Biker experience: Honda CBR 600

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Honda CBR 600One year in Honda CBR 600

Thursday 11
December 2000: the change….

The Bandit 1200 has a total of 65,000 km. Purchased in February 2000, with only 25,000 in
counter, it did not take long to collect the additional 45,000 kms.
However the bike shows signs of fatigue: the clutch is "out" and the
suspensions are tired.

I don’t want to make all these changes (thank you
previous owner for wheeling and other …..)

So an idea comes to me. And why not change to the 600 Hypersport so much dreamed of?
? Passage at Kawa and Honda … The duel between the ZX-6R and the CBR 600 is
its pinnacle. Duo, comfort, price, finish, all the criteria pass and the comparison
is not easy.

It took a few small details to make up my mind: injection, model totally
overhauled in 2000, pleasant duo, magnificent aesthetics, in short, the CBR 600 makes me
finally crack. And the dealer’s proposal too. It will be a CBR 600.
4 days of waiting that will seem like an eternity, and finally, this Thursday, December 11
2001…..

We go around the motorcycle. She looks gorgeous in her gray dress, understated, but
superb. The dealer explains all the little practical details to me, as well as the
things to know. Bad luck, this Thursday there, it rains. But nothing will stop me from
savor those first turns of the wheel…..

Getting started

66 km. this is what I have to do for a return trip from home to work. Despite the
sporting vocation of the 600 CBR, this bike is very docile for everyday use.
First impression on the injection: it’s wonderful. Despite the small displacement, the
engine, at low speed, never knocks, and lets itself be carried away quietly, on a net
gas.

Another strong point: braking. Very easy to dose, it is both hyper
biting and hyper progressive. A guarantee of safety for urban use, and
tranquility in the rain. The suspensions, although a bit firm, absorb without
problem the roughness of the road.

Traveling on the Parisian motorways is not a problem. We arrive relaxed,
not broken, despite 33 km at low speed. We even have trouble getting off the bike one
once happened, so we would have wanted it to continue….

Su route

The first long journey points the tip of his nose. After a quiet week for
break in, the bike just needs to stretch its legs. Reasonably
obviously, the "industrial" break-in (the first 1000 km) being barely
finished, it is now necessary to break in the motorcycle more carefully. Climbs in
soft diet, and not too high at the start. In all it is a break-in of 5000 km that
I planned. We will have time later to take advantage of all this.

Departure for 450 km, solo. On the program: fuel consumption, road holding, behavior
motorcycle and rider protection.

By adopting the reasonable behavior imposed by my break-in, consumption does not
never a problem. 5 – 5.5 L / 100, therefore nothing alarming, especially since the motorcycle must
be able to consume much more in less "temperate" use.

On the other hand, I am amazed by the behavior of the bike. From home, we
call it "a bicycle". Motorcycles hardly exist. It is enough that we have
want to put on the angle, and presto, the bike leans by itself. The motorbike straightens up
all alone when going around, and on the angle the motorcycle does not move. The suspensions
do their job admirably. It is clear that this changes from the hazardous framework of
B1200…..

Despite the rain and the cold, the pilot and the machine arrived safely. No
stiffness, but the saddle is, in the long run, a little hard. Nothing too bad
however, the most difficult will surely opt for a personal saddle. The breaks
regular throughout the trip allowed me not to consider the thing. Otherwise nothing
more: no pain in the wrists, nor in the neck, in short, only happiness. 450 km se
are gone and where the bandit 1200 ended up leaving me punctured and broken in the
cervical level, the CBR 600 took me quietly to my destination, without noting the
slightest trace of fatigue. However, I noticed that the bubble is a little low, but my
dwarf size :)) (1m76) must have a lot to do with it….

A week of festivities decembresques, a new year, and voila pilot and
machine that set off again, but this time, accompanied by my passenger
adored. Another opportunity to extend the list of tests: passenger comfort and
behavior of the motorcycle in duo.

The duo

Nothing surprising though. My passenger is well installed. the
main problem having been to find its position in relation to me. Once this
detail settled, the only complaint will come back, once again, to the saddle. On the one hand on
the thickness a little light to ensure good comfort on long journeys, and other because
its coating is too slippery. It may be necessary to consider the comfortable saddle
for long journeys finally 🙂 The position of the footrests seems to be ideal
for my passenger and her five-foot-one.

In terms of the behavior of the bike, nothing to say. One more step on the
pre-stress of the rear shock absorber (i.e. 4 instead of 3), and the passenger does not exist
more. At no time is the behavior of the motorcycle modified by the presence of
Mrs. The bets on the angle are always so obvious, the bike always gets up
as quickly, and the engine does not balk for two cents.

Small black spot: consumption. The return is made at night, by -5 °.
The motorway, although not planned, was taken in order to shorten the journey in these
conditions. Stalled at 190 km / h, consumption rose to 9 L / 100. On the one hand
it is appreciable but it obliges to make frequent stops to warm up.
But we must admit that she was a little too greedy. It seems that in large
cold, injection plays a big role in consumption. Apart from this little point,
still no problem or other bad surprise. Note that, stalled at this speed,
on the motorway, the motorcycle does not move and behaves in the most healthy way. Another pledge of
safety for travelers.

I’ve been driving a CBR 600 for almost 6 months now, and I still haven’t
found only one reason, no matter how small, to regret my choice.

10,000 km

The motorcycle now displays 10,000 km. Consumption is still reasonable. TO
namely between 5.5 and 6l / 100 in ride mode, and almost 8l / 100 in more sporty mode. TO
at no time will the consumption noted this winter be noticed. Surely the big one
cold. On average, it is 220/230 kilometers before going to reserve. For a motorbike
supposed to consume, I am pleasantly surprised. Unless my conduct is for it
Something…..

After a Honda reminder (position of a hose under the tank) and the revision of
6000 km, the bike is still doing well. No problem detected (still happy ……).
The only complaint I could make concerns the fitting of tires. Chaussée de D207, the
motorbike necessarily displays this feeling of "falling" when placing a strong focus on
the angle. Behavior due to the famous Dunlop triangular tires.
Only the CBR 600 is not a difficult motorcycle to put on the corner, and this
sensation is more embarrassing than anything else. obviously we get used to it, and that does not prevent
not to take a lot of angle, but at first it may be surprising. I therefore plan to
change my tire set for BT010s, which notably equip the FS model of the CBR 600
2001.

Once again a good surprise: the revision of the 6000 km does not ruin me while these
motorcycles are supposed to be very expensive to maintain.

Anyway, the dream will stop on May 10, 2001, when my CBR 600 is
will vanish from his garage overnight. My motorbike has just been stolen from me. The
motorbike will be found in the morning, completely stripped and burnt. Basically it
there is nothing more to do with it. It will still be necessary to wait for the passage of the expert to
know if it is my bike, or the ZX-6R also stolen in the same garage the same
night.

All you have to do is wait for the reimbursement of the GMF. 30 days later, the dream
can resume. Reimbursed in full (motorcycle less than 6 months old), I go to a
Honda dealer who made me a very interesting proposition. I fall for
the CBR 600, still in gray. Why change? (yet I asked myself the question).
A month without a motorbike, and we start over. Meticulous break-in, revisions of the 6000 km, then
departure for the JNCE……

At the end of June 2001, the JNCE. Nothing special in fact, a
outing in the Jura with biker friends. Departure from Paris, and 3 days to eat
virolos. I will do the whole weekend as a duo, my sweetheart having decided to accompany us.
Biker experience: Honda CBR 600

This weekend marked a milestone in my use of CBR. On the one hand because for 3
days we ate virolos like never before. I was able to learn a lot about behavior
of the bike, and so I felt a lot more of the bike. This did
also allowed to confirm that the behavior of the CBR 600 is royal and this, whatever
or the coating. On the other hand because we had nice little periods
"arsouilles". Despite the presence of my passenger (who was wonderful to
apart from its behavior on the bike), the angle grips were magnificent. While
the whole gang (except Alex and Steph in Hornet) arsouillait solo, we had fun
in front with the famous GSX-F and the Fazer, without any problem to follow (in particular
in the Col de la Faucille :)). I was just getting to know the bike (14,000
kms: 9000 + 6000), and I found myself able to use it correctly, without
be scary, and without making a lot of mistakes. This is where the CBR is fantastic, because it
allows you to attack instinctively, without putting yourself in danger. The motorcycle responds to the slightest
solicitation of the pilot, without any unpleasant surprises. We quickly feel confident
(which can be tricky note well, especially for beginners)

Note that to attack a little, it is almost forbidden to use other
things that the first 3 reports. Where daily use allows driving
low in the towers, to be able to stay on the attack, it is essential to keep the small
600 cm3 in the towers. To do so, the 3rd gear is remarkable. Having an extension
incredible, it relaunches the bike without problem and allows you to push without having to pass the
4th under penalty of breaker. Fantastic revs (despite the duo), a
front axle of a bluffing perfection, brakes always as effective, make that the
CBR, in sport mode, was simply perfect. No handlebars,
suspensions have never been taken failing by the coating. In short, really a
fantastic motorbike.

Trajectories on the line, and an incredible safety margin. Because the motorcycle allows
errors in trajectory or braking, without being dangerous. A trajectory one
little too broad? A little tap on the rear brake, and the motorcycle pulls the rope.
Late braking at the start of the angle? The front does not flinch despite the
constraint. Braking pressed on the angle? A simple little extra push on
the handlebars prevent the motorcycle from getting up. The motorbike has never put me in a
unmanageable situation, however I had a few hiccups during the WE.

In the end, it emerges that despite its more versatile side than the competition Yam
and Suz, the CBR 600 F remains a remarkable hypersportive of efficiency with the potential
huge. Taken well, it has nothing to envy to the other 600 supersport on the market.
Having never driven a supersport, I was really blown away by the ease of
the motorbike. We apply the elementary rules of conduct (gaze, swaying, against
heist) and the bike takes you where you wanted to go. All without ever being
penalized both in terms of engine and behavior, despite the presence of my
transient (where, for example, the Bandit 1200 only liked very
Huge two-sided angle shots, the CBR proved to be royal. To wonder if my
passenger was there during the whole climb of the passes :))).

Mid-July, finally the holidays. 15 days, direction Biarritz: the waves are ours. For
the second year in a row, it’s a motorcycle vacation. We are not going to deprive ourselves. Yes
but for 15 days, there is a minimum of material to take away. Yes and so ? Direction
the seller, purchase of a side bag, and a Du Moulin parcel holder (which is attached by
above the passenger handle).

Biker experience: Honda CBR 600New test
: at maximum load (I don’t think I can do more on the CBR 600 ….), we’ll see if
the behavior of the bike is still excellent. On the program: 2 saddlebags
full side panels, a full tank bag, and a full backpack on the door
package ……. The pictures speak for themselves 🙂

Biker experience: Honda CBR 600Without
forget, of course, pilot and passenger. Well the suspense won’t last very long.
Of the 800 km that we did in this configuration, only two small adjustments
will have been necessary (suspensions because those chosen at the start having proved too
soft, and increased tire pressure). Even the corner sockets did not pose any
problem. The bike, although heavier, keeps its behavior healthy and reassuring. Born
do not forget to distribute the load well: tank bag filled with the
heavier (to avoid offloading the front). Balance the two saddlebags properly
sides, to keep a good balance. All securely fastened to avoid
bad surprises 🙂

However, I doubt that Honda thought the CBR 600 for such a "GT" use..
But the bike being so healthy at the base, that an overload does not change a
almost perfect behavior. Again, the only details to look after are the
suspensions, tire pressure, and load balancing.

Conclusion

And now ? A year later and 20,000 kms with my second CBR 600 (since May
2001), i.e. 35,000 totaled with the one stolen from me (since December 2000, with 2
months without motorbike, i.e. 10 months)). Just like the rest of the category (R6, GSXR 600,
ZX-6R), the CBR 600 is an extremely efficient motorcycle, the 600 supersport market does not
leaving little room for recessed motorcycles (TT 600 for example).

At the mechanical level, nothing to say. No problem, except for the now famous
timing chain tensioner, changed under warranty by Honda. The rest is RAS,
20,000 with nothing strange to note. And this despite daily use, whatever
either time. Rather reassuring….

Far from being as radical as an R6, the CBR 600 is doing very well
in a market where the tendency is to push to the extreme. Suddenly, the CBR 600
come out very well in any situation (who said TT? :)). Easy to
daily, relaxing on long journeys, efficient in arsouille, healthy in all aspects
(solo, duo, loaded etc etc), reassuring and efficient, it has no real fault.

To stay objective, I think taller pilots will opt for a bubble one
slightly higher, the original one being surely too low. Note also that the sides
fairings do not protect the legs much.

The engine is a 600 cc, so no surprise there. The people
seeking torque and dazzling recovery on any report, will go their way.
The 600cc Honda does not fool anyone on this level. But, again, it is
usable on the whole range: under 6000 the engine will allow you to choose a rhythm
quiet, restful, and stress free. Beyond 6000 the engine starts to shut down.
wake up, beyond 8000 the fury arrives, and it grows really hard until
end. In short, a nice engine, explosive and as pleasant as possible.

Finally, a small negative point: the ground clearance really too limited. According to
people riding regularly on the track, the footrests rub too much
early. A detail that could prove annoying for track use only,
especially given the initial vocation of the CBR 600. Rest assured, for use outside
track, the problem arises only very very rarely.

I admit that I often want to change my bike, just to ride on something
different. And then in the end, no, I keep my CBR. I am really happy with it. Not
once I regretted having chosen the CBR 600. I think we will do another
road package together. And who knows if we will not take the same one in 3/4 years;)

Ludo, webmaster of the excellent site on the Honda CBR: Planet CBR
Article reproduced with kind permission

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