Comparison test of naked bikes with ABS

Comparison test of naked bikes with ABS

Veni, vidi, vici!

In comparison tests and registration numbers, the all-rounders Honda CBF 600, Kawasaki ER-6n and Yamaha FZ6 keep up with Julius Caesar: They came, saw and won. Now the cards have been reshuffled, the FZ6 now competes with 78 instead of 98 hp. And with ABS as standard.

It was a clear judgment: "You are all crazy!" This is how Julius Caesar commented on the dispute between the Belgians and the Gauls over who was the bravest of the two tribes (Asterix volume 24). His saying: "Veni, vidi, vici" is better known and historically documented. I came, I saw, I conquered. Motorcycles up to 78 hp, naked or with fairing, adhere to this motto.

The Yamaha FZ6 now also belongs to this class, with 20 hp on the 2007
stayed the route. Yamaha wants to make it even easier for beginners and re-entrants than before. For this reason, ABS is also installed as standard. The same now applies to the Kawasaki ER-6n.

In Provence, the newly positioned FZ6 meets its rivals, including the Honda CBF 600, of course. In 2004, it made ABS socially acceptable on a broad front as a real trendsetter, if you ignore the BMW F 650 GS. In the very first year, CBF stormed to number one among new sales in Germany. As if that weren’t enough, campaigns of conquest followed across Europe. Naked as if half disguised, the CBF-600 models produced in Italy found more than 46,000 buyers. In 2006 they still took third place in Germany. The lively Kawasaki ER-6n follows in fourth place. With its fully wrapped sister S, it became the brand best-selling model in Europe. And in fifth place in Germany was the Yamaha FZ6, including the half-faired Fazer version.

They are extremely popular, the machines in the 7,000 euro class, as pure driving pleasure. Your success has solid reasons. "The streets are just ?? so covered by these moto ?? ad ?? n, the man in the pirate lookout from the Asterix volumes would probably exclaim in astonishment today. The people want bread and games, little has changed in that since ancient times. Goal what exactly is required? Should it rather be a robust twin or a gently purring four-cylinder?

Well-styled and angular, the optically unchanged FZ6 is parked in the Gaulish sun. The throttling cannot be seen on the four-cylinder, logical. And ?? first ?? also not to be noted. With the first push of the button, the injector is fully there, takes on the gas gently and cleanly, even if not very powerfully. There is precious little going on under 3000 turns, only then does the advance become faster. At the top, the engine, which originally came from the Racer R6, turns bravely and well into the five-digit speed range without noticeably increasing its power.

In acceleration, top speed and in pulling from 140 to 180 km / h, the FZ6 is the slowest of the trio. Hardly livelier than a knocked-up Roman patrol. At the same speed in sixth gear, the Yamaha turns higher than the other two, which also break the 200 barrier. What then does the high speed level of the FZ6 bring? You’re always looking for a seventh gear. By throttling to 78 hp, Yamaha closes the gap in the model range between 50 and 98 hp. That’s legitimate. If it were done wisely. This is not a throttling, this is a castration, see page 57.

Although the Yamaha runs nice and smooth in the partial load range, i.e. with little gas and speed, at high speeds the four-in-line sometimes only goes with a delay and then hard accelerates. That can ruin the clean line. The set-up of the constricted ultra-short stroke engine hardly seems to be optimal, because it burns a hefty 5.6 liters of gasoline per 100 kilometers even when driving cautiously on country roads. Like the CBF.

The fiery 650 series twin of the ER-6n shows how it works differently, completely differently. Two powerful 83 millimeter pistons keep her heart beating. Strong and impulsive. Nevertheless, thanks to the successful engine design, it is more economical when burning the 91-octane magic potion. Therefore, the Kawa with its small 15.5-liter tank comes as far as the FZ6 with almost four liters more. Not only the brawny power output of the "only" 72 hp twin is more robust, the dull vibrations are also, despite the balance shaft.

In addition, the ER-6n hums more acoustically from its exhaust under the engine. And the gears turn a little hard and bony. The two-cylinder is just a little rough. If you like it, you will reap great thrust. Just be careful when starting off. The ER requires a little more sensitivity than the two four-cylinder engines. If, as a beginner, you let the clutch click too much or give too little gas, the otherwise brave engine dies again. If, on the other hand, you pull too hard on the cable, the 203 kilogram lightweight Kawa abruptly stands on the rear wheel. The bright orange eye catcher is recommended for a wheelie course. There you won’t win a flower pot with the 225 kilogram Honda CBF 600. She completely misses the cheerful playfulness of an ER-6n. The CBF is classic-serious ?? or honest? The four-cylinder engine fits into this. The strenght is to be found in serenity.

When it starts. With the choke alone, which is hidden on the carburetors, the 600 does not start at a cool four degrees Celsius. You also need a pinch of gas? not too much, otherwise the engine threatens to drown. When the quadruplet finally runs, it takes miserable gas. Stand idle for 20, 30 seconds, then it’s okay.

The carburettor-equipped CBF 600 only fulfills the outdated Euro 2 emissions standard. In 2007, it was still allowed to be sold new because of an exemption for "end of series". A successor has to take place next year, with injection and G-Kat. Like the trendsetter Suzuki Bandit from April. Therefore, the 650 in-line quad is missing from this test. But not a great, curve-filled test terrain.
The Kawa is particularly handy when tilted, remains stable and neutrally on course. At least as long as the asphalt hasn’t broken up. Because the fork, as with all three not adjustable, tramples a little over uneven ground. And with a sporty driving style, the somewhat slack suspension strut sometimes has trouble keeping the rear wheel on the ground and starts pumping. In general, the Kawa shock absorber acts a little stubbornly and provides the clearest information about the road conditions. It is positioned freely on the right, between the triangular swing arm and neat tubular space frame. Overall, the ER-6n’s undercarriage offers the least reserves for “a lot” of payload, like a meager 179 kilograms on the CBF. However, the high lean angle of the 650 is crisp.

The Yamaha is finally convincing in an oblique formation. She has the best suspension elements of the trio, remains the most relaxed when things get bumpy. Besides, it follows the targeted line precisely like a javelin. The flawless chassis is designed for significantly more power. Only the FZ6 has an aluminum frame. The consists of two mirror-symmetrical halves, which are screwed like the frame rear. Also exclusive: the fat 180 tail flap. It takes its toll in alternating bends: slightly increased effort when turning and turning quickly.

The CBF’s surprisingly well-damped chassis is just as good-natured as the entire motorcycle. The massive 600 turns in easily. Fine handling meets good steering precision. Somehow, from the first meter, the Honda gives you the feeling that you have a lot to forgive. She understands every driver’s nature and was ennobled by MOTORRAD editor Werner "Mini" Koch with the predicate "Unstoppable". Afraid of the rear spinning sweaters? Never heard. And that, although their old-fashioned rubbers, Bridgestone BT 57, do not get the last bit of grip out of it.

Does not matter. Because long before the possible limit area rasp at the CBF the deeply placed footrests. A worthwhile investment is the 600 euros for the particularly good and sensitive Nissin ABS. Braking effect and dosage also mark top values. This is how a brake should be. Despite the lack of an exact pressure point, it conveys a particularly high level of security. Advantage through experience.

The pure opposite can be found on the FZ6. As in other segments, the Yamaha ABS performs worst among the inexpensive all-rounders in a class comparison. Even with moderate braking, the foot pedal pulsates with a loud click. Obviously, the rear brake is designed to be quite toxic, which is why the ABS has to intervene early, even on grippy road surfaces. The control intervals are hard and unduly long. Only veterans are not frightened by it. Almost 20 years after the first machines with ABS, an unworthy idea. Especially since the trampling control quality at the front leaves a lot to be desired. And the hand lever is irritated by a long free travel when pulling. To make matters worse, the Yamaha leans most strongly when it comes to grip on the brake in an inclined position.

The brakes of the ER-6n show other peculiarities. Because of the high level of hand strength, downhill passes can be quite exhausting. And like on the Honda, releasing and immediately pulling the lever again leads to a brief "lever blockage", since the brake system is then still under high pressure. The ABS controls hard, but well. And it’s sporty: If you keep on the brakes as fearless as indomitable Gauls, you shouldn’t be surprised at the rear wheel lifting off at the end of an emergency stop. Nevertheless, the ABS is a real safety gain.

Typical of the Troika are human-friendly seats, more or less upright and raised. With the narrowest handlebars and the most acute knee angle for the Kawa driver. And the greatest wellness program on the Honda. Not least because the seat height and the distance of the handlebar can be varied with the help of tools. Either way, the ergonomics on the CBF are ideal for drivers of all sizes. Ultimately, the Honda impresses with its maximum safety and easy driving. Typically Honda. The broad-shouldered posture on the Yamaha is almost reminiscent of a street fighter.

Large handles await a passenger everywhere. Yamaha and Honda bed their fellow travelers particularly comfortably. Luggage storage? No problem. Tried and tested, repair-friendly steel tanks offer magnetic tank bags a secure hold. In addition, there are numerous luggage hooks on all stern, especially well solved on the Honda. Hazard warning lights and stainless steel manifolds are standard. A cheaper price, however, has its price: the red pencil has hit hard, especially on the Kawa. Sparsely equipped and moderately processed to quickly rusting weld seams.

As a small consolation, the spartan cockpit knob and the martial mini-lamp cladding provide something like wind protection. Of all things, the Yamaha as the cheapest offer is more valuable than the others. Only it shines with an immobilizer and effective splash protection in front of the shock absorber. And it only has to be inspected every 10,000 kilometers. In addition, on their price of 6822 euros (excluding additional costs), there is officially either a 300 euros discount or accessories of this value for free. But despite all the fine approaches, the FZ6 lacks balance. Their performance is just as bad as the quality of the ABS. AT completely round offer is different.

Many roads lead to Rome, no doubt about it. So different Honda CBF 600 and Kawasaki ER-6n are also: they came, saw and ?? we understood. The "Grautvornix" they would be called at Asterix. One is active driving, the other is good-natured and particularly accommodating. Well, the die has been cast. The bottom line is that the ER-6n receives the winner’s laurel wreath. For them, not only veni and vidi apply, but also vici!

Comparison test of naked bikes with ABS

Veni, vidi, vici!

Technical data Honda CBF 600

Water-cooled four-cylinder four-stroke in-line engine, two overhead, chain-driven camshafts, four valves, bucket tappets, wet sump lubrication, constant pressure carburetor, Ø 34 mm, with uncontrolled catalytic converter
Secondary air system, alternator 333 W, battery 12 V / 6 Ah, mechanically operated multi-disc oil bath clutch, six-speed gearbox, O-ring chain.

Bore x stroke 65.0 x 45.2 mm

Cubic capacity 600 cm3

Compression ratio 11.6: 1
rated capacity
57.0 kW (78 hp) at 10500 rpm
Max. Torque 58 Nm at 8000 rpm

landing gear
Central tubular frame made of steel, load-bearing motor, telescopic fork, Ø 41 mm, two-arm swing arm made of steel, central spring strut, directly hinged, adjustable spring base, double disc brake at the front, Ø 296 mm, double-piston floating calipers, disc brake at the rear, Ø 240 mm, single-piston floating caliper.

Cast aluminum wheels 3.50 x 17; 5.00 x 17

Tires 120/70 ZR 17; 160/60 ZR 17

Tires in the test Bridgestone BT 57 "U", "E"
mass and weight
Wheelbase 1480 mm, steering head angle 64.0 degrees, caster 109 mm, spring travel f / h 120 /
128 mm, seat height * 770 800 mm, weight with a full tank * 225 kg, payload * 179 kg, tank capacity / reserve 19.0 / 3.5 liters.

Two year guarantee

Service intervals every 6000 km

Colors black, silver, red

Power variant 25 kW (34 PS)

Price 6440 euros

Price test motorcycle ** 7,040 euros

Additional costs 170 euros

Technical data Kawasaki ER-6n

Water-cooled two-cylinder four-stroke in-line engine, a balance shaft, two overhead, chain-driven camshafts, four valves per cylinder, fork rocker arms, dry sump lubrication, injection, Ø 38 mm, regulated catalytic converter, alternator 336 W, battery 12 V / 14 Ah, mechanically operated multi-disc Oil bath clutch, six-speed gearbox, O-ring chain.

Bore x stroke 83.0 x 60.0 mm

Cubic capacity 649 cm3

Compression ratio 11.3: 1
Rated output 53.0 kW (72 hp) at 8500 rpm
Max. Torque 66 Nm at 7000 rpm

landing gear
Steel tubular frame, load-bearing motor, telescopic fork, Ø 41 mm, two-arm swing arm made of steel, central spring strut, directly hinged, adjustable spring base, double disc brake at the front, Ø 300 mm, double-piston floating calipers, rear disc brake, Ø 220 mm, single -piston floating caliper, ABS.

Cast aluminum wheels 3.50 x 17; 4.50 x 17

Tires 120/70 ZR 17; 160/60 ZR 17

Tires in the test Dunlop D 221 »J«
mass and weight
Wheelbase 1405 mm, steering head angle 65.5 degrees, caster 102 mm, spring travel f / h 120 /
125 mm, seat height * 790 mm, weight with a full tank * 203 kg, payload * 179 kg, tank capacity 15.5 liters.

Two year guarantee

Service intervals every 6000 km

Colors orange, silver, black

Power variant 25 kW (34 PS)

Price 6845 euros

Additional costs 180 euros

Technical data Yamaha FZ6 ABS

Water-cooled four-cylinder four-stroke in-line engine, two overhead chain drives
flat camshafts, four valves per cylinder,
Bucket tappets, wet sump lubrication, injection, Ø 38 mm, regulated catalyst-
generator, alternator 310 W, battery 12 V /
10 Ah, mechanically operated multi-disc oil bath clutch, six-speed gearbox, O-ring chain.

Bore x stroke 65.5 x 44.5 mm

Cubic capacity 600 cm3

Compression ratio 12.2: 1
rated capacity
57.0 kW (78 hp) at 11500 rpm
Max. Torque 52 Nm at 10000 rpm

landing gear
Bridge frame made of aluminum, telescopic fork,
Ø 43 mm, two-arm swing arm made of aluminum, central spring strut, directly hinged, adjustable spring base, double disc brake at the front, Ø 298 mm, double-piston floating calipers, rear disc brake, Ø 245 mm, two-piston fixed caliper, ABS.

Cast aluminum wheels 3.50 x 17; 5.50 x 17

Tires 120/70 ZR 17; 180/55 ZR 17

Dunlop D 252 tires tested
mass and weight
Wheelbase 1440 mm, steering head angle 65.0 degrees, caster 98 mm, spring travel f / h 130 /
130 mm, seat height * 810 mm, weight with a full tank * 210 kg, payload * 187 kg, tank capacity 19.4 liters.

Two year guarantee

Service intervals every 10000 km

Power variant 25 kW (34 PS)

Colors black, silver blue metallic

Price 6822 euros

Additional costs 170 euros

MOTORCYCLE measurements

Top speed * km / h
0 ?? 100 km / h sec
0 ?? 140 km / h sec
60 ?? 100 km / h sec
100 ?? 140 km / h sec
140 ?? 180 km / h sec
Speedometer deviation
Effective (display 50/100) km / h
Fuel consumption
Fuel type
at 130 km / h liters / 100 km
Country road liters / 100 km
Theoretical tidy
Country road km

Performance chart

It came, saw and groaned: The poor performance of the FZ6 disappoints, especially at medium speeds. Its torque curve is damn flat, reached far too late for relaxed country road use and surpasses the power of the other two. Compared to the narrow-chested Yamaha, the ER-6n works
much more beefy to the point. Her two big butts are pounding on her like crazy
Crankshaft. Motto: Realization. The CBF is phlegmatic around the bottom, but between 6000 and 10000 tours significantly more spirited than the FZ6.

1st place – Kawasaki ER-6n

Kawasaki ER-6n The series winner scores with the brawny performance of the modern, economical two-cylinder engine. Chassis, equipment and workmanship turned out less well.

2nd place – Honda CBF 600

Honda CBF 600 The ABS trendsetter casts a long shadow. The best brakes, variable ergonomics and the greatest feeling of security ennoble the CBF in particular. What is she missing? Injection and less weight.

3rd place – Yamaha FZ6

Yamaha FZ6 The suitable chassis and the good workmanship do not compensate for the limp, thirsty engine. Too bad. It is just not enough to simply cut off the air in a super sporty engine.

How engine

The Red Lantern goes to the FZ6 of all things, the latest 78 hp offer. The Yamaha drops in acceleration, pulling power and top speed. Their performance characteristics are absolutely unsatisfactory. She just aches away. On the other hand, the modern two-cylinder ER-6n (photo) competes fiery. You forgive him for the hackiest gear and the lively pulsation across the entire speed range. The four-cylinder only vibrate at medium and high speeds, but then annoyingly because of the high frequency. Very annoying: the miserable cold start behavior of the CBF 600.

How? ‘Or’ What frame

Top marks for the FZ6. Unlike the engine, the chassis is completely convincing. Stability, coordination of the suspension elements, handling even with a pillion passenger ?? it is ahead of the competition. The elaborate aluminum chassis (photo) pays off, with 78 HP it is almost under-challenged. The handy ER-6n, on the other hand, has the shock absorber with the lowest reservations. Like the fork, it reaches its limits early on on bad roads. The heavy, tightly balanced CBF can do a little better. Unfortunately, adjustment options are in short supply for all three.

How everyday

Head to head race. In everyday criteria, Honda and Yamaha don’t give anything away. The best workmanship, largest payload and maximum range speak for the FZ6. Your voluminous tank compensates for the high consumption. A passenger sits most comfortably on the FZ6, while the driver sits on the Honda. The CBF offers adjustable handlebars (photo) such as seat height and, in the ABS version, a main stand. The slightly carelessly assembled Kawasaki is sparsely equipped, but at least it is the only one equipped with an oil sight glass and offering something like wind protection.

How security

Traditionally a Honda domain. When it comes to safety, the CBF 600 excels. It combines effective braking with the best possible dosage and the finest ABS control (photo) in the field. That instills a lot of trust when things get difficult. The clumsy ABS of the FZ6 is far from that. Contemporary is different.

How? ‘Or’ What cost

The economical use of fuel sets the ER-6n apart from the two thirsty four-cylinders. At the inspection-
In terms of cost, the FZ6 is ahead of the curve because of its long 10,000 service intervals, while the CBF is clearly behind.

34 hp variants

For novice drivers under 25 years of age, 78 hp is too much. This is what the legislator thinks and prescribes two years of learning to drive on machines with a maximum of 34 hp (25 kW). In addition, the power-to-weight ratio must not exceed 0.16 kW, around 0.22 hp, per kilogram. A machine that uses the "full" 34 hp must therefore weigh at least 156.25 kg. You don’t have to worry about our three candidates, even the ER-6n, the lightest machine with ABS, weighs 203 kilograms. A stop bolt on the throttle valve reduces its power to 34 hp at 7200 rpm, the Vmax should be 155 km / h. The conversion costs 14.75 euros more installation and can be easily removed after two years.
The Honda CBF 600 (34 hp at 7000 rpm) throttled by the intake manifold does not cost any extra. After two years, four larger intake ports are required for dethrottling, unit price 29.80 euros. Honda estimates that the working time is 0.8 hours. Only at an astronomical 11500 rpm does the FZ6 swing up to 34 hp; as the top, Yamaha gives a modest 140 km / h. The power is cut simply by stopping the throttle valves, they only open a homeopathic 18.3 degrees (see also page 57). Without installation, around 30 euros are due. Nice: Yamaha countries buyers of an FZ6 300 euros allowance for their driver’s license.


MOTOr draft
Top speed
Engine characteristics
Load change behavior
Gear ratio
Chassis handiness
Stability in turns
Steering behavior
Lean angle
Straight-line stability
Suspension tuning in front
Chassis set-up at the rear
Adjustment options undercarriage
Suspension comfort
Driving behavior with a passenger
Everyday ergonomics driver
Ergonomics pillion
Handling / maintenance
Luggage storage
Safety braking effect
Brake metering
Braking with a passenger / fading
Righting moment when braking
ABS function
Handlebar slapping
Ground clearance
Cost guarantee
Consumption (country road)
Inspection costs
Maintenance costs
Overall rating

Price-performance note

Comment Value for money

Best price-performance ratio: The Kawasaki ER-6n is invincible in terms of engines, unbeatable in terms of driving pleasure and the closest possible winner in terms of price-performance ratio. The CBF is the most expensive, despite or perhaps because of the carburetors.

Throttle body

As with the 34 hp variant, the FZ6 is used to throttle from 98 to 78 hp-
Lich a simple stop on the throttle valve. They no longer open fully, so
by 90 degrees, but only 47.3 degrees. Add to that new software, done. Except the
The simple possibility of dethrottling, this technology ultimately only has disadvantages. The ratio is just as little adapted to the lower top speed as the large intake cross-sections to the
lower peak performance.
Compared to the 98 hp version, the top has a lot of power
lost ?? that was wanted ??, but nothing gained in return. Even the passage in sixth gear suffered enormously. Progress? Honda achieved the 78 hp of the CBF 600 from the 94 hp Hornet engine through new intake ports and camshafts with modified valve timing.

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