It is far too easy to criticise a bike for not being exciting. But for some riders, exciting isn’t what they crave. Let’s be honest, a commute is rarely going to be a thrilling ride, so why not have a bike that is designed to simply churn out the miles with minimal effort, maximum comfort and not even a whisper of unreliability? Does that sound like a boring or sensible choice? If you answer ‘sensible’ then you may want to check out the Honda CBF600.
Despite having what is effectively a re-tuned Hornet 600 motor, the CBF’s inline four has little of the sportier naked’s zip. Open the throttle and acceleration is somewhat muted as the CBF eases itself up to speed. It feels as if a sock has been lodged in the Hornet’s airbox, but in actual fact it is a case of Honda ensuring the riding experience on the CBF is as reserved and hassle-free as possible. Which can be exactly what you want in this style of motorcycle.
The CBF has none of the Hornet’s irritating vibrations, the clutch is lovely and light and the gearbox slick. Sure, there are few thrills to be found, but by the same token there are no nasty surprises either. And the same is true for the CBF’s handling, which is solid and secure rather than sporty and agile, while the Honda’s brakes are adequate but lacking any aggressive bite.
It’s all a bit soft around the edges and comforting, which isn’t a bad thing on a machine destined to spend its days battling traffic during the rush hour.
The CBF600 is never going to set your pulse racing, but it was never designed to thrill. This is a solid workhorse with a good level of finish, unquestionable reliability and high comfort levels. Yes it’s dull, but sometimes a good old pair of comfortable slippers is just what is required in life.
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