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ADV NewsRally-Inspired Honda CB650R Build Pays Tribute To Fallen Dakar Racer

Rally-Inspired Honda CB650R Build Pays Tribute To Fallen Dakar Racer

 Honda's popular street bike gets the Rally Treatment.

Published on 07.02.2020
Honda CB650R Rally custom build

First impressions are important, and ours was that this Honda CB650R rally is striking. That meaty front tire, full-on rally navigation tower and eye-catching four-into-one exhaust header really looks the business.

Wait, four-into-one header? An inline, four-cylinder rally bike? OK, there’s a clue that you may not be seeing something entirely practical. Then you dive into the specs and yes, this is a concept bike. In fact, it’s an entry in Honda Motor Europe – Iberia’s Honda Garage Dreams Contest, a factory-sponsored competition that uses the CB650R and lets motorcycle designers run wild with it. The CB650R rally is Portugal-based Honda Wingmotor’s vision of what a run-of-the-mill CB650R could be and also commemorates Honda’s win at the Dakar rally this year.

Honda CB650R Rally custom build
The CB650 Rally is fitted with a full rally tower complete with a roadbook for navigation.

The nav tower, LED headlight and clear fairing look like they’re straight off Ricky Brabec’s Dakar-winning CRF450 RALLY, and the 17-inch wheels, front and back, are shod with beefy Continental TKC 80s that lend the 447-pound street fighter some off-road cred. Another big change is the high front fender, all the better to shed mud, or look like you could. Beefy GIVI  handguards, fork guards and a stout black bash plate complete the look.

Honda CB650R Rally custom build

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All the bodywork has been pared down and given factory-rally bike graphics treatment. Of note is the touching tribute to the late, great, Portugese rider, Paulo Goncalves — a long-time rally racer for Team HRC who died in an accident at the Dakar in January. There’s a decal picturing Goncalves in race gear alongside his CRF450 RALLY to inspire pilots of this machine.

Honda CB650R Rally custom build
A touching tribute to veteran rider Paulo ‘Speedy’ Goncalves drapes the top of the tank to inspire pilots of this machine.

Those four front exhaust headers collect into a single, upswept header and then exit the bike via an Arrow exhaust. The solo seat is covered in what appears to be red suede, which would be nice and grippy while ripping through the dunes, while the rear end of the bike has been relieved of the bulky, plastic license plate/tail light combo. Designers have the advantage of not having to comply with rules and regulations when it comes to such things, of course, and the result is a much slimmer look.

Honda CB650R Rally custom build
Honda CB650R Rally custom build

The Honda Garage Dreams contest, which drew 36 entries, ended recently, and we’re sad to report that this rally-inspired version did not win; it wasn’t even a finalist. The bike that did win went with a stripped-down street fighter flavor, as did a lot of the other finalists. Maybe the rally version was a bit too outside the box for voters but that gives it extra points in our book. 

Honda CB650R Rally custom build

Check out all the entries here and let us know your thoughts!

Author: Bob Whitby

Bob has been riding motorcycles since age 19 and working as a journalist since he was 24, which was a long time ago, let’s put it that way. He quit for the better part of a decade to raise a family, then rediscovered adventure, dual sport and enduro riding in the early 2000s. He lives in Arkansas, America’s best-kept secret when it comes to riding destinations, and travels far and wide in search of dirt roads and trails.

Author: Bob Whitby
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 4

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4 thoughts on “Rally-Inspired Honda CB650R Build Pays Tribute To Fallen Dakar Racer

  1. Don’t think it would work very well. Grateful for the tribute but I guess you could make a “Rally” out of a whole bunch of bikes.

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