American Honda has revealed its U.S. line will include the middleweight naked CB650F for the 2018 model year. For those itching to have a go on the liquid-cooled, 649cc Inline-Four powered machine, the wait won’t be long. Honda indicates that the bike will be available starting August 2017.
Editor’s Note: we’ve since test ridden the CB650F — read about it in the 2018 Honda CB650F and CBR650F First Test Review.
The essential platform isn’t new to the market, however. Starting in 2014 American customers have been able to access the CBR650F, a middleweight sport-styled machine that serves as the base for the CB650F. The two 2018 models are, in fact, identical on Honda’s provided spec sheet apart from weight. The CB650F is seven pounds lighter than its faired sibling, ready to ride.
“We’re pleased to offer the tough-looking, strong-performing CB650F to American customers for the 2018 model year,” said Lee Edmunds, American Honda’s Manager of Motorcycle Marketing Communications in a company press release. “The CBR650F has shown that this four-cylinder power plant is a solid performer, and in this package it adeptly rounds out our comprehensive lineup of naked sport bikes, fitting in perfectly between the CB500F and the CB1000R.”
Big Red promises smoother power delivery and a broader range of power and torque with the CB650F, when compared to its Parallel Twin competitors. Honda also revised the ratios of the stacked six-speed gearbox, making them shorter for better acceleration through the mid-range. The intake is updated and the side-sweeping 4-into-1 exhaust is touted to be an homage to the brand’s CB400F Supersport.
A twin-spar steel frame is designed with stiffer construction around the headstock and a more flexible character between the spars to improve handling characteristics. A 41mm fork with Showa Dual Bending Valve internals and a spring-preload adjustable shock soak up bumps, offering 4.3-inches and 5-inches travel, respectively.
Dual, 320mm wave discs are pinched by two-piston Nissin calipers at the front. A single 240mm wave disc and single-piston caliper set-up provides stopping power at the back. ABS is optional.
The CB650F rolls on 120/70ZR-17 front and 180/55ZR-17 rear tires and comes with a 31.9-inch seat height. Ready-to-ride, the naked machine registers 454-pounds and riders will enjoy a 4.6-gallon fuel tank. The headlights and taillights both make use of LED bulbs and the only color option available at this point in time is Red.
MSRP is yet to be determined but for reference, the 2016 CBR650F (the most recently available version in the U.S.) started at $8499. The 2017 CB650F carries a €7750 price tag, which would put it’s dollar amount right near the previous CBR650F cost in the States.
A price point in that range would put the CB650F on the high side, cost-wise, when looking at some of its most direct competition. Stay tuned for more details on the bike as they’re made available.