With impressive power and exceptionally smooth delivery, the CB650R makes a return to the 2023 Honda model lineup.
The Honda CB650R is a sporty, sharply designed ride that stands out with its signature compact “trapezoid” profile featuring a short tail and stubby headlight. The elongated fuel tank provides an impressive accent to the four-cylinder engine, highlighting the sturdy metal surfaces beneath it. Not only does this striking feature provide style but also serves as housing for ignition purposes.
Armed with a 649cc powerplant featuring 16-valves and DOHC, the CB650R engine delivers peak power at 12,000 rpm and torque at 8,500 rpm smoothly and linearly. Utilizing direct cam actuation to create a more efficient and smaller cylinder head, this engine is engineered with an impressive 11.6:1 compression ratio.
To minimize bore contact and reduce friction, asymmetric piston skirts are featured. To further decrease oil consumption while providing improved heat transfer, ferrous spines on the cylinder sleeves have been included, as well as a silent SV cam chain with Vanadium coated pins to lower frictional losses. The 2023 Honda CB650R introduces internal water channeling from the cylinder head directly into the cylinders, doing away with the need for most exterior hoses.
Another configuration feature of the engine is the stacked six-speed gearbox and starter design, as well as the cylinders being canted forward at 30 degrees. An assist/slipper clutch makes for seamless upshifts while also controlling rear wheel lockup during swift downshifts.
The CB650R’s steel-diamond frame employs pressed swingarm pivot plates to save weight and features twin elliptical spars with a rigidity balance. The wet weight of 456 pounds, is thanks in part to the lightweight construction of its frame, fuel tank, and super-sport style footpegs.
Twin air ducts are positioned on opposing sides of the fuel tank, pumping a proper amount of fresh air into the atmosphere and creating an intense throaty sound.
A forged-aluminum bottom triple clamp secures the 41mm Showa Separate Function Big Piston front fork setup. The rear shock is adjustable across seven levels of preload spring.
The four-piston radial-mount front brake calipers, paired with 310 mm floating rotors and a single-piston rear caliper plus 240mm rotor provide braking services. Two-channel ABS is standard equipment while the lightweight five Y-shaped spoked cast aluminum wheels reduce unsprung mass for improved handling. Honda Selectable Torque Control (HSTC) offers additional rear-wheel traction control.
The 21.9-inch tapered handlebar of the 2023 CB650R is ergonomically placed for considerable rider reach and comfort, and the LCD instrument panel has been crafted to provide improved visibility. The LCD dashboard mirrors that on CB1000R but also adds a Shift Up indicator, Gear Position display, and Peak Hold. Likewise, the round headlight design of the CB1000R was used as inspiration, with LED lighting taking care of illumination duties both here and throughout other parts of the CB650R.
The 2023 Honda CB650R has an MSRP of $9,399 and will be available in Matte Gray Metallic when it hits dealership floors in February of this year.