Honda CBR650FA-J
Sword Silver Metallic

Order placed

  Posted on 31st January 2019

The new Honda CBR650R is due in UK showrooms in a week or two's time. Whilst it looks great the much publicised sportiness of it puts me off, what I love about my CBR650F is that it's comfy, I can ride it all day, I can ride it on the track, in summary it's a fantastic all-rounder.

Time has passed quickly since we picked up the white CBR650F's in June 2016 and we've been thinking about what to do when our PCP agreement comes to an end. We spent some time going around all the dealers and sitting on lots of bikes, but nothing suited as well as the 650F. We test rode the latest iteration of the CBR in June 2018 and were impressed with the small power upgrade and Showa dual bending fork valves, so we starting looking into whether we could get a pair of these to replace our much loved white bikes.

Amazingly we found some dealers that had two unregistered Sword Silver (grey!?) bikes in stock. One dealer put in very little effort into providing a deal, unlike Ian from Dobles who was answering emails out-of-hours and trying his hardest to come up with the numbers we were looking for. It was quite close but we took the decision to stick with our current bikes and pay them off... this all changed when we received another email from Ian who'd come up with a fantastic deal that we just couldn't say no to!

The deal includes:

  • 0% PCP
  • Michelin Pilot Road 4
  • Oxford Sport hot grips
  • Honda Racing red rim tape
  • Levers, pannier rails and windscreen swapped

I'll be hugely sad to say goodbye to our white bikes, but I'm also looking forward to picking the new ones up in a few weeks.

Honda CBR650F Sword Silver Honda CBR650F Sword Silver

Bikes are ready

  Posted on 1st March 2019

A few pictures of our bikes, ready and waiting for us at the dealer. We were lucky with our numberplate choices and were able to get 'Z' and 'K' plates like we did with the Ninja 300's.

Tomorrow the taller windscreens, levers and pannier racks will be swapped over.

Honda CBR650F Sword Silver Honda CBR650F Sword Silver

Honda CBR650F Sword Silver Honda CBR650F Sword Silver


  Posted on 8th March 2019

Last Saturday, 2nd March, we rode down to Surrey to pick up the new Sword Silver CBR650F-AJ's. It was a fairly cold start, with lots of drizzle and low cloud, we arrived at the dealer around 8:20.

We parked up the white bikes and said our goodbyes and they were soon taken away to have the levers, screens and panniers rails removed and fitted on to the the new bikes.

By 11:30 we were ready to leave, unfortunately we then experienced some issues. There was a large scratch on my dashboard and my partners bike was stuck in gear, the latter being attributed to the adjustable levers being fitted but not checked. The bikes were left with the dealer while we had some lunch, at 1pm we were ready to go again.

Starting mileage was 0 and 2, I'd planned a route to take us to the nearest petrol station although I did wonder if we would get there as my bike felt like it was going to cut-out, it was showing 0.2 on the fuel gauge. We made it and filled up the tanks.

The journey home took us through the outskirts of London and up to the A40 where we would then start heading west, the traffic was start-stop and due to our bikes feeling a bit unpredicatable we elected not to filter, meaning it took a lot longer to get to the A40 than we'd hoped. With our previous bikes we came home via the M3 and A34, which isn't the best for new bikes as it's better to use a variety of revs and gears during their run-in period, hence the non-motorway route back.

In addition to the scratch on my dash we had also noticed a large imperfection in the paint on the front fender, the dealer promised to order a new one and have it delivered to our local dealer, ready to be fitted on the first service. On the way home my partner idenitifed that the heated grips weren't working and we both noticed a lot of free-play on the throttle.

It had been a busy morning at the dealer with many people collecting their new rides, which we believe lead to our bikes not being 100% ready. Once home we were able to inspect the bikes better, we found a crease in one exhaust cover and the issue with the heated grips seemed to be that the controller was permanently in battery saving mode (BSM). After a few email exchanges the dealer arranged to have the bikes collected from our home and taken to the dealer to have the issues rectified.

Today the bikes were delivered back to us, the garage has seemed very empty without them. The controller for the grips has been replaced, the new fender had arrived and so this was fitted, throttle play adjusted and the exhaust cover replaced - the dealer said that they've seen the crease on a lot of the 2017+ models and is due to the metal being pulled during welding. My dash was also a little loose since they replaced it so this was adjusted too.

We are due to be out on them this weekend, I'm looking forward to clocking up a few more miles and seeing if the throttle free-play is more like what we are used to.

Honda CBR650F Sword Silver Honda CBR650F Sword Silver

Sat navs fitted

  Posted on 8th March 2019

On Sunday I re-fitted our sat navs to the new bikes. Interestingly the fork stem nut cover is a slightly different design to the 2016 bikes and was really easy to push out, I used the same bent wire coat-hanger from previously and they pinged off without much effort.

They were much simpler to fit this time as I didn't need to make up the Sumitomo plug, unlike last time.

CBR650F Telferizer CBR650F Telferizer TomTom mount TomTom mount

Tank Pads

  Posted on 28th March

Sword Silver is a great colour and it looks super with the red rim tape and red decal accents, however it seems to be a terrible colour for getting scratched, or at least for showing the scratches.

The issue seems to be with my Helite Airvest, one of the fasteners catches the tank (as I have to sit right forward) and the catch for the tether dangles onto the tank as well. As my kit is the same as before I can only assume similar marks were on the white bikes, but didn't show up.

To try and prevent further scratches I've bought the Honda carbon fibre effect tank pads and some small clear pads to go on the sides, as it seems that our trouser seams are causing a problem, or maybe grit is getting in there. I've also added some of the loop-side of some Velcro to the fastener for the vest tether to make it a bit softer.

Fortunately the tank pad comes with some zip tape on, so it holds all three pieces togther, this makes it much easier to apply and remove the pad while you're trying to get it in the right place. A top tip is to dunk your tank pad / sticker / decal in some soapy water as this neutralises the adhesive for a while, giving you the change to keep re-positioning until you're happy, when you are press the pad down firmly and persuade the water out from underneath using something like a micro fibre cloth. Push from the inside outwards.

CBR650F tank pad CBR650F tank pad CBR650F tank pad CBR650F tank pad

First service

  Posted on 13th April 2019

We had actually booked our first service before collecting the bikes as Saturdays get booked pretty quickly. Unfortunately during late March there were a lot of high winds, which meant we'd not done the miles we'd anticipated, so the service was pushed back a few weeks. Mileage: 607.

Since collecting the new bikes I'd found mine to be really juddery when moving off, it felt like it would stall. I mentioned this at the service and they adjusted the clutch, so it's much better now.

Givi V35 reflector mod

  Posted on 5th May 2019

The panniers have proven to be a valuable asset, even if we're not going away they're great for stashing all your gear in on a day out when you want to go for a walk without all your kit. However, what has surprised me is that the red 'reflectors' aren't actually relective...

I did some searching on the internet, hoping that someone had developed a replacement lens, but found none. I know there is a light kit it's pretty expensive. What I did find was a post on ADV Rider where someone had put 3M red reflective tape inside, followed my another member commenting that they'd used white SOLAS reflective tape. (Safety Of Life At Sea) This stuff is really reflective and can withstand salt water, so this seemed a great option and as a bonus I paid about £5 for 2 metres.

This is a really easy mod to do, first remove 6 screws nearest the relector and pop it out - no need to completely remove the outer part of the case.
Next remove the supposedly relfective white plastic from the inside of the lens, if you're careful you can keep and re-use the sticky tape it's secured with.
After this cover the white plastic in your reflective tape, it will take one width, plus a half width to cover it, then use a craft knife trim the excess
Re-install and admire your new fully reflective red lens!

The SOLAS wording does show through the lens but I think that's a small price to pay, however as you can see from the last two pictures, there's quite a difference... .

CBR650F Givi V35 reflector lens mod CBR650F Givi V35 reflector lens mod CBR650F Givi V35 reflector lens mod CBR650F Givi V35 reflector lens mod CBR650F Givi V35 reflector lens mod CBR650F Givi V35 reflector lens mod CBR650F Givi V35 reflector lens mod CBR650F Givi V35 reflector lens mod CBR650F Givi V35 reflector lens mod CBR650F Givi V35 reflector lens mod