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Honda CBR600F Sports Motorbike Review

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MCN overall verdict rating is 4

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.

Engine

MCN rating rating is 4
Owners' rating rating is 4.5

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.

Ride and Handling

MCN rating rating is 3
Owners' rating rating is 4.5

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.

Equipment

MCN rating rating is 3
Owners' rating rating is 4

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.

Honda CBR600F ABS (2011-2013)

Detail Value
New price £7,349
Dealer used prices
£5,220 (2011) - £7,400 (2014)
Private used prices
£4,810 (2011) - £6,660 (2014)
  View full used price info
Engine size 599 cc
Power 100.6 bhp
Top speed mph
Insurance group 14 of 17
  MCN ratings Owners' ratings
Overall rating is 4 rating is 4.5
Engine rating is 4 rating is 4.5
Ride & Handling rating is 3 rating is 4.5
Equipment rating is 3 rating is 4
Quality & Reliability rating is 4 rating is 4.5
Value rating is 4 rating is 4

Quality and Reliability

MCN rating rating is 4
Owners' rating rating is 4.5

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

MCN rating rating is 4
Owners' rating rating is 4

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

Insurance group: 14 of 17

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Model History

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

Other Versions

Specifications

Top speed mph
1/4-mile acceleration secs
Max power 100.6 bhp
Max torque 47.2 ft-lb
Weight 194 kg
Seat height 800 mm
Fuel capacity 19 litres
Average fuel consumption mpg
Tank range miles
Annual road tax
Insurance group 14 of 17
Engine size 599 cc
Engine specification Liquid-cooled, DOHC, 16v four-stroke in-line four. Six gears
Frame Aluminium spine frame and swingarm
Front suspension adjustment Adjustable for preload and rebound damping
Rear suspension adjustment Adjustable for preload and rebound damping
Front brakes 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

See all Honda CBR600F motorcycles for sale

Honda
CBR600F

24500 miles

£2,150

Honda
CBR600F

4700 miles

£5,595

Honda
CBR600F

1500 miles

£7,495

Honda
CBR600F

22605 miles

£1,195

Honda
CBR600F

2650 miles

£5,750

Owners' Overall Rating rating is 4.5(20 reviews)

  • Great sports-tourer

    Finn34

    Average rating rating is 4.5

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    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 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.

    04 July 2014

  • Honda CBR600F Review

    Anonymous

    Average rating rating is 4.5

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    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 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.

    16 October 2013

  • Good First Bike

    JoolyWumper

    Average rating rating is 4

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    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 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..........

    27 May 2013

  • So far so good

    locktab

    Average rating rating is 4

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    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 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.

    07 April 2013

  • Good for girls too

    carolineinoz

    Average rating rating is 4

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    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 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!

    28 October 2012

  • screen?

    gareth evans

    Average rating rating is 4.5

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    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 appreciated.

    14 August 2012

  • Suits me perfectly

    Anonymous

    Average rating rating is 4

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    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 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 ......

    11 August 2012

  • Very under rated all rounder

    Hondavfr800

    Average rating rating is 4

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    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 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.

    27 March 2012

  • Great Bike

    jhoctor

    Average rating rating is 4.5

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    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.

    14 February 2012

  • Awesome bike

    kebian

    Average rating rating is 4.5

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    I had a go on the demonstrator and immediately put down a deposit when I got back. Lovely bike. Insurance wasn't easy on the wallet though. I'm 35 years old but I've held my full license for only 9 months and managed to insure an XJ6 Diversion F for £300 as soon as I passed but now 9 months later it's costing me £1050 to ensure this bike. If you're a new rider looking for your first 600cc then check the insurance first!

    14 January 2012

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mobit

mobitsays

The GPZ600R was first supersport - not the CBR

MCN Overall Verdict   " CBR600F - the bike that helped kickstart the 600cc supersport arena in 1987 "

Wrong MCN - That would be the GPZ600R in '85

 

19 June 2012 01:08

kebian

kebiansays

Had a go on a demonstrator today...

Had a go on a demonstrator today and put a deposit down right away. I'm picking it up next week :) Wicked bike.

13 January 2012 22:27

Piglet2010

User's Badge

Piglet2010says

Honda CBR600F

I would consider buying one if Honda would sell it to me, but this is yet another bike they are not bringing to the US market.  Of course, with the poor sales of the NT700V Deauville (just bought a new 2010 on a very good deal, since the dealer wanted to open up floor space for 2012 models), we are even less likely to see European Hondas left of the pond.  Riders in the US are mostly immature adults who only wants toys, and the faster, gaudier, and/or louder the better.  Then they only ride a few hundred miles a year, since the bikes are too uncomfortable and impractical. : (

Guess I will have to look at the Kawasaki Ninja 650 instead.

19 October 2011 04:22

nomadxl

nomadxlsays

modification

hi guyz, any idea if i can use the fairing of this model for the cb600 hornet? as a modification i mean..it would be awesome upgrading instead of buying the new one :)

16 October 2011 03:58

grummitt

grummittsays

Honda CBR600f

Bought a 2011 model in August this year. Previously rode a 1995 CBR6 and what a difference. The new model is responsive, easy to handle and what a ride!! If you are looking for a reliable, asthetically pleasing bike then this is the one enjoy!!!!!!!!!!!!!

28 August 2011 18:47

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