The Ninja 650R and Hyosung 650 GT along with Benelli TNT 600 GT have been having a fierce battle for quite some time in the middle-weight bike segment. Now, to be fair, we have not mentioned the Triumph Daytona only for the sole reason that it is altogether in a different class if we take its pricing into account. Honda, too, has been enjoying some success with its bikes – VFR 1200F, CBR 1000RR, CBR 250R etc. but it seems that they still have an appetite. Therefore, to fill in the gap between the CBR 250R and CBR 1000RR, it would soon be launching the CBR 650F that would compete with the aforementioned bikes in this segment.
We bring you a specification comparison of three bikes – Kawasaki Ninja 650R, Hyosung 650 GT and Honda CBR 650F and see how they fare against each other.
The Kawasaki Ninja 650R and Hyosung GT 650 R were launched around the same time in the Indian market and have had considerable success. The Hyosung is marginally cheaper than the rest and is perhaps the cheapest bike right now in this category. The cost of the Hyosung bikes should in fact drop even further if the DSK implements the plan of assembling the bikes locally in India.
It’s not certain if the about-to-arrive Honda CBR 650F would indeed have the price in the expected range of Rs. 7-8 lakhs but it goes without saying that it would need to deliver better on every term to justify that price tag.
Design and looks
We are big fans of the Kawasaki Ninja 650R and the insect style headlamps that it bears at the front. There’s nothing out of place and every little design element on this bike comes together to sing a chorus in perfect pitch and harmony. The green color of this bike accentuates further, the sharp style, which is already very visible in other colors.
The Honda CBR 650F in its own way strikes as an interestingly designed bike. The styling is sharp; the narrow, single headlamp cluster goes well with other design bits. The styling is somewhat conservative in comparison to the Ninja but looks elegant.
There’s nothing that GT 650 R does not offer in terms of styling that the others do. It would certainly not win the competition of best design but the design looks sober and functional. The headlight at front does not look elegant but distinguishably distinct and perhaps the same can be said about the styling that’s seen elsewhere on the bike.
Features and Engine
The Hyosung GT 650R uses a two cylinder motor just like the Ninja 650R. However, there’s a difference in design, the Hyosung uses a V twin whereas the Ninja 650R uses the parallel twin motor. The engine displacement, power-to-weight ratio as well as the torque figures of both these bikes is identical. There’s a slipper clutch on the Ninja which Hyosung and Honda miss out on. Additional marks to the Ninja for that!
The Honda CBR 650F uses an in-line, 4 cylinder motor. You can expect consistent torque throughout the rev band and smooth power delivery from the engine. It is indeed a major advantage of the Honda CBR 650F.
Suspension, Wheels and Tyres and Brakes
All three bikes use telescopic suspension forks at the front. At a price point at which Honda CBR 650F is expected to be launched, it is hard to digest that it does not use inverted forks. The same is the case with Ninja 650R which uses regular telescopic fork. The Hyosung GT 650R though impresses at this for using the inverted forks despite being the cheapest! The monoshock suspension system does duty on all three bikes and the spring rate can be adjusted on all three bikes.
The front tyre on all three bikes is of the same width – 120mm, on the rear, the Honda CBR uses the fattest of them all – 180mm. The competition uses 160mm tyre at rear.
The dual disc brakes are used for braking on all the three bikes. Honda uses the widest disks of them all – 320mm at the front and a single disc of 240mm at rear. The GT 650 R and well as Ninja use double discs of 300mm at front. At the rear, the Ninja uses 220mm disc and GT 650 R – 230mm disc.
The braking system on Kawasaki Ninja 650R comes equipped with ABS at the front. There’s no option of ABS on the Hyosung GT 650R. It is expected that the Honda CBR 650F would employ ABD on both wheels when launched.
I find myself in a dilemma, every time, I write a verdict and declare a winner. To pick a winner is like walking on a very tight rope and in this comparison too, it is no different. The Hyosung GT 650R offers you power that matches the rest of the competitors very closely and it offers it at a price which so far remains unbeatable.
It remains to be seen if Honda indeed launches the 650F in the Rs 7-8 lakh bracket. But if that is the price range in which Honda positions CBR, we would rather go for the Ninja 650 which matches the competition in almost every respect and is certainly more proven than the Hyosung.