By John Burns Editor Score: 86.25%
2018 Honda CB650F
Editor Score: 86.25%
Tuesday I wrote about the CBR650F; today it’s the new 2018 CB650F. It loses an “R,” its fairing and clip-on handlebars – and gains a nice aluminum handlebar and abbreviated bodywork to make it a naked bike. The end!
No, wait, there’s more. The other thing it gained was admission to the USA. Honda’s been selling it in other markets for a couple years now, where the F must’ve been popular enough for American Honda to take a chance on bringing it over here.
As you know, we MOites are huge fans of the more upright, standard bike ergonomics that result from putting a nice, easy-to-grab handlebar onto what used to be a bent-over crotch rocket, but in this case the donorcycle CBR650F really isn’t that bent-over to begin with – just slightly so – so the choice between CBR and CB isn’t that big a jump.
Cool wheels, wave-type brake rotors, and that CB400F-inspired four-into-one stainless pipe – the new F presses my aesthetic buttons.
Most of the time I got to spend riding the CBR and CB back to back was on mountain roads high above Los Angeles, and for attacking fast curves, the CBR’s slightly more committed, lower-bar riding position provides superior front-end communication and greater accuracy, since it puts a bit more of your weight on the front contact patch. Having said that, the CB is right on its heels.