2023 Honda CB650R Features & Benefits

Honda has a long history of creating iconic middleweight standards, and that continues with the CB650R. Featuring a Showa Separate Function Big Piston fork, excellent emissions performance, stylish aesthetics and comfortable ergonomics, this middleweight model is ideally suited for everything from daily commutes to Sunday outings on canyon backroads. A naked bike with looks that match its impressive performance, the CB650R is popular with customers, thanks in part to its ample power and smooth delivery.

Tightly wrapped and aggressive, the CB650R’s style features the signature compact “trapezoid” proportion of short, stubby tail and short-overhang headlight. The long fuel tank is a key motif of the family design; its smooth lines accentuate the solidity of real metal surfaces and crown the engineering of the four-cylinder powerplant. It also houses the ignition.

The handlebar is set forward for good ergonomics, and the LCD dash has good visibility. The round headlight is based on that of the CB1000R. It’s LED, as is the rest of the lighting. Sharp LCD instruments also use the CB1000R as a baseline and include Shift Up, Gear Position and a Peak Hold indicator, which brings attention to the peak revs and offers a dynamic experience for the rider.

A 21.9 inch tapered handlebar is shaped and positioned to offer a sporty yet comfortable riding position, as is the foot-peg position. Seat height is 31.9 inches.

The CB650R’s steel-diamond frame uses pressed swingarm pivot plates for weight savings twin elliptical spars with a rigidity balance specifically tuned (stiffer around the headstock and more flexible in the spar sections) to deliver balanced handling characteristics with high levels of rider feedback. Curb weight (measured with all required fluids) is 456 pounds. Much is owed to weight-saving measures in the frame, fuel tank and super-sport-style footpegs. Handling is further aided by an ideal centralization of mass.

Front suspension comprises an inverted 41mm Showa Separate Function Big Piston fork—high-quality suspension that improves the bike’s handling. The fork is held by a forged-aluminum bottom triple clamp. Adjustable for seven-stage spring preload, the single-tube shock operates directly on the curvaceous, gravity die-cast aluminum swingarm.

Four-piston radial-mount front brake calipers work on 310mm floating rotors and are paired with a single-piston rear caliper and 240mm rotor. Two-channel ABS is standard. The cast aluminum wheels are designed with five Y-shaped spokes, reducing weight by front and rear, which also improves handling by reducing inertia and unsprung mass.

Honda’s development engineers wanted to create the purest, most enjoyable midsized four-cylinder performance possible for the CB650R rider, so the 649cc, DOHC 16-valve engine has been tuned to deliver good power above 10,000 rpm. Peak power arrives at 12,000 rpm, with peak torque delivered at 8,500. The net result is a motor that spins well at high rpm, with a smooth, linear torque delivery that builds strongly as revs rise, and sounds great in the process.

Direct cam actuation makes for a compact cylinder head; compression ratio is 11.6:1. The valve train is reinforced and iridium spark plugs employed.

Asymmetric piston skirts minimize bore contact, reducing friction. Ferrous spines on the outer surface of the cylinder sleeves reduce oil consumption (and friction) with improved heat transfer, and a silent SV cam chain reduces frictional losses by using a Vanadium coating on its pins. Internal water channeling from the cylinder head to the cylinders does away with most of the exterior hoses.

Twin air ducts on either side of the fuel tank feed a large volume of air, raising atmospheric pressure in the airbox. They also produce a throaty intake roar. The exhaust features a large, 1.5 inch-bore tail pipe inside the muffler to flow more gas and, with its exit pipe angled upward, to emit an emotional howl.

The engine uses a compact internal architecture, stacked six-speed gearbox and starter layout with the cylinders canted forward 30°. An assist/slipper clutch eases upshifts while managing rear-wheel lock up under rapid downshifts, while Honda Selectable Torque Control (HSTC) manages rear-wheel traction; it can be turned off should the rider choose.

Transferable one-year, unlimited-mileage limited warranty; extended coverage available with a Honda Protection Plan.

  • Meets current EPA standards.
  • Models sold in California meet current CARB standards and may differ slightly due to emissions equipment.

# # #