– NEW 2021 Honda CB650R Motorcycle Changes Explained + More on this 2021 Naked CBR Sport Bike (Neo Sports Cafe) –
The CB650R is back for 2021 and Honda threw some changes at it! American Honda hasn’t made these details “official” yet so here’s a sneak-peek look at the 2021 CB650R from Honda that will be officially announced shortly… I’ll also be updating this page with new pictures as they are released and filling in some of the holes with missing data as soon as more becomes “official”.
What did Honda change for 2021 on the CB650R? I’ll go more in-depth below but here’s a quick highlight: New Showa 41mm Separate Function Big Piston forks, now EURO5 compliance, more forward-set handlebars, improved LCD dash and USB Type-C socket under the seat and new side panels.
If you follow the blog, we’ve been talking about this bike for years now. Back in 2018 before it was a production model and was nothing more than a concept motorcycle called the “Neo Sports Cafe“. Honda made many different versions based off the concept and have come to be what we now know as the following production models: CB125R, CB300R, CB650R and CB1000R. Hopefully the CB500R is standing by as a soon replacement for the CB500F that is only available in a few parts of the world now, similar to how the CB650R replaced the CB650F and the CBR650R replaced the CBR650F etc.
Key 2021 CB650R ABS Info (for those in a hurry):
- 2021 CB650R Price / MSRP: TBA
- 2021 CB650R Release Date: TBA
- 2021 CB650R Colors: Chromosphere Red (USA), Graphite Black, Candy Chromosphere Red, Matte Crypton Silver Metallic, Matte Jeans Blue Metallic
- 2021 CB650R Horsepower: 94 HP @ 12,000 RPM
- 2021 CB650R Torque: 47 ft/lb TQ @ 8,500 RPM
- 2021 CB650R MPG: 48 Miles Per Gallon
- 2021 CB650R Seat Height: 31.9 inches
- 2021 CB650R Weight: ABS 447 lbs (curb)
- 2021 CB650R VS 2020 CB650R Price / MSRP Increase: TBA
- 2021 CB650R VS 2020 CB650R Changes: Yes, I break down the details more in-depth below.
- 2021 CB650R Review Contents:
- 1. | CB650R Introduction
- 2. | CB650R Model Overview
- 3. | CB650R Key Features / Development
- 3.1 | CB650R Chassis
- 3.2 | CB650R Engine
- 3.3 | CB650R Styling & Equipment
- 4. | CB650R Accessories
- 5. | CB650R Pictures / Photo Gallery
- 6. | CB650R Technical Specifications
1. | CB650R Introduction
Honda has always thrived on exploring new boundaries, in design as well as engineering. In 2018, the new CB1000R and CB300R brought a fresh identity to Honda’s naked motorcycle lineup in the USA, mixing café racer inspirations with an ultra-minimalist look under its “Neo Sports Café” design theme.
One segment remained for the new aesthetic to find expression: the hugely competitive naked middleweight arena and in 2019, the CB650R confidently took on this role (previously CB650F). Aimed at a young demographic that looks to show off in style and enjoy to the maximum a combination of exhilarating four cylinder engine performance and light, versatile, refined chassis handling, it has proved a great success.
Using the same styling blueprint as its siblings, the CB650R’s retro-minimalism is aimed at a young demographic that wants to show off in style and enjoy the combination of exhilarating four-cylinder engine performance and light, versatile, refined chassis handling.
Building on the momentum, for 2021 the CB650R receives a major front suspension upgrade, plus a range of detail improvements to enhance comfort, usability and practicality.
2. | CB650R Model Overview
The major news of the CB650R’s return for 2021 is the change in front suspension with an application of 41mm Showa Separate Function Big Piston USD forks (it doesn’t end there though) – high quality suspension that further heighten the bike’s handling ability.
EURO5 compliance for the engine has been achieved with no loss of top end power; other improvements include slightly more forward-set handlebars, improved visibility for the LCD display and USB Type-C charging socket under the seat. New side panels and rear mudguard are minor cosmetic changes.
The CB650R mirrors the CB1000R, with pared-down lines designed to put maximum machine on show – this is the motorcycle laid bare. Its super-compact, trapezoid form draws extremities in tightly, and the four-cylinder engine – blacked-out with cam and engine covers highlighted in burnished bronze – is very much the centerpiece of the machine.
Compared to the street fighter-styled CB650F, which it replaces in Honda’s line-up, 13lbs (6kg) was saved from the chassis thanks to a revised frame, fuel tank and footpegs. 41mm Show front forks, radial-mount four-piston calipers, floating discs and further features are what separate the CB650R from the CB650F it replaced.
For the 650cc engine used in the CB650R compared to the CB650F, a revised intake and exhaust, plus new cam timing and compression ratios bring a 5% peak power boost and smoother, stronger torque delivery through the mid-range. The engine revs to 12,000rpm, an extra 1,000rpm compared to the CB650F.
An assist/slipper clutch is fitted to ease upshifts and manage fast, successive downshifts; Honda Selectable Torque Control (HSTC) maintains rear wheel traction. Tapered handlebars make for easy steering, and the riding position is on the sporty end of the naked spectrum. The CB650R also shares the CB1000R’s distinctive round LED headlight (all lighting is LED) and modern LCD instrument display, which includes a Shift Up and Gear Position indicator.
The 2021 CB650R will be available in the following color options:
- Pearl Smoky Gray
- Mat Gunpowder Black Metallic
- Candy Chromosphere Red (USA)
- Mat Jeans Blue Metallic
- * Still waiting on USA to confirm which colors we’re getting for sure.
3. | CB650R Key Features / Development
3.1 CB650R Chassis
- New Showa Separate Function Big Piston (SFF-BP) USD forks
- Four-piston, radial-mount front brake calipers and floating discs
- 120/70-ZR17 and 180/55-ZR17 front and rear tires
The CB650R’s steel diamond frame uses pressed swingarm pivot plates and twin elliptical spars with a rigidity balance specifically tuned (stiffer around the headstock and more flexible in the spar sections) to deliver balanced handling characteristics, with high levels of rider feedback. Rake is set at 25.5° with trail of 4.0 in. (101mm) and wheelbase of 57 in. (1,450mm). Curb weight for the CB650R ABS comes in at 447 lbs.
Showa’s Separate Function Big Piston (SFF-BP) 41mm USD forks are a major upgrade. A pressure separation damper in one fork tube and spring mechanism in the other deliver high damping performance and lighter weight. Together with the use of a larger sized piston the result is increased feel, bump absorption and control. Adjustable for 7-stage spring preload, the single-tube monoshock operates directly on the curvaceous gravity die-cast aluminum swingarm.
Four-piston radial-mount front brake calipers work on 310mm wave-pattern floating discs, and are paired with a single-piston rear caliper and 240mm disc. The ABS is a two-channel system.
A more aggressive riding position than the CB650F moves the 21.9 inch tapered handlebar .5 inches forward and .3 inches down, with foot-peg position more rear-set—.3 inches back and .2 inches higher. Seat height is unchanged at 31.9 inches.
The CB650R’s steel-diamond frame was updated in 2019 with pressed (rather than forged) swingarm pivot plates; it’s 4.2 pounds lighter than the previous design and uses twin elliptical spars with a rigidity balance specifically tuned (stiffer around the headstock and more flexible in the spar sections) to deliver balanced handling characteristics with high levels of rider feedback. Curb weight (measured with all required fluids) is 447 pounds for the ABS version (11.6 pounds lighter than the CB650F) thanks to weight savings in the frame, fuel tank and new super-sport-style footpegs. Handling is further aided by improved centralization of mass.
Four-piston radial-mount front brake calipers work on 310mm floating rotors, and are paired with a single-piston rear caliper and 240mm rotor. Two-channel ABS comes as standard equipment. The 17″ cast aluminum wheels are a brand-new design with five Y-shaped spokes, reducing weight by .97 and 1.2 pounds front and rear (compared to the CB650F), respectively, improving handling by reducing inertia and unsprung mass. The cast aluminum wheels are a brand-new design and mount 120/70-ZR17 and 180/55-ZR17 front and rear tires.
3.2 CB650R Engine
- 94 Horsepower @ 12,000 RPM
- 47 ft/lb Torque @ 8,500 RPM
- 48 Miles Per Gallon
- Honda Selectable Torque Control (HSTC)
- Full Euro5 compliance
- Assist/slipper clutch
Through the 2021 update the only changes to engine specification are for EURO5 compliance; this has required revisions to the ECU, cam lobes, intake timing, exhaust pipe, catalyzer and silencer, as well as the addition of a crank pulsar.
The 649cc, DOHC 16-valve engine is tuned to create the purest, most enjoyable mid-sized four cylinder performance possible, with the classically fast ‘pick-up’ through the rev range and hard-hitting, high-revving top end for which Honda’s in-line’s fours are renowned. The engine was tuned to deliver 5% more power above 10,000 rpm, with redline raised 1,000 rpm from the outgoing CB650F. Peak horsepower arrives at 12,000 rpm, with peak torque delivered at 8,500. The net result is a motor that spins harder, and for much longer, at high rpm, with a smooth, linear torque delivery that builds strongly as revs rise, and sounds great in the process.
- CB650R Performance Numbers:
- CB650R HP – 94 HP @ 12,000 RPM
- CB650R TQ – 47 ft/lb TQ @ 8,500 RPM
- CB650R kW – 70kW @ 12,000 RPM
- CB650R Nm – 64Nm @ 8,500 RPM
- CB650R MPG – 48 Miles Per Gallon
Direct cam actuation makes for a compact cylinder head; bore and stroke is set at 67mm x 46mm with compression ratio raised of 11.6:1. Iridium spark plugs are employed and twin air ducts – either side of the fuel tank – feed the airbox and produce a throaty intake roar.
Asymmetric piston skirts minimize bore contact and reduce friction. Ferrous spines on the outer surface of the cylinder sleeves reduce oil consumption (and friction) with improved heat transfer and a silent SV cam chain reduces frictional losses by using a Vanadium coating on its pins. Internal water channeling from cylinder head to cylinders does away with most of the exterior hoses.
How does the CB650R stack up in fuel consumption? Honda rates the CB650F at 48 MPG (20.4km/l) which gives a range of over 180 miles from the 4.1 gallon fuel tank.
3.2 CB650R Styling & Equipment
- New side panels and rear mudguard / number plate mount
- Handlebar angle increased for easier low-speed maneuvering
- LCD display now easier to read; USB Type-C socket under the seat
Tightly wrapped and aggressive, the CB650R’s Neo Sports Café style features the signature compact ‘Trapezoid’ proportion of short, stubby tail and short overhang headlight. The long fuel tank is a key motif of the family design; its smooth lines accentuate the solidity of real metal surfaces and crown the engineering of the four cylinder powerplant. It also houses the ignition.
New, smaller side panels accentuate the minimalism, as does the rear mudguard, which is now constructed from steel rather than nylon plastic. There’s also now a USB Type-C socket located under the seat, for easy charging of a mobile device. Seat height remains 810mm.
The round headlight is one of the key words of the Neo Sports Café design language. It’s LED, as is the rest of the lighting. Sharp LCD instruments use the CB1000R as a baseline and include a Shift Up, Gear Position and Peak Hold indicator. For 2021 readability has been improved with a change of LED angle and font size.
Another detail change is an increase in the handlebar angle, up 3° to 35°. This adjustment makes tight, slow-speed turns and U-turns easier.
Valerio Aiello of Honda’s Rome R&D Department on the Neo Sports Café design aesthetic:
‘The entire current Neo Sport Café range from Honda is the result of the CB4 Concept model presented at EICMA in 2015. Our desire was to explore the world of the café racer and reinterpret it in a modern key.
All the models of this CB series are not simply retro-vintage motorcycles, but rather neo-classics – that is, modern motorbikes showcasing classic design styles combined with modern techniques.
We wanted to create a new stylistic dimension, different from the muscular streetfighters of the last few years, and at the same time, far from the simpler café-racer style. The end result is that none of the bikes from the competition resemble the Neo Sports Café range and, like them or not, they are easily recognizable as Hondas. The competitors have classic or very modern motorcycles in their ranges, but in my opinion, not something that goes in the wake of both styles.
During development of the CB4 concept, I found inspiration from outside the world of motorcycles, in watches. I’ve always liked their technicality and one of the key concepts used during the Neo Sports Café design was ‘Mechanical Art’.
‘Mechanical Art’ is the desire to show the beauty of the various mechanical elements to which Honda has always given great importance. Watches do this very well indeed, with their mechanics always creating a certain charm.’
4. | CB650R Accessories
A range of Genuine Honda Accessories is available for the CB650R:
- Several aluminum parts and aluminum inserts to maximize the Neo Sport Café design that CB650R and CB1000R have in common (Meter Visor, Front Fender Panels, Shroud Covers, Side covers, Seat cowl)
- Under Cowl
- Wheel Stripes
- Tank bag and seat bag inherited from the CB1000R
- Quick shifter
- Front Visor
- 12V socket
- Heated grips
- Tank pad
5. | CB650R Pictures / Photo Gallery
6. | CB650R Technical Specifications
649cc liquid-cooled 30º inline four-cylinder four-stroke
DOHC; 4 valves per cylinder
|Bore x Stroke||
67.0mm x 46.0mm
PGM-FI; 32mm bore
Full transistorized ignition
#525 chain; 15T/42T
|Front||41mm inverted Showa Separate Function Fork (SFF); 4.72 in. travel|
Showa single shock w/ adjustable preload; 5.04 in. travel
|Dual four-piston, radial-mount Nissin hydraulic calipers w/ 310mm
floating discs; 2-channel ABS
|Rear||Single one-piston hydraulic caliper w/ 240mm disc; 2-channel; ABS|
|Rake (Castor Angle)||
101mm (4.0 in.)
|Ground Clearance||5.8 in.|
|Seat Height||31.9 in.|
|Fuel Capacity||4.1 gal. (0.8 gal. reserve)|
* Includes all standard equipment, required fluids and full tank of fuel—ready to ride Meets current CARB and EPA emissions standards.