A totally new middleweight featuring sleek, sporty style and a four-cylinder engine tuned for high torque and all-round excitement, plus well balanced high-quality chassis and standard-fit ABS; a reduced output learner legal version will also be available in European markets and expect a similarly curtaild model for the Australian market to meet LAMS restrictions.
For 2014 Honda will produce a four-cylinder sporty middleweight that offers high style and specification, an involving easy-to-use riding experience and real value for money.
Based on the same platform as the naked streetfighter-styled CB650F, it’s been designed from inception by a young team of Honda engineers as a sports-oriented bike, usable and enjoyable in the real world by riders of all backgrounds and experience, in environments from busy urban streets to twisting back roads.
Teishiro Goto, Large Project Leader CBR650F: “The CBR650F is designed to conquer corners with ease and also be great around town. It offers a sporting edge but makes no compromise to rider lifestyle – and is a real pleasure to look at. More and more of our customers, novice or veteran, are drawn to such a distinct identity and riding feel and it gives me great pleasure to welcome them to Honda’s newest CBR.”
The DOHC 649cc four-cylinder engine powering the CBR650F is completely new and engineered to deliver high torque through the low-to-mid rpm range, especially below 4,000rpm
The development team included many engineers in their twenties, selected to produce a bike with a focus on the younger customer. They decided early on that chasing peak power at redline was off their agenda. Strong acceleration from a standing start, low/mid range torque and mid-gear roll-on throttle response were targeted as the essential elements.
Crisp pick-up above 6,000rpm and – for the sake of reduced running costs – economical cruising at highway speeds was also a focus. The engine’s also been designed to look good, with no external plumbing obscuring its lines. Sitting relatively far forward in the chassis for optimal weight distribution, the engine is truly at the heart of the machine.
The CBR650F’s steel twin-spar frame has a tuned rigidity balance along with cast pivot plates and aluminium swingarm. The rear shock works directly on the swingarm and is matched to a 41mm telescopic front fork; the wheels are a new five-spoke design. Twin 320mm wavy front and a single 240mm rear disc deliver the stopping power with 2-channel ABS fitted as standard.
A low centre of gravity, slim feel and high-set clip-on handlebars give excellent control and confidence. And the CBR650F’s sharp lines are enhanced by an effective but minimal full fairing that shows off the engine to the maximum. An HRC-inspired racing White, Red and Blue Tricolour paint option provides a finishing flourish.
The CBR650F’s liquid-cooled engine uses compact internal architecture, stacked six-speed gearbox and starter/clutch layout with the four cylinders canted forward 30°. The DOHC 16-valve cylinder head employs direct cam actuation and cam timing that equals strong torque performance and drivability below 4,000rpm.
Bore and stroke is set at 67mm x 46mm. Optimisation of con-rod length has decreased the side-force on each piston and ‘breathing’ holes in the crankcase walls between the journals reduce pumping losses as rpm rises. The pistons were developed with Computer Aided Engineering (CAE) and asymmetric 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.
A silent SV cam chain reduces frictional losses by using a Vanadium coating on its pins and the water pump – designed with CAE study of water flow – is compact and efficient, reducing drag.
Peak power of 64kW (86hp) arrives at 11,000rpm with peak torque of 63Nm at 8,000rpm. Honda claime the engine is smooth at all rpm, with distinct inline four-cylinder character and resonance.
Internal water channeling from cylinder head to cylinders does away with a great deal of the exterior hoses normally required and the motor shows off its minimal, elegant beauty and functional style. The layout of the oil filter (behind the engine) and oil cooler (front left) plus internal oilways further enhance the visual appeal and has enabled use of an evocative right side-swept 4-2-1 exhaust.
With strong echoes of the original Honda 1974 CB400/4 the design employs optimised downpipe length and diameter, plus patented internal plates regulating airflow to improve torque. The ‘wafer’ design stubby underslung muffler – with 400-cell catalyser – contributes to mass centralization.
PGM-FI fuel injection is fed through a down-flow airbox and narrow 30mm high-velocity funnels, with intake gasflow routed in as straight a line as possible. It operates with information from four separate throttle body sensors on 32mm throttle bores for crisp and accurate throttle response; Keihin KN7SJ injectors have replaced the Denso units used on the CB600F. Careful siting, position and angle of the throttle bodies allows a narrow frame width, improving manageability for the rider.
To deliver good fuel economy at constant throttle (cruising at higher speeds) short valve overlap timing works with a specific ignition map; fuel consumption of 21km/l (WMTC mode) gives over 350km range.
The steel diamond frame uses twin 64mm x 30mm elliptical spars. Its rigidity balance has been specifically tuned – it’s much stiffer around the headstock and more ‘flexible’ in the spar sections – to deliver the desired handling characteristics and level of rider feedback. Rake is set at 25.5° with trail of 101mm and wheelbase of 1,450mm. Kerb weight is 211kg.
The swingarm pivot plate is forged then welded together, while the gravity die-cast aluminium swingarm features a curvaceous shape that arcs over the muffler on the right. Adjustable for 7-stage spring preload the single-tube monoshock operates directly on the swingarm.
The shock and 41mm telescopic fork have been developed to work directly with the CBR650F frame’s performance parameters to provide supple, neutral control in all conditions. Both feature firmer spring rate (with damping to suit) compared directly with the CB650F to match the faired bike’s more sports-oriented focus.
Cast aluminium five-spoke wheels wear 120/70-17 and 180/55-17 front and rear radial tyres. The wavy discs use the same manufacturing technique as the twin-cylinder NC750 series; the 240mm rear is formed within a 320mm front, saving material (and ultimately cost) to the customer. The two-piston front calipers and single-piston rear are managed by standard-fitment 2-channel ABS, ensuring safe and consistent stopping in all weathers.
A ‘Mass Forward’ stance gives the CBR650F its sleek and aggressive appearance. The dynamically curved fuel tank and chiseled fairing add a strong identity, as does the stubby, shrink-wrapped tail unit. Hinged at the back the tank allows easy access to the cylinder head for maintenance. Both taillight and front position light are LED.
The riding position is on the relaxed side of sporty and pillions get an ample seat and strap for security. Seat height is 810mm and a narrow middle profile helps ground reach.
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. A compact ‘wave’ design ignition key offers improved security and reduced chance of breakage.
The CBR650F will be available in the following colour options: Pearl Metalloid White (Tricolour); Pearl Metalloid White; Graphite Black; Sword Silver Metallic.
A range of accessories will be available for the CBR650F, including: Tall windscreen; 35L top box; Seat bag; Rear carrier; Carbon-look hugger; Carbon-look seat cowl; Carbon-look front mudguard; Crankcase protectors; Heated grips; Paddock stand; Alarm