HONDA CBF600 (2008-2013) Review

Published: 06 February 2008

"Practical, easy to ride, fairly swift, comfortable and thanks to ABS brakes as standard, safe, too"

Honda cbf600 review action

"Practical, easy to ride, fairly swift, comfortable and thanks to ABS brakes as standard, safe, too"

Overall Rating 3 out of 5

Sporting a new, detuned version of the current CBR600RR engine and a new cast aluminium chassis, bodywork and suspension (now adjustable for preload) the updated Honda CBF600 is practical, easy to ride, fairly swift, comfortable and thanks to ABS brakes as standard, safe too. The Honda CBF600 is aimed at new and ‘born again’ riders and it does everything it sets out to do, but it is on the bland side - more work-horse than plaything.

 

Watch the Honda CBF600S take on the Kawasaki ER-6F and the Suzuki GSX650F

 

Ride Quality & Brakes 4 out of 5

You could almost ride the Honda CBF600 with your eyes closed, it’s that simple. Thanks to plush suspension, which offers up a superb compromise between ride quality and handling, the Honda glides over bumps and keeps all but the nastiest pot-holes isolated from the rider. The riding position is very natural with an easy reach to the high bars, there’s lots of legroom and the seat is three-way height adjustable too. Ground clearance is more than enough for this type of machine and even when pushed hard the CBF600 won’t get itself into a wobbly mess. Honda has opted to fit the old-generation Michelin Pilot Road tyres, which don’t have the grip, especially in the wet, of the newer generation Pilot Road 2.

 

Engine 3 out of 5

Starting life powering the ‘07-model CBR600RR, the Honda CBF600’s motor has been retuned to give it more low-down stomp, thanks to a thicker head gasket, a lower compression ratio, longer duration cams and closer internal gear-ratios. The power delivery is very smooth and the fuelling from the new fuel-injection system is flawless, which will make it easy to handle for inexperienced riders. The engine is at its happiest is between 3000-6000rpm. Flat out the CBF600 will indicate 140mph on the clock, but it’s not a motorcycle that’ll bring a smile to your face.

Build Quality & Reliability 5 out of 5

Honda is a by-word for bombproof build-quality and reliability and the CBF600 doesn’t disappoint in this department. Bikes like this with exposed engines are always going to vulnerable, but you can see the CBF600 riding through the salt-encrusted depths of winter and back again without tarnishing its excellent finish. Cycle parts are robust and the CBR600RR engine is so detuned it should easily outlast the rest of the bike.

Insurance, running costs & value 3 out of 5

For the type of rider Honda is targeting there are far cheaper bikes out there that do the same job and are more fun to ride, too, like the £4599 Suzuki SV650S and £4895 Kawasaki ER-6F. For just a few hundred quid more you could go for the simply excellent Triumph Street Triple, which will look after you when you’re learning to ride and thrill you months down the line when you’ve got the hang of it. The Honda is just too grey in every respect. Find a Honda CBF600 for sale.

 

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

Equipment 3 out of 5

For your five and half grand, the Honda CBF600 gets ABS brakes as standard, a centre stand and decent underseat storage, but if you want things like a top box and panniers you’ll have to start ticking boxes in the optional extras lists.

Owners' Reviews

20 owners have reviewed their HONDA CBF600 (2008-2013) and rated it in a number of areas. Read what they have to say and what they like and dislike about the bike below.

Review your HONDA CBF600 (2008-2013)
Summary of Owners' Reviews
Overall Rating 4.0 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 3.8 out of 5
Engine 4.1 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 4.1 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 3.8 out of 5
Equipment 3.9 out of 5
4 out of 5

Good middleweight UJM

01 December 2015 by Chase III

Good middleweight bike that's easy and comfortable to ride. Good on all roads but is not the most flickable of machines and correct tyre pressures makes all the difference to the handling. Read more

Ride Quality & Brakes
5 out of 5
No ABS on my N8 version but never needed it. Brakes are good and progressive and I've not had any issues. The ride is very smooth and can easily be ridden for the entire tank range of 200+ miles before needing to stretch your legs. The three available seat heights should ensure most riders will find a comfortable position.
Engine
5 out of 5
A typical UJM with a linear delivery in power. Excellent gear box and no issues with false neutrals or finding neutral. Clutchless up-changes are no problem if required.
Build Quality & Reliability
4 out of 5
My bike is kept very clean and coming up to 28000 miles. Paint has flaked on the radiator and on the swinging arm by the rear shock, which I've had to touch up. Slight corrosion at the front of the engine from the short mudguard. Needed a rear wheel bearing replaced at 24000 miles. All nuts and bolts still look good.
Value & Running Costs
5 out of 5
Covered 24000 miles in the 28 months I've owned the bike and do the simple oil and filter changes myself every 4,000 miles. The 16,000 mile top end check, coolant replacement, new rear brake pads and general service by a dealer cost £400.
Equipment
3 out of 5
Centre stand is a godsend and I just don't understand bikes that don't have them or are an extra. For a naked bike, a screen purchase is a must if you wish to get the most out of riding the bike. Speedo is optimistic by 9%, which is very annoying and only just legal.
Buying experience

Picked it up from a Triumph dealer in July 2013 with 3,400 miles on the clock for £3,500.

4 out of 5

Thy all-rounder

20 November 2015 by Peter Snows

This is my first motorcycle, bought it two years ago at its second anniversary with 10k miles on the clock. I've used it for commuting and for the two up occasional weekend and vacations. 17k miles afterwards, with some of them done over seven... Read more countries without the need of topping up the oil level, I can't understand why did Honda stopped production for this model.

Ride Quality & Brakes
4 out of 5
This one is a good all-rounder. Needs some getting use to in traffic due to its weight, but after a few weeks filtering becomes something rather easy to do. Not being a proper touring machine, I found myself (with the pillion) making close to 400 miles (two tanks) in a day, two-three stops for each tank (w/tall screen)
Engine
5 out of 5
Probably the best thing in it!
Build Quality & Reliability
4 out of 5
Reliability wise, I couldn't be more satisfied. Two up road tripping around Europe needed nothing more than chain lube. Everything else was flawless. Quality... now that is a bit of twist. Rust seems to show up easily enough and constant attention is necessary on that matter.
Value & Running Costs
4 out of 5
(servicing costs are in euro) The CBF was, new, almost double the cost of the NC700S, the two year old I got, was pretty much the price of the NC. They depreciated a lot due to the introduction of the NC700. Transmission kits are overly expensive, besides that, it is rather cheap to keep. Fuel consumption is a little over 61mpg, I guess I can't complain even when riding in traffic.
Equipment
4 out of 5
The original screen is rather short, the aftermarket one did everything the original couldn't... avoid the wind from blasting my forehead. The factory fitted hand guards (hand wind deflectors, not sure about the proper name) came as an extra installed by the previous owner... won't need heated grips for winter riding, that's for sure. Combined ABS was standard at the time in this model, and already proved handy in some occasions. It has no reserve light but the fuel gauge is accurate enough to not end up on the side of the road.
Buying experience

Bought from a Honda dealer.

4 out of 5

Good all rounder

12 August 2014 by konarob8

Owned mine for nearly a year now. Bought at a year old with full Honda luggage for just over £4k with virtually no miles on it. over 10,000 miles later I offer my views. As a commuter (50 miles each way into London and back) it performed faultlessly... Read more for 6 months. Returns 55mpg average, slightly less if you are over enthusiastic with the throttle, a bit more if ridden gently. I've added a gel seat, tall screen and heated grips. These make all the difference for year round riding, I've managed a couple of 4-500 mile days with the additions so touring is a very plausible use too. For a bit of a blast it has plenty enough power for me, I'm running it on Michelin Road Pilot 3s now and the cornering is much improved as is the wet weather handling. The engine is the real star in many ways, it has torque everywhere in the rev range, you can do 60 in 1st or 30 in 6th (neither recommended, but both possible). It is smooth, easy to ride and above all fun without being silly.

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

Still a better all-rounder than the NCs

24 September 2013 by ultrasardine

The CBF is not only an awesome commuter, but it's also a great traveller, very cheap to own, top quality material, has a great engine and is much more exiting than the new twin Hondas. Read more

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
-
4 out of 5

Honda CBF600SA

06 June 2013 by Mayvern

Lovely bike to own. Looks good and literally does everything, a fun commuter. Very smooth 4-cylinder engine provides ample power whilst giving about 65mpg and has never missed a beat. The bike pulls easily in 6th gear from 30mph thanks to the very... Read more good PGM-FI system, even uphill. Combined ABS system is phenomenal. Few problems; control pedals corroded after a couple of weeks, electrical problems at about 7 months and Honda offered very poor customer service in both cases. Genuine Honda top box well worth the money. All round competent machine for clocking lots of miles though perhaps lacking a little soul.

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

Real World Review

03 May 2013 by Wezzylad

I sometimes despair reading "expert" reviews of motorcycles which end up being in the same vain as Top Gear reviews of cars. If it isn't a Ferrari or Lamborghini then they are crap. In the real world, most savvy motor cycle riders want a reasonably... Read more priced, reliable, cost effective and fun machine. The CBF ticks all the boxes. Having just returned from a two up trip to Assen in Holland having done some 1,300 miles in total i am very happy i went on the Honda. It was comfortable. It was sure footed in some miserable, wet and windy weather. It cruised effortlessly at 70 - 80mph when the conditions allowed. It didn't let me down and was thrifty on fuel. Filtering through the usual gridlocks around Antwerp had me smiling at the depressed looking car drivers. Having returned home a quick check over saw limited wear on the tyres, no chain adjustment needed and no oil used. A quick wash had it looking like new again. A short solo blast out after it had dried had me grinning again having fun on the local back roads. This is a bike that has plenty of useable power for our overcrowded roads. If you need the urge for speed and an adrenaline rush then pay twice as much for a more powerful bike and book some track days.

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
-
3 out of 5

courtesy bike

26 April 2012 by Cyclonite

I had one of these for a few weeks and It has to be forces into turning which is really really horrible. The suspension was nice and the dash was good, The seat was horrible quality and look awful but was ok to sit on. Read more

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

Honda CBF600SA

29 November 2011 by Banzai600

Well, i have a 2010 model. Bought it with original luggage, side and top boxes, averto alarm, CABS as standard. Great engine for a 600 considering its a detuned cbr600rr motor. Some ppl reckon it needs a 6th gear but i think its fine. Torque is good... Read more throughout the gears and re range, no issues there. Adjustable seat and small standard screen are fine. For a spin out its good enough to keep up with sportsbikes on B road twisies and touching down your sliders with a set of BT021's ! Fuel economy is returning appx 210 miles on the 20 litre tank. This is both commuting and some two up riding. I have MAJOR two issues, the oxidisation on the bolts is rediculous after a year (no matter how much you keep it clean ) even some parts have paint worn off where your feet are ! The suspension on the front is fairly soft. But then its not a sportsbike so i suppose the suspenion is adequate ? Rear supsension can be adjusted for pre load which is handy. Lights etc are great, dash needs updating but fuel guage is perfect. Upgrades include aftermarket SW Motech engine bars and MRA Vario screen. I am a little disappointed with the finish to be honest. Really only big drawback. Oh, there is a issue of handlebar weave...cant figure that out AT ALL

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

Honda CBF600SA

29 November 2011 by Anonymous

Well, i have a 2010 model. Bought it with original luggage, side and top boxes, averto alarm, CABS as standard. Great engine for a 600 considering its a detuned cbr600rr motor. Some ppl reckon it needs a 6th gear but i think its fine. Torque is good... Read more throughout the gears and re range, no issues there. Adjustable seat and small standard screen are fine. For a spin out its good enough to keep up with sportsbikes on B road twisies and touching down your sliders with a set of BT021's ! Fuel economy is returning appx 210 miles on the 20 litre tank. This is both commuting and some two up riding. I have MAJOR two issues, the oxidisation on the bolts is rediculous after a year (no matter how much you keep it clean ) even some parts have paint worn off where your feet are ! The suspension on the front is fairly soft. But then its not a sportsbike so i suppose the suspenion is adequate ? Rear supsension can be adjusted for pre load which is handy. Lights etc are great, dash needs updating but fuel guage is perfect. Upgrades include aftermarket SW Motech engine bars and MRA Vario screen. I am a little disappointed with the finish to be honest. Really only big drawback. Oh, there is a issue of handlebar weave...cant figure that out AT ALL.

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

hire bike

01 May 2011 by djawillis

have got one of these as a hire bike atm while my street is repaired. got to say more impresed than i thought id be, carrys really good corner speed very stable. cons it takes a bit of force to turn in there isnst alot of torque anywhere in the range... Read more but the main problem which is driving me crazy is the foot peg height. ive had it four days and now both the balls on the bottom of the pegs are almost gone :(. otherwise good bike

Ride Quality & Brakes
3 out of 5
-
Engine
2 out of 5
-
Build Quality & Reliability
4 out of 5
-
Value & Running Costs
4 out of 5
-
Equipment
3 out of 5
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Read all 20 owners' reviews in full

Facts & Figures

Model info
Year introduced 2008
Year discontinued 2013
Original price £5,855
Used price £2,000 to £6,400
Warranty term (when new) Two year unlimited mileage
Running costs
Insurance group 11 of 17
Annual road tax £59
Annual service cost £190
Performance
Max power 76 bhp
Max torque 44 ft-lb
Top speed 140 mph
1/4-mile acceleration 12.8 secs
Average fuel consumption 45 mpg
Tank range 197 miles
Specification
Engine size 599cc
Engine type 16-valve, in-line-four-cylinder
Frame type Cast aluminium
Fuel capacity 20 litres
Seat height 770mm
Bike weight 222kg
Front suspension Pre-load only
Rear suspension Pre-load only
Front brake 2 x 296mm discs
Rear brake 240mm disc
Front tyre size 120/70 x 17 in
Rear tyre size 160/60 x 17 in

History & Versions

Model history

2007 – Model introduced.

Other versions

2011: CBF600SA [£6,405]

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