Staff bikes: Honda CBR600F - Winter prep goes high tech
My 1998 Honda CBR600F-W has been treated to a full winter anti-corrosion treatment which should prevent hundreds of pounds of damage and allow me to ride it through the colder months.
The £60 anti-corrosion work was carried out by All Year Biker; a set-up that uses franchised operators across much of the UK to carry out the work. The work consists of a complete clean of the whole bike using an array of motorcycle specific Halo cleaning and degreasing products which then allows the magic ACF50 anti-corrosion protector to be applied.
ACF50 is something I have had an incredibly positive experience with in previous winters on my own bikes and with manufacturer loan bikes, too. It’s an incredibly effective barrier between the awful damage of road salt on delicate motorcycle parts. It’s a petroleum-based distillate which is fully tested and approved by the US Airforce and the US Navy for use on jets and helicopters being used on aircraft carriers as it keeps the ravages of sea air at bay.
You can apply ACF50 yourself but it does take some getting used to. All Year Biker has gone to great lengths to make sure the compressed air gun uses the exact ratio of ACF50 to air to vapourise it perfectly.
Once the bike was cleaned, degreased and then dried using an airblower, All Year Biker boss Roy Cross covered the wheels and brakes in blankets before blasting ACF50 vapour into every nook and cranny of the bike. Every surface benefits from the anti-corrosion chemistry but you obviously don’t want it on brakes and tyres.
The CBR600F is my only roadworthy motorcycle at the moment so I need it to not be protected against corrosion but also working well. Thanks to some fairly extensive work carried out at the Honda Institute workshops at the hands of Matthew Close; the expert who looks after the Honda press fleet of bikes; it’s now running as sweetly as a new one. The only other bit of winter prep has come in the form of fitting a set of excellent Michelin Pilot Road 3 tyres that are brilliant in cold and wet conditions.
I have learnt a valuable lesson with this bike in that low miles (this 1998 model had only covered 7000 miles when I bought it last year) doesn’t always mean no hassle. The CBR had carburettors and much of the fuel system was in a clogged, perished or blocked condition and it was running horribly. The lesson was well learned but at least the bike now runs as well as it looks.
The list of parts replaced was long but thankfully not too disastrously expensive as most were small but significant. But it did take some serious amounts of stripping down of the carbs to get fixed.
Because I have been lucky enough to run an MV Agusta Brutale all year as a long-term test bike the CBR has only notched up about 1500 miles this year and has spent much of the year attached to an Optimate battery maintainer. It still makes me smile when it fires up within about a second of clicking the starter button despite weeks of non-use.
1998 Honda CBR600F-W
Value now: £1850