HONDA CBR600F ABS (2011-2013) Review

Published: 18 March 2011

Hornet-based all-rounder was Honda's first stab at reinventing the classic 600F. Superceded by the better CBR650F version

HONDA CBR600F ABS (2011-2013)

Hornet-based all-rounder was Honda's first stab at reinventing the classic 600F. Superceded by the better CBR650F version

  • At a glance
  • 599cc  -  100.6 bhp
  • 42 mpg  -  177 miles range
  • Medium seat height (800mm)

Overall Rating 4 out of 5

Honda Europe was asked to produce a modern-day version of its famed CBR600F, the bike that helped kickstart the 600cc supersport arena in 1987. With blessing from Japan, the CBR600F ABS is the finished article. And very good it is too by being easy to ride, comfortable, good looking and can be ridden quickly very, very easily. It’s keenly priced, too, because it’s built in Italy, but mainly because it’s built utilising the tried and tested CB600F Hornet chassis.

Ride Quality & Brakes 3 out of 5

Very balanced bike to ride on open roads. A slight heavy front end feel at slow speeds gives excellent feedback to boost confidence. Front and rear suspension units are adjustable for rebound damping and spring preload but only ever need to be touched when carrying luggage or pillion, or both. Considering the CBR is a level entry sports machine it can dance the back road boogie in a very controlled way. Brake it, lean it and fire it out can be done with no complaints from the chassis. The seating position is a blessing from the gods. It isn’t full on spinal column-snapping supersport-style, nor Billy Bolt-Upright. The clip-on style handlebars are positioned perfectly to match peg and seat height for a comfy seat for many, many miles.

Engine 4 out of 5

A tried and trusted unit with roots dated back to 2007 when it first appeared wedged inside the supersport CBR600RR. Honda then took the motor and detuned it for less horsepower but added a smattering more bottom and midrange rasp. As used in the Hornet 600 and several other Honda middleweights, the engine is perfect to provide everyday ease of use with enough top end punch to have fun and experience high rpm supersport power. Gearbox, top end and all the bits in between are nigh-on mortar-proof. Electronics and decent fuel injection give clinical throttle response to make it one of the easiest bikes to ride.

Build Quality & Reliability 4 out of 5

If the Hornet is anything to go by then the CBR will be perfect – although built in Italy it still falls under the same strict quality regime of the Japanese factories. If you’re not convinced about Italian mechanicals lasting, don’t worry - the CBR’s engine is built in Japan and shipped to Italy. MCN’s first ride of the CBR showed the bike is well put together with no flappy bodywork and the usual quality fasteners.

Value & Running Costs 4 out of 5

Honda is hoping the CBR will sell in volumes and has priced it accordingly. Even so it is not as cheap as we’d hoped for – Yamaha’s XJ6 Diversion F ABS is only £6999 – but considering the rising cost of raw materials and poor currency exchange it isn’t so bad, specially when the bike is as good as everyone expected.

Insurance group: 14 of 17 – compare motorcycle insurance quotes now.

Equipment 3 out of 5

Gizmo-wise the CBR is sparsely decked out – but this is reflected in the price. The CBR does have a recognised safety feature of Combined-Antilock Braking System (C-ABS), which is becoming a standard feature on Hondas and it works without being intrusive. The one-piece headlight unit is cool to look at the but it is just a headlight.

Owners' Reviews

21 owners have reviewed their HONDA CBR600F ABS (2011-2013) 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 4.8 out of 5
Engine 4.5 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 4.7 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 4.3 out of 5
Equipment 4.1 out of 5
4 out of 5

More sports than tourer

18 November 2014 by twofish

The CBR600F is a brilliant bike, especially for a newbie - this is my first bike. I did Direct Access and bought this straight away. It's balanced, smooth, easy to ride slowly, and then faster as you learn. You don't need to move up either, unless... Read more you desperately want a massive engine. I wouldn't say it's on the heavy side (I'm female and only 5'5"), I can lug it about without too much trouble. Been around a track briefly and it kept up with the big bikes, caught up with them round the corners. Downsides - it's definitely more sports than tourer. Too pretty to attach hard luggage racks to, and no way will it go 170 miles to a tank. Mine does a little over 110, ridden smoothly. The seat is wide and not the most comfortable for a petite backside over many miles. It's also hard work in a traffic jam. I find 1st gear is either on or off, maybe thats just my poor clutch control! Fabulous for weekend jaunts and commuting, not quite so good for touring with respect to luggage handling or garage stops. Position is comfortable if it wasn't for that seat!

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 4 out of 5
Equipment 3 out of 5
5 out of 5

Great sports-tourer

04 July 2014 by Finn34

I opted for this bike both for of its sporty look and great touring riding position. The blue version with a Scorpion exhaust is definitely a looker. Done 140 (with pillion and luggage) but I am sure it can easily do 160. ABS was very useful a few... Read more times, wouldn't go for anything else now. Did have some issues with the brakes- the previous owner jet-washed it which made the pistons to get stuck! Would have been great to be able to tell what gear you are in from the display.

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

Honda CBR600F Review

16 October 2013 by Anonymous

Having been riding supersport bikes for the last 15 years and approaching 40 I started to find the riding position and suspension settings of my current bike just too uncomfortable for my commute to work and Sunday blast. I started to look for less... Read more extreme bikes to the ZX6R’s, ZX10R’s and Fireblades I have owned in the past. I too was a little uneasy about losing some power when I made my decision to buy a new 2013 Honda CBR600F. I have had the bike for 5 months now and apart from taking it easy for the first 600 miles I have found the bike to be a great all-rounder. It lacks the extreme riding characteristics of my previous bikes but in return this has made it a lot more enjoyable to actually ride the bike and to appreciate the scenery, but when you want some fun the power delivery is smooth and the bike certainly has more torque that I remember in the old Honda CBR600F’s I owned at the start of my riding career. I would have given this bike 5 stars all round but the engine isn't quite the modern marvel they lead you to believe and the screen has a really annoying vibration as there is not enough re-enforcement to give it the rigidity in needs and wants . Don't let these few negatives put you off an extremely capable, easy riding and reliable machine. Well done Honda.

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

Good First Bike

27 May 2013 by JoolyWumper

Passed my direct access in October last year and rushed out, after months of research, to buy my first bike. Ended up buying the CBR600F 2011 without even riding it as I'd read good things. Turns out they were all right. I'm tall (6'4"), a bit dim... Read more and prone to road rage. Combine all this with the fact that I like to ride quick and I reckon this bike was the perfect choice for a first motorcycle. It looks after you when you need it (ABS), is docile low down but goes like a stabbed rat when you give it the beans and it looks pretty good - there are definitely better looking bikes about but you could do worse. I use it for an 80 mile round trip commute most days and am still trying to get my knee down for the first time most weekends and haven't got bored yet. Although the top end rush is quite addictive I'm beginning to long for something with more poke across the whole range... which makes me think this bike is a great, safe and sane step on the road to Firebladesville. I wonder how much I'd get on the trade in..........

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 4 out of 5
Equipment 4 out of 5
5 out of 5

So far so good

07 April 2013 by locktab

Had the bike about a month now and have done about 1800 miles very pleased overall it's a lot smoother than my Versys was and has a linier power delivery with a nice little kick at the top end. I was a little conserned about fuel consuption but... Read more averager high 50s mpg with one care motorway run returning a very impressive 80 mpg over a 50 mile trip. Tank range averages 150 miles but I managed 205.7 miles from my last tank full. Can't see any negatives so far so what are you waiting for.

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 4 out of 5
5 out of 5

Good for girls too

28 October 2012 by carolineinoz

I was looking for a replacement for my 'beginning-to-age' ER6f and was convinced by the salesman to take one of these out for a test ride. He knew exactly what he was doing! Fell in love with it straight away, and moreso when I tried to ride my ER... Read more home later. It might be a fraction heavy for us weak girlies, but the ER wasn't exactly a lightweight either. Lovely riding position, feels very natural and extremely smooth. Highly recommended!

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

screen?

14 August 2012 by mercymercyred

hello anonymous could you tell me what screen you put on your bike, I have the same bike and have put a powerbronze double bubble screen on but I could do with one that is still higher still but cannot find anyone who can supply one? any help much... Read more appreciated.

Overall Rating 5 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 4 out of 5
Equipment 4 out of 5
4 out of 5

Suits me perfectly

11 August 2012 by Anonymous

Having owned many bikes, including two Hayabusas, and a 2010 blade, which I px'd for my current 2012 cbr600f, I was naturally a little concerned whether I was doing the right thing. But ... My aging frame was finding the riding position on the... Read more blade a little too demanding on my back and wrists, and I was fidning myself wanting an all together more relaxed riding experience. My bike usages is a 30 mile round trip commute through a mix of traffic and country roads, and the occasional longer blast on a Sunday morning. The cbr600f is an excellent commuter bike. Very easy to ride and control, both in terms of easy handling and a throttle response which is glitch free and sublimely smooth and linear throughout the rev range, both of which give excellent, safe control at all times. It's very comfortable for the longer trips too. This all adds up to a very relaxing bike to ride. Very enjoyable. Of course it lacks the punch of the blade or a busa, and the sharp handling and throtle response of the blade, with a much softer feel, but as I said, it makes for a very relaxed and enjoyable ride. It really depends what you want from your bike, but for my usage and more relaxed riding style these days it suits perfectly. The big plus points are the oh so smooth throtle response, easy handling and comfortable riding position. The negatives - can't think of anything. I have had a couple of vibrations creeping in. The first time was the high screen I had fitted ( highly recommended for windblast at higher speeds ) and was resolved by adding some damping. Second time I just tightened up the fairing bolts ( after 1000 miles ) and the vibes went away again. Should also mention I had an 04 plate cbr600f and the 2012 model is very different, most notably with more low down torque which I find a big improvement. I also don't want to give the impression that the bike lacks excitement. It has more than enough power and handling to put a smile on your face when pushed a little harder. Think that's about it. So no regrets so far after the first 4 months of ownership. Just wish the weather was a bit better to enjoy it ......

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

Very under rated all rounder

27 March 2012 by Hondavfr800

Some might say going from a CBR600RR to a CBR600F is a backward step but I’m absolutely delighted with my new toy. Yes the 600RR is awesome and having helibars fitted made the slow riding easier but the riding position is fairly compact and I’m now... Read more nudging mid 40’s. I originally thought my partners’ 600 Hornet was asthmatic, in comparision to the 600RR, ( until it was run in anyway ) so I doubt the 600F will be a let down and I wanted something like a sport tourer that wasn’t too large or heavy so I could travel on it if I wanted to. The riding position really is smack in between the Hornet and 600RR so not bolt upright nor too much weight on the wrists and it has the slightly sporty undertones. The mirrors are brilliant, seat comfortable, reach to bars fine, good position on the pegs to use the rear brake. Slightly soft rear suspension but I’ll stiffen that up and the Honda after market screen directs the wind blast straight onto my helmet. On the styling front, when you actually spend time and study it, it has lovely flowing lines and everything seems in the right proportion. I can’t really comment on performance just yet as I’m running it in but the signs seem good and the average miles per litre display function seems to be around 55mpg on varied riding. My only gripes are that my first two rides were at night and the headlight isn’t great and sadly ventura don’t do a dedicated pack rack system for this bike! So overall probably a very under rated bike that people bypass for the wrong reasons.

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

Great Bike

14 February 2012 by jhoctor

Same as Kebian. Went out for a test ride then on my return traded my ER-6F(2009)in. The Honda is a great bike. 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 5 out of 5
Read all 21 owners' reviews in full

Facts & Figures

Model info
Year introduced 2011
Year discontinued 2013
Original price £7,349
Warranty term (when new) Two year unlimited mileage
Running costs
Insurance group 14 of 17
Annual road tax £58
Annual service cost -
Performance
Max power 100.6 bhp
Max torque 47.2 ft-lb
Top speed 156 mph
1/4-mile acceleration -
Average fuel consumption 42 mpg
Tank range 177 miles
Specification
Engine size 599cc
Engine type Liquid-cooled, DOHC, 16v four-stroke in-line four. Six gears
Frame type Aluminium spine frame and swingarm
Fuel capacity 19 litres
Seat height 800mm
Bike weight 194kg
Front suspension Adjustable for preload and rebound damping
Rear suspension Adjustable for preload and rebound damping
Front brake 296mm twin discs with 3-piston calipers
Rear brake 245mm disc with single-piston caliper
Front tyre size 120/70 x 17
Rear tyre size 180/55 x 17

History & Versions

Model history

1987-2006: Honda CBR600F
2011 – reintroduction of new CBR600F ABS

Other versions

(2000 - 2007)

Photo Gallery

  • HONDA CBR600F ABS (2011-2013)
  • HONDA CBR600F ABS (2011-2013)
  • HONDA CBR600F ABS (2011-2013)
  • HONDA CBR600F ABS (2011-2013)
  • HONDA CBR600F ABS (2011-2013)
  • HONDA CBR600F ABS (2011-2013)
  • HONDA CBR600F ABS (2011-2013)
  • HONDA CBR600F ABS (2011-2013)
  • HONDA CBR600F ABS (2011-2013)
  • HONDA CBR600F ABS (2011-2013)
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