All Duels – Duel CBR600F Vs ER-6f: two cheap road bikes? – Two little roadsters ready for the road

Duel CBR600F Vs ER-6f: two cheap road bikes ?

All Duels - Duel CBR600F Vs ER-6f: two cheap road bikes? - Two little roadsters ready for the road

Do you really have to break the bank to go on a motorcycle vacation? To find out, Site attacked Mont Ventoux on two small streamlined roadsters: the Honda CBR600F released in 2011, and the 2012 version of the Kawasaki ER-6f. Duel at the top !

Two little roadsters ready for the road

, , , , , : the choice in terms of GT motorcycles is plethora … The editorial staff of Site has already done and the offer of manufacturers in this very fashionable segment continues to grow (see also our).

The other side of the coin: the price of these motorcycles is generally proportional to the number of kilometers that can be done on their handlebars without feeling tired, or discomfort in the neck or kidneys. This is how the reference at Honda, the famous Goldwing, is billed at 30,000 euros !

Last year, the world number one nevertheless made the bet to relaunch in France the moribund segment of small "sport-road" motorcycles, by equipping its Hornet with a fairing and semi-handlebars..

Unfortunately, the first rainy test of this new generation of CBR600F – that’s its name – left us with a taste of too little (read our)…

This is why the editorial staff of Site wanted to take control of this bike again, under the August sun and for several days, in order to fully experience it. !

Likewise, our work was carried out at the start of the year on too tricky Normandy roads and over too short a period of time. The novelty 2012 Kawasaki was therefore also part of our summer getaway, with the famous Mont Ventoux as a final objective..

The Red or the Green ?

One is red, the other green: Honda France and Kawasaki France have made it much easier for us (you) to distinguish the two motorcycles in this new duel! However, the color is far from being the only element that instantly differentiates these two models….

Although close on paper (read the double technical sheet on the penultimate page), their sizes turn out to be quite different: the Kawasaki visually seems much taller and shorter than the Honda.

The CBR600F’s longer four centimeters in length – and almost as much in wheelbase – are accentuated by its tighter lines, longer fairing, shorter bubble, more compact stance and relatively low cockpit..

On the contrary, the more prominent tank of the Er-6f, its higher fairing, its swinging arm which dodges from the top the pot housed on the right, its shock absorber placed just under the saddle, its wide handlebars and its windshield. almost give the air of a modern trail !

Honda adjusts its offer

The CBR600F saw its price drop this summer: deprived of an introductory price when it was released in spring 2011, the faired Hornet was traded for € 8,490 in standard version and € 8,990 with C-ABS. Since August 1, 2012, the recommended price of the C-ABS version is only 8,390 €. Note also that the "standard" models will no longer be imported into France and the latest 2011 models are displayed at € 7,790, or even less. !

When detailing the two bikes, new differences quickly emerge: the Honda cultivates its sporty look with its inverted and gold fork (matched with the C-ABS brake calipers in our test version), its elegant double-layer fairing inspired by the one of the VFR1200F, its "low-placed" half-handlebars and its 180 mm wide rear tire (160 on the Kawa).

The single-backbone frame inherited from the Hornet is cast aluminum and the engine block (4-cylinder 16-valve derived from that of the CBR600RR) outputs 102 horsepower at 12,000 rpm. Enough to legitimize its membership in the Fireblade family – despite its simple front view – and show off in front of friends !

For its part, if the ER-6f is adorned with petal brake discs, it is more basic than the Honda. Its hydraulic fork is not adjustable (the CBR is adjustable in preload and rebound at the front and rear), its perimeter frame in steel tubes and its now matching swingarm make it cuter than hyper-beefy.

As for the twin-cylinder Kawasaki, it develops "only" 72.1 horsepower at 8,500 rpm. But the 649 cc twin competes – on paper for now – with the 599 cc 4-legged in terms of maximum torque, since the two engines are both credited with 64 Nm (reached respectively at 7000 rpm on the ER-6f and 10,500 rpm on the CBR600F).

The weights of the two small road cars are also comparable: 209 kg for the ER-6f without ABS (count 211 kg with the latest generation Bosch system) and 210 kg for the CBR600F equipped with C-ABS (203 kg without).

Even before getting on them, the attentive observer will have already identified a lot of differences. The finish is part of it: the Honda with its better-fitting varnished plastics and its slightly better camouflaged lugs and electrical wires here partially justifies its higher price (800 euros extra are claimed from the biker wishing to acquire a CBR600F rather than an ER-6f).

Once on the road, does the price difference between these two streamlined roadsters become more legitimate? And in general, can these two motorcycles be qualified as full-fledged road? Answer in the following pages … Test !

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