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Old 29th May 2020, 20:06   #1
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Default Pragmatism in the world of bling: The story of my Honda CBR650F

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Money can’t buy you happiness, but it can buy you motorbikes!

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Old 29th May 2020, 20:15   #3
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Introduction and Riding history

There are some things in life you just cling on to at a very young age for no good reason even though you might not be directly influenced towards it by your surroundings or by the people around you. ‘Automobiles’ was one such thing for me. Like many other members here, ever since I was a kid, I too had this unexplainable interest towards everything on wheels. Apparently, as a kid, the moment anybody would come home, I’d invariably ask for their vehicle keys which would stay with me till their departure and this earned me the nickname ‘Key-king’.

While many motorcyclists are perceived to be haters of cars, I honestly enjoy driving too and my cars have seen considerable miles through the years too. Perhaps somewhere inadvertently, the bike pulls the heartstrings a wee bit more than the car! A topic for another day perhaps. For now, I’ll just run through my rides in the form of pictures. Like most 80s kids, I learned riding geared bikes on a neighbour’s HH splendour when I was young and wasn’t legally allowed to ride and my first bike was my father’s Suzuki Fiero 150, a legend in its own right. Unfortunately, I don’t have any pictures of it. Rest below.

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Circa 2006: On my Bajaj Pulsar 180 on the ECR towards Pondicherry. Excuse my helmet-less friend.

Pragmatism in the world of bling: The story of my Honda CBR650F-history_karizma.jpg
2009: Masinagudi Ghats on my beloved HH Karizma

Pragmatism in the world of bling: The story of my Honda CBR650F-history_duke390.jpg
Circa 2013: Somewhere on the NH66 on my KTM Duke 390

Pragmatism in the world of bling: The story of my Honda CBR650F-history_cbr250.jpg
2015: My beautiful CBR 250R – Clicked by Bhpian Chida

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Old 29th May 2020, 20:22   #4
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Default re: Pragmatism in the world of bling: The story of my Honda CBR650F

A summary of likes and dislikes


This is a long-term ownership review of my Honda CBR650F 2017. As on date, the bike is 3 years and 3 months old and has covered about 40,000 odd kilometres. I have traveled across our Country on my CBR covering/passing through about 17 states and UTs in our Country, if I recollect correctly. Now that you know the bikes I’ve owned in the past, you might invariably see some references to them as you read further.

Since Team-BHP has created a nice template for ownership reviews, I’d rather make use of the same and keep this review as helpful as possible to readers while putting my best efforts to stay objective and unbiased.

Likes:
  • The inline-4 650cc engine and the transmission. The engine is tuned to make decent torque at the low end to fit into the characteristics of a sports-tourer that this bike is meant to be. This means you can use the 6th gear from as low as 40 Kmph to 240 Kmph!
  • Fantastic fit, finish, and component quality all round. Paint quality is top-notch too. Just as expected from Honda.
  • Versatility and practicality. Be it commuting, touring, a bit of corner-carving fun on the track, or some high-speed thrills on that Sunday morning ride – this bike is the quintessential Jack of all.
  • Good ergonomics (Neither upright nor aggressive) to support the above point. A comfortable single seat providing great comfort to the rider and reasonable comfort to the pillion over long distances.
  • Reasonable part and service costs are relative to the segment translating to peaceful long-term ownership, especially for those who tend to clock more miles. Standard warranty of 2 years and an additional optional extended warranty of 3 years add to this.
  • Needless to mention, legendary Honda reliability. The bike has never given up on me till now ever, even in tough conditions.

Dislikes:
  • Buzzy nature of the engine at some RPMs. While the engine is mostly refined, you do feel a buzz on the tank and footpegs only at certain RPMs and gears. However, this has progressively reduced with more and more miles and perhaps even I have gotten so used to it that I can’t notice it anymore until I look for it.
  • The drab looking speedo console. It is difficult to believe the poor looking console was okayed to go on a bike launched in 2015! It is not even ‘function over form’ as it skips a critical readout like an Engine temperature gauge. Not done, Honda.
  • Slightly stiffer low-speed ride quality. Mind you, while the ride quality isn’t bone-jarring (like a KTM Duke for example), it is on the stiffer side especially at lower speeds but translates to good ride quality at higher speeds and no-wallowing at corners. However, overall, I’d personally prefer it to be slightly on the plusher side similar to a CBR 250R.
  • Low Ground clearance. With just 133mm, I must be very careful over unscientific speed breakers. With a pillion and luggage, it is mandatory to stiffen the rear springs a few notches.
  • Ineffective single headlight, aged-looking halogen lamps for indicators, and a single horn. The 2018 facelift gets a LED headlight.
  • This is subjective, but some might find the looks a little dated/boring. Personally, while I love how the bike looks, the only available HRC colour scheme during my purchase isn’t my favourite as I prefer solid colours. Most aspirational buyers will find the newer CBR650R better looking.
  • Definitely pricey for what it offers. The best time to lap it up was when Honda decided to clear the stock with a 1L flat discount on the ex-showroom price which made it VFM.

Pragmatism in the world of bling: The story of my Honda CBR650F-3-cbrs.jpg

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Old 29th May 2020, 20:27   #5
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Would something else have worked?


While I was completely happy with the CBR250R I previously owned, the itch to upgrade to a more powerful bike got the better of me. With a decent amount of touring experience behind me, my purchase was fuelled by clearly outlined needs and some clichéd ‘childhood superbike dreams’. Considering my budget and the fact that I did not want my first big bike to be a pre-owned one, the only alternative seriously considered was a Kawasaki Versys 650 as the VStrom wasn’t in the market yet. While the Kawasaki Indiranagar outlet did not consider me important enough to provide a test ride, I had to go through a friend to get one from the Kalyannagar outlet. One test ride on the Versys and I decided it’s not for me.
  • High seat height (I am around 170cm tall) compounded by a wide seat that doesn’t taper at the tank meant I had to tip-toe on the bike. This was very intimidating especially since the bike also felt top-heavy.
  • Aged-looking console, commuter-ish exhaust note from the twin-cylinder engine, and overall feel of the bike were a little underwhelming to me.
  • Poor post-sale service experiences of existing users in terms of personnel attitude, spares availability, and costs were not encouraging. I believe things are much better now.

With this, the Ninja650 and its naked sibling too were out of contention since its essentially the same engine doing duty in these.
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Old 29th May 2020, 20:33   #6
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Complete booking & delivery experience with the dealership – Silicon Honda, Bangalore


At the outset, I must say the Test Ride, Booking, Delivery, and Service experiences with Silicon Honda have been nothing short of exemplary and the team there deserves a pat on the back!

Much before I decided to make the purchase, I went for a look & feel session and short test ride one day and my thoughts after that have been written here (Honda CBR 650F launched in India at Rs. 7.3 lakh).

A couple of years after this, I contacted the then SPOC for sales and service, Mr. Sanjay with the intention of getting a long test ride. He was very keen but not pushy from our first conversation and was willing to get the bike home for a test ride. The next weekend he was home and we decided to ride to Devarayanadurga, a good 60 km ride. I chose this as it is a good mix of highways, Country roads, and some curves leading up to the top of the hill. This was perfect as I wanted a long test ride with my wife and at the end of it, we both were completely smitten with the bike. The wife was comfortable and felt she was much more comfortable on this than the 250. We thanked Sanjay profusely for the long test ride and the delightful experience.

With this, the decision was clear, and Sanjay was informed of the booking the next day. I again went to the showroom with my mother as she did not get a chance to see the bike the day before. Happened to meet some existing owners here and their experiences with the bike were reassuring.

The path ahead was fairly simple. Silicon had bikes in their stockyard and mine was brought to the showroom. Did the PDI and VIN verification. Since I did not opt for finance, the bike was available for delivery in flat 3 days after booking.

The delivery was a memorable and pleasant affair. With my family and a few close biker friends (Team-BHP Bakar Boys – TBBB) present, there was a small cake cutting ceremony followed by some pictures clicked. Thanks to the hawk-eyed Bhpian friends, one more round of PDI happened at the spot!

Pragmatism in the world of bling: The story of my Honda CBR650F-3.jpg
Us with Sanjay and also the owner of Silicon - Mr. Baliga

Pragmatism in the world of bling: The story of my Honda CBR650F-2.jpg
Along with BHPians Deepaksaligram, Shan-ned, man_of_steel, maverick46 and mashblue. Goandude not in the picture.

Pragmatism in the world of bling: The story of my Honda CBR650F-1.jpg
Proud moment when a childhood dream of owning a superbike comes true

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Old 30th May 2020, 16:07   #7
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Some thoughts on the bike


Pragmatism in the world of bling: The story of my Honda CBR650F-7.jpg

Very often you’d see the CBR650 suggested to someone who’s moving up the ladder to a superbike with the reasoning that it is unintimidating and easy to ride. While this is very true, IMO it can mislead a newbie to believe that this bike doesn’t have sufficient performance, which isn’t true at all. With specs like 85BHP and 62Nm of torque, the performance is par for the course. However, the performance is delivered in a smooth, linear and unintimidating manner which makes it easy for a rider of relative inexperience get used to it. In my opinion, for the kind of conditions we mostly ride in, the 650CC segment is the perfect balance between performance and safety and the CBR is no different.

Rider Safety and Electronic Aids:
In terms of rider safety and electronic riding aids, the only aid the CBR offers is Dual-channel ABS. Ride-by-wire, riding modes, traction control, quick-shifter, slipper-clutch – none of these gizmos are present. While the presence of these are indeed welcome, the positive side of it is that the reliability quotient is higher as there are lesser electronics to potentially fail. In addition, there is a certain charm associated with riding a bike with lesser electronic aids with the downside that the rider skill becomes more significant as there are no electronics to safeguard you from mistakes.

Styling & Design:
Usually, the first thing that comes to mind when you think of a superbike is a twin headlamp front fascia. However, the CBR650F doesn’t get that (The new R gets it!). It is a single headlamp setup that looks quite good in isolation. The front design is wide enough to distinguish itself from the smaller bikes and one can make out it is a superbike from the front. The light smoke tint on the headlamps and the black plastic peripheral inserts enhance the front look. The side view is through a bikini fairing that exposes a good part of the engine on the sides. The fairing also has a slit that provides a beautiful peek into the 4 exhaust pipes. This makes the front three quarters angle the best viewing angle for this bike.

Pragmatism in the world of bling: The story of my Honda CBR650F-sexy-pic-2.jpg

The tank is beautifully shaped and the rider’s knees slot well into the cheeks. This is important on this bike as the ergonomics require the rider to grip the tank with the knees in order to avoid complete weight on the wrist.

Pragmatism in the world of bling: The story of my Honda CBR650F-tank.jpg

The exhaust is well integrated and slots just below the swingarm. The cat-con (Bread-box as we usually call it) sticks out like a sore thumb. However, my bike now runs on an Akrapovic full system exhaust which looks beautiful. More details on this later.

Pragmatism in the world of bling: The story of my Honda CBR650F-3.jpg

The rear section is minimalistic with an integrated grab-rail below the seat for the pillion to hold on to. The rear overhang is well proportioned and does not make the rear wheel look puny. This is something I like on the 650F compared to the new R. The tail lamp is an all-LED unit that looks smart and fits well into the rest of the bike.

The build quality as I stated earlier is top-notch. In all these years of running on all types of roads in the country, there’s not a single rattle I hear from any part of the bike. The switchgear is of high quality and I’ve never faced any issues in terms of their functioning till now. The position of horn and indicator switches are infamously swapped on the newer Hondas; however, this is a minor grouse as you get used to it in no time. In fact, unlearning it when you ride the other two-wheelers is tougher. The paint quality is fantastic across the bike too.

Pragmatism in the world of bling: The story of my Honda CBR650F-detailing.jpg
3 years and 40k+ km - She still looks brand new after a round of detailing

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Old 30th May 2020, 16:58   #8
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Tyres:

The bike came with Dunlop Sportsmax tyres from the factory. While these tyres were acceptable in dry conditions till about 12k kilometres, the bike soon became almost unrideable post that. Since I was in the middle of a big ride, I had to push the tyre swap to 16k Kilometres. I upgraded the tyres to Michelin PR4 both front and back and the handling and ride quality improved dramatically post that, especially in wet conditions. The PR4s were great all-round tyres and lasted me a surprising 23k kilometres. That’s a lot of life for sportbike tyres and I was glad they served me well. At about 39k on the odometer, I have switched to its successor, the Michelin Road 5. I have not upsized as I don't think it's necessary. Stock sizes are 120/70/17 at the front while 180/55/17 at the rear.

Pragmatism in the world of bling: The story of my Honda CBR650F-2.jpg


Pragmatism in the world of bling: The story of my Honda CBR650F-3.jpg


Pragmatism in the world of bling: The story of my Honda CBR650F-4.jpg
The wheels were balanced for the first time in 40k km.


Pragmatism in the world of bling: The story of my Honda CBR650F-1.jpg
Work done at a BHPian friend's outlet. Top-notch workmanship

Riding Ergonomics

The rider position is a perfect balance between comfort and aggressive postures. It is neither as upright as an Adv tourer nor as aggressive as a super-sport. In my experience, this posture takes some getting used to. Initially, I struggled to transition to the posture. However, I soon realized the trick is to grip the tank with your thighs and not let your body weight fall completely on your arms. In the correct position, the rider’s arms must be a little bent at the elbow and should be free to move about. However, if you tend to use the bike in slow-moving city traffic regularly, you might find the posture a bit strenuous as you’ll have to keep putting your feet down, not allowing you to grip the tank.

Pragmatism in the world of bling: The story of my Honda CBR650F-ergonomics.jpg

In terms of comfort, the rider seat is wide and you also have enough space to slide about front to back and change positions based on comfort. The pillion seat is fairly comfortable although not Adv tourer (Read Versys, Vstrom etc.) standards. The wife has been comfortable and there have been instances where we have clocked 500-850 Km in a single day. However, you need to ensure the pillion is also educated how to sit on the bike, how not to transfer their bodyweight completely on to the rider and how to move along with the bike while taking corners. This will happen through discussion and experience. I have also done small modifications to my luggage system to improve pillion comfort. More details on that later.
Pro-tip for riding with Pillion: Get an intercom device like a Sena and keep the pillion involved in the journey.

The seat height is a pretty standard 810mm and most riders will have no difficulty with regards to this. The low CG and balanced proportions of the bike also ensure it is not a herculean task to pull/push the bike in parking situations.

The mirrors are mounted on the dome and are big as well as wide enough to aid good visibility. They are a little buzzy at idle RPM but have no vibes while on the move. You can also fold them in when parking in tight spaces. However, since they are mounted on the dome, you’ll have to stretch a little to adjust them to your comfort while on the move.

In terms of some practicality, there’s enough space under the single-seat to hold the tool kit and vehicle documents.

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Old 30th May 2020, 20:06   #9
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The heart of the matter:

In terms of the specs, the liquid-cooled, PGM-FI inline-four 648.7cc powerplant pushes out 85 BHP at 11,000 RPM with 62 Nm of torque at 8000 RPM. The fact that this engine was built to fit into a middleweight sports tourer means it is extremely tractable and hence makes decent bottom-end torque and phenomenal midrange. In comparison, the conventional super sports we’ve known over the years (The likes of R6 and CBR600s) feel dead at lower RPMs and wake up only beyond 6000 RPM.

Since the engine makes a good amount of torque from as low as 2-2.5K RPM, it is effortless to roll off from 1st or even 2nd gear and it takes quite some effort to stall this engine. Once it crosses 3000 RPM, there’s more grunt available across all gears. However, once it crosses 6000 RPM there’s another surge of power available and it pulls fast. However, the acceleration is linear, refined, smooth, and step-free in nature. As per Autocar’s acceleration tests, 0-100kph happens in an impressive 4.23 seconds, smashing past 160kph in 9.59secs and still accelerating relentlessly through 200kph in 19.47s. For me, this is more than ample performance for the conditions we ride in.

Pragmatism in the world of bling: The story of my Honda CBR650F-sexypic1.jpg

My usage has predominantly been on highways. Out of the 40k on the odometer, about 15k km were during 2 big rides, one to Rajasthan & Gujarat in 2017 and another to Bhutan in 2018. The rest has been around the highways in South India. In-city riding has largely been a rare commute to work or for scheduled service.

In real-world touring, you’d find me consistently between 90-130 kph based on the merit of the conditions, which is C-O-M-F-O-R-T-A-B-L-E on this bike. On 6th gear, 100 Kph comes at a relaxed 4900 RPM and 120kph at ~5500 RPM. At these speeds, you’re well into the meat of the midrange and a twist of the throttle is all it takes to pass even fast-moving vehicles. Also, when you need to brake for a speed-breaker or any other obstacle on the road, the bike can effortlessly come back to cruising speeds ridiculously fast, ensuring good average speeds. Also, the gear ratios ensure the bike can go down to 35-40 kph in 6th gear without stressing the engine thereby significantly reducing the number of gear changes. Reduces a lot of fatigue when you can cruise toll-to-toll in top gear on those marathon mile-munching days.

While riding within the city, 3rd and 4th gears are what you’ll find yourself in. Since the bike makes good low-end torque, it doesn’t warrant too many gear changes and can potter around happily. The clutch action isn’t too heavy while it’s not CBR250 light either. The heat from the engine is felt in B2B traffic. However, the heat management system does its job very well and you won’t have Tandoori-thighs for sure. I can confidently say my 1st gen Duke 390 used to heat up way more than this. Be wary of the right side of the engine that protrudes a wee bit more than on the left. If your choice of gear is a chappal, you risk burning your ankle while trying to apply the rear brake.

The exhaust note of this inline-4 was a little disappointing in the real world. Mind you, it doesn’t sound coarse. It was just a little too quiet. Beyond 80 kph on a highway, it used to feel like an electric bike with no sound at all! This, in my opinion, robbed a lot of character off the bike. Apparently, this was marginally better from the 2018 facelift onwards since Honda made changes to the intake and the exhaust.

Pragmatism in the world of bling: The story of my Honda CBR650F-akra2.jpg

While I usually prefer to keep my vehicles mechanically stock, I could not resist myself from getting an Akrapovic full system exhaust. This was installed when the odometer was around the 18k mark and I have only grown to love the bike even more post that!

This is how much difference it makes and how beautiful the bike sounds with the Akra!



Overall, apart from the slight (almost negligible) buzz at some RPMs, the engine is a real gem. It is what makes this bike a true all-rounder that I’ve been in love with!

Fuel efficiency and Tank range:

The CBR 650F is equipped with a 17.3L tank. Along with all the other good things, this 650CC engine is quite frugal too. My average fuel efficiency to date has been 23.7 Km/L calculated through an app that I use. This gives me a theoretical range of about 400 Km. For all practical purposes, 300 – 370 Km has proved to be the real-world tank range. The best I have done is about 400 km when I was hypermiling at 65-70 km/h during a ride since we couldn’t find a bunk. While touring, I usually start looking for a bunk at around 280 km since the previous full-tank.

If riding within the city, however, the efficiency drops to roughly 16-18 km/l depending on the density of the traffic you’re riding in.

I have logged almost every tank-up since the purchase of the bike on an app. Posting some screenshots for the benefit of readers.

Pragmatism in the world of bling: The story of my Honda CBR650F-1.jpg
Sedate touring - Cruising around 110km/h


Pragmatism in the world of bling: The story of my Honda CBR650F-2.jpg
Slightly aggressive breakfast rides - Speed and acceleration bursts.


Pragmatism in the world of bling: The story of my Honda CBR650F-3.jpg
Statistics on Fuel spend to date.


Pragmatism in the world of bling: The story of my Honda CBR650F-screenshot_20200530211502.jpg
Fuel consumption statistics at the bottom

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Old 30th May 2020, 22:15   #10
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Cost of Scheduled Service, essential maintenance and accessories:

The below tables should be self-explanatory.

1. Cost of Periodic services:

While Honda recommends a service every 6k km, the oil change interval is recommended to be 12k km, that's every alternate service. However, till now I've changed the oil and oil filter every 6k km.

Pragmatism in the world of bling: The story of my Honda CBR650F-periodic-service-.jpg

2. Essential Maintenance exclusive of periodic services:

Pragmatism in the world of bling: The story of my Honda CBR650F-essential-maintenance.jpg

3. Non-essential Accessories cost:

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Old 31st May 2020, 11:48   #11
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Suspension, Handling, GC and Braking:

Pragmatism in the world of bling: The story of my Honda CBR650F-suspension.jpg

This bike came with non-adjustable conventional front forks and a 7-step preload-adjustable rear mono-shock. The suspension is set at step-2 from the factory and I have always preferred to keep it at step 4 usually. As stated earlier, the ride quality is on the stiffer side, more so at speeds lower than 60 kph. The good side of this is that this slightly stiff sprung nature coupled with a good neutral-feeling chassis inspires confidence when you intend to attack corners. The bike remains largely balanced and composed even on mid-corner bumps or uneven surfaces. However, on slower, tighter corners, you do feel the weight of the bike on the handles especially if you’ve jumped from a segment lower and lighter. At highway speeds, the bike feels extremely confident and planted. The lower center of gravity and the overall lower height compared to an Adv tourer mean you're relatively lesser impacted by crosswinds on highways.

With a pillion on board, you need to be careful of the ground clearance which is at a premium. On the Bhutan ride, I had my wife along with quite a lot of soft-luggage – Saddlebags, tank bag, and 2 Duffel bags on the luggage rack. Due to the weight, I had to crank up the rear suspension to step-5. With this, I did not scrape the under-side of the bike anywhere as in some places around Bhagalpur, Bihar, I had to climb up and down the tall road shoulder as trucks were parked on the road. This episode inspired a lot of confidence with the fact that I can indeed tour on this bike even in not-so-ideal conditions.

The ABS-equipped Nissin brakes are simply the best I have used so far. The front has two petal discs while the rear has one. The bite and the feedback from the front brakes are precise, to say the least, and perform predictably and without much drama when you have to shed speeds urgently. The phenomenal braking coupled with engine braking inspires confidence at highway speeds. The rear brakes however are progressive in nature and suffer from a slightly wooden-feel. Like many experienced bikers, I too am front brake biased in terms of real-world usage. This is the reason I changed my front brake pads at 20k while the rear brake pads lasted 34k km.

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Old 31st May 2020, 12:50   #12
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Accessories and touring luggage details:


Accessories: Some of them are functional based on requirements and some of them are cosmetic in nature. The costs for all the accessories have been put up in another post above.

1. R&G Frame sliders:

Whether frame sliders (Especially single-point mount ones) protect the bike or potentially cause more damage is a never-ending debate. It also depends on the type of as well as the speeds at which a crash can happen. However, it is more of a peace-of-mind thing and I have it installed.

2. Carbon Racing Radiator guard:

A Radiator guard is a must-have on these bikes. Be it a pressure-wash or a small stone or any other form of debris on the highway, the damage it can cause to the radiator can have huge consequences to the machine and on your wallet. This Radiator guard was prototyped by Carbon Racing Bangalore on my bike. It's made well and I have no reason to look for any other brand.

3. Tank pad, Stomp grips:

The tank pad ensures the riding pant does not rub and cause scratches on the tank surface. The stomp grips ensure more grip when the rider tucks his knees against the tank cheeks. Both of these add to the aesthetics as well.

4. Givi Saddlebag supports and luggage rack:

The saddlebag supports were installed first as I did not want to use bungees or any other jugaad to protect the saddlebags from touching the tyres. Found the Givi unit built for the CBR650F perfect for my needs. Thanks to my BHPian friends Hifisharu and Porschefire for bringing it down from Germany.

A year or so later, I got the Givi luggage rack along with the top-box plate, also from Germany.

Pragmatism in the world of bling: The story of my Honda CBR650F-luggage1.jpg
Set-up with only saddlebags

Pragmatism in the world of bling: The story of my Honda CBR650F-luggage2.jpg
Added a layer of foam and topped it with a seat cover - to make it more comfortable for the wife.

Pragmatism in the world of bling: The story of my Honda CBR650F-luggage3.jpg
Added the Givi luggage rack and top-box plate.

Pragmatism in the world of bling: The story of my Honda CBR650F-luggage4.jpg

Pragmatism in the world of bling: The story of my Honda CBR650F-luggage5.jpg
Thanks to my friend BHPian audioholic - The go-to DIY expert

Pragmatism in the world of bling: The story of my Honda CBR650F-duffel-bag.jpg
This is the full set-up. A good back-rest for my pillion. This luggage was sufficient for a 16-day ride for both of us.

5. Akrapovic full system exhaust:

Well, nothing to justify this apart from the aural pleasure and the slight power bump. It has truly enriched my ownership experience and has added huge character to the bike.

I have the DB Killer and won't remove it. This way it is relatively quiet at idle speeds and can sing when I open the throttle. It is not intrusive at all at cruising speeds.

Pragmatism in the world of bling: The story of my Honda CBR650F-akra1.jpg

Pragmatism in the world of bling: The story of my Honda CBR650F-akra6.jpg

Pragmatism in the world of bling: The story of my Honda CBR650F-akra5.jpg

Pragmatism in the world of bling: The story of my Honda CBR650F-akra3.jpg

Pragmatism in the world of bling: The story of my Honda CBR650F-akra4.jpg

Pragmatism in the world of bling: The story of my Honda CBR650F-akra2.jpg


6. OPT7 LED headlight bulb:

This was procured from Amazon US and brought down by a friend. This is about a 30% improvement over the stock old-school halogen bulb. It comes with a small fan to keep it cool. It was a simple install done at SH.

However, the low beam has failed now after using it for 2.5 years and only the High-beam works. I need to change the bulb soon.


Pragmatism in the world of bling: The story of my Honda CBR650F-opt7_2.jpg

Pragmatism in the world of bling: The story of my Honda CBR650F-opt7_3.jpg
Got a pair as there was a deal on it. Gave the other bulb to a friend.

Pragmatism in the world of bling: The story of my Honda CBR650F-opt7.jpg

7. GA Engineering Paddock stand:

My bike is usually parked on this as I have a narrow parking spot. All my checks and chain maintenance is done with the bike on this. I had done a bulk purchase from the friendly chap Gaurav of GA Engineering for the Honda Karnataka group. You can contact him on the Facebook page. Good quality, you have V and L adaptor options and has proven itself over the last 3 years.

Pragmatism in the world of bling: The story of my Honda CBR650F-paddock1.jpg

Pragmatism in the world of bling: The story of my Honda CBR650F-paddoct2.jpg

Last edited by Added_flavor : 31st May 2020 at 13:09.
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Old 31st May 2020, 13:28   #13
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Default re: Pragmatism in the world of bling: The story of my Honda CBR650F

Details of our current Riding gear:

Reiterating what I said in another post elsewhere on the forum, for me, it's always function over form and I tend to spend the least possible amount on gear but not compromise on safety. The logic is that every penny saved goes to fuel and travels. Hence I always prefer affordable brands like Solace, Rynox, Spartan, etc. The Solace Furious Jacket I use, for example, has CE - Approved level 2 Sas-Tec protection for elbows, shoulder, and back and has level 1 chest protectors too.

So in my perspective beyond a certain point, you're only paying for the brag quotient of a brand and not for safety anymore. So I'd prefer a high safety rated affordable brand at 15k versus an entry-level textile jacket of an A* or Dainese etc. If you intend to spend more money, however, then there are safer gears from these brands. That's a subjective call.

Me:
  • HJC RPHA-ST helmet.
  • Sparx helmet - Old one. Now used only for in-city rides.
  • Solace furious touring jacket.
  • Spartan Helios mesh jacket - used for shorter breakfast rides on hot days.
  • Rynox Advento riding pants.
  • TBG full-length waterproof touring boots - due for an upgrade soon.
  • Solace Bravo full gauntlet gloves.

Wife:
  • HJC CS-15 helmet - Recently procured.
  • Spartan Kranos helmet - Retired now.
  • TBG F-breed women's jacket.
  • Solace women's riding pants.
  • Rjay's half gauntlet gloves.
  • Solace women's riding boots.

Some travelogues involving my CBR on team-bhp for reading pleasure. Needless to say, there are no travelogues of many other rides. Those are permanently etched in memory.

Last edited by Added_flavor : 31st May 2020 at 15:50.
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Old 31st May 2020, 14:46   #14
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Default re: Pragmatism in the world of bling: The story of my Honda CBR650F

Final thoughts:

Like many others, I too dreamt of owning a superbike as a kid. To be honest, for a large part of my adulthood, I never thought I'll be able to afford one, but life has been kind. I was not only fortunate enough to be able to own one, but to experience it so extensively and travel the country has been nothing short of a miracle for me.

Pragmatism in the world of bling: The story of my Honda CBR650F-yay.jpg


Being a typical middle-class guy, I have always thought beyond the purchase of the bike and of service costs as well and this bike has not disappointed in any sense. It has been relatively easy on the pocket, frugal while running, the service quality from Honda has been great and overall it has been a perfect balance of heart and mind, for me. For anybody who is looking for an under-rated, pragmatic sports-tourer, this is the bike to go for. With the new CBR650R being much more track-oriented, the 650F has become a limited edition of sorts and I am proud to own one.

I am merely human and I have my moments of infatuation towards bigger and better bikes at times too, but one spin on the CBR, and I realize she's a keeper! The day I grow out of love or grow too old/unfit for this bike, I might look for a different one. For now, I am loving it!

Apart from the practical aspects of ownership, the friends and memories my wife and I have made through each kilometer of motorcycling are nothing but precious! We hope to keep it going as long as we possibly can!

Thank you for reading!

Last edited by Added_flavor : 31st May 2020 at 14:51.
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Old 31st May 2020, 16:53   #15
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Default re: Pragmatism in the world of bling: The story of my Honda CBR650F

Thread moved out from the Assembly Line. Thanks for sharing, Suhas!
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