Motorcycle Review: Honda CB 650R Neo Cafe Sport | Motourismo

By Inaki Jose

CB 650R in action at the sacred twisties of Marilaque.

With today's chaotic and "pandemicized" world you need to improvise and get things that would even the play between living in time where there are so many factors that challenge our happiness during the pre-screwed up world. 

With loss of jobs and the virus stopping the creation of jobs, there is so much bullshit out there that in order for you to stay sane, you need to create a "happyish" environment that would draw a line between your zen and the chaos of the real world.  Riding a motorcycle is the last untouched bastion of personal freedom and happyish zen.

Honda CB 650R at Lobo Batangas.

Back in 2018 Honda released the CB 650 F, it was the first CB series that deviated from its epic CB classic design. This was more of an aggressive naked bike with more lean angle capability powered by an inline 4 cylinder 649cc 94 horsepower engine. By 2019, Honda improved the F series and came out with a perfect CB 650R.

My test bike was a 2020 Honda 650R with an aftermarket slip on exhaust. It was just a pure joy to ride, it is probably the most practical above 400cc motorcycle out in the market, I can even recommend this bike to beginners with its "mabait" characteristics. 

Nostalgic at Casa Manila Museaum.

The CB 650R delivers the 94 horsepower smoothly giving the rider that full control and confidence on the bike. But that doesn't mean that motorcycle is tame because when you chop the throttle at its 6000 RPM sweet spot you need to hang on to the bike. The Showa front suspension, its big front brake discs, and aluminum frame made the CB 650R very stable. Although, if you are looking for a comfortable soft ride just like its CB classic predecessor, this is not what you will find on the 650R because it is more race precision inspired, meaning stiffer suspension designed for stability and traction with more lean angle and faster turns. 

Author wearing a happy face with the happy bike.

My 650R test bike had traction control and ABS options making it safer on the twisties. Although Honda calls this the "Neo Sports Cafe" appealing to the the urban daily riders, the 650R, although a standard upright bike feels more like an aggressive naked bike with its high and backward set foot pegs, this gives the rider a more secured contact on the bike while leaning, making it more controllable, giving more confidence to the rider.

Showa race suspension.

Overall, the Honda 650R is definitely one of the happiest bikes out in the market and I do recommend this as a transition bike to newbies and as a second daily urban bike that you can also use to challenge the sacred twisties and tourist destinations our beautiful country has to offer. 

Inline 4 cylinder 650cc engine.

Many thanks to Mr. Dai Long for lending me his beautiful Honda 650R. This bike really made me happy for a whole week. 

To test ride this happy bike visit the Honda big bike flagship store at TPI Bldg Harvard St, corner Epifanio de los Santos Ave, Makati, 1213 Metro Manila, with all the other Honda bikes there, I'm sure you will find one that will fit you perfectly.

In order for us to ride safe, we need to ride smart and ride aware. Til next time !!!! 

Helmet : KYT KR full carbon

Riding Jacket : ComTect

Riding jeans : Dainese

Riding boots : SIDI 

Riding gloves : Dainese  

Motourismo ranks no. 8 in the Philippines Top 10 Car Blogs, News Websites, and Influencers in 2021.


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