HONDA CBF600 (2008 - 2013) Review
At a glance
|Owners' reliability rating:|
|Annual servicing cost:||£200|
Overall ratingNext up: Ride & brakes
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.
- Related: Honda CBF600 updated for 2008
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. It replaces the 2004-2007 Honda CBF600.
Ride quality & brakesNext up: Engine
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.
Reader query: tyre pressures on Honda CBF600
Q: I have been using my Honda CBF600 for six months. I had got it into my head that the front tyre pressure was 42psi, which has always seemed fine. The other day I went to check the pressures and the front tyre’s valve came off in my hand!
I wheeled it down to the local bike garage for a replacement and the technician informed me that the front should be 36psi (I double-checked this and they’re bloody right.)
However the bike now feels completely different. It turns in much quicker and goingover white lines or parallel ridges in the road seems exaggerated. What on earth is going on?
Ryan Finn, Northampton
A: One of two things is happening. Either the bike is now handling the way it should have in the first place, with faster steering, and you just have to get used to it. Or, the pressure has been so high for so long that it has introduced some unusual wear characteristics and the tyre is now super sensitive to surface changes.
Either way, when you get your tyres changed in the future always stipulate new valves. Tyresthat are over five years old are often deemed to be past their sell-by date. That valve could be as old as the bike, and on a 2000-year machine the rubber could be perishing at a rate of knots.
EngineNext up: Reliability
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.
Reader query: What coolant for Honda CBF600?
Q: I’ve a 2008 Honda CBF600 and I need to refill it with coolant. The manual says it should be 50/50 antifreeze and distilled water, but I can’t get antifreeze at this time of year. What type of coolant already mixed can I use?
Jd67, MCN forums
A: Just pop to any motor factors and ask for some that's suitable for an aluminium alloy engine. Stick to a 50/50 mix with distilled water (tap water will leave deposits and is slightly corrosive) and you'll have no problems. If you're changing it yourself don't forget to flush the old stuff out of the engine before filling up again.
Reliability & build qualityNext up: Value
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.
Honda CBF600 owners' reviews on MCN
We've currently got 28 Honda CBF600 owners' reviews on the site, with an average score of 4.1 stars overall. There's a huge wealth of information there for potential buyers so we'd recommend checking them out before taking the plunge.
Value vs rivalsNext up: Equipment
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.
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.
|Engine type||16-valve, in-line-four-cylinder|
|Frame type||Cast aluminium|
|Fuel capacity||20 litres|
|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|
Mpg, costs & insurance
|Average fuel consumption||45 mpg|
|Annual road tax||£67|
|Annual service cost||£200|
|Used price||£2,000 - £4,000|
11 of 17
How much to insure?
|Warranty term||Two year unlimited mileage|
Top speed & performance
|Max power||76 bhp|
|Max torque||44 ft-lb|
|Top speed||140 mph|
|1/4 mile acceleration||12.8 secs|
|Tank range||197 miles|
Model history & versions
2007 – Model introduced.
2011: CBF600SA [£6,405]
Owners' reviews for the HONDA CBF600 (2008 - 2013)
29 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.
Summary of owners' reviews
|Ride quality & brakes:|
|Reliability & build quality:|
|Value vs rivals:|
|Annual servicing cost:||£200|
Annual servicing cost: £150
Headlight design could be better. Fairing panels a bit of a pain to remove and re-fit. I like the light weight and feel of the bike ( I am 73). Handles well. Getting used to the chain transmission and having to lubricate it (I had a BMW R80RT before).
No long rides yet and not reached the point of tiredness or needing a break yet.
Transverse in-line 4 cylinder DOHC. Detuned 600R. Good enough for me (I am no longer a boy racer).
Engine described elsewhere as 'bombproof' - remains to be seen. No faults so far (22500 miles).
Not as easy as the BMW for amateur fettling.
Added driving lights, uprated headlight bulbs and replaced sidelights and rear brake/stop light with LEDs. Fitted Black Widow exhaust for nicer sound. Brakes (ABS) fine and seem to be well balanced. Rear brake triggers part of front if applied hard.
Buying experience: Bought secondhand privately.
Comfy adjustable seat. Good brakes. Styling not to everyone’s taste. My first big bike. A little heavy when you come from a 125cc. But that also makes it very stable on the road,especially motorways. Great mid sized tourer with luggage.
Adjustable seat height makes it tailored to you.
More than enough power for you need day to day
Buying experience: Bought from superbike factory. Excellent experience start to finish. Can’t fault them and would buy from them again.
Annual servicing cost: £400
An excellent middle weight bike to learn your skills on. Great fun particularly if you are returning to riding. It's no flash machine with basic suspension with only pre load adjustment, no fancy swing arm with linked suspension mount, or traction control, but has ABS. Dip beam is rather lacking at night. I'm the 3rd owner, it had 6.5k miles and now it has 64.5k miles....it has given me tremendous pleasure and continues to thrill as I my riding improves. I use it all year round. It does need a lot of cleaning especially those exposed down pipes but they are stainless steel not delicate chrome plate. I like to ride on A and B roads mostly. I like the Peaks so lots of twists, turns, up and down and less than track quality road surfaces! It's quite a heavy bike for its class and needs a bit of care at slow speed and can stall unexpectedly when pulling away if your rpms are too low... sounds obvious but I've been caught out a few times and dropped it!
Hard to know what to expect as I haven't ridden other bikes. I seems fine to me. I used to bottom out the rear suspension on some B roads so increased the pre-load rear and slightly on the front. I noticed a difference with this and I'm comfortable with the setting. The brakes work well, but I get a persistent front pad drag, that can squeal and stops the front wheel spinning if you lift it up. I have looked at his extensively and nothing I do cures this. I put it down to the sliding calliper design..opposing pistons would be much better. I'm no great fan of the linked brakes, this adds complexity, more pipe work to fail, can lead to differential pad wear and is of little benefit.
Has a good inheritance, a detuned RR. Delivers linear torque up to about 8000rpm but has plenty to offer beyond. It makes a nice growl at this rpm. I really don't feel it lacks power (torque) delivery unless out with people pushing off on their GS's, then I feel I have to work it more to keep up. The engine is a simple design and has been very reliable...I am over due valve clearance checks, but haven't noticed a decline in performance or fuel consumption. Probably like other inline 4s, it is extremely difficult to access the plugs or take the head cover off. I removed the clutch at 62k as I was getting excessive sticking when hot and difficult gear shifts when in queues....There was some glazing on the plates..which I cleaned and surprisingly, the clutch plates were in spec. I drilled a hole in the drain plug and fitted a neodynium magnet inside to catch any metal particles. The now standard fuel injection is a big improvement over carbs.
Honda has a reputation for quality, but like any bike you need to keep on top of everything eg. if paint comes off then it needs to be covered..I don't like to see corrosion. I replaced a lot of bolts like the mushroom fairing and side casing bolts with stainless steel as the zinc plating quickly tarnishes. It has been trouble free other than normal expected wear and tear. I had to replace the steering bearings which got notched with taper rollers and I replaced the rear wheel bearings.
I do my own maintenance and replace items as they wear out or by miles not time, except insurance and road tax. I'm on my 4th chain, 2nd rear, 4th front sprockets, multiple brake pad changes 7th set of tyres, 2nd set of front and rear discs. I do oil and filter changes at 7k miles. I find I get the best mileage out of Michelin tyres which have kevlar/ polyester bands...around 8 to 9k miles and steel belted tires much less... my current rear tyre has only done 5k miles and will soon need changing. Fuel wise I get between 45 and 52 mpg around 50mpg lately.
The half faring is great and gives a lot of protection. LIke most bikes the front fender gives no engine/ radiator protection and mine had a rear hugger which works well. Decent dials and gauges. I can't believe some expensive bikes lack a proper fuel gauge! This has 2 trip meters which I mostly use together with the fuel gauge. Mine seems to be 10% down on the speedometer reading, when checked against a sat nav. The standard grab rails are nicely sculptured, look solid and are great for manoeuvring the bike around and having a main stand is great. I made a radiator grill protector, added crash bars (after my first drop), auxiliary lights, a fog light and chain oiler. After de rusting and painting the exposed horn several times I replaced it with a plastic covered louder horn. Sat nav mount and a camera mount are handy too. I have a givi rack and monokey top box (don't bother with monolock they are too flimsy). Honda fit this with an immobiliser which I thought was pretty standard on all bikes but actually not! I added an alarm from Datatool.
Buying experience: Private purchase from a trusty friend so no issues.
Good bike for shorties both feet on floor MCN review way out, first bike in 15 years great bike.
Good for anything you want to do.
More than enough power
Great all rounder
Buying experience: Searching for ages wasn't sure if i really wanted this style bike, so glad i did spur of the moment £2495 +£50 delivery +tank of fuel , private dealer, one owner, low mileage great looking bike.
Comfortable and steady
A little under powered, but still a competent machine
Left out in all weathers for 6 months during winter, started first time in April.
Heated grips, Panniers and top box all go well with this machine
Annual servicing cost: £200
CBF600N8. This bike is function over style and as such is a very useful bike that can do most things very well. However, with round headlights and retro looks back in fashion perhaps it's now more stylish than it used to be. This was the last CBF version produced, having an aluminium frame and detuned RR engine.
No ABS on my CBF600N8. I use genuine Honda brake pads as they work well, do not wear the disks and last longer than pattern parts. The linked breaking system works very well. The ergonomics for my 5'9" height with 30" inside leg are good, enabling both feet flat on the ground and a comfortable upright riding position. This year I came back from Seville in two days, covering 600 motorway miles on day one and 800 motorway miles on day two, without any discomfort. Bike is not the most flickable bus it's not a sports bike. Correct tyre pressures are essential and you can feel it when they are a few psi out.
Bullet proof - it's a Honda! I love screaming this four cylinder engine, which is another reason for frequent oil changes and good oil. This is the de/retuned RR engine and using the entire rev range along with the slick gear box is the way to get the most out of the bike. This is what for cylinder engines are about. The 75bhp and top speed of around 135mph lets you use the all the engine's capability most of the time. Mpg is between 55 and 65, with refills seldom needed under 200 miles.
I picked this bike up with 3,500 miles on the clock four years ago and it's now clocked 54,400 miles and the only mechanical problem I've had was the need to replace rear wheel bearings twice, but not in the last 30,000 miles. I keep my bike clean and ride throughout the year but don't ride it when the roads are salted. I've found the quality of the finish is good, with the only problem being with the radiator paint flaking.
I undertake all my own basic servicing of oil, filters, chain, coolant and brakes but let a mechanic undertake the valve clearance checks. Only use genuine Honda parts as I find they last longer and are therefore cost effective. Change the oil and filter every 4,000 miles and use Castrol 10W-30 fully synthetic Power 1 racing oil. Had the valve clearances checked at 16k and 48k miles and there was no wear and no need to replace shims, which I think justifies frequent oil changes with good oil. Chain and sprockets were replaced at 48k miles as although the chain stretch was in tolerance and sprockets not rounded, the transmission noise indicated they were worn. Replaced with genuine Honda parts so will hopefully last another 48k miles.
Compared to bikes these days this bike is very practical. E.g. 20 litre metal tank, centre stand, 3 seat heights, under seat storage, adjustable front forks and the ability to fit both top box and panniers. However, a hugger is essential to protect the rear shock. Fitted a Givi touring screen.
Buying experience: Purchased 2nd hand from a Triumph dealership in Woburn. It was advertised to sell and at the time was the cheapest around but they still negotiated to clear it quickly off their forecourt.
Annual servicing cost: £35
A very good bike, reliable even with high miles, mine had 30000 on it and it operates as almost new. Servicing is easy and the work shop manual is online as PDF. Its cheap to insure and tax. It was my first bigger bike and there is plenty enough power and speed to make me happy. It does not get out of control but is enough to make you think a bit.
Smooth ride depending on rider, probably stops quicker than it accelerates. I have rode 3hrs and it was fine. Good all rounder on the road.
Its a Honda, if serviced right it will out live the bike and rider, probably.
Its a Honda. This means it's good.
if you only change the oil and filter £35, a bigger service would be about £60 DIY. Fuel consumption is not great, but, who cares about that if your having fun.
Basic stuff, that is a good thing, I think. Be prepared for people to say all the time "is one of your front lights not working" (one is dipped the other main)
Buying experience: Private, £2300, ride it before you buy it!
Comfy and reliable bike with reasonable suspension and weather protection. Economical with enough performance for most.
It's got good, fully adjustable suspension. Comfortable on todays pothole riddled roads but like most others can be unsettled on badly surfaced corners. Brakes feel at first to lack power, but a good squeeze shows they're pretty powerful. Combined brakes and ABS on this model.
Mines done 45k and I've no idea of the surface history, but I don't think it lead a pampered life. Easy starting, enough power and reasonably smooth, I get a bit of vibration through the footrests below 4k. Not sure if this is common or not. I may go up a tooth on the front sprocket as it feels like it needs slightly higher gearing, a bit buzzy with the standard setup.
Starts on the button every time. Has maintained its finish in most areas, but does need reasonable care especially over winter.
Cheap to run giving 64 mpg when ridden with restraint. Easy on tyres and consumables.
Analogue speedo and revcounter, with a fuel guage and usual warning lights. A temperature gauge would have been nice. Fairing gives reasonable weather protection. Combined ABS as standard. Fitting aftermarket topbox or panniers causes steering oscillation over bumpy surfaces and on decelleration.
Version: CBF 600NA
Annual servicing cost: £250
Excellent for born again biker. Does what it say's on the tin.
Annual servicing cost: £100
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Annual servicing cost: £288
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 countries without the need of topping up the oil level, I can't understand why did Honda stopped production for this model.
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)
Probably the best thing in it!
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.
(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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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 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.
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 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.
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.
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 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
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 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.
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 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
just bought a new cbf 600 n after trying out all its rivals i.e. diversion, er-6n,gladius although not the triumph!. And by far it was the best quality and the 19 ltr tank and mpg was the best by a mile. Its comfortable fast enough for most riders I have put a small screen on mine ,dont like faired bikes might as well buy a car. Added heated grips as well. I commute 20 miles a day and I am a motorcycle courier for the NHS in the evening and its definitely the bike to choose for reliablity mile munching without buying an all out tourer machine. Would recommend this bike way above the others in its class regardless of what the experts say. Okay not to everyones taste in the fashion department but not everyone wants a manga looking bike. Its a unsung hero of a bike. Ride safe out there Gareth. (THE JAM BUSTER)
I have to say that my CBF600 SA8 has been an absolute star. However, I can understand what the press mean when they describe it as a bit bland......bland as in you don't have anything to worry about at all! It is really well built, it is absurdly easy to ride and tour on, it is economical for a 600 (I am averaging 45-55mpg depending upon the percentage of motorways I am covering). It has pleanty of power but puts it down linearly rather than in a lump anywhere in the rev range. V twin enthusiasts will say it is lacking torque in the bottom end and it sounds very revvy....yup! it's a 4 cyl inline, that is what you get with them. I don't know anyone else with one of these, but all of the bikes my friends own seem to need some living with in some areas despite their claims of 'brilliant cornering', massive accelleration' etc. Usually in the areas of reliability, economy, stopping and riding comfort, the CBF is great in all of these areas. If you are looking for a bike that will explore Britain's country lanes as well as tour then this is one for you to take a long hard look at. The gears do seem very close if you are on your own on a motorway, but not if you are fully loaded and two up in Wales. Also, 0-60 in 4 seconds (just timed it yesterday)is not slow in my opinion. However, if you want an out and out sports bike this is not what the CBF was designed for, but then I find even light touring on a sports bike uncomfortable. So have a long think about what you want it for and if a flexible tourer is what you want then have a look at the CBF600 SA8. Great bike! Get it if you are looking for a tourer, a commuter, an all rounder, a roamer or a working bike.
this bike does exactly what it says on the tin,very well made,faster than you expect and comfortable over long distance-it's a sports tourer rather than a super-commuter. There are a couple of flies in the ointment from my point of view,though.Firstly,this is my first 4-cylinder bike and I can't get used to the way it screams at me all the time,it seems to be undergeared doing just on 13mph per 1,000 rpm in top.Secondly,I know this is a detuned cbr600rr engine but did they have to retain the close ratio gears? I find myself changing up two gears at a time as a matter of course,why bother with the ones in between? You'll only spend your life tapdancing on the gearshift and not go anywhere any quicker. Lastly,the original screen on the 's' model is worse than useless,the battering I took from the turbulence was criminal,I fitted an MRA vario screen which,although not noticeably larger than the original,is sooooo much better,it's still very windy but it's a constant rush of air,no turbulence.If all this sounds negative,don't get me wrong it's a great bike,the linked abs brakes are fantastic and the gear ratios make sense on the motorway,at 80mph it's turning over at about 6000 rpm and there's no need to change down to overtake,just check your mirror,look,and twist the throttle,it charges forward with the kind of acceleration you'd expect from a 3 litre car and if you're not careful it'll go straight over the ton before you realise it.But who wants to ride on the motorway? If Honda had spread the first 5 ratios and given it an overdrive 6th it would be a much more enjoyable bike.I going to try a smaller rear sprocket but I have a feeling I'll just spend a lot of time in first gear,compared to a twin there is virtually zero torque below about 3000 rpm.If you've had 4-cylinder bikes before,you'll love this,I can't make my mind up whether to sell it or get used to it.
Passed my test and promptly took my CBF125 round for REAL Bike test rides... I checked Suzi Bandits n Fazers, Triumph Speed Triple, Yammi YZF 600 and a used BlackBird. I went back to Chambers Honda in Maidstone. I tried the CBF600 and 1000, a Hornet, CBR600RR and finally lived with the CBF600 for the weekend. I put 250 miles on it care free and easy. I bought a new 2009 CBF600SA from them for a number of reasons, I need reliability for my commute to work, 80 miles round trip so needs to be top build quality. Easy to get on and ride. Adjusted seat up a notch, and rear preload a couple of clicks and been a HAPPY LARRY ever since. Picked her up in Mid-September now she has 2300 miles on her. Not the fastest bike out there, but who wants to be in the sights of the GATSO all the time and its tempting with this alone!!! I'll keep her til the wheels fall off and get another in time. Its the commute that counts. She is comfortable, leaves all cars behind, reliable and with the box, heated grips, R&G bungs and REMUS can on her its just the Mutts for going to work with a smile on my face. Terrific Learner bike, and Great For commuting long distance daily. Maybe I'll get bored in a few years but for now...So What!
Only borrowed one as a courtesy bike. Very decent of the dealer but the bike is a bit crap. Whilst clearly it is a robust bike that will soak up loads of punishment and is easy to ride (nice low seat!), it is also rather gutless and sloppy. You can get much better value for money spending a little extra and getting a Hornet or equivalent.
Tried the Honda against the Suzuki GSX650F, Honda, Dearer to buy, heavier, half fairing, expensive servicing, think you can guess which one of the two I ended up with and have been very happy with in all aspects! Try the GSXF
got my bike in June 2006. Problems and problems since then. In the very first winter the battery died. Had a new one in April'07 and yest one more battery in February'08. Ride quality is OK. I have managed to touch 3 figures on the motorway. Fuel consumption used to be 180 miles from 19.5 litres around 41 miles to the gallon on the motorways. Nowadays I am getting 32 miles to the gallon. Headbearings had to be changed at 17K as the bike had done less then 20K and was less then 3 years old so I was not charged. Honda knows about the problems and your dealer may or may not tell you about the headbearings and you could be charged. Chain and sprokets came to 380 quid at 16100 miles. Very average built quality. Honda dealers charge around 50 quid per hour. So every 4000 miles i spend around 225 for the service. The latest problem with this machine is that it starts to loose power around 6000 rpm and will not cross 60 miles per hour. So let us see what comes out of it and the bike is just 3 years old. I will say it too expensive to buy new and the build quality is not what I had expected from a Honda. So avoid if you can.
From a female perspective I graduated from the Suzi Van Van ( oh she was a sweet little bike ) to the Honda CBF600 last year. Hadn't a clue what I wanted but local dealership knew me and let me sit on as many as I wanted and then test drive the Suzi 650SA, Fazer and Honda CBF - suffering from occassional aching wrists and lower back, riding position and general feeling as though I fitted the bike were the first requisites - once that was ascertained I then tested the bikes round town, dual carriage way and country roads, for brake, accerlation, road handling behaviour. Feeling dissapointed and disillusioned by the Fazer and Suzuki I climbed aboard the Honda expecting what a lot of reviews state to be a boring lump of a ride and within the first 10 secs knew she was the one. I moulded to bike perfectly, it was smooth, controlled, forgiving, stable and with more than enough oomph for me, the gear ratios dont catch me out, levers and pedals and seating etc were exactly the right fit, and more than anything I felt SAFE. The build quality showed in everyway, as the suzi and fazer felt tinny in comparison. Taking delivery on a wet saturday afternoon I travelled 150 miles from Honda in Bridgend to Somerset and was 100% assured from go that my decision was right. The build quality lends itself to being a bit heavier than the other two so drop bungs were added along with heated grips (heaven!). I haven't stopped smiling since. I can keep up with my partner on his 750 GSX on motorways break quickly and smoothly with the combined breaks and leave cars standing at lights - good enough for me. So girls, dont be put off by the negative comments on the Honda trust your own decisions - 75% of all male riders never even test drive before they buy according to three large dealerships and many male biker friends of mine - motto TRY BEFORE YOU BUY AND BE SURE TO TRY THE HONDA.
Before I decided on the CBF, I tested all the competitors extensively. Although the Suzuki 650SA came a very close second, the Honda won on build quality and resale value. If you’re looking for a mid-range bike to scare you or turn you into ‘macho man’ this bike is probably not for you. It’s a well engineered’ refined all-rounder that will suit all experienced riders who will revel in its brisk acceleration, limpet road holding and good manners. It will also suit those less experienced as it’s SO forgiving. Even if you find yourself off-line in a corner or in the wrong gear, the CBF simply gets on with the job and will let you recover your composure. Engine – a masterpiece. It pulls from a mere 1500rpm in top without complaining and revs freely right up to the 11000 limit. Loads of torque and free revving makes it dream which suits whatever mood you’re in. The gearbox is slick, fast and never misses a change. Rgis bike will cruise all day at 90mph. Ride, handling and brakes – the ride is vibration free, even at high speed while the handling inspires confidence to try even faster corners. Although not at super sports level, the grip on the standard Pilots is more than sufficient for 99% of riders. The brakes are superb with no judder and although I can’t get used to the combined braking (been riding too long), I tried this system and it provides a well balanced stop. Quality and reliability – although it’s too soon to comment on reliability, all my previous Hondas have never let me down and this one seems at least as good. So there should be no problems. As always, the quality of the build and the finish are typically first class.
I never understand why this bike gets written off by the press as "boring" or "unexciting". It has a 600cc engine and has more power than any sensible road user would need. The problem with the new CBF600 is that it is not quite sure whether it is a tourer, a semi-sportbike or a commuter. It has quite low bars which I personally found too low. The seat is not very confortable and the gear ratios are ludicrously close together, ruining all that mid range tuning which really needs a more relaxed gear interval and made me feel it needed two more gears above 6th for unruffled cruising. The brakes are good and the throttle reponse smooth. But this bike is badly setup for its purpose. It is simply too low geared for its intention and the bars are too low for comfort. It is incredibly easy to ride with a low centre of gravity and perfectly adequate handling. But just doesn't tick any boxes for me.