MotorcycleDaily.com – Motorcycle News, Editorials, Product Reviews and Bike Reviews

Motorcycle News, Editorials, Product Reviews and Bike Reviews

  • November 21, 2014
  • Gabe Ets-Hokin
  • Bob Stokstad
  • 88 Comments

2014 Honda CBR650F: MD Ride Review

112114top-i

112114side1

Asking somebody if they ever had a CBR600F2 is like asking if they’ve ever tried McDonald’s fries or flown in a 737. Just ask what year or color, because when it comes to sportbikes, I can’t think of many that rival the F2’s mix of handling, performance, reliability and value, which is why everyone I know had at least one.

For the equivalent of about $9000 in today’s money, you got a 470 pound (gassed up) motorcycle that put about 85 horsepower to the pavement, good for a 130-mph-plus top speed. The 41mm front suspension was race spec back then, and the brakes were similarly good. The reach to the bars was sporting but all-day comfortable, the seat broad, comfy and easy to move around on, and wind protection from the classically styled fairing kept wind blast under control at high speeds. But the best part about the F2 was the handling. Neutral and stable, yet easy to steer and rock-solid in any situation, the F2 made mediocre riders like me feel like heroes, and talented riders like Miguel Duhamel and Josh Hayes seem God-like.

The second-best part? You could beat the crap out of an F2, maintain it like you were a meth head with ADHD and it would never leave you stranded (crappy regulator-rectifiers aside). No wonder the Sunday Morning Ride was dominated by F2s all through the ’90s. Crash on Sunday, ride on Monday.

Honda stopped making all-arounder supersports about 10 years ago—the CBR600F4i was the last of the F2’s progeny—opting to keep up with the other OEMs with its focused CBR600RR. It’s faster, lighter…and priced north of $11,000. In Europe and other markets, there’s demand for a sporty standard that’s tough, durable, comfortable, good handling—and affordable. Honda’s Hornet was such a bike, using the 600RR motor in a steel frame, but American Honda didn’t offer it here, probably because naked bikes like it didn’t do so well here. Americans used to want their sportbikes with fairings.

112114middle1

Well, here you go. Honda says the 2014 CBR650F is an all-new design, optimized for all levels of ability while still being inviting for new riders. It’s not a dumbed-down sportbike chassis and motor—instead, Honda started with a clean sheet, designing the chassis and dohc, liquid-cooled motor just for this model. You can get more detailed specs and info from Dirck’s first ride report, but here are the highlights:

It may be all new, but F2 fans will think they’ve gone back in time. The twin-spar steel frame puts 57 inches between the supersport-sized tires, and say “nice to see you again” to the nonadjustable 41mm fork and two-piston front calipers, but at least Denso ABS is available for an extra $500. The motor looks like the first-gen 600RR’s, but the stroke is a little longer to give it 649cc, and compression is down as well. We won’t tear down and measure the cylinder heads to confirm my suspicions that the ports and valves are sized for optimal low and midrange power. But power is a good 20 percent less than the 600RR’s—although fuel consumption is much better.

It’s all wrapped up in sleek, modern bodywork and gets a bevy of features you’d expect from more expensive motorcycles. The aluminum  swingarm and GP-style four-into-one exhaust look great, as do the abbreviated tail section and 14-spoke wheels. The bulbous tank looks a little odd, but then you realize it holds 4.5 gallons and doesn’t affect comfort. The bars are in a sporty position, but are still pretty comfortable, and the instrumentation offers enough info to get your geek on. All in, the bike weighs 461 pounds (467 ABS)—the F2 weighed in at 455—and retails for $8,499 ($8,999 with ABS), about what you’d spend on an F2 in 1991.

112114middle2

Luckily, it’s not still 1991. The specs read like an F2’s, but the 650F is a refined and modern-feeling ride. The motor is smooth, and the PGM-FI fuel-injection means you can ride off as soon as you start it up. Power is also F2-ish: around 80 hp at the back wheel, but it’s available at lower rpm, making the motor more flexible and noob-friendly, but plenty fast enough to get you into trouble or keep up with even slightly insane friends on more focused sportbikes.

For sporting use, the 650 should keep 90 percent of riders happy with its ability. It’s heavy, but 461 pounds isn’t really much these days, and it feels light enough. It’s easy to steer and mirrors the F2’s do-no-wrong personality, and is precise and easy to ride. The forks are set up decently and control the front wheel while providing a comfortable ride, and the shock—which has no linkage but at least is adjustable for preload—keeps things in line back there, too. The brakes are a little better than you’d expect, but won’t fool you into thinking there are more than two pistons per caliper—but they do the job well. I was very impressed with how well the ABS worked. It’s remarkably non-intrusive.

112114middle3

On the freeway, the little CBR shines. I actually rode it up I-5 from Southern California back-to-back with Honda’s Interceptor, and I kept thinking that the $8,500 motorcycle was almost as good for touring as the $12,500 motorcycle. I saw 50-plus mpg, which put 200 miles between fill ups, and the seat and wind protection were pretty good (I am a shorty, though, so taller folk may feel differently).  I think it would be hard to beat as a commuter, given its range, economy, low price, narrow profile and easy handling.

I’ve typed the phrase “hard to beat” so frequently I’ve programmed a macro for it in Microsoft Word, but this time I mean it. I had a traumatic experience avoiding an ancient VW microbus that decided it needed to turn left in front of me while I was booking it through a corner on a remote two-lane road. Without thinking, I rolled on gas and let my line widen, missing the back end of the bus by inches. Aside from making me reconsider my place in the world vis-a-vis riding on two wheels, I was glad I was on the CBR, which now felt like an old, trusted friend. For the price, you really can’t beat it, whatever your experience level. It may be all new, but it doesn’t feel any different at all, and that’s okay—sometimes you do it right the first time, and there’s no reason to re-invent the wheel.

112114bottom

88 Comments

  1. Adrian Charlton says:

    Let me define this bike better from the viewpoint of someone who would rather use all the power they have than have more power than they’d ever use…

    Second Gen Suzuki Bandit, but with better ergo’s out of the box. I put 36,000 miles on one in two years with seat and storage the only upgrades.

    Ride to town or head for the horizon,that’s how this bike feels to me. And it has low enough Pegs that my knees won’t ache in a hour…

  2. Mick says:

    I must be getting old. It seems to me that ten years ago a guy could choose from quite a number of bikes for @ $7K for an open class and under $6K for a 600 bargain bike. Bikes have gone up about 50% in ten years? I’m glad I was young when I was young. Being young now looks pretty costly.

  3. Jamo says:

    Seems like it should have more horsepower than the old one, not less. I guess I’d probably prefer a Thruxton.

  4. Jeremy in TX says:

    Gabe,

    You said the bike shines on the freeway, so is it safe to assume that you didn’t feel much in the way of vibrations at elevated highway speeds. Do the bars feel pretty still at 80 – 85 mph in 6th?

    I think I would like to add a light and relatively tame sport-touring bike to the garage: something that I can use to take my 11-yo daughter for rides on without having to glance back every few minutes to make sure she is still there but that could still function as a bike I would enjoy using for other purposes. I was looking at the F800GT and Interceptor, but this little bike could potentially fit the bill better than either.

  5. todd says:

    So it took 33 years to top the ’82 Yamaha Seca for Most Powerful 650 – but then just by 6hp. Maybe the rest of the bike is an improvement.

    • Dave says:

      The Seca 650 was out-powered by 600’s over 20 years ago. Counting cc’s and peak hp is missing the point of a versatile street/sport bike completely.

      • todd says:

        Yes, 600s but not other 650s. I always enjoyed the Seca’s mix of broad power band and out right power in a comfortable commuter (shaft drive), being disappointed with both the SV and Ninja’s lesser performance despite them being “modern.” I guess this bike (or better, the FZ6) would be a better Seca replacement than anything else as of late.

        • Dave says:

          Have you ever ridden a Ninja650 or SV650? The ’82 Seca 650 made 71hp, said to be an optimist claim. Combine that with friction loss in the shaft drive and it’s significantly heavier weight (500+lb wet) and I can’t see how it could outperform the newer bikes.

          • todd says:

            Yes. I have an ’82 Seca (and 8 other bikes) my brother and a good friend have owned SV’s and another with the Ninja. I have ridden them all extensively. My Seca constantly out performed all of them; acceleration and through the canyons. The brakes on those are definitely stronger but the Seca doesn’t have a problem stopping. I will say the stock suspension on the SV and Ninja were not an improvement either.

            I’d say the only real improvements are, 1. I didn’t need to use a choke on the modern bikes to start them and, 2. The Seca follows uneven pavement at speeds in excess of 80 mph where the new bikes were more stable – the SV being the most.

          • DaveA says:

            The only place a Seca 650 ever made 72hp was in a brochure. I’ve seen one on a dyno, and it made 55 or so. It also weighed over 500 pounds. They were really interesting bikes, but talking about how powerful or how they compare in performance to new stuff is silliness.

          • todd says:

            I don’t know how much power my Seca makes. I just know it easily out-accelerates both SV and Ninja 650s. They also don’t seem to handle any better than the Seca since they always fall farther and farther behind during spirited canyon carving. Like the Seca however, their performance claims in brochures are likely “optimistic.”

          • todd says:

            Motorcycledaily web designer, please put a bit more space between the “Reply” and “Report Post” buttons!

    • Mike says:

      I assume you are talking about the Turbo.

      • todd says:

        No, the Turbo was rated at 90 hp, I have the naturally aspirated 650 rated at 74 hp. Even then, I still have no problem out accelerating my friends on their SV’s and Ninja 650.

  6. zuki says:

    A lot of people don’t seem to get this bike. This would be an excellent sport-touring and all-around street machine. It’s perfectly proportioned and I love the seat & tail. Love the simple, classic taillight, and like that it doesn’t have a big exhaust can hanging out on the side. I believe it will age very gracefully. Looks beautiful in white (google it).

  7. Ben(pi) says:

    Um, so they took an attractive, comfortable bike (600F4i), and made it look like a Kawasaki Ninja650, bored it out a bit, cut the power, and compare it to it’s even older predecessor? Makes me miss my F4i even more.

  8. PN says:

    I liked those looks from day one. 85hp is plenty, and you get that usual Honda creaminess.

  9. Brian says:

    I’m so happy to hear my 2006 F4i still gets press.

  10. Martin B says:

    After upsizing from tiddlers, my first “big boy bike” in a decade was a Honda CB400 (Jap import). This was a carburetted 4 cylinder bike with variable valves. My problem with it was that the valves would always choose to “vary” halfway through a corner, and disrupt my intended path, plus it kind of freaked me out. Not linear power at all. It was more like a hyperactive two stroke, partly due to the low cc rating and limited low end power. I did like the stabilising effect of the wide engine, but the power characteristics offended me.

    This new 650 would have been a lot better choice, if I’d had the money (currently $14,000 in NZ). It seems Honda have remembered how to make bikes that riders enjoy riding. I currently ride a 650 single derived from the DR650.

  11. Gronde says:

    qBack in the 1980’s this bike would be a hot seller. Now this bike may be a little too bland in a world that offers so many choices. Ducatis, Triumphs, KTMs, Guzzis, Sportsters etc., have more “character” and that is hard to deny. This little 600 will be as exciting as a sewing machine to anyone that’s owned something that offers more mechanical feedback and perhaps a bit of rumble. Good luck to Honda as this seems to be a nice bike that will provide years of reliable riding.

    • Scotty says:

      I can see what you are saying, of course I can I ride a Guzzi!!! But there are very few boring bikes and this isn’t one of them. There are however bikes put to a boring use, unimaginative riders, and bikes used for the wrong purpose.

    • Norm G. says:

      re: “This little 600 will be as exciting as a sewing machine to anyone that’s owned something that offers more mechanical feedback and perhaps a bit of rumble.”

      no worries, so long as it can pull stand-up wheelies while running from the cops on public highways…? Midwest stunters say they’re good.

      re: “bikes used for the wrong purpose”

      that’s a bingo…

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zk5Il6KQrd8

      • mickey says:

        Midwest Stunters?

        Lol…I think you meant SoCal or NYC. I have never seen a stunter in Ohio. Not saying one or two don’t exist, but they are pretty rare. Those guys only have about 90 days a summer to perfect their skills around here unless they want to heavily gear up.

        • Norm G. says:

          re: “Midwest Stunters? Lol…I think you meant SoCal or NYC.”

          wait, is Missouri the Midwest…? dunno…?

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=urgQKNMdTQM

          • mickey says:

            See I said one or two, the rest were stunter groupies

          • mickey says:

            BTW I’m still amazed that motorcyclists do that kind of thing. I find it very disrespectful to the motorcycling and non motorcycling communities alike.

          • Norm G. says:

            re: “I’m still amazed that motorcyclists do that kind of thing.”

            heads up, those aren’t motorcyclists. those are just “rebel yoots” temporarily USING motorcycles as an outlet as they wrestle with having to make the transition from being teenagers…? into being adults like the rest of us did. there’s more to it than what we see. like the slogan sings, “they don’t want to grow up, they’re Toys-R-Us kids”.

            re: “I find it very disrespectful to the motorcycling and non motorcycling communities alike.”

            its only an overzealous government regulator’s wet dream.

          • Norm G. says:

            re: “I think you meant SoCal”

            well I do now…

            http://tinyurl.com/qymbk3j

            just in from CNN.

    • Dave says:

      Re: “Back in the 1980’s this bike would be a hot seller…”

      Back in the 1980’s this bike would’ve been seen as the single most revolutionary thing that ever happened in surface transportation. Now that we’re in the 2019’s, it’ll mere!y be seen as a solid, versatile value. People with “Ducatis, Triumphs, KTMs, Guzzis” on their radar wouldn’t consider a model from Honda, regardless of era..

  12. DaveA says:

    Ah, The Sunday Morning Ride…I lived in the SFBA from 1991-1995, and managed to do that ride roughly 7,000 times (ok, maybe not quite) with nary a get-off. I did blow up my beloved 76 H1 trying in vain to keep up with a guy on a Ninja 600 (first gen) on the fast run to Petaluma though…

    Anyway, Tom Montano had one of the first F2’s around when they came out. It was race prepped by one of the local shops (can’t remember who…wasn’t P&D) and he graciously let me ride it ‘around the block’ up at The Wall in Tilden Park the day he got it. I couldn’t believe it was legal to ride such a weapon. Amazing motor, razor sharp handling, and yet as docile as could be all at the same time. The faster I went, the more it taunted me with ‘is that all you got?’ Amazing bike.

    I guess it’s hard to be so impressed these days when we have such huge performance available for such short money, but if this new 650 is even close to as good as that F2 was, it will make many people happy, contrasts to other offerings not withstanding.

  13. johnny ro says:

    At only $1,500 more than the SWM, it looks pretty good.

    How is it better than a Suzuki GSX650F? Other than being available of course.

  14. Thoppa says:

    CBR600F was great in its day, but now there are better options, so bringing it back seems like a misstep.

  15. Kevin White says:

    FZ6R gives you most of what you need. I loved mine.

  16. Honyock says:

    Compare to the Ninja 650. For only another $900 you get two superfluous cylinders.

    • Jeremy in TX says:

      And 20 horsepower: try adding that to a Ninja 650 for $900.

    • DaveA says:

      Yes, the mighty Ninja 650. For $8000 you can have a bike that’s almost as fast as a 1998 Sv650! Such a deal…

    • Neil says:

      Ninja 650 is uncomfortable because hands are up and pegs are up too. Take a square and make a rectangle out of it by pushing the right side (bars) up. The left side (pegs) are lower. And vice versa. The corners move together. Hands come up, feet have to go down and forward. So many naked bikes have high bars and high pegs. Why do I want to lean so far on the street, possibly lose traction and hit a guardrail, car, tree, boulder etc.? Happens all the time. Sit on this 650 and you see that it is more comfortable than the Ninja 650. Pegs and bars are perfect.

  17. Sentinel says:

    I was really excited about this bike, having owned the original 87 version. But when I started hearing reports of numbing engine vibs from multiple testers my excitement died. Sad day for me.

    • Louis says:

      I too bought the ’87 Hurricane, off the showroom floor. $4200 out the door. It had horrible vibration and was uncomfortable (for me) to ride any distance. I also heard this new bike was buzzy, too bad, it looks like a nice moto.

      • Sentinel says:

        Well admittedly it’s been about 27 years since I bought my Hurricane 600, but I don’t remember engine buzz being an issue at all. I remember actually being extremely smooth. Perhaps yours had an issue.

  18. Kagato says:

    How are the vibes on this scoot? important for old guys like me with neuropathy.

  19. Neil says:

    I sat on it at the dealer and it’s really comfortable for the street compared to a full on crotch rocket. It makes sense. How many riders get killed and seriously hurt over 80 HP? Tons. 80 HP is the street. Flat black does not have to stay flat black. Grab a brush and a can of bright paint and make it your own. Print out some cut out outlines for your art so you don’t make a mess and tape em lightly to the bike and go to town or use your index finger as a guide. For street riding it’s a great machine. I rode the F2 and the F3 and left my friends who were on my VFR 750 behind me in the dust. Motor spun up faster than a scared cat. My dealer has red and blue as well. It’s what more street sport riders SHOULD be riding.

    • Norm G. says:

      re: “How many riders get killed and seriously hurt over 80 HP? Tons”

      tons schmons… I’m a Millenial, I’m invincible, and current plans show me living forever…!!!

    • John says:

      “80 HP is the street.”

      That is exactly what I say; however, it is better when itis in a 900 twin. You get more midrange torque than the inline 4. Any mid90’s 900 SS/Monster provides a good STREET bike.

  20. Tommy See says:

    How long it going to take to beak it and more up rite bars? Just sayin!

  21. HS1-RD-CX100-VFR says:

    This has become a tough market. It grew as the bikes like the F2 became so capable at speed and handling at a reasonable price. It then shrank as they became too capable for most riders wanting a 600 to 650cc bike (and parents wanting to risk their kid’s life on them). The ever increasing technology drove the price up and for whatever reason younger people concurrently became less interested in motorcycles.

    So now, how do you put the middleweight sportbike market genie back in the bottle? Spec sheets, the “amount of kit”, and track reviews have long been important in selling these. Shrinking back to offering less in these areas draws instant criticism. Status quo or going forward even more isn’t holding sales, though.

  22. Norm G. says:

    re: “For the equivalent of about $9000 in today’s money, you got a 470 pound (gassed up) motorcycle that put about 85 horsepower to the pavement, good for a 130-mph-plus top speed…”

    …and that “racy” inline-4 sound that all the kids want.

    they’ve got no love for the “Put Put” tune sung by singles and parallels i’m tellin’ ya.

    • Gabe says:

      Good point, Norm! I love the CB400F-style headers on this bike, too (kinda hard to see in these pics, but google CBR650F to see what I’m talking about).

      • Jeremy in TX says:

        “I love the CB400F-style headers”

        Best-looking set of headers out there right now and one of the best design features of the bike. Wish it was only half-faired to show those babies off, but I guess that would kind of defeat the point of the bike.

  23. Matric says:

    The comparaison with the F2 is okay. But THE difference is the F2 is a good looking bike. Matte grey make that new bike looks so boring. I have to admit that the blue one is nicer looking. Honda is becoming anonymous with their bikes or just plain weird (NM4).

    But no way that i would trade my FZ-07 for this.

  24. Jeremy in TX says:

    I personally think this is a very nice little bike with clean styling and line. The Yamaha FZ/J-09’s and FZ-07 make the Honda seem a bit pricey, but then those bikes don’t really fit into the same mold either as this machine. I think it is a good option for a street-oriented sportbike.

  25. Kentucky Red says:

    Snore. This is a motorcycle I wouldn’t buy – I need more character. Marrying a bike that is this boring would make my eyes wander whenever something with more flavor came around the corner.

    • KenHoward says:

      ‘Anxiously awaiting the first ride reviews of the new Ducati Scrambler.

    • Norm G. says:

      is it possible this flat black is a turn off…? the color options almost make it look like an entirely different motorcycle. the red and blue (not shown) are lookers.

      • Kagato says:

        I agree. Not photogenic with the flatte black. I do wish it had a bit more tail to it. I like my bikes to have some booty.

    • mickey says:

      “I need more character.”

      I always love this line. It’s like ” I want my bike to vibrate and leak. I want things to break and fall off. I need the dealers to be rare as hens teeth and parts and service ridiculously expensive, and when I take off for a ride in the morning, I need to know there’s a chance I just might need a flatbed tow to get home.

      • Norm G. says:

        re: “I need to know there’s a chance I just might need a flatbed tow to get home.”

        no no no no no… “danger” is my middle name.

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TH_JRjJtNSw

      • MGNorge says:

        I’d say I find most character in a bike coming from the ride. Like a horse, if it follows my commands well, almost intuitively then I find character in the ride.

        But we do live in this modern world and Honda being Honda (been around for years with millions of them all over) leads some to look at brands less common or even styling less common. Kawasaki tried to strike out of sameness with very aggressive styling that’s very polarizing. This 650 is styled more for a broader audience I’d say.

        In regards to the flat black scheme, I’m not a fan but they’re playing to a trend in the automotive world right now. As Norm mentions above, the ones with color are much more attractive to my eye but to each their own.

      • Kentucky Red says:

        My Buell XB12S has a ton of character, and owning it has been a gas-and-oil proposition. That being said, I could live without some of the vibration and thigh-roasting rear cylinder.

  26. VLJ says:

    Even though most riders would likely never approach this newest CBR’s real-world limits, it will still get bashed for being a “boring, too-perfect, no-personality Honda.”

    I will say, though, enough already with the matte blacks and grays. Invisible bikes, in a world full of texting teens, geriatric drivers semi-blindly careening around in their Camrys and Malibus, and harried hausfraus quaffing down Starbucks while piloting oversized, blind spot-laden SUVs? Not a good thing. Come on, Honda, make your ABS option available for all color schemes, not just the drab matte versions.

    • TimC says:

      My bike is candy apple red but that didn’t stop a guy from changing lanes into me (on his driver’s side no less – and I took out his mirror AND FRONT fender in the process so how’s THAT for not seeing you?!).

    • Gabe says:

      HUrt study reported drivers see helmets, not bikes or rider apparel. Wear a bright yellow or white helmet if you want to be seen.

      • Dave says:

        Have a link to that study? I’d be interested in reading about the methodology that brought them to that conclusion.

      • david says:

        Gabe is right. Wear bright color helmet like orange, green, red, etc. In the sea of traffic, motorcycle profile is like a dot in the ocean. That helmet color would stand out more and make folks around you seeing it. Black looks cool but easily blended. This is in contrast to “loud pipes save lives” as lots of riders out there still believe.

        • Dave says:

          I fully agree that a bright helmet increases visibility. It’s the notion that the rest of the package/mass is invisible that I’d like to read more about.

  27. billy says:

    I don’t know what to say about this bike. It’s a great bike all alone I’m sure, but if you’ve been into sportbikes for the last thirty years you have to be really dumbfounded by this bike. Bus like weight and bus like wheelbase. My FZR1000’s wheelbase was shorter for crying out loud. No adjustable suspension, no standard abs/tc, no adjustable ergonomics, no quickshifter, no variable valve timing, no heads up display, etc, etc, etc.

    Don’t get me wrong. This is a great article written by great people with great photos on a great website.

    If in the market for this type of machine I’m wondering what would entice me to buy this over a clean F4i. A warranty and about five more mpg?

    • Jeremy in TX says:

      Maybe because there is no such thing as a clean F4i? 🙂

    • Dave says:

      re: “but if you’ve been into sportbikes for the last thirty years you have to be really dumbfounded by this bike.”

      Bikes like this are for riders who remember what great all-around bikes like the F2, F3 and F4 were like (and consequently, back when they sold in meaningful amounts). Once we stop comparing spec sheets and look at what the bikes can really do, this bike makes a ton of sense.

      Re:”No adjustable suspension, no standard abs/tc, no adjustable ergonomics, no quickshifter, no variable valve timing, no heads up display, etc, etc, etc. ”

      The omission of things like this are how you reach an low price point. These things are only available on bikes that cannot be fairly compared to this.

      Great point about the F4i. We’re pretty spoiled by the quality and abundance of the used market.

    • Gabe says:

      Thanks for the kind words Billy! But jeez…it’s only $8500. If it was $12,500 (like the VFR) I’d expect all that stuff too.

      • billy says:

        If I were to ask you in 1991 what you thought a sporty streetbike may be like twenty four years on would you have said a slightly tweaked F2? I’m shocked bikes still have telescopic forks. Anyway, good write up. Just wish the test bike was red.

        • Dave says:

          Re: “If I were to ask you in 1991 what you thought a sporty streetbike may be like twenty four years on would you have said a slightly tweaked F2? ”

          Well, yes. The mid-90’s F2 and F3 are far better street bikes than the current 600rr/r6/gsxr race replicas.

          I guess the major moto makes can’t see enough sales potential in a bike of this profile but premium technology, though they seem more willing to do that at 1000cc.

          Viva la aftermarket!

    • Bob says:

      This is clearly not intended to be a “top tier” sportbike. It is probably intended for commuters or more confident newbies. To me it is a “roadster”, in other words a sportier version of a standard style bike. Having said that, it strikes me as a very beautifully designed machine with great proportions and good detailing. I don’t think a person looking for a real sportbike would consider this like they would a CBR600RR. It is really in the same category as a Yamaha FZ6R, not an R6.

    • Norm G. says:

      Q: “If in the market for this type of machine I’m wondering what would entice me to buy this over a clean F4i. A warranty and about five more mpg?”

      A: not so much, financing and the “new bike” smell.

  28. Ralph says:

    ’94, black/purple/red

    🙂

    • billy says:

      Yep, and the ’94 has cartridge forks. Does this “new” CBR?

      • Dave says:

        My VTR 1000 Suoerhawk has cartridge forks and they’re awful. It sounds like the suspension rates are better sorted on this bike, even if it has more primitive components.

        • stinkywheels says:

          I wish this was a newer, updated VTR we were talking about with a 5.5 gallon tank and fuel injection (and according to you) better forks. But a user friendly CBR is nice too.

      • SmokinRZ says:

        Mine was purple/yellow/black. Rode every weekend with the guys. I’ve never as confident on a bike since.