Promoted | Honda CBR650R: Born On The Track

The newest star of Honda’s race-inspired Super Sport range is the perfect performance bike for everyday commuting as well as track-day thrills...

The Honda CBR650R is the perfect performance bike for everyday commuting as well as track-day thrills

Ever since Honda first entered the Isle of Man TT in 1959, the Japanese company’s reputation for taking experience honed in the heat of racing, then applying it to its most advanced high-performance road bikes, has remained unmatched.

The Honda CBR650R is the latest product of that ethos. Its DNA – shaped over six decades – takes all of the race-bred style and technology of Honda’s legendary CBR1000RR Fireblade and places it in a compact package that is even more user-friendly. 

The result is the perfect performance bike for everyday commuting, weekend blasts and track day thrills. We wanted to find out what it was like to ride so we handed it to Isle of Man TT and Superbike presenter Matt Roberts.

And where better to try it out than Donington Park? It’s a circuit on which Honda has experienced countless MotoGP and Superbike wins, and which now plays host to the Ron Haslam Race School – the academy run by renowned bike racing legend Ron Haslam, where riders of all experience and abilities can test their skills.

To learn more about the Honda CBR650R or to find out how Honda can help you hone your bike skills or get started, head to

From race track to road

Everything about the Honda CBR650R’s design evokes its motorsport pedigree, with sharp aggressive lines inspired by the iconic CBR1000RR Fireblade. The CBR650R really delivers where it counts, though: under the skin.

An impressive 5.6kg lighter than its predecessor, the CBR650R also boasts a more rigid chassis for faster and sharper agility in the bends, while adjustable 41mm Showa USD forks offer supple suspension response. The result? Precise, responsive handling and confidence-inspiring superbike levels of grip. 

The race-inspired 94hp 650cc four-cylinder 16-valve engine has been tuned to offer five percent more power at the top end, with smooth mid-range delivery. Working with new intake and exhaust designs that enhance the engine note, it offers the perfect blend of refined road-friendly ride and thrilling track performance without compromising on Honda’s evocative howl as the engine approaches its 12,000rpm redline.

The CBR650R also delivers when it comes to big stops and tight bends, thanks to large 310mm dual-disc brakes with dual radial-mount calipers up-front and a single-piston caliper at the rear. Working together with dual-channel ABS they offer powerfully precise braking with perfect balance, in all conditions.

Added confidence for easy riding

Thanks to new high-tech digital LCD instruments and clip-on handlebars that mount below the top yoke, the view from the streamlined riding position is pure superbike – but you don’t need a racer’s skills in order to enjoy the ride. 

An assist-slipper clutch eases upshifts and hard downshifts, while Honda’s Selectable Torque Control helps you manage rear-wheel traction and stability – all bolstering your confidence for an everyday commute or a hard-edged track day.

In fact, the Honda CBR650R is the perfect performance bike for riders of all levels. An easy conversion is available from Honda dealers to make the CBR650R suitable for A2 licence holders by reducing the power to 35kW – you can then simply restore the power by converting it back to full spec as you gain more experience.

Ultimately, wherever you are on your motorcycling journey – whether you’ve never ridden a bike before, you’re an experienced rider looking to hone your skills, or if you’d like to sample the ultimate levels of performance on a track experience day at the Ron Haslam Race School at Donington Park – Honda is here to help. Simply head to for a wealth of information and advice.

To learn more about the Honda CBR650R or to find out how Honda can help you hone your bike skills or get started, head to