The CB650F is a case study in how Honda’s bikes always seem to magically outperform their spec sheets. The marketing materials are typically breathless, calling the bike the “purest form of motorcycling,” extolling the “handsome” four-banger’s “satisfying rush of power and torque” and “throaty growl” emitted from the “beautiful side-swept exhaust headers” that Max and Fish won’t shut up about.
Before I go tell you about Kawasaki’s new Z900 ABS, we need to talk about why it exists. Team Green already had bookendz to this bike: on the bigger side sat the Z1000, a streetfighter staple stateside since 2003, and at the lower...
The bike makes a remarkable visual statement. The metallic gray version I first observed in the wild was just perfect: the piping on the pleated seat, the round headlight, the dirt track-style knobbies. It made me stop and look.
The XSR is an attention seeker in the no-longer-available King Kenny paint scheme, and the mild XS650 influence is noticeable. It's not a full on retro-posing bike, but it’s also not “just a regular old motorcycle.”