Honda CB650R Neo Sports Café Test Drive
Honda CB650R Neo Sports Café in the Japanese roadster family is located just in the middle between the liter flagship and the compact device for beginners. We found out whether the designers had to compromise when creating this motorcycle.
The Honda CB1000R Neo Sports Café made its debut in Russia a year ago, and the motorcycle, which appeared in our magazine almost earlier than at dealers, was warmly received. Therefore, it is not surprising that now Honda is launching on the Russian market two of its “brothers” in the neoclassical family: the compact CB300R and the medium-sized CB650R. The latter as the most interesting representative of the class is now on our test.
Amazing – nearby
Appearance is deceiving: a striking appearance imitating the flagship CB1000R hides the platform, known for the pre-reform nuked Honda CB650F, an extremely successful model, the design of which they decided to radically refresh. Boring contours and soft fillets gave way to aggressive and dynamic lines. In the new version, the “personality” of the device has split into the CBR650R soplatform sports bike and the CB650R neoclassic.
Face plastic turned out to be so radical that even owners of pre-reform motorcycles will not recognize their soul mate in the new Honda CB650R Neo Sports Café. Despite the fact that the frame, the pendulum and the characteristic, ensemble of reception pipes have not changed, all-LED optics, energetic tank contours and a truncated tail change the appearance beyond recognition.
And the redesigned remotes with the blossoming “petals” of large ergonomic keys and the new digital dashboard, shaped like a smartphone, are completely confusing – it seems that you have a completely new model! This is hinted at by the bright white blinker and the traction control icon that appeared on the motorcycle along with the indicator of the selected gear.
And vice versa, at first you think that the engine has not changed, but only until you squeeze out the flexible clutch lever and stick the first gear of the gearbox, the clarity and transparency of which can be set as an example. The handle of the “gas” is long-stroke, and turning the brush harder, you are surprised to find that out of spite for ecologists and advocates of safety, the “number of horses” has only increased. The passport data speaks of an increase from 87 to 95 hp, but it is much more important that in the inline 16-valve “four” they became available a little earlier. However, the riding character has not gone anywhere, if you want to go fast – turn the engine. From 7,000 to 12,000 rpm, it is in this range that the stomach is filled with butterflies, and the heart begins to beat more often.
Starting from a place – and the first gear abuts the cutoff at around 100 km / h in less than 4 s. Although only on warm rubber and dry asphalt: the slightest hint of slipping, and traction control roughly cuts the momentum. Good for driving in the rain, but for those who like it hotter, such sensitive electronics is a sophisticated torture. True, it can be turned off by pressing a key and already stay with the motorcycle one on one.
Not an old pepper shaker
The chassis was also transformed, the habits became nobler and sharper, as if spicy and spicy sauce was added to perfectly roasted meat. In addition, some fat was cut off. The curb weight is reduced by 5 kg, and of the remaining 203 kg you feel no more than half – the CB650R Neo Sports Café seems extremely light.
However, “losing weight” was only an addition to the main (and long-awaited) upgrade – a new inverted fork. It was she who sharply improved handling, while simultaneously increasing the torsional rigidity of the chassis and reducing unsprung masses. There are no adjustments, but the factory settings are enough – the pendants delight with healthy elasticity and density.
Adds comfort to the new steering wheel, which is based on a pipe of variable cross-section. From now on, it is fixed to the traverse through rubber dampers, due to which even less vibration reaches the steering wheel. Yes, and the brakes brought to a qualitatively different level. The “floating” two-piston front calipers were replaced by new four-piston mechanisms with rigid radial fastening. Feedback appeared, efficiency increased significantly, ideally complementing the increased potential of the motor and chassis. Of course, the ABS system of the current generation is already standard – without it, a modern motorcycle is hard to imagine.
The left hemisphere of the brain understands: the CB650R Neo Sports Café version is a deeply modified CB650F, while the right claims that the motorcycle is completely different. Even having discarded the complete transformation from the outside, technical innovations – the progress of the engine, brakes, suspensions and electronics – put this model on a par with the most advanced “classmates”.
Compromises? The novelty allows you to drive extremely fast, sometimes keeping up with the liter “brother.” And it’s okay that inside the car is a familiar model. After all, the pre-reform “relative” was considered so reliable and unpretentious apparatus that this “blood connection” is only good.