We in India have been starved of twin-cylinder bikes so a 4-cylinder motorcycle is just like a wild dream with no signs of coming true. However Honda plans to fulfil the dreams of most of us by launching the 4-cylinder CBR650F in India in the second half of 2015. Till now, we have a slew of options to choose from when it comes to 4-cylinder bikes but all are out of the reach of the masses. The cheapest 4-cylinder bike in India costs upwards of Rs. 9 lakhs as all of them are brought in via the CBU route. So what’s so special about the Honda CBR650F? What is the hype all about?
The Honda CBR650F will become the first 4-cylinder bike to be brought in via the CKD route to India and full kudos to the Japanese company for taking this brave step as locally assembling such an engine configuration is nothing short of complex. Honda is certainly taken a brave decision and we all respect the company for the same. Finally we have a real alternative to the Kawasaki Ninja 650, a twin-cylinder bike which has enjoyed monopoly since the day it set step on Indian soil. The CBR650F is expected to be priced around Rs. 6.5 lakhs which is mouth watering for a motorcycle with such specs.
Honda claims the CBR650F can be used for both touring and sport riding. The bike uses a steel diamond frame but the highlight is of course the engine. The 649cc, 16-valve, in-line 4 motor thrusts outs 86 HP of power at 11,000 RPM and 63 Nm of torque at 8000 RPM, coupled to a 6-speed gearbox. The claimed mileage is 21 km/l and the CBR650F runs on 120/70/17 and 180/55/17 tyres at the front and rear respectively. Braking duties are performed by 320 mm dual-piston callipers at the front and 240 mm single-piston calliper at the rear, ABS is standard.
The Honda CBR650F’s instrument cluster is quite interesting. It has two digital displays, the left one showcases a digital bar graph tachometer and a digital speedometer while the right one reveals the digital bar graph fuel gauge, digital clock and dual trip meters (it also has the tell-tale lights below it). At 208 kgs weight, the CBR650F is hefty but with all that grunt, 0-100 km/hr takes under 4 seconds while top speed is around 230 km/hr. Performance is no doubt scintillating and more than what you would need in our country.
So the Honda CBR650F does look very promising. It’s a bike which offers you the thrills of a litre-class machine at a more affordable price point while also being extremely practical. Set to rival the Kawasaki Ninja 650 and Ducati Monster 795, the Honda CBR650F could act as a catalyst to spur more manufacturers to concentrate on the middle-weight segment. Now only if Yamaha and Suzuki sit up and take notice and bring their R6 and GSX-R600 to India, that would be something truly astonishing.