Who doesn’t love a good, inline-four-powered motorcycle that’s heaps of fun on the track, yet tractable enough for daily use? The best part is that it’s loaded with modern-day tech, and will start up no problem with the flip of a switch. Yes, I’m talking about the Honda CB650R and CBR650R, the Japanese manufacturer’s entrants into the premium middleweight segment.
Today, Honda remains the only member of the big four Japanese motorcycle makers to continue to offer an inline-four-equipped middleweight machine. In a market dominated by parallel-twin bikes such as the Yamaha MT-07 and Kawasaki Z650, as well as Suzuki’s V-twin-equipped SV650, the fact that Honda continues to see success in the global market with the CB650R and CBR650R, despite the two bikes’ significant premium, is a strong testament to the performance and dependability of these bikes.
Just launched in the Indian market, the two new bikes will be made available in Honda Motorcycles & Scooters India’s (HMSI) Big Wing dealerships. The two bikes are entering the Indian market as Completely Knocked-Down (CKD) units, and will see assembly in Honda’s local manufacturing facility. Despite the bikes’ partial assembly being done locally, the two machines still command quite a premium at Rs 8.67 lakh, or $11,788 USD for the naked CB650R, and a steeper Rs 8.88 lakh, or $12,073 for the fully-faired CBR650R.
The two bikes come equipped with Honda’s CBR600RR-derived inline-four cylinder engine, which we also found on the now-defunct CB650F and CBR650F. Boasting a few tweaks to the internals, as well as improved mapping, the current-generation CB650R and CBR650R both churn out around around 93 horsepower, making them among the most powerful bikes in the 650 class. Of course, with great performance, comes the aforementioned steep price point.