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CBR650R too fast for the street?

Vector

2019
CBR650R ABS
Messages
51
Likes
66
Thread starter #1
So i just wanted to start a general discussion about the usefulness of an inline 4 with 90+ horsepower for normal street use and hear your opinions.
There are a lot of people on this forum with way more experience than I do and a long list of bikes they owned.

So today I tried to push the bike on some country roads within the legal speed limit.
In Germany that's around 100kph (~60mph).

If you want to drive in the correct rpm range, you basically only need 2 gears. First and Second. Maybe third and for longer straights forth, if you dont want to stress the engine too much. That's it.

A lot of times I was driving in third gear and within seconds I was driving too fast. Close too 100kph is were the fun begins and I found it really hard too control myself. I felt like I was checking the speedo every two seconds just to make sure I wasn't speeding.

If we didn't have the Autobahn in Germany I would really ask myself why the f do I ride an i4 where the power is at the top, basically out of reach within the speed limit and not a twin were I can really use the power?

What do you guys think? We all love our bikes and I wouldn't change it for anything else right now, but does it really make sense?
 

the.happy.biker

2019
CB650R ABS
Messages
21
Likes
28
Location
Germany
#2
That's an interesting thought, Vector.

I still drive my CB650R with 48 hp because I have only owned my A2 for 8 months.
(I got my motorcycle license at the age of 38.^^)

But I also got the idea today how the bike go with 95 hp (...a lot of power for the country roads)
 

Eimas

2018
CBR650F ABS
Messages
17
Likes
17
#3
As long as you will get some practice, you wouldn't need looking at dashboard every 2 seconds, you will feel it :)
Also you kind of listed all the gears (ofc unmentioned 5 and 6 is for cruising). Riding in city on 1st or 2nd gear, i dunno, there is everyone choice and riding style.
Still in that case CBR650 is 4 inline, you can easily cruise in city on 4th gear without any problems or loss of joy. You can even start in 3rd :)
 

Vector

2019
CBR650R ABS
Messages
51
Likes
66
Thread starter #4
That's an interesting thought, Vector.

I still drive my CB650R with 48 hp because I have only owned my A2 for 8 months.
(I got my motorcycle license at the age of 38.^^)

But I also got the idea today how the bike go with 95 hp (...a lot of power for the country roads)
It's never too late to start! I didn't even know it is possible to make an A2 after the age of 25. Interesting decision.. Why didn't you make the A license and just restricted the motorcycle anyway?
 

the.happy.biker

2019
CB650R ABS
Messages
21
Likes
28
Location
Germany
#5
Still in that case CBR650 is 4 inline, you can easily cruise in city on 4th gear without any problems or loss of joy. You can even start in 3rd :)
And that's exactly what I love so much about the 4 cylinder!

It's never too late to start! I didn't even know it is possible to make an A2 after the age of 25. Interesting decision.. Why didn't you make the A license and just restricted the motorcycle anyway?
I can tell you that. For one thing, I only needed a few driving lessons and was able to take the practical test.
But if I had known that I had so much fun riding the bike, I would have made the open license.

But the whole thing has one advantage: I can get familiar with the motorcycle in its throttled form.
 

Vector

2019
CBR650R ABS
Messages
51
Likes
66
Thread starter #6
As long as you will get some practice, you wouldn't need looking at dashboard every 2 seconds, you will feel it :)
Also you kind of listed all the gears (ofc unmentioned 5 and 6 is for cruising). Riding in city on 1st or 2nd gear, i dunno, there is everyone choice and riding style.
Still in that case CBR650 is 4 inline, you can easily cruise in city on 4th gear without any problems or loss of joy. You can even start in 3rd :)
You are absolutely right about the dashboard and getting some practice! I still have to get used to the bike and jumping from 48hp to the open version.
Of course every gear has its advantages and disadvantages, but I felt like it would make more sense to have the power on the bottom end for the everyday use.
It was frustrating to let off the throttle once the fun began :D
 

Jerry

2016
CBR650F ABS
Messages
793
Likes
664
Location
The Netherlands
#8
Well, 90hp sounds quite decent and low-end in today's world of 200+hp bikes. There's a good many 100+hp bikes that are still considered mid-range.

Is 90hp too much for the street? I don't think so. But it depends on how you approach it. Looking at it from a purely practical stand point, an A2 restricted 650R would be more than sufficient. But yet, it's not quite the same.

I do feel there's a point where more hp is not necessary for street riding, even if its sporty riding.
 

miweber929

2014
CBR650F
Mod
650F Alumnus
Messages
1,481
Likes
815
Location
Woodbury, MN
#9
If you think 100hp is too much for the street, ride a liter bike with 150+ hp!!! When I had my 1000RR I rode all day in second just to see if I could: yep, 0-120mph is easily done. Those bikes, to me at least, are overkill.

Personally I think 110-120hp is about perfect for a streetbike, enough to be FUN but easy enough to manage where you don’t have to constantly be concerned you're at the go-directly-to-jail speeds. A twin or triple is torquier but it doesn’t make it any better or any worse than a 4 in the end.

You’ve doubled the power of your bike with really no other changes. Give it time, you’ll be looking for more power soon enough :)
 

jerzy_bondov

2017
CBR650F ABS
Messages
67
Likes
40
Location
London
#10
Miweber is right - you do adjust to whatever power you have and then consider that to be a minimum :) One of the benefits of extra power for the road is that it tends to come with more torque - which makes overtaking easier and safer. Same thing with seeing situations unfolding in front of you and realising the safest place to be is in front of it all - seeing a gap and going for it. No time to change gear, just a gentle twist of the wrist and you've squirted through.

You don't have to be using ALL the power, ALL the time :) On a litre bike it's pretty much impossible to have the throttle wide open and in the power band (in any gear), and not be breaking the speed limit...
 

hotrob

2019
CB650R ABS
Messages
5
Likes
9
#11
If you want to drive in the correct rpm range, you basically only need 2 gears. First and Second. Maybe third and for longer straights forth, if you dont want to stress the engine too much.

If we didn't have the Autobahn in Germany I would really ask myself why the f do I ride an i4 where the power is at the top, basically out of reach within the speed limit and not a twin were I can really use the power?
The "correct rpm range" is from around 2,000rpm (any lower and it might start snatching) and 12,000rpm (peak power). That means it can be ridden in 6th gear from about 25mph. Because it is a high revving engine (compared with most twin cyclinder engines of similar capacity) it is a little lower geared than most 650cc twins (despite making more power and being geared for a higher top speed), but it's torque curve is reasonably flat. It compares well with a Suzuki SV650, for example. I owned an SV650 (about a year ago) and I'd say that the Honda's acceleration in top gear is just as good as the SV650, and probably better once you get to about 60mph. So I disagree that "the power is at the top". All internal conbustion engines make the most power at their peak power rpm (of course!), but just because it has a four cylinder engine that doesn't mean that it only makes useful power at the top of the rev range. Most 4 cylinder car engines make loads of power at low and mid rpms too, and consider most American V8 engines which make loads of low rev grunt. The shape of the power curve is mostly down to how the engine is tuned by the manufacturer rather than how many cylinders it has. It's not like the old two-stroke bikes of my youth (mid 1970s). With those at lower rpm you could twist the grip to full throttle and you would have zero acceleration! On those you would have to gear down to get the revs into it's useful power range, but that's not neccessary with most four-stroke engines.

These Honda 650s perform just as well as similar capacity twins, and there is more performance available should you need or want it (but you'll need to select first or second gear to access that power and keep to legal speed limits). However, you don't need to ride around in second gear in order to easily overtake cars - you can go from 50 - 70mph in 6th gear quite quickly (and only using a small amount of throttle - it isn't stressing the engine too much). I don't understand why a lot of guys seems to think that they have to ride around with the revs up in the top half (or even quarter) of the rev range all of the time. That's just wasting fuel, causing unneccesary air pollution and noise, and puts MORE stress on the engine. You should be trying to keep the revs to a minimum all of the time.

At peak power (12,000rpm) the bike (CB650R) does 61mph in first gear, 80mph in second, 99mph in third, 120mph in fourth, 137mph in fith and 154mph in sixth. But saying you only need two gears is like saying you only need one gear to drive around town in a car. You could drive around town screaming the engine in first gear, because you car may do 40mph in first gear, but you'd be an idiot to do so! Likewise with the Honda (or any bike). You should get into top gear as soon as possible.

I've been amazed when I've watched YouTube videos of guys test riding bikes and they seem too lazy (or stupid?!) to change up through the gearbox. They cuise along at a constant speed behind cars in say 3rd gear, yet later on they'll go at a slower speed in 6th gear and easily accelerate from that lower speed in 6th. Why?! I watched one guy riding a Triumph Street Twin (my previous bike was a Street Twin) and he was riding on a motorway at 80mph in third gear and commenting that it didn't have much performance at 80mph. In third gear 80mph is peak power rpm! His only excuse could be that it doesn't have a rev counter, but it would make anyone with some mechanical sympathy cringe to see him unneccessarily revving the nuts off it, knowing that he'd have performance to spare if he changed up to fourth or fifth (top) gear.

What fuel consumption are you getting? My CB650R is in for its running-in service today, but so far I've been getting between 60 an 64mpg (13.2 to 14.1 miles per litre). If you're only using 1st to 4th gears I suspect you'll be using more fuel.

We'll soon be riding electric bikes, when you probably won't have to worry about gears. They make maximum torque at zero rpm. My current car is a Nissan LEAF. It's motor revs to a little over 10,000rpm but from 0 - 3,000rpm it makes peak torque, and from there upwards it makes peak power. It's great to drive, and I expect electric bikes will be, or are, great to ride too, even with just one gear.
 
Last edited:

Vector

2019
CBR650R ABS
Messages
51
Likes
66
Thread starter #13
The "correct rpm range" is from around 2,000rpm (any lower and it might start snatching) and 12,000rpm (peak power). That means it can be ridden in 6th gear from about 25mph. Because it is a high revving engine (compared with most twin cyclinder engines of similar capacity) it is a little lower geared than most 650cc twins (despite making more power and being geared for a higher top speed), but it's torque curve is reasonably flat. It compares well with a Suzuki SV650, for example. I owned an SV650 (about a year ago) and I'd say that the Honda's acceleration in top gear is just as good as the SV650, and probably better once you get to about 60mph. So I disagree that "the power is at the top". All internal conbustion engines make the most power at their peak power rpm (of course!), but just because it has a four cylinder engine that doesn't mean that it only makes useful power at the top of the rev range. Most 4 cylinder car engines make loads of power at low and mid rpms too, and consider most American V8 engines which make loads of low rev grunt. The shape of the power curve is mostly down to how the engine is tuned by the manufacturer rather than how many cylinders it has. It's not like the old two-stroke bikes of my youth (mid 1970s). With those at lower rpm you could twist the grip to full throttle and you would have zero acceleration! On those you would have to gear down to get the revs into it's useful power range, but that's not neccessary with most four-stroke engines.

These Honda 650s perform just as well as similar capacity twins, and there is more performance available should you need or want it (but you'll need to select first or second gear to access that power and keep to legal speed limits). However, you don't need to ride around in second gear in order to easily overtake cars - you can go from 50 - 70mph in 6th gear quite quickly (and only using a small amount of throttle - it isn't stressing the engine too much). I don't understand why a lot of guys seems to think that they have to ride around with the revs up in the top half (or even quarter) of the rev range all of the time. That's just wasting fuel, causing unneccesary air pollution and noise, and puts MORE stress on the engine. You should be trying to keep the revs to a minimum all of the time.

At peak power (12,000rpm) the bike (CB650R) does 61mph in first gear, 80mph in second, 99mph in third, 120mph in fourth, 137mph in fith and 154mph in sixth. But saying you only need two gears is like saying you only need one gear to drive around town in a car. You could drive around town screaming the engine in first gear, because you car may do 40mph in first gear, but you'd be an idiot to do so! Likewise with the Honda (or any bike). You should get into top gear as soon as possible.

I've been amazed when I've watched YouTube videos of guy test riding bikes and they seem too lazy (or stupid?!) to change up through the gearbox. They cuise along at a constant speed behind cars in say 3rd gear, yet later on they'll go at a slower speed in 6th gear and easily accelerate from that lower speed in 6th. Why?! I watched one guy riding a Triumph Street Twin (my previous bike was a Street Twin) and he was riding on a motorway at 80mph in third gear and commenting that it didn't have much performance at 80mph. In third gear 80mph is peak power rpm! His only excuse could be that it doesn't have a rev counter, but it would make anyone with some mechanical sympathy cringe to see him unneccessarily revving the nuts off it, knowing that he'd have performance to spare if he changed up to fourth or fith (top) gear.

What fuel consumption are you getting? My CB650R is in for its running-in service today, but so far I've been getting between 60 an 64mpg (13.2 to 14.1 miles per litre). If you're only using 1st to 4th gears I suspect you'll be using more fuel.

We'll soon be riding electric bikes, when you probably won't have to worry about gears. They make maximum torque at zero rpm. My current car is a Nissan LEAF. It's motor revs to a little over 10,000rpm but from 0 - 3,000rpm it makes peak torque, and from there upwards it makes peak power. It's great to drive, and I expect electric bikes will be, or are, great to ride too, even with just one gear.
Thank you very much for this long answer!
My consumption should be around 47mpg i think :/ you are right, it seems like my riding style isn't the most fuel efficient... But of course I don't always drive like this! On longer trips I also try to be as efficient as it gets :)
The engine part in your post was quite interesting. I probably did the mistake to compare the 650's engine to the 600's.
 

Drewster123

2017
CBR650F ABS
Messages
215
Likes
61
#14
I would have a zx14r if
The 650's engine really prefers to be at 4k rpm or above.

Anything below 3k in my experience is too low to be smooth.

J
It is better after 4k but I do find mine to be really smooth and have plenty of power up to 50 mph just cruising using only up to 4k revs.
 

Brammers

2014
CBR650F ABS
Mod
Messages
2,413
Likes
990
Location
Hampshire, England
#15
It's not like it's lumpy or anything, sure.

You can just tell its not in the sweet spot... Slower response to the throttle and slightly grabby. Doesn't get real snatchy until under 2k as mentioned... I totally agree there.

I believe you're still a2 restricted? That's why you don't notice the difference between low down and top end as much.

J
 
Messages
215
Likes
61
#17
It's not like it's lumpy or anything, sure.

You can just tell its not in the sweet spot... Slower response to the throttle and slightly grabby. Doesn't get real snatchy until under 2k as mentioned... I totally agree there.

I believe you're still a2 restricted? That's why you don't notice the difference between low down and top end as much.

J
I've had ago of if full power on a private road to see what it was like.

Yes i know what you mean mate once it hits like 4k you can tell it wakes up. Still feels nice under 4k thoe with correct throttle.

I've found In a way being only able physically open the throttle half is good for down low in a higher gears .

Such as if you pull full throttle in a high gear from down low you notice it bogs allot more,and the throttle stop makes it easier to be smoother.

After trying full power I can tell the mid range will work much better with a tune up .