2019 Honda CB650R First Look

Evans Brasfield
by Evans Brasfield

Putting some Neo Sports Café in the middleweight class

If you liked the 2018 Honda CB1000R but wanted it in a middleweight package, here’s the bike for you. From the Neo Sports Café styling to the revvy inline-Four, there’s a lot to like about the 2019 Honda CB650R.

Based on the erstwhile CB650F, the engine has received some minor upgrades for more riding enjoyment. The 649cc, DOHC 16-valve engine has removed the torque dip at 5,500 rpm – right where riders spend most of their time – and all bumped up the top-end power by a claimed 5% above 10,000 rpm. The 95 hp peak arrives just before the 1,000 rpm higher rev-limit at 12,000.

The chassis is revised from the the CB650F to the tune of a 13.2 lb. savings. A surprising 4.2 lb. of that weight reduction comes from just the steel diamond frame, which was specifically tuned to be stiffer around the headstock yet remain flexible in the spar sections. Front suspension duties are handled by a new 41mm Showa Separate Function Fork (SFF) inverted fork while a 7-level adjustable preload shock controls the movement of the gravity die-cast aluminum swingarm.

Braking is handled by a pair of four-piston radial-mount calipers acting on 310 mm wave-pattern floating discs in front with a single-piston rear caliper and 240mm disc taking up the rear. Two-channel ABS is an optional feature.

If this news excites you, you’ll only have to wait until April 2019 to pick up a 2019 Honda CB650R. It will come in Chromosphere Red for an $8,899 base price with the ABS model retailing for $9,199.

Be sure to follow the rest of our 2018 EICMA Show coverage with information on the new models being revealed in Milan all through the next few days.

Evans Brasfield
Evans Brasfield

Like most of the best happenings in his life, Evans stumbled into his motojournalism career. While on his way to a planned life in academia, he applied for a job at a motorcycle magazine, thinking he’d get the opportunity to write some freelance articles. Instead, he was offered a full-time job in which he discovered he could actually get paid to ride other people’s motorcycles – and he’s never looked back. Over the 25 years he’s been in the motorcycle industry, Evans has written two books, 101 Sportbike Performance Projects and How to Modify Your Metric Cruiser, and has ridden just about every production motorcycle manufactured. Evans has a deep love of motorcycles and believes they are a force for good in the world.

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