2013 Honda CBR600F Review – Now here’s a bike that’s easy to overlook. But hold on a bit, the CBR is actually a competent bit of kit. It’s important to put it into context and consider what and who it’s designed for. Not all of us were born experts, ready to grind kneesliders all day long.
That sort of stuff needs to be worked at, built up to. Time needs to be served, skills honed. Enter the Honda CBR600F, an entry-level sportsbike perfect for newer riders wanting to climb up the lower rungs of the speedy bike ladder. Spend a year serving time on this friendly and forgiving little package and you’ll be set up well for the other bikes on test.
That year won’t be dull, either. Far from underwhelmed, I was impressed by just how sorted and capable it is. It’s certainly able of providing fun and frolics while getting you through those crucial early days with too many scares. Its spec’ isn’t anything to crow about, and kicking out less than 90 bhp at the tyre isn’t exactly the stuff of dreams either. But forget the facts and figures, and just get on and ride it. Do that and your opinion will soon become more positive. Like all Hondas, you know what to expect, and the 2013 Honda CBR600F is no different.
Swing your leg over its low seat and you’ll settle into a comfy position instantly. 2013 Honda CBR600F is as though you’ve just extended your arms and legs to their most ideal points and found a pair of grips and pegs to meet them perfectly. You’d have to be a bit of a freak of nature not to fit this bike well.
Get it fired up and rolling and the trademark Honda ride is obvious. There’s a competent poise to the way it does things. It’s as though you just consider what you want to do next, and the Honda CBR600F reads your thoughts and puts the necessary movements into action. Now that might not sound involving, and a tad uninspiring, but I’d label as it as a bit of welcome assistance. And that gives you a good platform on
which to build some speed and still feel in control.
Lacking in peak power the inline four potter might be, but it’s flexible enough not to need too much cog-swapping to make significant progress – even if the Honda-approved Akrapovic end can did reward revs with a lovely noise. The broader spread of power has a welcome, calming effect on the bike. Whereas the manic ZX-6R could quickly turn a bit unruly in the hands of someone newer to the world of speedier two-wheeled travel, the 2013 Honda CBR600F would need its rider to be pretty negligent to create any such issues. Even when you do thrash it, the 600’s dependency continues.
ENGINE : The 2013 Honda CBR600F’s engine has a long history. It’s the same powerplant as the one fitted to the 2007 Hornet 600, itself a detuned derivative of the original 2003 CBR600RR motor. The CBR’s fuel-injected 599cc inline four makes a maximum of 87bhp at 12.000 rpm. Emphasising its different tune, it has the same 67 x 42.5mm bore and stroke as the much more rev-hungry ZX-6R. Its large underslung collector box features a catalytic convertor. Our bike had an Akrapovic end can, available as an official extra from Honda.
CHASSIS : The 2013 Honda CBR600F’s chassis is also identical to the Hornet 600, is the CBR’s alloy mono-backbone frame, adjustable 41mm inverted cartridge forks and monoshock. The rear suspension is not rising-rate but has a dual-rate spring. It’s all simple stuff, but it works. Chassis geometry aids stability with a 1,435mm wheelbase and rake and trail of 25 degrees and 99mm. Dry weight is 194kg. Braking is handled safely by the linked C-ABS arrangement which distributes power to both wheels, and prevents wheel lock. No stunt skids on this one, son!
With a chassis you can rely on to stay sure-footed, you can spin the motor harder to deliver more power and speed, and still remain totally confident. Plush suspension provides lots of feel for what you’re whizzing over, neutral steering lets you plot an accurate course and maintain it, and excellent brakes slow the pace impressively. Not everyone’s a fan of linked systems, but the set-up on this bike distributes the braking pressure to each wheel nice and evenly whether you tug hard on the bar lever, or stamp on the rear. Rarely triggering the ABS is a testament to that, proving the arrangement is a more than useful ally to anyone unused to heavy or emergency braking.
In short, the 2013 Honda CBR600F is a hugely versatile sportsbike suited to just any sort of riding. It’s just as adept buzzing hard as it is at all the more sensible stuff. It can certainly be viewed as a sportsbike and definitely has the potential to entertain. No-one’s saying it’s a super sexy and speedy sportsbike. But it’s not trying to be one; that’s the role of the 600RR and ‘Blade. No, the CBR600F is a useful and effective means of whizzing about and building experience, readying you for faster things in the future.
2013 Honda CBR600F goes, stops, and steers well enough for enthusiastic riding, and does so easily and predictably enough for you to just concentrate on learning to become the next Marc Marquez…