Product Type: Honda motorcycles
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Heaven on wheels
Member Name: huddro
Date: 11/02/01, updated on 12/03/01 (10012 review reads)
Advantages: fast, responsive, easy to ride
Disadvantages: some parts expensive
The CBR600F is probably one if not the most enduringly popular motorcycle on sale in Britain today and over the last 10 years or so. I rode the 92 model for a number of years and found it to be the most versatile bike I had ever ridden.
This bike is perfect for those long hot summer days when you just want to blast through the open countryside, or spend a day at the track getting your knee down, or for those who want to commute it behaves wonderfully in traffic. The thoughtful guys at Honda have even put a decent size seat and well-positioned grab rails so you can carry a passenger in comfort.
The CBR600 was launched in 1987 and underwent a face-lift in 91 to a sleeker more racey look. Since then minor revisions in 94 and 96 bought it up to date with a major overhaul in 1999 to increase the power and give it tighter handling for the track this included ditching the steel frame and adding a twin duct ram air system even added a few more hps.
The CBR600F is a race styled bike its smooth lines giving it a more rounded shape than equivalent bikes in the range. The wide variety of colours available will satisfy the most picky of riders but beware the faring is only surface painted and the slightest ding results in a nasty white gash.
The riding position is designed to suit all styles of riding allowing the rider to lay flat over the tank for those racing moments or to “sit up and beg” for the more sedate touring ride.
The faring and screen provide little protection in this position so when it rains get low and stay drier!
The bike is a fairly big bike the seat height standing at 810mm and weighing in at 170kg it is not suited to the smaller rider but the alternative is the CBR400 which provides a lighter smaller solution but still as much fun.
As I have already mentioned the seat is big and comfortable enough to carry two and the grab handles and rear pegs ma
ke for a comfortable passenger position. With a tank bag and rear pannier style bag attached I managed to use mine on several occasions for weekend touring, although the then girlfriend moaned about lack of room for her hairdryer!!!!
The engine is a liquid cooled 4 cylinder DOHC 16 valve fuel injected unit. Delivering a top speed of 130 miles an hour although this has been increased in more recent models and I read somewhere the 2000 model has a top speed of 162mph.
The throttle is highly responsive but there is a lull around 5000rpm although this can be cured with some minor modifications including a Dynojet kit and modified carbon silencer, which also allegedly adds some HP to the top end. Maximum performance is gained around 7000rpm and I defy anyone not to have the biggest grin riding this bike!
The gear change through the 6 speed box is very slick with none of the clunking associated with some of the competitor models on the market.
The bike is bought to a stop with 296mm front dual hydraulic disc and a 220 mm hydraulic disc at the rear. A word of advice, when wet hitting the brakes hard can result in the rider sliding forward on the seat and making contact with the tank, with somewhat painful conclusions as I found much to my regret one Sunday morning. Alas walked like John Wayne for a few days!
The suspension provides a smooth ride but is tight enough to push this bike to the riders limit. There is nothing this bike cannot handle when ridden hard and there is never a feeling of discomfort even the rear wheel sliding out when cornering hard feels controlled and is easy to recover….please note I only ever tried that on a track and would never suggest riding the bike to that limit on the road.
The 140 mile range on the petrol tank provides enough scope for those who love touring, my only criticism being that like most sports bikes there is no fuel gauge, many riders will n
ot agree with me on this point but my personal preference is a gauge rather than the obligatory peering into the tank at the start of the journey.
Apparently this has been voted the most reliable bike of the decade by the trade publication CAP Green Book.
Expect to pay around £5000 for a good low mileage 99 model. Earlier models such as the 92 are still priced around £3500 for a clean low mileage bike but do check them over carefully.
Look under the faring and check for touch ups and spraying. The ram air ducts are prone to blockage so check the filters. Check also the radiator and ensure it is water tight as these are prone to this from stone chips.
The weakest part of this bike is the front mudguard that splits if the nuts are over tightened, this is covered in the Honda warranty on later models but can be very annoying on earlier bikes.
These bikes are rarely used for courier work but it is still best to buy from a Honda Dealer or get a professional check carried out before you buy. A check for outstanding finance from a company such as HPI is also advisable. MCN offer this service also.
Please check out the insurance before you buy these are no longer cheap bikes to insure nor are spares particularly cheap although with the Honda reliability requirements for spare parts are negligible unless you crash!!!
This bike is amazing I loved it to pieces alas it had to be sold when I bought my flat and I feel lost and lonely without it. Versatile enough to cope with all riding styles and conditions yet fast and responsive enough to outperform most other bikes in its class.
Its performance and handling are just grin inducing. Its looks turn heads and the roar from the tuned engine is perfection.
My advice get your leathers on get your leg over and feel this bike if you area not smiling after 5 minutes on this bike then call the Samaritans!!!
A friend of mine has just had his bike stolen so I thought I would advise those of you thinking of buying this or any other bike. Get it data tagged or a tracker device fitted along with an alarm and auto arming immobiliser. This is going to add about £500 but may just stop your bike going for a ride without you. The other thing is to chain your bike to something using a very thick chain to stop the thieves putting into the back of a van.
It is a shame we have to go to these lengths but hey better your bike is still with you at the end of the day