2021 Honda CBR650R, Track Test

By Ravi Ved | on November 18, 2021

The Honda CBR650R is in every way identical to the CB650R, except, of course, for the bodywork. And therefore, it has pretty much the same strengths and inherent weaknesses as its naked sibling. But before we get into that, let’s talk about its design. To be honest, I don’t quite like the design of the CBR. It looks a tad too busy for my liking, especially in this Grand Prix red shade. In comparison, the CB’s lines are cleaner, and yet, in my opinion, it looks meaner than the CBR. My colleagues, however, seem to think otherwise and have clearly scored the CBR better in the design category. I must confess, however, that the CBR certainly grabs more eyeballs on the road.

The only other difference between the two Hondas lies in the rider’s triangle. The CBR650R’s handlebar is narrower and slightly lower in comparison to its naked sibling. While it does put you in a sportier riding position and allows you to duck down behind the windscreen, it isn’t very comfortable. The aggressive riding stance also puts more pressure on your wrists, especially over long distances.

Providing firepower to the CBR650R is the same 649cc in-line four-cylinder heart, which develops 86 horses and 57.5Nm. And despite the drivetrain being identical, the CBR still managed to clock a marginally better lap time. The fully-faired CBR also offers similar tractability. Low speeds in high cogs don’t seem to upset the motorcycle, and it continues to be an absolute blast beyond 8,000rpm.

Priced marginally higher than the naked CB, the CBR demands ₹8.89 lakh (ex-showroom). While it is by no means a value-for-money proposition, you do get some of your money’s worth, considering that it’s the only fully-faired inline-four motorcycle in the 650cc class. Add to that Honda’s reputation of reliability and affordable service, and the CBR does seem like a product that can lure in customers. In fact, if it were priced a bit more aggressively, some of its customers might have been from the autoX team itself.

  • 2021 Honda CBR650R (Lap Time – 01:10.3)
PARAMETERS POINTS SCORE
QUALITY 10 8.0
COMFORT & PRACTICALITY 10 7.0
REFINEMENT 10 8.0
DESIGN 10 7.5
DRIVETRAIN 10 7.5
RIDE & HANDLING 10 8.0
X-FACTOR  15 8.0
LAP TIME 05 3.6
VALUE FOR MONEY 20 8.0
TOTAL 100 65.6

Tags: Honda Honda CBR650R

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