2019 Honda CBR650R Review and Test Ride
Table of Contents
Overview of the Honda CBR650R
It’s a sportbike, it’s a standard, it’s the 2019 Honda CBR650R. When I think of the better test rides I’ve had, one factor is always a constant – comfort. When you see a picture of the fastest and most expensive new toy on the block, you seldom think about the aches in your back and wrists, but rolling off the showroom floor, you’ll be reminded in seconds just how important comfort is. In the interest of appeasing the growing trend of function over form, the Honda CBR650R gives riders a chance at having real heart shuddering power while avoiding the pinch points most sportbike riders have grown to live with. Trust me, you’ll never just get by on this 2019 Honda CBR650R… you’ll thrive.
Watch my full ride and review here:
The 2019 Honda CBR650R Top Speed, Engine, and HP
The Honda CBR650R has a rather impressive spec sheet, leading the list is the very impressive 649cc liquid-cooled inline 4 cylinder.
But before we get into the power ratings and top speed, I need everyone to understand something. Yes, this 649cc engine produces less power than the Honda CBR600RR and yes, it’s a higher displacement engine.
Get over it.
Comparing a 650 to a supersport 600 (cough, cough – Kawasaki Ninja ZX-6R) is like comparing A Bugs Life to Antz – same concept, VERY different outcome. Thank you for coming to my TED Talk.
Okay, with that behind us, I can share that the 2019 Honda CBR650R produces 94 horsepower @ 12,000 rpm and 47 lb-ft of torque @ 8,500 rpm. All in, you’re looking at a top speed just shy of 150 miles per hour. Nearly 100 horsepower on a bike of this size… impressive by any standard.
2019 Honda CBR650R Price
The 2019 Honda CBR650R starts at $9,399 for the base model and goes up $300 to $9,699 for the ABS model. A step down to the CBR500R takes you to a $6,699 price point. As far as Honda motorcycles go, this is middle of the road pricing and you get what you pay for in the best way possible. The speed, power, comfort, tech, and features all add up to an impressive machine that I feel is worth the $9,699 price tag. But if that still seems a little steep to you, check out the Honda Manufacturer Incentives that we update monthly to see if the bike of your dreams has any available offers.
Honda CBR650R Specs, Transmission, Tech, and Features
Continuing with the impressive list of specs, the CBR650R retains Honda’s reputation with reliability and safety by providing the rider with optional Anti-lock Braking (ABS) as well as the Honda Selectable Torque Control (HSTC). The system adjusts engine power to optimize torque at the rear wheel, reducing rear-wheel slip, and for the purists, you can turn the entire system off. For the transmission, we see a very familiar 6-speed manual, with an O-ring chain, and 15T Front/42T rear gearing ratio – great for wheelies and long-distance cruising.
The CBR650R’s 41mm front suspension comes from Showa, and although I love Showa suspension on Honda motorcycles (case in point, the amazing 2020 Honda CB300R), I would have loved to see more adjustability in this class of motorcycle. That being said, I thought that the suspension for a rider my size was set up perfectly. The rigidity that you hope for in sporty riding in the corners meshed perfectly with the plushness on long straight roads with imperfect pavement. Finally, proper 310mm front radial brakes make stopping on a dime damn near a reality on the 2019 Honda CBR650R.
The 2019 Honda CBR650R Seat Height, Weight, and MPG
On the tail end of all spec sheets are the lowly dimensions – but I’m a supporter of these forgotten stats. The 456-pound ready-to-ride weight is certainly not impressive, and although it’s comparable to other 650 class motorcycles, like the 2019 Kawasaki Vulcan 650S, it’s heavier than I’d like to see. That being said, it’s a completely manageable weight and with a 31.9 inch seat height, riders of all shapes and sizes won’t have trouble maneuvering it. Last but not least, the 4.1 gallon gas tank and an estimated 55 mpg provide incredible range, adding to the versatility of the CBR650R.
If ever a bike deserved the title of jack of all trades, it would likely be something like the BMW R1250GS Adventure, but as the jack of some trades, the 2019 Honda CBR650R was truly a pleasant surprise. Sometimes motorcycles that try and do it all fall short of acceptable, yet the CBR650R rose to goodness, not quiet greatness. With more adjustability in suspension, increased torque, and most importantly decreased weight, you’d be looking at something excellent, and from what I’ve seen of 2020 model year Honda’s, excellence is the new standard. Here’s hoping this 650 is due for an upgrade.
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About the Duke of DC
You know, my father tells me that one of my first words was “carburetor” and after my 8th car and 5th motorcycle in my relatively short time on this earth, I’m starting to believe him. I’ve been riding motorcycles since I was 15 years old, and when I started DukeOfDC it was during a really difficult time in my life. I’m just an average Joe that loves anything on two wheels and wants to share that passion with the world. Check out my YouTube channel and follow me on Twitter.