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||Model Year||Frame Number||Engine Number|
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.
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.
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.
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)|
|Bore x stroke||59.8 x 55.8 mm (2.4 x 2.2 inches)|
|Valves per cylinder||2|
|Tires and Brakes|
|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)|
|1979||Cycle Magazine||Cycle Road Test: CB650|
|1979||Motorcyclist||A Brand-New Motorcycle in the Old Tradition|
|1981||Cycle World||Honda CB650: Not a Great Motorcycle, But a Very Good Motorcycle|
|1982||Motorcyclist||HONDA CB650SC NIGHTHAWK This Bird Comes Down to Earth With Styling You Can Ride.|
|2008||SOHC/4 Forums||CB550/CB650 Big Bore Engine|