honda CBR650F

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More peak power from revised intake funnels and a new free-breathing exhaust gives the CBR650F a satisfying rush to its 11,000rpm redline, while shorter gear ratios ensure harder acceleration through the mid-range. And with the power upgrade, a new raucous growl emanates from down low and grows to a fast-spinning howl as revs rise.

Its chassis too has been honed with a Showa Dual Bending Valve front fork and revised Nissin front brake calipers. Sharply angled, the CBR650F's new fairing highlights the engine and accentuates the aggressive, ready-for-action stance, with an overall look and feel redolent of the 2017 CBR1000RR Fireblade. The headlight and taillight are now LED.

For 2017, the CBR650F's engine has an extra 3kW up top, with a 67kW @ 11,000rpm peak power output. The increase ­- which is noticeable from 5,000rpm ­- is due to new intake and exhaust flow management: shorter air intake funnels feed four 32mm throttle bores from a down-flow airbox (which itself draws through larger intake ducts) and in turn the right side-swept 4-1 exhaust now employs a dual-pass internal structure (rather than triple-pass) in the muffler, reducing back pressure. It also features a larger final exit aperture.

With shorter gear ratios from second through to fifth, the new CBR650F gets away from the line faster than the previous model and from a 60km/h second gear roll-on will pull out 3 bike lengths over 400m.

Slightly increased peak torque of 64Nm arrives at 8,000rpm, and the engine's tractability allows it to pull smoothly from idle at 1,500 in sixth gear. Adding an extra layer of aural satisfaction, a throaty induction growl at low-to-mid rpm swaps over to an addictive high-rpm howl reminding the CBR650F rider of Honda's four-cylinder racing pedigree.

The 649cc engine uses a compact internal architecture, stacked six-speed gearbox and starter/clutch layout with the cylinders canted forward 30°. The DOHC 16-valve cylinder head employs direct cam actuation; bore and stroke is set at 67mm x 46mm with compression ratio of 11.4:1.

Asymmetric piston skirts minimise bore contact and reduce friction. Ferrous spines on the outer surface of the cylinder sleeves reduce oil consumption (and friction) with improved heat transfer and a silent SV cam chain reduces frictional losses by using a Vanadium coating on its pins. Internal water channeling from cylinder head to cylinders does away with most of the exterior hoses.

Fuel consumption of 21km/l (WMTC mode) gives a range of over 350km from the 17.3L fuel tank. The CBR650F engine is EURO 4 compliant.

The CBR650F's steel diamond frame uses twin 64mm x 30mm elliptical spars with a rigidity balance specifically tuned (stiffer around the headstock and more ‘flexible' in the spar sections) to deliver balanced handling characteristics with high levels of rider feedback. Rake is set at 25.5° with trail of 101mm and wheelbase of 1,450mm. Kerb weight is 213kg.

A brand new 41mm Showa Dual Bending Valve (SDBV) front fork improves ride comfort and handling, delivering proportional rebound damping with firmer compression damping as the 120mm stroke is used up. Octagonal fork caps are finished in attractive Alumite. Adjustable for 7-stage spring preload, the single-tube monoshock operates directly on the curved gravity die-cast aluminium swingarm.

Cast aluminium six-spoke wheels wear 120/70-17 and 180/55-17 front and rear radial tyres and feature L shaped air valves for easier maintenance. Revised two-piston Nissin front calipers work 320mm wavy discs, with a single-piston rear/240mm disc. Two-channel ABS is fitted as standard.

The new front fairing not only adds Super Sport style, but also channels airflow from the high pressure area at the front to the interior airbox intake duct. It also shows off the engine to the maximum - it was designed to be on display after all - and highlights the aggressive Mass Forward stance of the machine.

Minimal sidepanels sharpen up the rear and the clear-lensed LED taillight complements the crisp LED headlight. The seat's narrow middle profile helps ground reach and it sits on rubber mounts that are carefully shaped (with specific hardness) to minimise vibration. Seat height is 810mm.

The dash comprises twin large digital screens. On the left are the rev-counter and speedometer; on the right are a fuel gauge, clock, odometer and the warning lights. Both sides are lit by a white back light. The key is a compact ‘wave' design.

Engine Type

4-cylinder, liquid-cooled, 4-stroke, DOHC, 4-valves

Displacement CC

649.0

Bore X Stroke

67 mm x 46 mm

Compression Ratio

11.4:1

Max Power Output

67kW/11,000rpm

Max Torque

64Nm/8,000rpm

Oil Capacity

3.5 L

Fuel Tank Capacity

17.3 L

Starter

Electric

Transmission Type

6-speed

Dimensions LxWxH

2110 mm x 755 mm x 1145 mm

Wheelbase

1450 mm

Seat Height

810 mm

Ground Clearance

150 mm

Kerb Weight

213 kg

Tyre Size Front

120/70ZR17 M/C (58W)

Tyre Size Rear

180/55ZR17 M/C (73W)

Brakes Type Front

2 channel; hydraulic dual disc 320mm front

Brakes Type Rear

hydraulic disc 240mm