Honda First Impressions | Honda CB650R (2019)

Honda CB650R (2019)

Honda takes the Neo Sports name tag into the middleweight naked sector.

Fast, great looking and great value - say hello to the new CB650R
Faster Fun Comfy
Dash is too dim No, really just the dash!!!

IT’S ABOUT 3°C and gloomy but behind the dark visor of my lid I have the biggest grin this side of Barcelona.

The reason, Honda’s new CB650R, the roads around Almeria in Spain and one of the best feeling front ends of any naked bike I’ve ridden.

Honda’s new CB moves the middleweight naked away from the spaceship styling of the previous version and places it in a much more premium place within the market. The Neo Sports design ethic is about understated-cool with a classic twist. And I think it’s great to look at, the detailing is superb and the whole bike looks like nothing else on the road.

This is a tale of two stories though, as while the CB looks like a retro/modern café racer it’s a serious contender for the ‘scratcher’ of the year award as we found out today on the fast and flowing roads around Almeria. The front end is supremely stable with the Metzeler RoadTec tyres providing an adequate amount of grip while the Showa non-adjustable forks and Nissin four-pot callipers give levels of confidence that are normally the preserve of more focussed sportsbikes.

EICMA 2018 - Honda

The rider ergonomics, both upper and lower body, are spot on, with a comfortable reach to the bars and footpeg positioning that allows three hours or more in the well-padded saddle.

For 2019, the 94bhp engine has been revised with improved inlet and exhaust porting – it also gains dual air intakes which give a nice whiff of induction noise as the silky smooth four-pot engine wails towards the redline.

To sum up, the CB650R is a sensationally good bike, it’s versatile, stylish, faster than a naked should be, and at £6,999, damn good value too!

I’ll be publishing a full written review and video in the coming days.

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