My Honda CBR650F
Pearl Metalloid White

Test Ride

  Posted on 31st May 2016


Here is the link to the test-ride write up that I did back in October 2015: Honda CB650F and CBR650F test ride. After this we decided that the CBR650F would be our next bike and the choice of colour would be the tri-colour, having seen one at a dealer. The plan was to then get these in 2017.
Honda CBR650F Tri-colour


Order placed!

  Posted on 1st June 2016


On the 16th May we took a ride to one of our nearby Honda dealers, to take a look at the new CBR650F colours for 2016. They had the matt black/white in the showroom and a CB650F in matt black/red. The black/white bike looked much nicer in real life than in photographs, so this got us asking the dealer what they could do for two new bikes. During our conversation it transpired that the 2015 colours could be purchased much cheaper than the new colour schemes. The tri-colour was our preference but unfortunately there were no un registered tricolours in the UK. The next option was white, but again they were unable to source two new ones of these.

Having thought about it overnight we decided that we much preferred the 'old' colours over the new and went about finding another dealer with stock. With some luck we found one that had two white ones coming in to them in the next few weeks and they were currently on the water en-route from Honda. After some negotiating, some free accessories and using our Ninjas as the deposit we came to an agreement.

There is now the agonising wait to see when they will be available to collect.

Honda CBR650F pearl metalloid white Honda CBR650F matt black / white Honda CBR650F matt black / white

Countdown

  Posted on 9th June 2016


The first bike arrived at the dealer over a week ago and the second one is due to arrive tomorrow. The planned pick-up date is 18th June.


Collection

  Posted on 20th June 2016


It's been a long month, waiting to for the bikes to arrive in Southampton. On Saturday we took a 260 mile round trip to take the Ninja 300's down to the Honda dealer and bring back our lovely new CBR650F's.

The bikes were lined up outside waiting for us, complete with red rim tape, heated grips and the larger Honda windscreen. I sneaked a quick sit on mine and it felt familiar and 'just right'. After the paperwork was done, I transferred the Kriega straps on the Honda and attached the tailpacks.
It was a very enjoyable ride home, if a little boring at 4000rpm, I can't wait until the run-in period is complete. Compared to the Ninjas the CBR's feel much more stable (bigger tyres) and obviously the 4 cylinder engine is much smoother and stronger, filtering in town was easier and there was no need to keep changing gear.

Honda CBR650F pearl metalloid white Honda CBR650F pearl metalloid white Honda CBR650F pearl metalloid white

HelmetLok and V-Trec adjustable levers

  Posted on 1st July 2016


HelmetLok on order, the plan is to use this to attached the helmet through the square hole in the top yoke. The standard helmet lock is rather useless, it involves some steel cable with a loop on each end, in a plastic sheath, where you have to try and get one end over a 'hook' under the seat. The hook is obscured by the tubular frame. We also found out that the hook is longer on our other CBR and therefore it's almost impossible to get the loop over it.

The other purchase is a set of adjustable levers from V-Trec. We've opted for matt black, long, with silver adjusters and these should blend in well with the bike. I can manage with the stock levers but the clutch is a bit of a stretch, the adjustable levers should make it much easier.

Honda CBR650F pearl metalloid white Honda CBR650F pearl metalloid white

First service and V-Trec adjustable levers fitted

  Posted on 19th July 2016


Both bikes had their first service last Monday, all was good although the chains on both bikes were slack and this was explained as the reason for them being reluctant to accelerate at times.

The new V-Trec levers were fitted and it was noted that the clutch cable was very tight on my bike, so I am glad I didn't attempt to fit them myself.

V-Trec Adjustable Levers V-Trec Adjustable Levers V-Trec Adjustable Levers V-Trec Adjustable Levers V-Trec Adjustable Levers V-Trec Adjustable Levers

800 miles

  Posted on 22nd August 2016


Well, we are 800 miles in to the bikes and still loving them. The phrase I keep using is "they just do everything well".

The CBR's are smoother since the first service and they possibly run at slightly lower revs than before. The V-Trec levers are proving to be an excellent purchase and we are happy with the look and feel of them.


Trip to Wales

  Posted on 15th June 2017


I've been very lax in keeping the blog updated, but there has been lots of riding since the last update and the bikes are still brilliant!

In September 2017 we visited Wales for our clubs annual trip, in addition to a 4 hour trip each way we got to enjoy the twisty roads of mid-Wales and the views around the Elan valley. The bikes were superb around the narrow roads and even survived kamikazee sheep and their plentiful droppings!

Once home there was much cleaning to be done to return the bikes to their appropriate level of sparkliness.


Heated jackets & new textiles

  Posted on 15th June 2017


November: Because we have been enjoying riding the bikes so much we thought it would be good to extend the times of the year that we ride them, so after some research we purchased heated jackets from Gerbing.

They are certainly very toasty and I'm yet to use it above setting 2 (4 are available). I wish they did them in women's sizes as even the smallest jacket is too long and generally a bit big.

The heated jacket wouldn't fit under my leathers so it seemed sensible to buy a set of textiles that would accommodate it and the back protector, as well as being a more practical outfit for autumn/winter. I visited my local J&S who were helpful in finding me some jackets and trousers that met my specifications (zip-together, shoulder and elbow armour, knee and hip armour).

After two hours trying various combinations on I settled on the IXS Trago Jacket and the IXS Aurora trousers, the trousers didn't come with hip protection, but had pockets for them, so I bought some D30 armour which fitted fine.

Jacket Trousers
Abrasion resistant 600D Polyoxford constructionAbrasion resistant 600D Polyoxford construction
Fixed waterproof soltotex Z liningsoltoTEX® 3 layer Z liner membrane
Antibacterial mesh lining for enhanced comfortAntiseptic polyester mesh lining with water barrier
Removable padded thermal quilted linerRemovable CYNIX® thermo lining (button up in hem)
CE certified YF shoulder and elbow armourWaist regulation
Protect V2 CE level 1 back protectorAnti-slip edging in seat area
Adjustable elbows, upper arms and waist widthErgonomically pre-formed legs
Five external and four internal pocketsBack of knee with comfort zones made of CORDURA® stretch fabric
Four zipped vents for added air flow2 outside pockets
Night-time visible reflective details
Gerbing heated jacket IXS Trago Jacket IXS Aurora Trousers

My old Ninja 250

  Posted on 15th June 2017


Not CBR650F related, but in April we went to the opening of the new Webbs store in Peterborough. In the used bike section was a green Ninja 250. I checked the number plate and was shocked to find it was actually my my old bike. I was quite excited and animated which drew the attention of a salesman, who was disappointed to find that I didn't want to buy it.

It had been traded in by the lady that bought it from the Kawasaki dealer that I sold it to.


1st annual service

  Posted on 15th June 2017


They went in for their first annual service at approx 3200 miles each, nothing of note other than the left-heated grip would come loose in the sun or when the grip was on, which the dealer re-bonded for us.

We had loan bikes while the 650's were in, a CBR500 and a CB500. The smaller twin engine seemed awful and jerky after our smooth 4-cylinders, I don't know how we managed with our old 300 Ninjas!.

I thought it would be nice to go for a ride on the 500's, it was going well until we missed a turning. I said that we really need sat-nav.


Sat navs

  Posted on 15th June 2017


After getting lost last week we finally caved in and bought sat navs, we got a great deal on two of the new TomTom 450's.

I was going to wire them directly to the battery, but another 650F owner had advised to use switched power. Some people use the accessory power at the front of the bike, but this had been taken up by our heated grips.

As an alternative there is a block under the seat which provides switched 12v power, with help from Brammers on the 650F owners forum I was able to find it and purchase the parts needed to create a plug that would match up to it. The Sumitomo connector already has a plug on it, which is a dummy and contains no pins or wires. I purchased new Sumitomo housings (I suppose I could have used the empty/dummy ones), pins and seals and made up my own plug. Live gotes to violet and negative to green.

The pictures below show the position of the connector under the edge of the tank, the plug extracted and the dummy part removed, pins with sat nav wires soldered (before I'd finished crimping), a test that the pins and wires worked before I put them in the housing, wires in housing, new plug and pins.

Tomtom 450 Sat nav, ram mount and Telferizer Tomtom 450 Sat nav, ram mount and Telferizer Tomtom 450 Sat nav, ram mount and Telferizer Tomtom 450 Sat nav, ram mount and Telferizer Sumitomo plug with pins and seals. Sumitomo plug with pins and seals.

The switched power worked, it was quite exciting to see the sat nav light up when the ignition was switched on!

Tomtom 450 Sat nav, ram mount and Telferizer

The sat navs come with RAM mount parts to fit them to the bike, I considered using the one of the provided clamps but neither seemed suitable so I purchased the stem-mount ball from Telferizer, this slots into the hole in the top of the yoke.

First you have the really easy or really hard task of removing the stem-nut cover. We have two bikes, one was easy and one wasn't! The easy one I did by pushing a squashed wire coat hanger up from underneath to push the cover out enough to prise it with a screwdriver - lots of scary metal scatchy things near the paintwork - the cover is shaped like a Champagne cork, so it fits inside the hole as well as being on the top. The second bike was much more difficult and required several socket-set extensions pushing up and some taps with a rubber mallet.

The Tomtoms come with a short arm, which positions the sat nav right on top of the stem this is not great (pic above) because as we found out you have to look right down to see the sat-nav and therefore you're not looking at the road.

I borrowed a 3" extension from work and we decided it was too short, so we purchased the 5". This didn't work well either as there was too much movement due to the long arm - and it looked ridiculous (pic below).

Tomtom 450 Sat nav, ram mount and Telferizer

Back to the 3" extension as a compromise.

Tomtom 450 Sat nav, ram mount and Telferizer Tomtom 450 Sat nav, ram mount and Telferizer Tomtom 450 Sat nav, ram mount and Telferizer

Trip to Durham

  Posted on 30th August 2017


A couple of weeks ago it was our bike clubs annual trip and this years destination was up near Durham. Unfortunately the quickest way to get there was straight up the A1, which was boring, especially the 50mph average speed check stretch, lots of filtering was required in some areas, which was actually nice as it broke up the monotony.

Despite having the taller Honda screen the wind blast gets tiring on journeys like this, so I am starting to consider changing to the MRA touring screen.

There are some lovely roads across the North Pennines, with beautiful views of purple heather-covered hills and lots of open roads and great bends! Since returning from the trip we've realised that we've done a lot more miles on the CBR650Fs than on any of our other bikes, which I think proves that they are the right bikes for us. Current mileage is around 4900.

Roads travelled/places visited included: A689, B6277, A68, roads with no name, Alston, Bamburgh Castle, Barnard Castle, Alnwick Castle, Corbridge

Kriega bags packed and ready to go Cake stop at Corbridge Castle view at Bamburgh Castle Cake stop at Barnard castle Me leaving the hotel Me leaving the hotel