2019 Honda CBR650R First Look

Evans Brasfield
by Evans Brasfield

Replacing the F with an R

Honda is bringing its sporting motorcycles more in line with each other, much in the way that it has embraced the Neo Sports Café for its sporty standards. Take, for example, the 2019 Honda CBR650R (née CBR650F).

The styling looks just like it’s big brother, the CBR1000RR, and that’s no accident. From the dual LED headlights to the sharp, angular lines the CBR650R isn’t just a cosmetic update. Compared to 2018 the ABS model drops 11.6 lbs. The frame, with its new pressed swingarm pivot plates (rather than forged), accounts for 4.2 of those pounds. Other areas of weight loss include the tank and the updated footpegs.

The new 41mm inverted Showa Separate Function Fork (SFF) handles bumps in the front, and a 7-level preload adjustable shock handles the rear. Both suspenders need to control less unsprung weight in the new cast aluminum wheels, which lost 0.97 lb. and 1.2 lb front and rear, respectively.

The engine produces 5% more power above 10,000 rpm, and peak power hits at 12,000 rpm just before the new, higher rev limit. Those higher rpm are fed by twin air ducts just below the headlights that flow a higher volume than the old single intake. Additionally, an assist/slipper clutch is now part of the hardware that the 650 includes.

Pricing and availability have not been released, but there will be two CBR650R models, one with and the other without ABS, in some version of Honda Red (if the photos are to be believed).

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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  • Born to Ride Born to Ride on Nov 08, 2018

    If only this thing had the performance to back up its looks. Heavier than a literbike and underpowered compared to its class rivals. They claim a 5% power increase and 95 hp, which is dubious considering their claims regarding the CB1000 turned out to be horseshit, but it dynoed at 76hp last year. Soooo, maybe 80hp this year? For more money than the FZ09, GSXS, and Z900. Honda brought a really pretty knife to a gun fight. Again...

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    • Born to Ride Born to Ride on Apr 30, 2019

      Oh okay that’s pretty cool. Yeah, the GSXR never really was an option for me though because the insurance is so astronomical. One day though.

  • Major tom Major tom on Nov 11, 2018

    It's not a race replica or a crotch rocket so where is the center stand and a rear fender? It is classy and Honda cool though, sigh..........I might be the only person now that thinks rear fenders can look attractive, sigh........I guess chains now don't ever need lubing on a trip or nobody ever gets a flat, sigh.........