When it was introduced in 2014, Honda's fully faired CBR650F provided a healthy slice of four-cylinder middleweight performance, and it received performance updates in 2018. For the new model year, the CBR650F has become the CBR650R, taking styling cues directly from the CBR1000RR. The revised model name and looks indicate a potent shot of sporty ability that's designed to be explored and enjoyed on the street. In the process of its transformation, the CBR650R has become a rare breed: a sport bike that provides similar pleasure, enjoyment and adrenaline to an RR machine, yet with enough practicality to make it a viable option as day-to-day transport in addition to weekend fun.
A more aggressive riding position starts with clip-on handlebars that now mount beneath the top triple clamp.
The exhaust now features a larger bore tail pipe inside the muffler to flow more gas and, with its exit pipe angled upward, to emit an emotional howl.
Also new is the 41mm inverted Showa Separate Function front Fork (SFF). Adjustable for seven-stage spring preload, the single-tube shock operates directly on the curvaceous gravity die-cast aluminium swingarm.
An assist/slipper clutch is a new addition and eases upshifts while managing rear-wheel lock up under rapid downshifts. Honda Selectable Torque Control (HSTV) manages rear-wheel traction; it can be turned off should the rider choose.
Dual LED headlights emit a penetrating, uncompromising stare