With the introduction of Honda’s 500cc bikes last year (Honda CBR500R, Honda CB500F, and Honda CB500X), Honda provided newer and experienced riders with a practical and cheap option in an otherwise relatively polarized motorcycle market. While those bikes were sensible choices indeed, they were commonly criticized for their relatively modest power.
So here comes yet another color in the choice spectrum from the Japanese maker: a middleweight faired sport bike, with street-centric aspirations, and a palatable price tag. So if the Honda Interceptor is too rich for your blood, the inline-4 Honda CBR650F might just be the bike for you.
At a base price of $8499, the Honda isn’t the ridiculous value of the similarly priced Yamaha FZ-09. But, what you get with the CBR is Honda engineering and Honda quality. Additionally, the Honda offers optional ABS, a fairing, and 0.8 gallons more of fuel capacity.
What you lose versus the FZ-09 is that bike’s massive torque figures, much lighter weight, and adjustable front and rear suspension (preload and rebound). We would have liked to see at least front and rear rebound damping adjustment on the CBR650F, as well as 43mm USD forks.
Thus, it’s hard to see where the Honda CBR650F fits in. It doesn’t offer the same value propositions on offer by other manufacturers and the overall aesthetic character of the bike lacks distinguishing features that set it apart from the rest of the crowd.
Then again, Honda rarely enters a market without a plan and an agenda and it will be interesting to see how this foray into the middleweight and affordable sports market plays out for them.
Source: American Honda