ROAD TEST: 2014 HONDA CB650F

i-Moto’s exclusive road test the Honda CB650F

We were eager to road test the all new Honda CB650F after i-Moto Media had a spin on the CB650F last Saturday at Welly Team Cycle Sdn Bhd.DSC_0021 (Small)

We got it for a road test today, but …… we had to test the CB650F real quick, so i gathered my riding buddie Adrian Su, and in a dash we went to Welly Team Cycle to grab the CB650F to a day for road test, so here is our exclusive review.DSC_0006 (Small)

The DOHC 649cc 16-valve engine is real smooth and not so revvy…. unlike Adrian’s Ninja 636, the 650F was easy to ride and it stops well. Stylish wise with Honda, keeps its less aggressive styling but a competitive price is likely to make it popular with aftermarket accessories, makes this naked middleweights so much fun to ride and fun to accessorizes . I particularity like the engine sound that is quiet like and electric bike but, if you want loud then install a Arkapovic or a Yoshimura slip on, even a full system, to get that inline four sound.

The new Honda 649cc, DOHC 16-valve engine is purpose built for the naked CB also for the CBR650F, with a minimum of wires and hoses on display. Its oil filter is located at the bottom to allow room for a diagonal quartet of downpipes.DSC_0017 (Small)

The peak torque figure of 68.4 kg / m is also fractionally lower but the new engine is stronger lower down, and reaches its peak 2,500rpm earlier, at 8,000rpm. That broad torque spread, at least by the standard of middleweight , helped make the CB respectably quick, allied to a sweet-shifting six-speed gearbox.DSC_0011 (Small) But the Honda is not quite so impressive if you’re looking for speed and excitement, but then again its really a good bike for new bike riders to get a feel of riding in the middleweight class, cos rear 180/55 Dunlop Sportsmax is grippy and i can knee down on the first corner i see, but maybe it just me, on the right tyre pressure even on a standard Dunlop tyres. But all i can say is the CB650F is great bike for those who are new but also for the veteran biker to get a feel of the latest bike performance before they think to want to ride the latest 150~180 horsepower superbikes in the market, and what they rode was a moped previously ….. handling and the power comes in a nice package called the CB650F or those with the racer feel would opt for CBR650F. Just my two sense who ever wants to start riding back, well to me this CB650F is the ideal bike to get riding again and again for that Sunday ride getaway with or without the spouse in the pillion. The un-intimidating and rider-friendly CB650F is ideally suited to inexperienced riders even in standard form, so that’s an accessory that makes plenty of sense, especially as it’s easily removable.

The CB650F revs hard through the gears when ridden hard, the digital tacho frequently up near the 11,300rpm redline as the Honda surges towards its maximum speed of about 210 km/h. It even adds to the sense of speed with a howl from that stylish exhaust, as giving arm and neck muscles a workout in naked bike fashion. But its top-end performance is slightly flat, so the Honda is less fun than the best of its rivals but still its a naked bike!DSC_0021 (Small)

The chassis specification is down-to-earth, notably in its use of a frame whose steel main tubes have an oval section that helps keep the bike narrow, and are stiffened by forged-and-welded plates at the pivot for the aluminium swing-arm. The front brake has big 320mm petal discs and simple twin-piston calipers.

Chassis performance is good, quite delivering the agility or feedback to put the CB among the best in class. At a claimed 208kg wet it’s not especially light for a naked middleweight but for my size of 50kg its considerably light and agile to me, make me want to think I’m Marq Marquez on a CB650F ….. hahaha without doing the eblow down. Steering geometry is quite sporty; handling impressively!

Suspension at both front and rear gives a good compromise between being supple enough for comfort and firm enough for control. Those twin-pot front calipers work well, though hard stopping necessitates a firm squeeze. The Dunlop Sportmax tyres are respectably wide (the rear a 180/55) and grippy enough to make use of the generous ground clearance, although i found it hard to wheelie as my rear tyre keep screeching. It’s still a 4 cylinder machine so i wont press it further. Torque and being a wheelie machine is not what it was design for.DSC_0032 (Small)

Naked middleweights are fairly simple, modestly powerful machines that don’t put much stress on their chassis, so are generally quite inexpensive to run. The CB650F should be no exception. Honda says it averages almost 25KM/L but that would require a very sedate riding style. A more realistic figure is just under 21.26 KM/L (4.7 L/100KM), which still isn’t bad. Honda’s huge experience of producing inline fours means reliability should be excellent.

By naked standards the CB seems pretty practical. Its seat is quite tall, at 810mm, but slim enough to let average height riders get feet down easily enough. It incorporates pillion hand-holds and useful luggage hooks. There’s a gentle lean forward to the slightly raised one-piece bar. The digital dash is attractive, and includes a fuel gauge and consumption info. But the info can’t be scrolled from the bars, the indicators don’t self-cancel and there’s no gear indicator. Fuel capacity is respectable at 17.3 litres: enough for a realistic range of 273 km or more at a typical pace.

Pros

• Attractive naked styling

• Flexible, smooth running motor

• Rider-friendly handling and braking

Cons

• Modest top-end performance

• Lacks strong character

Why buy?

“The CB650F is good looking, simple and easy to ride. It’s not especially fast or bursting with character, but it goes, handles and stops. There are more exciting middleweights but the Honda does everything well and doesn’t cost the earth.”

Thanks to Honda Impian Shop Welly Team Cycle Sdn Bhd for us to get the CB650F for the road test today.

RC Moto GearUp’s
Helmet: Arai RR3 
Suit: Kushitani Hamamatsu K0065XX
Boots: Alpinestar SMX Plus
Gloves: Kushitani  K5026 GPR GLOVES 4 from RKM Malalaysia

 

 

 

 

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