At EICMA this year, Honda got extremely busy launching bikes left and right with all sorts of updates and upgrades. Two of the Japanese brand’s most popular big bike models are getting a remarkable update for the 2024 model year which includes a new clutch system and new designs. The Honda CB650R and the Honda CBR650R will both benefit from Honda’s latest and greatest tech along with updated designs to keep things fresh.
Honda had a lot of bikes at its booth to show the world at EICMA 2023. In addition to the middleweights, even the heavyweight liter-class segment got a new fighter from Honda in the form of the CB1000 Hornet. Even then, Honda’s still pushing forward with its middleweight inline-four platforms, and the CB and CBR name will continue to sport 649cc engines moving into the 2024 model year with marked updates and upgrades.
Starting out with the CB650R, Honda’s popular naked bike has received a remarkable redesign, now more reminiscent of the CB1000R. New to the 650 class, the headlight of the CB1000R is now fitted on the CB650R, and accompanying that is a new set of side panels. Honda’s Neo Sports Cafe design language is still alive in this category but now with a more “refined” twist as per Honda’s press release. Lines are sharper on the bike, and aside from the headlight, the side panels are the next most notable change with a smaller footprint on the side compared to the outgoing model launched back in 2019.
Next up is the CBR650R, which sees a smoother look all around. The bike is more race-inspired than ever with its new fairings. Honda has also updated the tail section of the 2024 model, with a sharp rear end and a flush taillight. The front of the bike still retains its split headlight design with the ram air intake vents positioned right under. Airflow looks to have been optimized by Big H’s engineers with more cut-outs on the side of the fairings.
Fundamentally, the same platforms from the previous generation will be used in these iterations. This means that the same frames, engines, and suspension setups in the outgoing models will make a return.
Both bikes will still get a 649cc inline-four cylinder engine that pushes up to 94 horsepower and 46.5 pound-feet of torque. Output’s still governed by a standard traction control system, and the machines are damped by a 41-millimeter (1.61-inch) Showa Separate Function Fork-Big Piston (SFF-BP) in the front and a Showa mono-shock in the rear. The brakes on both bikes are mounted radially and are a four-piston Nissin system that bites on 310 dual rotors in the front.
While the bikes are mechanically identical to their predecessors, Honda modernized the feature set on these machines. Finally, the bikes will come with five-inch TFT displays along with full-color backlit buttons to navigate through. On top of that, the bikes will also be compatible with Honda’s RoadSync App for iOS and Android smartphone pairing, and there will also be an under-seat USB-C port for charging.
The biggest headlining feature of these two bikes will be the Honda E-Clutch system which will augment the traditional cable clutch. While the bikes will still rev out via a throttle cable, the clutch will feature two electronic servo motors that are governed by the ECU to disengage and engage the clutch. It’s an auxiliary assist system that will allow the bike to not only work with the existing slipper on the 649cc motor but also allow for up and downshifts without disturbing the lever on the handlebar. The system communicates with the ECU, resulting in seamless up and downshifts. In addition to that, the system will allow the rider to disengage automatically when the bike comes to a stop—saving a stall.
It’s also worth noting that the system can be overridden, allowing the rider full control and conventional operation. The system also features sensitivity presets which will allow the rider to tune how the E-Clutch behaves with hard, medium, and soft settings available.