Honda CBR 600 F (2011-current): The integration of the everyday bikes, to the ...sporty side.

     This bike derives from Honda Hornet (2009-current). ‘hat review is shown here. The major difference is the fairing addition. The engine, frame and suspensions are the same.

     Engine: The liquid cooled 599 c.c. engine delivers 100.5 bhp/12000 rpm and 6.5 Kgm/ 10500 rpm, claimed figures.
     Actually from 2000 rpm, acceleration provided is obedient, although weak. At 4000 rpm acceleration is rather strong. The power provided up to 5000 rpm is adequate for commuting.
     Engine performance is greatly linear from 4000 rpm up to 13500 where rev limiter intervenes. At the fast pace, or if decent acceleration is required, engine revs should be kept higher than 8000 rpm.
     The sound of the engine is nice, it will satisfy riders regardless of the age. Top power provided will satisfy the sporty mood of many riders, although it is inferior to that provided by supersports 600 c.c.. An indicative fuel consumption figure is 7 litres/100Km, (40.3 mpg Imperial).

     Riding position: The seat height is 800 mm, which is normal. The width of the bike is average, except from the front part of the fairing which is relatively wide. The dimensions of the bike are rather small.
     The weight of the CBR is average, 211 nominal Kgs curb, 206 Kgs for the non-ABS version. Compared to the four cylinder rivals, the CBR feels lighter. In other words, rider gets the impression of a relatively light bike.
     Rider is placed in and over the bike, riding position is sporty, leaning forward. This could be considered as an intermediate riding position, between that of a CBR600RR and a Hornet.
     On the road: An aluminium Mono-Backbone frame and swing arm are equipped. The firmness provided by suspensions feels average. An inverted 41 mm fork is equipped at the front. The shock, which feels marginally softer than the fork, is not provided with a linkage. The spring preload and the rebound damping may be adjusted, front and rear.
     OE tyres are Bridgestone BT012 with dimensions 120/70-17 front and 180/55-17 rear. They are oriented to general-touring use and they are suitable to northern countries. They do not enhance handling.
     On town rides the CBR is neutral, user friendly and agile. Riding downtown though, the slight divergence from the Hornet is noticeable. The CBR will be an inferior urban bike compared to the predecessor.
     Steering lock is average, asking for a compromise, although this is the greatest settlement that it will be asked. Hence, manoeuvring around cars will require some prior programming.
     At the process of filtering, the height of the handle bars is the same or slightly shorter than car mirrors. The height of the bike mirrors is just greater than car mirrors. Due to the small width of the bike, these will not result in a problem for the rider. Riding comfort over street imperfections is quite good.
    On B-roads cornering is greatly neutral, predictable and agile. Suspension absorbs road imperfections relatively well.
     At the fast pace, feedback to the rider is good, related to the character of the bike and the tyres fitted. Rider feels confident to charge. The CBR is obviously improved compared to the Hornet, due to the inclined riding position.
     If rider persists on charging faster, the bike will feel light, asking for decent roads or a tyre change to restore confidence. Mounting top of the shelf rubber, the CBR will be satisfying for a novice riderĘs initial track days.
     On the highway, air protection is good for the standards of the category. It will impose a travelling speed up to 200 Km/h indicated speed. Air flow will be evident on riderĘs helmet and around him.
     At such a speed, engine rpm are 10.000, quite a lot actually. Since this is a trusted detuned Honda engine though, it is suggested for the rider to wear ear plugs and look away from the rpm meter on short trips! Changing the screen could result in more comfortable journeys. Riding position is quite comfortable.
     Top speed is around 245 Km/h, indicated figure which is very optimistic. The large fuel tank provides good tank range. The curved pillion grips at the tail do not seem suitable for wet rides. PillionĘs hands should get dirty then.
     The combined C-ABS brakes are really good. They consist of twin 296 mm disc brakes, three-piston callipers at the front and a 240 mm disc brake, single piston calliper at the rear.
     Applying the rear brake, a single piston out of three is actuated at the front callipers. They provide good braking feedback and power, matching exactly with the character of the bike. Whenever the ABS is activated a minor tremble is felt on the levers. Rider will be fully satisfied by the braking performance provided. In some countries the CBR600F is sold without the ABS which means two piston callipers at the front brakes and lighter bike weight. The ABS cannot be deactivated.
     Model history/reliability/quality build: The CBR600RR was produced from 1987 to 2006, several modifications had been performed throughout this 20 years period. For most of that era, it was HondaĘs 600 c.c. supersport proposal.
     The reliability of the CBR has been evaluated at the Hornet 600 2009 which is the donor bike. Engine is based on the power plant of the CBR600RR 2007, which was detuned so that it delivers greater torque, less absolute power. The engine is manufactured in Japan, the rest of the bike in Italy.
     This could be a reason for the trembling noise of the screen at 4000 rpm at the bike tested, which is not expected by a Honda. Another reason could be the 5100 Km on the clock, full of journal tests. Otherwise quality build is quite good.
     Comments: The upper triple clamp is nice and special. The two loops at the left of the saddle may be used to attach holding straps. Under the seat a pair of gloves may be stored. A centre stand is not included even at the optional equipment list. On the contrary a taller smoked screen, a tail bag and various factory parts are provided.
     For serious touring riders, an aftermarket top case or a set of three hard panniers may be fitted. e.g. by Kappa.
     Two blue parking lights at the headlamp produce a different appearance in relation to other bikes. Generally speaking the side design of the CBR600F is forward biased. The plastic elements at either side, just below the tank make a hint that a twin spar frame is equipped, which is not the case here of course, unlike the old CBR F. That was meant to be a full-purpose bike!    Compared with the old model, the new CBR F looks smaller, more plain, more ...plastic. 
     Design similarities with the VFR1200F are obvious at this model also, concerning the headlamp and the double layer fairing. Hence, up to now, the PCX 125, CBR 250, CBR 600 F and VFR 1200F yell their new born Honda design, through their headlamp. Its not yet certain if this unique design is subjectively nice, boosting sales. It seems that the Suzuki GSXR family uniformity affects more manufacturers!
     In terms of riding, just minor tweaks were required for Honda to transform the 2009 Hornet from a town-general-use bike to a sport-touring-general-use CBR. The changes observed between these two Honda bikes are very obvious, targeting to different riders. Riders feeling even faster than that, are justified having a look at the CBR RR direction.
      Consequently its not that important if this bike gets its name by the glorious CBR 600 F, which was a sales success and an integrated bike at that era, (1987-2006). The new CBR600F aims to the same field of use with the predecessor, using the same way of thinking: Plain engineering solutions are gathered to produce an honest and effective general use bike, despite that its just a Hornet with some clothes on.
     However the most important thing is that the CBR is the most integrated 600 c.c. bike intended to general use for 2011-2. From this point of view the CBR is worthy to be considered as the undisputable offspring of the CBR600F, hence it deserves bearing that name due to the rides that it delivers. If the tag price was lower, it would be an assured proposal addressing to many riders!

Price CBR 600 F ABS : 9480 §

+ The most integrated 600 c.c. bike intended to general use for 2011-2

- Steering lock in downtown use

- Price compared to the competition

More, specifications


  • don
    Having had many bikes from the age of 16 to my current age (74) this is one of,if not the best bike I have ever owed. Complete Honda reliability and a joy to ride.
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