Honda CBR-600F, old lady with a good kick

The Honda CBR600F I love this bike, it is probably now one of the most sold second hand bike around the world. Each spring a fresh young buck generation gives it the charge, each spring the Honda CBR600F takes a casual step sideways and kicks the opposition firmly in the bullocks.

The Honda CBR600 series, with a history of several models for over ten years has dominated the sales charts, for new and second hand bikes.

It is the epitome of '90s motorcycling, the Honda CBR600F changed the way we looked at motorcycles and how we drive them.

The Honda CBR600F stands for 240km/h on a good day, race-winning handling, useful and easy repairable bike and still being a good bike for touring. Honda first design overhaul was in 1991, with CBR fans fearing for its superbly positioned bungee points.
But Honda came back along with the same steel frame and service friendly bike parts. The refreshed CBR was the same but even better, possible the best motorcycle in its class around 1995.

The engine received most attention Honda pinpointed its faltering 5-6000rpm midrange and lackluster top end, and, correctly predicting a free-revving chainsaw from Kawasaki, decided to sharpen up the whole 13,250rpm caboodle.

The compression ratio was hiked, all reciprocating bits were lightened, and even the piston rings were redesigned to minimize friction. Throttle response, the key to a beastly CBR600, was sharpened further by a bank of 36mm flat-side carburetors fed on a steady flow of cool air from the new two-stage Direct Air Induction System, Honda's ram air, basically, which via a labyrinth of tubes, scoops and solenoids is in play at all road speeds.

Less glamorously, they added three-dimensional ignition mapping, a curvy U-vent radiator, extra oil capacity, a liquid-cooled oil cooler, and giant size-liter exhaust can to fend off European Union noise-limits without undoing all the good work.

Finally the gear-shift was modified to smooth to gear changing, smooth overall transmission feeling and the gear ratios were widened to exploit the broader midrange. The result was a measured stride ahead of the previous CBR engine. The Honda CBR600F is stronger both through its midrange, the step that afflicted flat, and at the top end, peak 88bhp is 2bhp up on the 1994 Honda CBR600F. The CBR600F's 1994 model power curve is as straight as straight can be. Even today, 12 years after the CBR600F was introduced, I will consider buying a Honda CBR600F, knowing the in and outs of this bike, I will not need to think long before buying this bike.

With no clearly defined powerband it simply piles on the horses to 12,000rpm. Ok, below 4000rpm it's a little bit sloppy, as you can expect from a 600cc, but by 4-5000rpm the CBR600F is improving fast and free of the wobbly patch that affected previous models. 5-7000rpm it's on the threshold, flexible enough in top to dispense with 140kh/h traffic, and from 7000rpm it's an ears back gallop to the top speed of 240km/h.

If you look for an all-round bike to drive daily or drive sporty in the weekends the Honda CBR600F is your bike. The 12-year-old design can still impress people and people who know the age of the bike will show respect. This bike is one piece of motorcycle history.
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