New rider growing skills and adding to the motorcyckle collection.
My first sports bike - Honda CBR600F (2011 Model) - Review
So, why did I choose the Honda CBR600F for my first 'real' If you have been following my blog and video submissions for WhichBike.com on YouTube then you will know that I started off with a new 2014 Honda PCK which I rapidly grew out of, from a performance perspective.. As I was a frequent visitor at Honda in Fanrham I guess I was more seduced by that marque than any other really. Still, I could have got any other bike I wanted.
As it happens, my first thoughts were actually on getting a Yamaha R3. Alas, this is not out until April 2015 and there was no way ui was going to wait 5 months or so. The R3 looks amazing but knowing what I know now, that the bike would never have had enough power to satiate me, I am glad I dod not wait.
I had obviously gained a full license on my bike after a 5 day DAS course in Farnborough. I learned to ride on a Yamaha XJ6, the naked version.
The bike was great to learn on and pass the Mod1 and Mod2 as it really is a bike that is so easy to ride it makes anybody looked good.
i did look around for a decent XJ6 Diversion F, the full fairing version but soon realised that I would actually need something with more edge and more power.
I didn't actually look at any other bikes, like Suzukis, kawasakis, triumphs oe whatever. I kniew that I prefered the comfort zone offered by buying Honda and I knew as soon as i test rode the CBR600F that it waqs the bike for me. It was even easier to ride fast than the XJ6 plus looked better and had enough grunt to scare the crap out of me! :)
So, I bought the Honda CBR600F, a 2011 model, which to me was the best looking of the bunch, even the newer liveried versions.
I took it home and the missus was VERY unimpressed that I had bought a sports bike. She basically didn;t properly speak to me for two weeks! damn she had the right hump.
She still won't ever bring up the bikes and to this day she has never wished me a safe journey when i go out on it. Shocking.
Anyway, let's talk about the bike....
The good and bad stuff
I think it looks fantastic. It looks really sporty even though it is tamer than the Honda Yamaha CBR600RR, Yamaha R6, Suzuki GSX-R 600 or Kawasaki ZX-6R. Being a Honda it is suitably reliable and has bullet proof bill. My first main service was £180.00 (about $280.00) which is acceptable to me.
The bike has R&G crash bungs, seat cowl, undertray, R&G seat tidy and a tank pad - it is otherwise standard.
It starts instantly every single time no matter what the temperatue. It is 3 1/2 years old with 8000 miles on.
The seat is really confortable, and pretty low so it is suitable for shoter and average height riders. i would say that it would be fine up to about 6'2" - after that one might prefer a taller bike but overall a shorter height does promote handling and confidence.
It accelerates well from the off but the clutch lever is really heavy so can cause hand fatigue. I find the gear changes to be excellent on the move with a solid clunk, though the clunk is a bit loud. the brakes are fantastically forgiving. You can really brake the nuts out of it and it will stop well without causing a 'moment'. It has combined ABD front discs. At standstill, it is often a little tricky to get the bloody thing in neutral. Sometimes it goes in first time but often it takes 2 or 3 efforts and occasionally it seems like playing ping pong with the gear lever!
It sounds good and really screams its nuts offer from 8000 to 11000 rpm.
The ride is excellent as the suspension is truly set up for road use. Track riders and super fast road riders would either update the suspension or, more likely, just get a more track focused alternative. The bike floats over bumps, ridegs and sunken drain covers really very well indeed.
Fuel economy is pretty poor but to be honest this is likely because I do rag the hell out of it. The bike is so forgiving that you get sucked into revving it and getting it up to seriously illegal speeds, knowing that you will likely get yourself out of any potential mess before something serious happens.
I haven't really looked but I imagine depreciation is reasonable as it is fairly sought after though at any given time, due to its success, that there will be many others on the market at the same time should you come to sell it on.
Admittedly, I have only done 1200 miles on it but it has not put a single foot, or wheel, wrong.
I really enjoy the bike and would be happy to keep it and recommend it other new and beginner riders. However, I already have the bug to get something more hardcore so watch this space.
I truly believe that the Honda CBR600F is an exceptional bike for new riders and beginners. It is likely easier to ride and more forgiving than some 250s or 300s and is a great stepping stone on the long motorcycle riding learning curve before moving up to a litre bike, or super-middleweight.