All Tests – Honda CBR600F first test: a Hornet with Fireblade sauce – Monsieur Fireblade dresses the Hornet

Honda CBR600F first test: a Hornet with Fireblade sauce

All Tests - Honda CBR600F first test: a Hornet with Fireblade sauce - Monsieur Fireblade dresses the Hornet

Surprised guest at the press launch of the new Honda CBR600F, the rain prevented the Site from having fun … but not from working! In fact, the bad weather even allowed us to better understand this faired 2011 Hornet.. First contact.

Monsieur Fireblade dresses the Hornet

It was in the far south of Spain, very close to Seville, that Honda had gathered the European press, in order to introduce them to the new CBR600F … Unfortunately, the rain was also invited to the event ! So we had to deal with soggy roads and relatively cool temperatures. Hard job ?

Not at all, to be completely honest! Placed on the last – great? – production of the world number one, French journalists watch for the marshal’s signal, or "the opener" if you prefer, as well as the ugly gray clouds of the Andalusian sky.

This little wait allows us to make a first inventory: extremely close to the very last Hornet (same chassis and same engine from the 2007 CBR600RR, read our), the CBR600F is also easy to ride. According to Honda, moreover, the angle formed by the legs – once the feet are placed on the footrests – is appreciably identical on its three "six hundred".

On the other hand, "the handlebar position is right between that of the Hornet and that of the CBR600RR", Hirofumi Fukunaga told us the night before, CBR600F project manager, behind the last three CBR1000RR Fireblades – like, like … -, from the chassis of the first CBR600F (1987) but also from the" recent " CB1100, still not imported into France !

"I joined Honda in 1977, you might not have been born yet !", smiles the insightful and sympathetic Japanese."Does the CB1100 like it in France? So we will import it !", rejoices the engineer, shaking hands with Christophe Decultot in front of witnesses !

The driving position – sorry, "piloting" – is therefore sportier on the new CBR600F than on the Hornet and however less radical than that of the CBR600RR. "It is a question of remaining faithful to the philosophy of "Total Control" established in 1987 by the first CBR600F, a model which offered an excellent compromise performance / comfort.", specifies the Japanese big boss.

The tank also differs from that of the Hornet: more rounded, it allows, as expected, better mobility on the bike. In return, the CBR600F loses in the operation a little capacity: 18.4 liters against 19 liters for the roadster.

Perfectly fitting this new tank, the fairing gives the 600F an assertive CBR look. As on the 600RR or the Fireblade, it is not very enveloping: "this makes it possible to lighten the lines", Fukunaga San tells us … and also to limit weight gain !

On the scale, the new CBR accuses only five small kilos more than the CB600F (4.6 very precisely according to the manufacturer’s data sheets): or 206 kg all full, and 211 kg for the combined ABS version that we let’s test today.

Also, when the Honda staff gives us the green light, we note a slight difference in behavior compared to the roadster….

Perfectly neutral and very agile, the front end of the Hornet, thus streamlined, becomes a heavier hint. The arrival of semi-handlebars is not unrelated to this feeling of slight inertia. The CBR600F is no less easy to handle, its soft gearbox and perfectly adjusted injection greatly facilitating the task..

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