The Honda CBR650R which replaced the Honda CBR650F is still a sport touring machine, rather than an out-and-out track-focussed sportbike, and it gets some important updates for 2021. The bike gets improved handling and styling more in line with the litre-class Fireblade. The upper and lower fairing panels have been tweaked slightly, although the changes don’t seem to be that apparent. The primary and most significant change is to the engine, which now meets the upcoming Euro 5 emission regulations, which will come into effect from January 1, 2021.
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The more important change is however, to the front suspension. The Honda CBR650R now gets Showa Separate Function Big Piston (SFF BP) forks, from the Showa Dual Bendling Valve forks on the outgoing model. The ‘separate function’ refers to springing and damping separated across the fork legs, with the spring on one fork leg and the damper in other. It not just reduces weight, but the ‘big piston’ also has a larger piston in the damper, improving damping response and feel. And just those changes in the front suspension could make the CBR650R even more planted and stable on a twisty mountain road. The instrument console also gets slightly bigger fonts with a slightly changed angle, which should offer better visibility and readability to the rider.
Among the Euro 5 tweaks include revised ECU settings, new camshafts, revised intake timing, a new exhaust, catalytic converter and silencer. A new crank sensor is also added to help achieve the misfire direction that Euro 5 demands. The engine, including bore and stroke, as well as displacement, remain the same, as does peak power, which is 94 bhp at 12,000 rpm with peak torque now slightly lower with 63 Nm of it, kicking in at 8,500 rpm. The weight rises by 1 kg, possibly due to the changes in the exhaust system and now stands at 208 kg wet.