In conjunction with the EICMA motorcycle trade show, Honda announced that the “Total Control” philosophy that has long been applied to its supersport products has been extended to the 2019 650cc sport and naked models, which have been renamed the CBR650R and CB650R, respectively (the “R” suffix more befitting these machines’ sportier performance than was the previous “F”). In addition, sport-oriented upgrades were bestowed on the CBR500R and CB500F, both of which however retain their rider-friendly natures.
Inline four-cylinder Honda engines have driven rider passion since the 1969 CB750, and these four midsize models are ideal platforms for bringing high-revving excitement to daily-usable machines. For 2019, the CBR650R, CB650R, CBR500R and CB500F have lost weight and gained performance sharpness, while Honda’s design department introduced bold shapes that accentuate the mass-centralization approach to rider-machine integration.
The CBR650R replaces the CBR650F in Honda’s lineup, with new, aggressive styling and a racier riding position to offer more highly tuned sport performance for the street. The four-cylinder 650cc engine revs higher and gets more power and torque, as well as Honda Selectable Torque Control (HSTC) is available on the ABS version, and both versions have an assist/slipper clutch.
An 11.6 pound weight loss means a significant improvement in power-to-weight ratio. While the new CBR650R draws heavily on the CBR1000RR for styling direction, its distinct new lines have an aggressive look of their own. The riding position has been adjusted to move the rider’s weight more forward and downward. All lighting is LED and the new LCD instrument display now includes a Gear Position and Shift Up indicator. Weight has been shaved from the chassis via revisions to the frame, fuel tank and footpegs. A 41mm inverted Showa SFF fork, radial-mount four-piston calipers and floating discs are new additions, and the wheels are redesigned.
Honda brings a fresh new approach to the naked middleweight arena, with the Neo Sports Café styling of the CB650R, replacing the CB650F. The classic Honda four-cylinder engine propels a lightweight chassis with a high-revving spirit, and premium specifications include upgrades to suspension, brakes and instrumentation. The new CB650R mirrors the CB1000R, with pared-down lines designed to put maximum machine on show.
Its super-compact, trapezoid form draws extremities in tightly, and the four-cylinder engine – blacked-out with cam and engine covers highlighted in burnished bronze – is the machine’s centerpiece. Compared to the street fighter-styled CB650F that it replaces, weight has been trimmed from the chassis. An inverted 41mm Showa SFF fork, radial-mount four-piston calipers, floating brake rotors and new wheels are also new for 2019. Tapered handlebars make for easy steering, and the riding position is sporty.
The CB650R also shares the CB1000R’s distinctive round LED headlight (all lighting is LED) and modern LCD instrument display, which includes Shift Up and Gear Position indicators. The engine’s revised intake and exhaust, plus new cam timing and compression ratio, boost peak power and provide a smoother, stronger torque delivery through the midrange. An assist/slipper clutch eases upshifts and manages fast, successive downshifts. On the ABS version, HSTC improves rear-wheel traction.
Honda’s midsize CBR500R gets an aggressive, aerodynamically driven, sporty makeover, plus a racier riding position. Contrasting angles and shaping -between the very slim and the more muscular – outline the bike’s new look, from the fairing nose to the seat unit. It’s an ergonomic design that also features improved aero management. Clip-on handlebars now mount below the revised top triple clamp, and the riding position is canted further forward. Thanks to revisions to the inlet, exhaust and valve timing, the engine has more low-to-midrange power and torque and is also now equipped with an assist/slipper clutch. New LCD instruments feature Shift Up and Gear Position functions, and the turn signals are now LED, to match the rest of the lighting. A new shock absorber delivers consistent damping performance and improved control.
Honda’s 500-class street fighter receives an aggressive front-to-back redesign, evolving for 2019 with aggressive bodywork to create a more muscular, wedge-like styling. A tapered handlebar adds to the overall riding feel. New LCD instruments feature a Shift Up and Gear Position function and the indicators are now LED, to match the rest of the lighting. Thanks to inlet, exhaust and valve-timing revisions, the twin-cylinder engine has more low-to-midrange power and torque. The CB500F is also now equipped with an assist/ slipper clutch. A new single-tube shock delivers consistent damping performance and improved control.