Honda’s CBR family is recognized around the world with a storied history, and a range that covers the market from the entry-level on up to the fiery-eyed pegdraggers. The CBR650F is the bike Honda built for riders sitting on the fence between the two extremes. This is an important bracket since many, if not most, riders will wind up staying here for the duration once they graduate up from their entry-level trainer, because it takes a certain sort to want to move up to the stupidfast sector, and not all of us have what it takes (testicular fortitude/deathwish/whatever). With a 649 cc engine and sport suspension, the CBR650F — back for MY18 after a hiatus in 2017 — brings it to the competition in the mid-range sportsbike category.
Maybe it’s because my taste in bikes developed in the ’80s, but I must confess that generally, whenever I hear the name “Honda,” the first things that pop into my head are “boxy” and even “fugly.” Is it fair? Maybe not entirely, but aesthetics are subjective after all, so it’s with great relief that I say this bike doesn’t fit that mindset in any form or fashion. I find this to be a rather fetching bike with a good blend of angles and curves that seems to have a little something for everyone, regardless of preference, but not enough of either to be off-putting.
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