Staff bikes: CBR600F - getting it up to scratch

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Faults with the old Honda CBR600F-W are few and far between. They are renown for bulletproof construction, reliability and apart from camchain tensioners failing, there is really only rotting downpipes to look out for. 

After buying a 1998 Honda CBR600F back in February as a bike that will do a bit of everything, I have had to do a few jobs to get it up to my fairly fussy levels of finish.

Firstly, I sorted the carb cleaning out as it was running rough after years of low annual mileage had seen them gum up with residue.

I’m still not completely happy with the way the revs drop back down on a closed throttle so it could be needing new main and idle jets or need the diaphragms checking.

The blowing exhaust collector cropped up as an advisory on the last MOT; nothing to make it fail but it was looking really scabby and in need of replacement before a winter of riding. Sticking a genuine Honda collector on the bike wasn’t an option because not only are they mild steel so they rust but they are also a few pence shy of £500.

If you want to get an idea of how popular original items are, even Honda spares specialist David Silver Spares have NEVER sold one and it remains a special order product. In contrast they sell loads of alternatives like Motad (
For less than half the cash; £230 to be precise; a Motad stainless steel system was ordered and arrived with gaskets the next day. Motad downpipes and collectors are made out of Grade 304 stainless steel and come in a polished finish and should shrug off a British winter easily.

Interestingly, Motad has noticed an increase in business as people buying cheap exhausts off eBay have been forced to buy a more expensive but much better quality replacement from Motad after the cheap rubbish fell apart. As they always say, “buy cheap, pay twice”.

The facts
1998 Honda CBR600F
Value now: £2200
Mileage: 7756

Further reading:
Staff bike blogsHonda CBR600F blog

CBR600F10 BLOG10

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Andy Downes

By Andy Downes

Former MCN Senior Reporter