The year is 1978, model-year 1979, and Honda stopped production of the SOHC/4 CB550 and CB750 models ending the line which had formed the core of Honda’s street bike offerings since 1969. Long before 1979, the competition had moved to dual overhead cam power plants and Honda’s single cam engine was looking a bit old fashioned, so the marque bike was overhauled and given new styling and a DOHC/4 engine. The CB550 was overhauled as well, but instead of a new power plant, it was bored out, restyled, and became the CB650, the last of the SOHC/4 bikes. For the next four years, the CB650 in its various permutations proved popular as a middle-weight all-around bike.

Model Guide

1979 CB650 Black 1979 CB650 Red/Black 1979 CB650 Red/Maroon 1980 CB650
1981 CB650 Red 1982 CB650 Custom 1982 CB650 CB650 Maroon

Serial Numbers

Model Model Year Frame Number Engine Number
CB650 1979 RC03-2002472 RC03E-2002518
CB650 1980 RC05-2100002 RC03E-2100009
CB650SC 1980 RC05-2100008 RC03E-2100011
CB650 1981 JH2RC0507BM200013 RC03E-2200004
CB650SC 1981 JH2RC0518BM100009 RC03E-2200004
CB650 1982 JH2RC0509CM300003 RC03E-2300001
CB650SC 1982 JH2RC0808CM000013 RC08E-2000018

1979 CB650

The 1979 CB650 was available in two color schemes: Candy Muse Red with Maroon and Black with Red. The gas tank and side covers had a 2-tone paint scheme with gold pinstripes and featured a red and gold “650” side cover decal. The wheels were black comstars. The exhaust was a 4-into-2 design.

1980 CB650

The SC (custom) style was introduced in 1980. The differences between the CB650 models was largely cosmetic with the standard model featuring a 4-into-2 exhaust and wire wheels while the custom was fitted with a 4-into-4 exhaust and black comstar wheels. Both of the 1980 models featured chrome airbox trim panels and a redesigned tank, saddle, and side covers.

1981 CB650

For the 1981 model year, the base model received newly designed logos on the side covers and an adjustable air suspension. The color options were Cosmo Black Metallic or Candy Bourgogne Red. The SC model was updated with a leading axle fork style and dual front disc brakes. It was available in two-tone paint schemes: Candy Universal Blue with Metallic Blue and Candy Muse Red with Metallic Brown.

1982 CB650

For the final model year, the standard model was unchanged except for the addition of a dual-piston front brake caliper. There was one color option, Candy Muse Red. The custom received a new style 4-into-4 paint exhaust and black engine paint. The body work paint scheme featured a serpentine chrome stripe with two color options, Candy Flair Blue or Cosmo Black Metallic.


Engine and Transmission
Displacement 627.0 ccm (38.26 cubic inches)
Engine type In-line four, four-stroke
Power 63.0 HP (46.0 kW)) @ 9000 RPM
Top speed 183.0 km/h (113.7 mph)
Compression 9.0:1
Bore x stroke 59.8 x 55.8 mm (2.4 x 2.2 inches)
Valves per cylinder 2
Gearbox 5-speed
Tires and Brakes
Front tire 3.25-19
Rear tire 3.75-18
Front brakes Dual disc
Rear brakes Expanding shoe drum
Weight (wet) 216.0 kg (476.2 pounds)
Fuel tank 18.00 litres (4.76 gallons)