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'With the recent double-whammy of financial rating downgrades set to wreak havoc on our economy, however, even bikers are edgy about increased fuel costs,' writes Dries Van der Walt.

WATCH: Bike almost squashes rider

The British MotoGP was reduced to 19 laps after it was halted following a brutal first-lap collision between Loris Baz and Pol Espargaro.

CBF600 - the fun starts here

2011-05-12 08:03

NO DELUSIONS: The new Honda CBF600 could be forgiven for thinking it’s a sports bike, it’s certainly more than the sum of its parts… that’s for sure.

Vehicle Specs
Manufacturer Honda
Model CBF600
Engine Liquid-cooled 600cc parallel twin
Power 57kW @ 10 500rpm
Torque 59Nm @ 8250rpm
Transmission Six-speed
Zero To Hundred Four seconds
Top Speed 220km/h
Fuel Tank 19 litres
Weight Kerb weight 222kg
Price R65 995


Regular readers of this column might be forgiven for thinking that only Honda pushes forward its motorcycles for road tests - but that's the other brands' problem.

In truth, it is the case because the other marques, whether they be BMW, KTM or most other makes from the Land of the Rising Sun, don’t seem to give a hoot. So right now its kudos big time to Honda which justifiably “seems to be able to keep them coming".

The latest bike I was invited to spend a day or two with was the CBF600, a workhorse that thinks it’s a sport bike! I usually only mention the ticket price at the end of my article but feel that in the CB’s case it really ought to be mentioned a lot earlier on… street cred big-time for R64 995, out of the box, ex-stock!


You might think it’s just a Hornet derivative but that’s far from the truth. For me it’s the perfect all-rounder; it most definitely can be used every day including those Sunday morning breakfast runs that we are so fond of here in the Western Cape.

Styled and manufactured in Italy - with the engine a full import from Japan - means this CBF is no parts-bin special. In fact it’s one of the top-selling bikes in Europe right now with the northern summer just around the corner.

The riding position is “sit-up-and-beg” - perfect for commuter runs and general jaunts we all do most of the time. Thanks to the perfectly positioned windscreen (for this fairly tall rider, at least) open-road blasts can still be a lot of fun courtesy of the lusty 57kW parallel-twin, liquid-cooled, four-cylinder motor.

That powertrain on the CBF600 remains ultra-smooth right through to the 11 500rpm limit, through a clunk-free six-speed box. It’s been a while since I’ve ridden a more user-friendly motorcycle. The sporty suspension seems to somehow offer the perfect compromise on comfort whether you’re riding one-up, lifting someone or carrying luggage.


Speaking of which, Honda has obviously listened to its customers by cleverly making the seat frame adaptable enough to offer three seat heights, 785 mm/810 mm/850mm, and it’s not too hard to adjust it yourself, I’m told by the friendly workshop guys at Honda in Cape Town.

I’m pleased to say the information panel hasn’t been skimped on: there’s a digital clock, a full-size, conventional fuel gauge and a pair of large, easy-to-read clocks for revs and speed and, for academic sake only, would indicate around 220km/h if you’re foolhardy enough!

Wing mirrors that are up to the job are always useful - and these moved forward on the CBF from the levers to the fairing work really well.

Servicing is only required at 6000km intervals and the bike comes with a two-year warranty — the built-in "mamba" anti-theft system, called HISS, comes for free!

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