HONDA CB600F HORNET (2007-2013) Review

Published: 27 February 2007

"Easy to ride, great handling and fun"

Honda CB600F Hornet motorcycle review - Riding

"Easy to ride, great handling and fun"

  • At a glance
  • 599cc  -  100 bhp
  • 62 mpg  -  140 miles range
  • Low seat height (800mm)

Overall Rating 4 out of 5

It’s been a long time coming, but thankfully Honda has given us a new Honda CB600F Hornet for 2007. The only similarity to the old model is the name; it’s an entirely new bike running the same engine as their current CBR600RR. It shares the old Honda CB600F Hornet's qualities, it's easy to ride; great handling and fun. The new Honda CB600F Hornet should appeal to wide audience with its new Italian funky styling.

- Check out hondahornet.co.uk for a forum chock-full of info, knowledge and advice on all things Hornet.  

Watch the Honda Hornet take on Triumph's Street Triple, Yamaha's FZ6 Fazer, Suzuki's GSR600, Kawasaki's Z750 and Ducati's Monster

 

Ride Quality & Brakes 4 out of 5

The Honda CB600F Hornet is so damn easy to ride and should appeal to new riders, yet at the same time has sporting potential if the mood should take you. The new Honda CB600F Hornet is incredibly light and agile thanks to its slimfast plan over the last few years, however there is only pre-load adjustment on the rear suspension and the front is slightly on the soft side.

Engine 4 out of 5

The new Honda CB600F Hornet uses the same new engine from the Honda CBR600RR, obviously slightly detuned for this market. The revised motor actually produces more torque than the CBR and is user friendly. However it’s a four cylinder 600 therefore you still have to rev it to get the most out of, thankfully it sounds a peach on the Honda CB600F Hornet when you do.

Build Quality & Reliability 5 out of 5

Considering the price Honda hasn’t let the build quality of the Honda CB600F Hornet drop. Like the old Honda CB600F Hornet it feels solid and secure and should last, the old Hornet was renowned for its reliability as couriers in London proved. The new design Honda CB600F Hornet looks funky and really stands out from the crowd.

Value & Running Costs 5 out of 5

At just over £5000 the Honda CB600F Hornet is exceptional value for money, it can commute, tour, the jack of all trades if you like. Compared to the competition the Honda CB600F Hornet is competitively priced and as it’s a Honda should hold its value, when it comes to trade in for a larger or newer model. Find a Honda Hornet for sale.

Insurance group: 11 of 17 – compare motorcycle insurance quotes now.

Equipment 4 out of 5

For a few hundred pounds you can chose the combined linked ABS braking Honda CB600F Hornet model, ideal in tricky conditions and especially for new riders. The Honda CB600F Hornet fuel tank has increased in size and there is a long list of genuine accessories to personalise the bike. As with most Honda there’s the HISS immobiliser security system available for the Honda CB600F Hornet.

Click here for the 10 best parts for the Honda Hornet 600, as recommended by real owners at hondahornet.co.uk.

Owners' Reviews

24 owners have reviewed their HONDA CB600F HORNET (2007-2013) and rated it in a number of areas. Read what they have to say and what they like and dislike about the bike below.

We’re currently improving the way this section works, which means we’ve had to suspend the submission of new owners’ reviews for a short period. Please check back soon.

Summary of Owners' Reviews
Overall Rating 4.8 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 4.6 out of 5
Engine 4.6 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 4.8 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 4.7 out of 5
Equipment 4.3 out of 5
4 out of 5

maybe too low geared

08 October 2014 by Kenloen

been riding over 25years. previous 4 bikes are ZX9R, CBR1000rr, Husky TE610 and a Ducati Monster S4R. This little Honda is great for me, I commute 24 miles each way through London, I love its riding position, size, flickability and MPG, its comfy and... Read more has everything you need to city commute. I have a screen fitted and used a tail large Givi tailpack. Only downside, and I mean only, is that its a bit too revvy, I dont need the high rpms when cruising and would prefer lower RPMs at speed (60mph is 5k rpm), other than that its fantastic. plenty powerful enough, spot on riding position, good headlight, not too loud, great looks, solid reliable performer. I'm getting 58mpg commute.

Overall Rating 4 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 4 out of 5
Engine 4 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 5 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 5 out of 5
Equipment 4 out of 5
5 out of 5

To infinity and beyond!

21 November 2011 by Anonymous

Bought "BUZZ" beginning 2011 after passing my Direct Access. I always knew this would be the bike I'd want to own one day after sitting on many bikes without even test riding them. My nearest Honda Dealer refused to let me test ride their DEMO as... Read more there policy was to refuse anyone who had just passed their licence. Venturing into the unknown not having roadtested any new big bikes and splashing a considerable amount of money was a dawnting afare. First impression sitting on a brand spanking knew CB600FA(ABS) in Pearl White on start-up for the very first time was like entering a marriage and not wanting to let go of this love afare. Originally not wanted ABS as Salesman told me they had none left so paid the extra for Combined-ABS version. I am so happy I did as a truck pulled out in front of me doing high speed on the freeway recenlty and jammed on the brakes without any loss of control! Wow I am happy to be alive! On riding in the engine for the first time was tough as you don't get the best oil from run in oil with all detergents thrown in. Patience was a virtue and the more oil changes I had done over time the more this engine performs as everything starts settling in. Done 8K miles on clock & this CBR engine rocks! Excellent overtaking at high speed. The torque is at high speed unlike the Triumph Speed 1050 triple(Rocking horse on steroids) which just wants to lift it's front wheel dangerously between 1st&2nd gear due to it's short wheel base. The Hornet is much more composed and well pleasing with it's race bread engine reving wright through 12-13K RPM with ease. Extremely well balanced when slowing down stopping at traffic lights due to its fantastic center of gravity design 'Made in Italy'. I have the upgraded syspension version and Ohlins rear fully adj. After 1 mth I have fine tuned the suspension to my liking. Brilliant! I've tested Speed Triple, Thunderbird & Tiger. I must say I have already made up my mind that I have finally made a lifetime purchase with this beauty who will take me to places. I have 'the power of dreams' The engine is a doddle to service. Gearbox is ultra smooth. No jumping out of gear nonsense. Power on tap straight from the word "GO!" Best I had was 58MPG and worst around 44mpg if you keep doing 90-100mph. The updated Hornet is out with sharper looking tail and no grab rail.... Go figure... Put a nice touring screen on this baby and who knows what the furture holds. Get your hands on one you won't be sorry. Italian made and designed. I'm glad Honda made that decision. Enough of my boasting. When you see me, pull over. Safe driving :))

Overall Rating 5 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 5 out of 5
Engine 5 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 5 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 5 out of 5
Equipment 3 out of 5
5 out of 5

Brillant, but why doesn't the press agree?!

17 August 2011 by eaxwrob

I bought a '09 Hornet after having had a CBR600F (lovely bike, but low-ish bars hurt my wrists...) for a few years and I've never looked back; it is a fantastic bike. What I can't understand is that, apart from BIKE magazine, everyone in the press... Read more seems to think that it isn't very good. It never gets put into many tests despite being better than the bikes that are selected! Anyway, who cares I love my Hornet, so stuff the press....

Overall Rating 5 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 5 out of 5
Engine 5 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 5 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 4 out of 5
Equipment 4 out of 5
5 out of 5

A genuine pleasure

09 June 2011 by Anonymous

I have an 07 ABS Hornet, which I bought a year old and have now had for 2 years. The bike is great, uses no oil at all, is light on the tyres, good on fuel, smooth, well built and safe. I think it is the best 600 you can buy. It has never let me... Read more down. The good points for me are the build quality, materials, engineering and safety. The entire bike is made of aluminium, stainless steel and plastic (with very few parts to rust). The bike still looks factory fresh, and there are no issues with any part of the finish. The CBS and ABS are great from a safety perspective, it must be one of the safest bikes about. The engineering is also top notch. Honda have put a lot of thought into the materials of the bike, for example the entire exhaust is 100% stainless steel, and the frame is aluminium. The engine is great, and very powerful for a 600. Don't forget that 600s are at power levels of 1000s+ of a decade ago, so you rarely need more power. Lastly, the seat and bars are very neutral, and easy on the wrists and shoulders, unlike the 600RR. There are several disadvantages of the bike as well, but they are mainly small faults, rather than actual issues, none of which would make me choose differently. One fault that becomes apparent after about a week of ownership is the fuelling between 3000-4000 rpm with a steady throttle... it is a bit hit and miss, and there is a characteristic rev-hunt that I think should be addressed. Also, the rebound on the rear shock is a tad harsh. There is a slight howl from the intake manifold at about 3000 rpm that is annoying. Lastly, there is a lack of low-end torque from all 600-4s, also displayed here, but the engine is sweet when you open it up. Other than that, I think the Hornet makes perfect sense. Not to costly, not too crazy, economical, superbly well built, safe, fun, won't let you down. Thoroughly recommended, but make sure you get the ABS version. A friend has a 2009 Aprilia, and the Honda build and finish is superior in all respects. Honda come top in reviews because they make bikes like this. If I never ride another bike, it would be no tragedy.

Overall Rating 5 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 4 out of 5
Engine 5 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 5 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 5 out of 5
Equipment 4 out of 5
5 out of 5

2008 ABS

25 May 2011 by stephen190867

I have an abs equipped model with a hugger and seat cowl so I rated equipment higher than most Read more

Overall Rating 5 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 4 out of 5
Engine 5 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 5 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 5 out of 5
Equipment 5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Improved 2009 version

15 February 2011 by javimitch2002

Mine is the 2009 model with new preload and rebound adjustability front and rear. Not cheap in Spain. Agile and great build quality. I recommend it. Read more

Overall Rating 5 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 5 out of 5
Engine 5 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 5 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 4 out of 5
Equipment 4 out of 5
4 out of 5

Nice bike

05 May 2010 by tntyliss

Nice bike for urban riding. Perfect for new riders but as soon as you start to ride harder you will surely need an other bike. Read more

Overall Rating 4 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 3 out of 5
Engine 3 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 4 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 5 out of 5
Equipment 3 out of 5
4 out of 5

Love it

28 November 2009 by twicky999

I choose a honda hornet for my first big bike. As i didn't know what to expect it was interesting riding it for the first time. Once i passed my test, i found a 2nd hand 09 Hornet with 1600 miles (ABS) for £4100, in mint condition, not ridden in the... Read more wet etc. Its so easy to ride and this is what many people know it for. The power delivery is very smooth and its brilliant for a day trip. I sometimes use it for commuting and easily filter though the traffic. Its very hard to explain the + and -, until you actually ride it. 5*** !!!!

Overall Rating 4 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 5 out of 5
Engine 4 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 5 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 5 out of 5
Equipment 4 out of 5
5 out of 5

2007 Hornet

25 September 2009 by Anonymous

The MCN review is largely accurate. My experience of my 2007 ABS Hornet has been: Pros: * Brilliant high and low speed handling and chassis set up. Best naked I've ridden, ever. * Decent ~45mpg consumption even if you thrash the hell out... Read more of it. * Build and materials quality appears almost up to "old skool" Honda standards. Still perfect on my 2007. * ABS is non-intrusive, unlike old Honda ABS or the BMW systems. * Good value for money - under 100mph as fast as a supersport 600, no plastics to break, with cheap insurance. * Long seat cover, huge grab handles and no painted rear fairing means it's brilliant for bungeeing stuff on without the inevitable scuffed paint. Cons: * The shock is shit. Oversprung and lacking any compression damping, it pogos over the slightest bump, will lose any damping by ~10k miles and is not rebuildable. You then either suffer Fear or pay £3-400 for an aftermarket unit. * It's a 600 four. Needs downgearing at the sprockets if you're not a pipe-and-slippers rider. Blisteringly fast when wound up, but feels like the final drive is made of rubber bands - twist throttle and wait for the engine to catch up. Street Triple, by comparison, gives instant drive when you open the taps. * Pegs are low-ish and the bike tends to sit on its tail unless you jack up preload (which just makes the rear shock more harsh), or I guess unless you weigh 120 pounds or less. Although Honda manages to make this feel great to ride, your toes will hit the ground before your knee sliders you're over about a size 8. * Wind protection even by naked standards is poor (my Duke II was actually better...and it didn't even have a flyscreen), and the Honda option flyscreen looks good but doesn't do much to protect you. Puig, Givi and a bunch of others do higher aftermarket ones for £££. * Typical horrible Honda EFI jerkiness going from shut to open throttle which you have to ride around. Overall, a great A and B road do-anything bike. Not what I'd choose for urban commuters however - the power delivery and EFI issues are a PITA in town.

Overall Rating 5 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 4 out of 5
Engine 4 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 5 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 4 out of 5
Equipment 5 out of 5
5 out of 5

quality

04 May 2009 by derade

Owned my Hornet since aug'08 and ridden 7500 miles. I've been riding for nearly 4 years and this is my second Hornet. I ride all year, all weathers and this bike is great. Build quality is excellent, ride is agile, sporty and fun and great in town... Read more too. You have to push the brakes hard for the abs to cut in and it is a refined and sensitive system, complementing the whole package. Fuel consumption is 45 - 50 mpg (even hard riding), I have got 170 miles from a full tank, with some to spare but I usually fill up at 150 miles. The engine is a diamond with good torque throughout the rev range. The only 'fault' is the seat - a tad uncomfy after a couple of hours, but hey, either buy a bagster seat or take a break! Fantastic value and probably the best middleweight roadster out there!

Overall Rating 5 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 5 out of 5
Engine 5 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 5 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 5 out of 5
Equipment 5 out of 5
Read all 24 owners' reviews in full

Facts & Figures

Model info
Year introduced 2007
Year discontinued 2013
Original price £6,999
Warranty term (when new) Two year unlimited mileage
Running costs
Insurance group 11 of 17
Annual road tax £58
Annual service cost -
Performance
Max power 100 bhp
Max torque 47 ft-lb
Top speed 140 mph
1/4-mile acceleration 11.7 secs
Average fuel consumption 62 mpg
Tank range 140 miles
Specification
Engine size 599cc
Engine type Liquid-cooled, 67 x 42.5mm four stroke inline four. Six gears
Frame type Aluminium backbone
Fuel capacity 19 litres
Seat height 800mm
Bike weight 173kg
Front suspension None
Rear suspension Preload only
Front brake 2 x 296mm front discs with twin piston caliper (three piston ABS)
Rear brake 240mm disc with 1-pot caliper
Front tyre size 120/70 x 17
Rear tyre size 180/55 X 17

History & Versions

Model history

2007: New Honda CB600F Hornet launched.
2011: CB600FA Hornet [£6,805]

Other versions

None.

Photo Gallery

  • Honda CB600F Hornet motorcycle review - Riding
  • Honda CB600F Hornet motorcycle review - Side view
  • Honda CB600F Hornet motorcycle review - Instruments
  • Honda CB600F Hornet motorcycle review - Side view
  • Honda CB600F Hornet motorcycle review - Riding
  • Honda CB600F Hornet motorcycle review - Riding
  • Honda CB600F Hornet motorcycle review - Riding
  • Honda CB600F Hornet motorcycle review - Riding
  • Honda CB600F Hornet motorcycle review - Riding
  • Honda CB600F Hornet motorcycle review - Front view
  • Honda CB600F Hornet motorcycle review - Brakes
  • Honda CB600F Hornet motorcycle review - Engine
  • Honda CB600F Hornet motorcycle review - Riding
  • Honda CB600F Hornet motorcycle review - Side view
  • Honda CB600F Hornet motorcycle review - Instruments
  • Honda CB600F Hornet motorcycle review - Side view
  • Honda CB600F Hornet motorcycle review - Riding
  • Honda CB600F Hornet motorcycle review - Riding
  • Honda CB600F Hornet motorcycle review - Riding
  • Honda CB600F Hornet motorcycle review - Riding
  • Honda CB600F Hornet motorcycle review - Riding
  • Honda CB600F Hornet motorcycle review - Front view
  • Honda CB600F Hornet motorcycle review - Brakes
  • Honda CB600F Hornet motorcycle review - Engine