Honda CB 600 F Hornet (1998-2006): How much modern naked middle class has progressed since then?Engine: An Acrapovic muffler was fitted to the bike under test.
The four cylinder liquid cooled engine of 600 c.c. which is fed via carburetors, is very linear. It delivers lots of torque as well as high power at the top, although top power output is less than that of the latest naked 600 c.c. bikes.
The engine will cope with just 1500 rpm although for a sufficient boost 2000 rpm are needed. Low and middle range of the power band are more than adequate, for sporty riding 7000 rpm or more are needed.
Top power delivery of 95 bhp at 12000 rpm is adequate for every possible use that a naked bike is designed for, rev limiter at 13500 rpm. Maximum torque 6.4 Kgm at 9500 rpm, nominal values.
Riding position: The riderĘs seat height is low for the whole length of the seat. The width of the seat is relatively large, every rider will step a firm foot on the ground.
The weight of the bike is average, 178 Kg nominal dry, it feels lighter though, due to the relatively low center of gravity. The width of the bike is narrow, however the width of the fuel tank at the front end is increased, it looks vulnerable in case of an accident.
Rider is positioned in and over the bike, riding position is really comfortable and greatly neutral for everyday riding.
On the road: Suspension stiffness is medium, just to the firm side. The steering lock is average for the HornetĘs character. It could be greater, so tighter turns could be allowed.
Town rides are very comfortable, functionality to the maximum. The average steering lock together with the height of the handle bar which is the same with that of car mirrors when filtering, are the two disadvantages that the rider will face in town rides. However agility is superb, thus rides in urban areas are trouble free.
On B roads, the increased agility makes the bike feel light, which together with the comfortable riding position result to a novice friendly bike. Feedback to the rider is good, although road imperfections are not totally absorbed. There is no linkage at the rear suspension. Charging the bike on B roads, the comfortable riding position feels gradually inappropriate for sporty riding, as the riderĘs torso is relatively upright.
This is valid for the highway also, as air pressure is increased to the rider.
At a very high pace, the increased agility of the Hornet, decreases the riderĘs confidence when charging. Stability when cornering is also decreased. The only adjustment is the spring preload for the rear suspension.
Brakes which are not provided with ABS, are powerful and decent, while rider gets nice feedback.
Comments: The quality built is decent, Hornet is superb even today for every day rides. It will serve the owner , asking for very little money.
Before 2000 the front wheel was 16 inch, which was definitely not an advantage. From 2005 an upside down fork was introduced.
The Hornet doesnĘt feature an ABS as the majority of the bikes of that era didnĘt, however differences with modern naked 600 c.c. bikes are not great, especially in everyday use.
-Average steering lock in town rides
-Edginess close to the handling limit
-Small tank range and riding position will not satisfy when travelling
Thanks to the motorcycle shop Baxevanis - Honda, tel.+302109237000, Kalirois 12, Athens, Greece, http://www.baxevanismoto.com/ for the test ride.