Honda CBR600F – Twenty Years Young!

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    July 1987 saw the birth of what has become something of a dynasty when the original jelly mould CBR600F was unleashed on an unsuspecting world. Whilst it is true that the Kawasaki GPz600R can lay claim to be the first true 600cc sports bike, it is the CBR that truly created the bench mark.

    1989 Honda CBR600…revised colours, but generally similar to the 87 model

    Back in 1988 I test rode one of the original models and came back suitably impressed. Compared to my own bike at the time a Suzuki GS550E, an old school UJM if ever there was one, the CBR was revelation. It was fast, handled well and had brakes that shod speed with consummate ease. Combined with all day comfort, super build quality Honda had a world beating combination that runs on to this day. At various points others have tried to topple the Honda from the pinnacle of the class. Over the years as the Honda has evolved through several generations, it has been challenged many times: Yamaha’s FZR was more frenzied, the Suzuki GSXR crazier and the ZZR Kawasaki had more grunt, but none could match the mid range icon the CBR had become overall. The Yamaha FZR morphed into the hugely capable YZF Thundercat and then the razor sharp R6, the GSXR has got ever more focused and the ZZR learned how to corner as the much sharper ZX6R. Even reborn Triumph had a pop at the CBR with the TT600 and 650 Daytona before finally coming close with the 675 triple.

    1993 CBR600

    However in 2016 the CBR dynasty finally came to close. It wasn’t a rival 600 that killed off the king; as riders moved over in droves to ‘adventure. and naked bikes. The CBR remains a fantastic bike that can handle the road and track with ease and remain a sports bike for the everyman. It has sired a bloodline that has reached its’ zenith with the Fireblade. If the CBR has a failing it lies with the very things that have made the Honda such a success, the all round ability has led to a hint of blandness and a CBR is not the coolest choice in the class.

    So congratulations Honda on superb achievement, and thanks from thousands of happy riders for all enjoyment you have given them.

    RIP the CBR600, you will not be forgotten


    Hard to believe the CBR600 is no more


    Wow, the first ones really were jelly moulds weren’t they?

    1987 to 2016 is a 29 year run in my book, so even more impressive.

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