuel tank while showing more of the engine.

At the moment, Honda has not announced U.S. availability for either model. The CBR650F has been offered in the U.S. since 2014 but the CB650F was not.

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  • JMDonald

    I keep telling you guys we are living in the best of times. Go Honda.

    • Jon Jones

      Have to agree. Motorcycles, gear, tires, apparel, and other accessories are better than ever at mostly-affordable prices.

  • Born to Ride

    I wish they had done something sharper with the fairings. The new CBR500 looks wonderful in person, just badass. It as those aggressive angular lines that scream stealth bomber cool, especially in the matte black with gold/bronze detailing. By comparison, this thing looks so pedestrian. If that bike was powered by this 90hp I4 engine, I think it would be the intermediate rider’s dream machine.

    • Old MOron

      Actually the previous version lost to Yamaha’s relatively old FZ6R.
      Maybe another shootout is in order.
      http://www.motorcycle.com/shoot-outs/middleweight-intermediate-sportbike-shootout-video

      • Born to Ride

        Maybe, but it lost because it’s suspension sucked and it’s price was too high. Plus the motor was/is excessively vibey. If they have upgraded both the suspension and the smoothness and power as they claim to have done, maybe the price is now justified.

        • Old MOron

          Shootout, please 🙂

  • Craig Hoffman

    It is a pity they can’t find a way to put an inverted fork on these. Cheap inverted forks are still cheap, and they just look better. The conventional forks look so 1980s.

    Nice bikes though, no doubt a pleasure to ride. 90hp may not seem like much, but speaking of the late 80s, that is about what my 1987 Ninja 750 had, and it was enough to get me into plenty of trouble back then. 😉

  • Kenneth

    The snaking header pipes, as always, look great, but I see no real reason – for a street bike of this displacement – to have more than 2 cylinders, unless you’re into buzzy I-4s and waiting to reach high revs for useful torque. Race track, yes: Street riding, no thanks.

  • Kenneth

    I like the CB650F with its beautiful, snaking headers on display, but I’d prefer a twin-cylinder Z650 for street riding, with useful torque at lower revs (and half the valves).

  • Jon Jones

    Just great-looking bikes.

  • Josh

    Looks a lot better than the outgoing color way

  • spiff

    I see a little CB400SS on that naked.

  • Jens Vik

    I am not a fairing kind of guy, but the CBR650F actually has me wanting one.
    Currently this is the only sports bike I want.

  • Joe Bogie

    2nd gear roll-ons @100mph??? Did I read that right?

    • denchung

      Oops. Screwed up the metric conversion.

  • Brett Lewis

    For the next middleweight sportbike comparison: The FZ6R will be around for another year, in North America. It’s a shame there’s no faired FZ-07 around, but there is a new Ninja 650. Seems to
    me Yamaha has a weakness there in their otherwise strong lineup.

  • Ian Parkes

    I know bikes and cars often have faces, sometimes cool, sometimes stupid transformer ones (MT-10), but I’ve never seen one so explicit as this smiling robot lion/impala in the two head-on (face-on?) shots.

  • AM

    Glad Honda is bringing the CB to the US, and not just the CBR. Hope they dialed CB for low mid range power.

    • denchung

      That hasn’t been confirmed yet. As of now, these are only for Europe though we expext Honda to announce what models will be coming to the US soon.

  • TheSeaward

    I love the styling on these. The faired model is very elegant and mature. I know angles are in these days, but I’m glad Honda went this direction with it.