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Revving Up the Classics: Modern Classic Motorcycle News


2023 Honda CB650R

2023 Honda Cb650r

Model updatesHonda’s Neo Sports Café middleweight continues to carve out a strong following. For 23YM two exciting new colour options, including a dramatic all-black paint scheme, further enhance desirability.

Specification includes 41mm Showa Separate Function Big Piston (SFF-BP) USD forks, high-revving four-cylinder engine, Honda Selectable Torque Control (HSTC), assist/slipper clutch and LCD dash. The underseat USB Type-C socket heightens practicality.

  1. Introduction

Honda has always thrived on exploring new boundaries – in design as well as engineering. In 18YM, the CB1000R, CB300R and CB125R brought a fresh identity to its naked motorcycle line-up, mixing café racer inspirations with a forward-looking ultra-minimalist look under the ‘Neo Sports Café’ design theme.

One segment remained for the new aesthetic to find expression: the hugely competitive naked middleweight arena and, in 19YM, the CB650R confidently took on this role. Aimed at a young demographic that looks to show off in style and enjoy to the maximum a combination of exhilarating four-cylinder engine performance and light, versatile, refined chassis handling, it has proved a great success.

Building on the momentum, in 21YM the CB650R received a major front suspension upgrade, plus a range of detail improvements to enhance comfort, usability and practicality.

Valerio Aiello, of Honda’s Rome R&D Department on the Neo Sports Café design aesthetic:

“The entire current Neo Sport Café range from Honda is the result of the CB4 Concept model presented at EICMA in 2015. Our desire was to explore the world of the café racer and reinterpret it in a modern key.  

All the models of this CB series are not simply retro-vintage motorcycles, but rather neo-classics – that is, modern motorbikes showcasing classic design styles combined with modern techniques. 

We wanted to create a new stylistic dimension, different from the muscular streetfighters of the last few years, and at the same time, far from the simpler café-racer style. The end result is that none of the bikes from the competition resemble the Neo Sports Café range and, like them or not, they are easily recognisable as Hondas. The competitors have classic or very modern motorcycles in their ranges, but in my opinion, not something that goes in the wake of both styles. 

During development of the CB4 concept, I found inspiration from outside the world of motorcycles, in watches. I’ve always liked their technicality and one of the key concepts used during the Neo Sports Café design was ‘Mechanical Art’. 

‘Mechanical Art’ is the desire to show the beauty of the various mechanical elements to which Honda has always given great importance. Watches do this very well indeed, with their mechanics always creating a certain charm.”

2023 Honda Cb650r

  1. Model Overview

The CB650R received a significant refresh for 21YM. The major news was the application of 41mm Showa Separate Function Big Piston (SSF-BP) USD forks – high quality suspension that really elevate handling ability.

EURO5 compliance for the engine was achieved with no loss of top end power; other detail improvements included slightly more forward-set handlebars, improved visibility for the LCD display and USB Type-C charging socket under the seat. New side panels and rear mudguard were also minor cosmetic changes.

For 23YM, the CB650R will be available in the following colour options:

**NEW** Matt Gunpowder Black Metallic

**NEW** Matt Dim Gray Metallic

Candy Chromosphere Red

Mat Jeans Blue Metallic

2023 Honda Cb650r

  1. Key Features

3.1 Chassis

  • 41mm Showa Separate Function Big Piston (SFF-BP) USD forks 
  • Four-piston, radial-mount front brake calipers and floating discs
  • 120/70-ZR17 and 180/55-ZR17 front and rear tyres

The CB650R’s steel diamond frame uses pressed swingarm pivot plates and twin 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 202.5kg.

Showa’s 41mm Separate Function Big Piston (SFF-BP) USD forks offer high-quality reaction. A pressure separation damper in one fork tube and spring mechanism in the other deliver high damping performance and lighter weight. Together with the use of a larger sized piston the result is increased feel, bump absorption and control. Adjustable for 10-stage spring preload, the single-tube monoshock (now finished in red on the standard bike) operates directly on the curvaceous gravity die-cast aluminium swingarm.

Four-piston radial-mount front brake calipers work 310mm wave-pattern floating discs, and are paired with a single-piston rear caliper and 240mm disc. The ABS is a two-channel system.

Cast aluminium wheels mount 120/70-ZR17 and 180/55-ZR17 front and rear tyres.

2023 Honda Cb650r

3.2 Styling & Equipment

  • Minimal side panels and rear mudguard/number plate mount
  • Handlebar angled for effortless low-speed manoeuvring
  • LCD display easy to read; USB Type-C socket under the seat
  • Two new colour options

Tightly wrapped and aggressive, the CB650R’s Neo Sports Café style features the signature compact ‘Trapezoid’ proportion of short, stubby tail and short overhang headlight. The long fuel tank is a key motif of the family design; its smooth lines accentuate the solidity of real metal surfaces and crown the engineering of the four-cylinder powerplant. It also houses the ignition.

A 35° handlebar angle makes tight, slow-speed turns and U-turns straightforward. Compact side panels accentuate the minimalism, as does the steel rear mudguard. There’s a USB Type-C socket located under the seat, for easy charging of a mobile device; seat height is set at 810mm.

The round headlight is one of the key words of the Neo Sports Café design language. It’s LED, as is the rest of the lighting. Sharp LCD instruments use the CB1000R as a baseline and include Shift Up, Gear Position and Peak Hold indicators.

For 23YM, the CB650R will be available Candy Chromosphere Red, Matt Jeans Blue Metallic and all new Matt Dim Gray Metallic and all new Matt Gunpowder Black Metallic, which itself is enhanced further with all black detailing throughout including the cam cover, fork stanchions, side shrouds, levers and and footpegs.

2023 Honda Cb650r

3.3 Engine

  • 70kW peak power, 63Nm peak torque with 35kW A2 licence option
  • Honda Selectable Torque Control (HSTC)

The 649cc, DOHC 16-valve engine is tuned to create the purest, most enjoyable mid-sized four-cylinder performance possible, with the classically fast ‘pick-up’ through the rev range and hard-hitting, high-revving top end for which Honda’s in-line’s fours are renowned. Peak power of 70kW arrives @ 12,000rpm with peak torque @ 63Nm delivered at 9,500 rpm. A 35kW option is available for A2 licence holders.

Direct cam actuation makes for a compact cylinder head; bore and stroke is set at 67mm x 46mm with compression ratio raised of 11.6:1. Iridium spark plugs are employed and twin air ducts – either side of the fuel tank – feed the airbox and produce a throaty intake roar.

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 channelling from cylinder head to cylinders does away with most of the exterior hoses.

The engine uses a compact internal architecture, stacked six-speed gearbox and starter layout with the cylinders canted forward 30°. An assist/slipper clutch eases upshifts while managing rear-wheel lock up under hard braking and rapid downshifts. Honda Selectable Torque Control (HSTC) is fitted to manage rear wheel traction; it can be turned off should the rider choose.

Fuel consumption of 20.4km/l (WMTC mode) gives a range of over 300km from the 15.4L

fuel tank. EURO5 compliance required revisions to the ECU, cam lobes, intake timing, exhaust pipe, catalyser and silencer, as well as the addition of a crank pulsar.

2023 Honda Cb650r

  1. Accessories

A range of Genuine Honda Accessories are available for the CB650R, both available as individual items and grouped in packs, that are ready to bolt straight on to the bike:

The Neo Sport Café Pack complements the looks and design of the CB650R by adding high-quality aluminium inserts, including the following:

  • Front Fender Panels
  • Shroud Covers
  • Side Cover Panels
  • Meter Visor & Stay

The Sport Pack enhances the dynamism and sportiness of the motorcycle by featuring the following accessories

  • Quickshifter
  • Under Cowl
  • Rear Seat Cowl
  • Seat Cowl Plate
  • Tank Pad

The Comfort Pack has been designed to increase rider comfort and features:

  • Smoke Front Visor & Stay
  • Grip Heaters & Attachment
  • Quickshifter
  • Tank Pad

The Travel Pack includes all the parts necessary to maximize the carrying capacity of the CB650R and features

  • Tank Bag & Attachment
  • Rear Seat Bag & Attachment

The line-up is completed with Wheel Stripes available in different colours. All the accessories featured in packs can also be purchased individually.

2023 Honda Cb650r

  1. Technical Specifications
Type Liquid-cooled 4-stroke 16-valve DOHC inline-4 cylinder
Engine Displacement (cm³) 649cc
Bore ´ Stroke (mm) 67.0 x 46.0
Compression Ratio 11.6:1
Max. Power Output 70kW/12,000rpm
Max. Torque 63Nm/9,500rpm
Oil Capacity 2.7L
Noise Level (dB) Lwot – 80, Lurban – 75
Carburation PGM-FI electronic fuel injection
Fuel Tank Capacity 15.4L
Fuel Consumption 20.4km/litre
Starter Electric
Battery Capacity 12V/8.6AH
ACG Output 370W
Clutch Type Wet, multiplate disc
Transmission Type 6-speed
Final Drive Chain
Type Steel diamond
Dimensions (LxWxH) 2130 x 780 x 1075mm
Wheelbase 1450mm
Caster Angle 25.5°
Trail 101mm
Seat Height 810mm
Ground Clearance 150mm
Kerb Weight 202.5kg
Turning radius
Type Front 41mm Showa Separate Function front Fork Big Piston (SFF-BP) USD forks
Type Rear Monoshock damper with 10 stage adjustable preload, 43.5mm stroke
Rim Size Front Hollow section 6-spoke cast aluminium
Rim Size Rear Hollow section 6-spoke cast aluminium
Tyres Front 120/70ZR17 M/C (58W)
Tyres Rear 180/55ZR17 M/C (73W)
ABS System Type 2 channel; hydraulic dual disc 310mm front, hydraulic disc 240mm rear
Instruments Digital speedometer, digital bar graph tachometer, dual trip meter, digital bar graph fuel gauge, gear position and upshift indicator, digital clock
Headlight LED
Taillight LED


# Please note that the figures provided are results obtained by Honda under standardised testing conditions prescribed by WMTC. Tests are conducted on a rolling road using a standard version of the vehicle with only one rider and no additional optional equipment. Actual fuel consumption may vary depending on how you ride, how you maintain your vehicle, weather, road conditions, tire pressure, installation of accessories, cargo, rider and passenger weight, and other factors.

For more Honda Motorcycles UK news check out our dedicated page Honda Motorcycles UK News

or head to the official Honda Motorcycles UK website honda.co.uk/motorcycles.html


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