2019 Honda CB650R First Look: Going Neo Sports Café

It had to happen after the makeover of Honda’s 1000 and 300 naked sport bikes. Last year’s CB650F has been transformed into the striking 2019 Honda CB650R, featuring Neo Sports Café styling, but the functional improvements are even more important.

Let’s take a look at how the F became the R.

1. There’s a new Showa Separate Function Fork on the 2019 Honda CB650R. Only around for a year on the CB650F, the Show Dual Bending Valve fork is replaced the SFF from Showa. The SFF design features a spring in one fork leg, and the damping rod in the other leg. According to Honda, the Showa SFF is lighter and more rigid. The tube diameter stays the same at 41mm, though the CB650R gets a new aluminum lower triple clamp.

2019 Honda CB650R2. The brakes are seriously upgraded. Instead of a pair of traditionally mounted two-piston calipers, the 2019 Honda CB650R gets radial mounting for its pair of four-piston calipers that squeeze 320mm floating discs.

3. Honda reworked the DOHC inline-four for more power. The 2019 Honda CB650R has updated intake and exhaust, along with new cam timing for the 16 valves, plus a slightly higher compression ratio (boosted to 11.6:1). According to Honda, the changes “boost peak power and provide a smoother, stronger torque delivery through the midrange.”

4. The styling changes mean the 2019 Honda CB650R gets the round LED headlight and LCD dash from the CB1000R. The Neo Sports Café family resemblance is undeniable, and the CB650R slots between the CB1000R and CB300R perfectly. Still, the CB650R has its own look with bronze contrasting nicely with blacked out features. Do note that the photos are of the European version, and the American edition may vary slightly due to conflicting bureaucratic standards.

2019 Honda CB650R tail light5. The new wheels on the CB650R are more traditional. Instead of the swirling spokes found on the CB650F last year, the 2019 Honda CB650R had straight spokes.

6. The 2019 Honda CB650R is nine pounds lighter than last year, though part of that is due to a half-gallon smaller fuel tank. The smaller fuel load subtracts three pounds quickly, though that’s only when running a full tank. The front end should be lighter with the new lower triple clamp and Showa SFF fork, so the enticement to wheelie is enhanced.

2019 Honda CB650R for sale7. Upgrading to the 2019 Honda CB650R ABS means a $450 price increase over the 650F ABS. The premium for ABS has gone down to $300 on the CB650R, compared to $500 on last year’s CB650F. Now, if you want the non-ABS version—a choice we don’t recommend—the CB650R is $650 more than the standard CB650F.

8. Be patient—the 2019 Honda CB650R won’t be available until April 2019.

2019 Honda CB650R Specs

ENGINE

  • Type: Inline-4
  • Displacement: 649cc
  • Bore x stroke: 67mm x 46mm
  • Compression ratio: 11.6:1
  • Valve train: DOHC, 16 valves
  • Fueling: EFI w/ 32mm throttle bodies
  • Transmission: 6-speed
  • Final drive: 525 O-ring chain

CHASSIS

  • Front suspension; travel: Showa Separate Function 41mm fork; 4.7 inches
  • Rear suspension; travel: Linkage-assisted Showa shock w/ spring-preload adjustment; 5.0 inches
  • Front tire: 120/70 x 17
  • Rear tire: 180/55 x 17
  • Front brakes: 320mm floating discs w/ radially mounted 4-piston Nissin calipers
  • Rear brake: 240mm disc w/ single-piston caliper
  • ABS: Optional ($300)

DIMENSIONS and Capacities

  • Wheelbase: 57.0 inches
  • Rake: 25.3°
  • Trail: 4.0 inches
  • Seat height: 31.9 inches
  • Fuel capacity: 4.1 gallons
  • Curb weight: 445 pounds

2019 Honda CB650R Color:

  • Chromosphere Red

2019 Honda CB650R Price:

  • $8899 MSRP

2019 Honda CB650R First Look | Photo Gallery