The little stock or naked ripper called the Honda CB650F hit the streets in 2018 after taking its engine and most of its technology from the legendary mid-size sportbike, the CBR650F. And in this post we bring you the most common failures of the Honda CB650F , which means that if you are interested in this motorcycle, this article is for you.
We don’t blame Honda for repurposing the engine; and it is that the engine of 649 cc, liquid-cooled and four-cylinder in line was enough to push a street fighter; so putting it on a naked bike seals the deal when it comes to efficiency and performance.
Common failures of the Honda CB650F
Honda improved the CB650F’s airbox to increase power, routing its cables and wires differently than the CBR650F to give it more responsive airflow. But what are the most common problems with the Honda CB650F? Next, we will tell you what they are:
1. White substance leaks from the oil seal
This isn’t exactly a problem, but since the forums are full of CBR650F riders who think so, we thought we’d shed some light on this very familiar occurrence, as you might see a white chemical leaking from the seal. of oil from the head gasket of your CB650F.
- First, check the oil and coolant to make sure there are no leaks.
- Make sure oil and coolant levels are consistent; if they are low, fill them in before continuing.
- If you see white residue, check to see if your exhaust smells sweet. If it does, use a syringe to take a sample of the oil to see if it’s milky. There’s one more notable issue: You need to take your 650F to a Honda technician for inspection.
- Now, if you see the white, powdery residue around the head gasket, but your oil seems fine, it’s probably just the rubber gasket curing.
The white, rubbery substance you have found is the essence of the rocker arm oil seal seeping out of the rubber, this is to be expected on these models. Clean your CB650F with a dry cloth from time to time; over time, it will stop.
What is the white substance on the Honda CBR650F head gaskets?
There is a chemical called a plasticizer that is added to the gaskets to ensure that they are flexible enough to seep into the cracks. The additives drain the rubber gasket when it cures from engine heat and weathering, leaving the white powdery substance in the broad area.
The mileage has nothing to do with the substance leaking out. The plasticizer has to seep out and run its course. It will stop leaking over time.
In short, there’s no reason to worry about white powdery substance appearing on your CB650F – there’s nothing wrong with your trusty steed, so wipe off the white chemical essence, put it back together and let it run!
2. Intrusive rattling/hissing sounds
The most common complaint regarding the Honda CB650F that we have found on the internet has to do with two different strange noises.
CB650F owners describe the first sound as a vibrating rattle, usually high pitched, the sound of metal rubbing against metal. Now this is where it gets weird; most of these riders claim that the sounds are not produced when the bike is in neutral.
- The reason why the metal rattle does not occur in neutral may be that the vibration is related to the revs of the bike.
- The sharp metallic vibration is more pronounced in 1st and 2nd gear.
- More than one CB650F owner has a different theory, stating that the high-pitched vibration occurs when the bike is in high gear due to wind.
- Just to be clear, the metallic noise in question is different from the normal roar of the CB650F’s engine: it is a high-pitched hum.
What is this sound?
We finally found a Honda enthusiast who shed some light on the situation; It turns out that this first noise is the sound of the key vibrating in the ignition.
- Some 650F owners found that wrapping a rubber vacuum tube around the top of the key prevented metallic buzzing, bolstering the theory that the sound is coming from the key.
- We came across a consumer report that the pilot was seeing the key vibrate along with the RPM rhythm and high pitched rattling.
CB650F owners have described the second noise as a high-pitched hiss, very different from the buzz described above.
This noise, they say, seems to be caused by speed rather than revs, manifesting itself at 45mph. The culprit for this strange hissing sound is simply the wind blowing over the gauge cluster.
Unlike its sporty, faired sister, the CB650F is stripped down and, well, naked.
- One of the most common complaints about the CB650F has to do with the lack of fairing and the hiss caused by wind passing over the instrument cluster.
- Some riders solve the problem by installing a windshield, either from Honda or from an aftermarket manufacturer.
- While some riders claim that the stock Honda windshield only offers slight protection from the wind, most riders agree that it does the job of avoiding the strange hissing sound of the CB650F.
Change motorcycle windshield
Honda’s windshield was specifically designed to work with the CB650F, and comes complete with an installation kit straight from the factory. It works by redirecting air over the front of the motorcycle.
- Installing the windshield means removing the headlight from the motorcycle.
- Even so, it is a simple job that you can do yourself at home.
- Although hiss is something we’d call a cosmetic issue, if it’s ruining your motorcycle riding experience, it’s probably worth the time and money to change a windshield and kill it once and for all.
- Step 1: Install the supports.
- Step 2: Use the four screws and various plastic and rubber washers that come with the installation kit to mount the windshield to the windshield brackets.
There are numerous windshields available online that not only eliminate the annoying hissing sound, but also beautify your bike in different ways, adding a level of customization to your CB650F.
3. The engine sputters when it’s cold
This complaint is pretty standard; as it is based on a simple misunderstanding that can be quickly cleared up. Next, we will explain what happens.
Riders first notice this “problem” when they disengage the clutch by pulling the lever in at cruising speed. CB650F riders hear a strange “metallic fan” noise generated by the engine.
According to consumer reports, the next symptom to manifest is engine sputtering.
- The common denominator in all these cases indicates that the culprit is practically red-handed and this is because it always happens in cold weather.
- After some testing, the CB650F riders began to notice that it actually only happened in the cold.
- If these riders let their bikes warm up to specified operating temperatures before riding in cold weather, it wouldn’t happen at all.
The truth is, your naked mid-size Honda bike has a liquid-cooled 649cc inline 4-cylinder engine that’s as reliable as any in its class, so why sputter in cold weather if you don’t let it heat?
When it’s hot, liquid cooling has its clear advantages. That said, it’s a different story when the weather drops to severe cold, not to mention inline-fours don’t like cold in general.
- Let your CB650F warm up for 5-10 minutes before riding it in cold weather.
- This warm-up period gives the pistons and coolant a chance to reach Honda’s ideal operating temperature before running the engine.
- Forcing the cold pistons to work hard is what causes the CB650F to struggle in the cold; the solution is for the engine to run at the suggested temperature.
4. Routine battery failure
There is nothing more frustrating than sitting on your CB650F, all primed and ready to hit the town, and the bike won’t start. To be clear, this is not a common problem specific to the Honda CB650F; it’s a popular choice for a first moto, and we’re here to help riders of all levels.
There are plenty of confusing CB650F riders on the forums, so we thought we’d include a quick rundown of battery troubleshooting in this article.
Symptom of battery failure on a CB650F
These are the symptoms of a failing battery on a CB650F motorcycle:
- The power to the CB motor starts to drop slowly over a few weeks.
- The lights and gauge cluster on your CB650F are flashing randomly for no reason.
- When a depleted battery reaches a critical state, your CB650F’s engine will shut down randomly, coming back to life to the rhythm of flashing lights and instruments.
Inspecting your CB650F’s battery voltage is part of regular motorcycle maintenance. All batteries eventually die. Forgetting to check battery voltage leads to your poor bare Honda’s battery passing away without warning.
When experiencing electrical problems on any CB650F, or any motorcycle, the battery is always the first step in troubleshooting. Batteries die over time.
Observe the gauge cluster during power up if you suspect the battery is failing, old, or worn. If the battery is bad, you will see it dim and blink. A parasitic drain can destroy any battery without warning: the battery never gets a chance to rest and recharge if it’s being drained.
Replace your CB650F’s battery at the first sign that it’s worn out; keep it charged to prevent dimming of lights and loss of power.
NOTE: To reiterate, there is nothing defective with the original Honda battery. Parasitic drain cases found on CB650Fs were often the result of poorly installed or poorly fitted aftermarket upgrades.
The good and the bad of the Honda CB650F
You already knew the common failures of the Honda CB650F, what they are due to and how to solve the problems that arise. Now we will give you a summary of the good and bad things that the Honda CB650F has to offer:
- With the CB650F, Honda demonstrates the sweet spot between style, performance and reliability.
- The CB650F is a great option for new riders and people who started with a small standard bike and are ready to graduate to something more mid-range.
- The CB650F is fun to ride, so much so that, in many cases, hobby riders keep their little naked to keep as commuter bikes around town, guest bikes to visit friends, or in some cases, motorcycles. training for the next generation of moto-maniacs.
- White substance leaking from the oil seal
- Intrusive rattling/hissing sounds
- The engine sputters when it’s cold
- routine battery failure
What do the comments say?
I was impressed with the response and feedback from the internals on the newly designed fork. The new Showa Dual Bending Valve fork mimics the feel of a more expensive cartridge fork, giving the bike a solid, planted feel in fast corners, yet keeping the slower pace around town comfortably damped.
Brake feel is very positive, thanks in part to the dual front rotors and accompanying dual-piston calipers. The included ABS works well to stop the bike safely in an emergency. The seat is comfortable and adapts well to long road trips.
Driving in a straight line with this bike is easy and carefree ; the inline four settles into a nice melodic drone and there’s still some power left to make a quick pass. Neither bike is what I would consider uncomfortable, and even the sport-style CBR650F maintains a more upright stance that helps support the lower back thanks to the raised calipers.