2019 - 2020 Honda CBR650R
Honda dropped an “F” and added an “R” to its lineup last year with its new CBR650R. The factory gave it a look that’s all its own with new fairings and a trim rear end, and it adds to the R’s race-tastic tendencies with an aggressive rider’s triangle. New Showa stems and powerful brakes add value while the souped-up engine adds compression and power to make the R a thrill to ride, along with new electronic safety features to help you keep it dirty-side down.
2014 - 2020 Honda CBR600RR
Honda’s latest generation of 600 cc, CBR supersports toes the family line with its race-winning blend of power and maneuverability all packed onto a MotoGP-inspired chassis. Much like the original CBR600RR that hit the streets back in ’03 and was built as a racebike replica, the current model features a strong engine along with a front suspension featuring Honda’s 41mm Big Piston Fork for superb handling and snappy action, plus MotoGP-inspired bodywork in a race-tested aerodynamic supersport design.
2019 - 2020 Honda CBR500R
Honda spruced up its CBR500R ahead of MY2018, and in an unusual move, buffed it up yet again for MY2019. The new model dips further into race-tastic territory with aerodynamics and ergonomics as the main front-burner considerations for an effort far beyond the BNL treatment, and the factory also tweaked the drivetrain to give it a bit more go to match the sporty new show.
2015 - 2020 Honda CBR300R
Honda shows us that big isn’t always better with its CBR300R. As the small-displacement sportbike bracket fills in from every quarter, the CBR300R with its 286 cc engine has the aggressive look and feel of the bigger bikes – like a Fireblade you left in the dryer too long — but in a commuter-friendly version that could be a stepping stone on your way up the displacement ladder.
2018 - 2019 Honda CB1000R Neo-Sports Café
Honda revamped its naked CB1000R for the 2018 model year, but rather than dressing it up, the Red Riders actually dressed it down even further with a retro café-racer kick. The CB1000R replaced the CB600F Hornet back in ’08 and its naked streetfighter presentation and performance envelope was an instant hit all across Europe. Fast forward to ’18 and we find it still going strong with the same 998 cc mill and a brand new handle as the Neo-Sports Café’. Subtle refinements give the NSC a new look that takes inspiration from the past without becoming enslaved to it, and the result is fresh, modern and appropriately aggressive. Today I’m going to take a look at this decade old model to see what else Honda has done to keep it relevant and competitive in today’s market.
2017 - 2019 Honda CBR1000RR
Honda carries its CBR1000RR superbike, a.k.a. ’Fireblade’, into 2019 with little in the way of changes from last year. That’s hardly surprising given the scope and scale of the revisions done prior to MY17 that brought us the newest gen of Honda’s Total Control initiative with a host of electronic goodies to help keep the 189-horsepower engine (10 more ponies than the previous gen) under control. It’s Honda’s first inline four-banger to run a throttle-by-wire induction control, and the factory piled on with Riding Modes, Wheelie Control and more to make the ’Blade serve as a model flagship for the affordable-supersport sector with plenty of influence from the racing department for the ’everyrider’.
Honda produced its CBR125R for one reason, and one reason only; as a trainer bike for new riders who are into, or who want to be into, supersport motorcycles. It’s built to deliver the same eager and agile handling as its larger-displacement siblings, just with a powerplant that meets A1 license requirements. Big-bike style and feel helps train the next generation of would-be fiery-eyed pegdraggers, whether they be destined for that actual “Track Life,” or just want to look like they are. The 125 cc bracket may be the lowest meaningful classification, but it’s also one of the most important as it targets the entry-level market and represents the first real opportunity to instill some brand loyalty. Let’s check out Honda’s littlest CBR today and see what all the Red Riders have going on over there, then we’ll see how it stacks up against one of its domestic competitors.
Continue reading for my review of the Honda CBR125R.
2018 Honda CB125R
Honda looks to cash in on the resurgent interest in café racers with its all-new “Neo-Sports Café” design family that includes the entry-level CB125R at the very bottom of the totem pole. The CB125R packs big-bike features into a decidedly small-bike package with many of the same details as its slightly bigger brother, the CB300R. It comes with its performance restricted to 9.8 kW (13 hp) in order to meet licensing requirements across the European Union and serve to bait the table to draw in and indoctrinate new riders at the earliest opportunity. Did they hit the mark? Let’s dig in and find out.
Continue reading for my look at the Honda CB125R.
2013 - 2018 Honda CB500F
Back in 2012, Honda presented the CB500F to the world at the EICMA Motor Show to bolster its “standard” category for the 2013 model year. This compact streetfighter sported Honda’s then-new 471 cc in a rather naked layout with almost 50-horsepower on tap to push the 414-pound curb weight around, so it’s safe to say that it definitely punches above its weight. This is at least part of the reason for its success and market popularity, and the factory has made tweaks here and there in an attempt to keep it fresh all the way into 2018 in order to maintain that momentum. Now that the family has matured somewhat and settled into its groove if you like, I want to take a look at the range to try and divine the secrets to its success.
Continue reading for my review of the Honda CB500F.
2015 - 2018 Honda CBR500R
Honda started the CB500 twin line back in 1993 to plug a gap in the entry-level market and serve as a mid-size commuter bike – a mission statement that’s still valid today. You could consider the CBR500R as the supersport branch of the CB family tree, but with the same 471 cc engine as its closest kin, the CB500F and CB500X. In spite of its sporty exterior, the CBR500R seems to maintain the family tradition of entry-level and commuter service.
Continue reading for my review of the Honda CBR500R.
2015 - 2018 Honda CB300F
New from 2015 and going strong in 2018, the CB300F from Honda is all about naked sportbike styling at an entry-level price and demeanor. A little bit lighter and with a more upright riding position than its kissing cousin, the CBR300R, the CB300F carries essentially the same engine as the CBR250R but with a longer stroke to add a few more cubes to the mix. Beginner’s bike? Check. Commuter bike? Check. Sportbike trainer? I don’t know. Let’s check it out.
Continue reading for my review of the Honda CB300F.
2018 Honda CB650F: How Does It Stack Up With The FZ-07 And SV650?
Honda is finally bringing the CB650F to the domestic market. European riders have been enjoying it for a few years now, but most Americans are unfamiliar with this ride. The torquey 649 cc engine puts this mid-range sportbike into the fun range, and how can you go wrong with fun and naked in the same description? Naked bikes are sort of the modern, factory-made, sportbike equivalent of the old, home-grown bobbers that saw all non-essential equipment stripped away, and the remaining sheet metal pared down or otherwise lightened as much as possible. The CB650F fits right into this category. How does it stack up to the mid-range nakeds we already have on our shores? The Yamaha FZ-07 and Suzuki SV650 come to mind so let’s put them side-by-side.
Continue reading for my first look at the Honda CB650F.
Honda’s CBR family is recognized around the world with a storied history, and a range that covers the market from the entry-level on up to the fiery-eyed pegdraggers. The CBR650F is the bike Honda built for riders sitting on the fence between the two extremes. This is an important bracket since many, if not most, riders will wind up staying here for the duration once they graduate up from their entry-level trainer, because it takes a certain sort to want to move up to the stupidfast sector, and not all of us have what it takes (testicular fortitude/deathwish/whatever). With a 649 cc engine and sport suspension, the CBR650F — back for MY18 after a hiatus in 2017 — brings it to the competition in the mid-range sportsbike category.
Continue reading for my review of the Honda CBR650F.
Honda brings its classic CB1100 EX back to US shores for the 2017 model year, and with it comes a healthy dose of nostalgia. Retro is king right now, and the “EX” shows that it ain’t all about small- to mid-displacement scramblers and cafe’ racers, there’s still room for classic ’70s UJM replicas. The EX combines the look of that era with modern features and performance courtesy of the 1,140 cc, air-cooled mill, and it’s a combination that has worked ever since this bike was introduced to the U.S. back in ’13. Today I’m going to take a look at what’s new, what’s different and what’s up with the latest EX.
Continue reading for my review of the Honda CB1100 EX.
2016 - 2018 Honda RC213V-S
The “S” is based on Honda’s RC213V factory [racebike-mot2345] currently competing in the MotoGP circuit, and it is important to mention here that this is the bike that carried Honda to the Riders,’ Constructors,’ and Team Championships in both ’13 and ’14. While this isn’t quite a straight-up racebike with turn signals, it’s a fairly faithful reproduction and is as close as you will find among the production bikes on the road today. Let’s face it, to unleash a 100-percent genuine racebike on the public would be irresponsible at best, and criminal at worst, so the factory had to nerf it just a little bit. These bikes are hand built by specially trained mechanics using model-specific tools at a rate of one unit per day, so the exclusivity is undeniable.