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Honda CBR 600F





Make Model

Honda CBR 600F




Liquid cooled, four stroke, Transverse four cylinder, DOHC, 4 valve per cylinder.


Bore x Stroke 63 x 48 mm
Compression Ratio 11.3:1


4x 32mm Keihin CV carbs

Ignition  /  Starting

-  /  electric

Max Power

85 hp 62 kW @ 95000 rpm  (rear tyre 74.0 hp @ 10800 rpm)

Max Torque

59 Nm @ 8500 rpm

Transmission  /  Drive

6 Speed  /  chain

Front Suspension

37mm Showa telescopic forks with air assistance and non adjustable TRAC.

Rear Suspension

Pro-link rising rate monoshock with 7 position preload.

Front Brakes

2x 276mm discs  2 piston calipers

Rear Brakes

Single 218mm disc 1 piston caliper

Front Tyre

110/80 V17

Rear Tyre

130/70 V17
Wheelbase 1410 mm
Dimensions Length 2130 mm


182 kg

Fuel Capacity

16.5 Litres

Consumption  average

18.7 km/lit

Braking 60 - 0 / 100 - 0

12.98 / 36.19m

Standing ¼ Mile  

11.63 sec / 185.1 km/h

Top Speed

233.5 km/h

diff.ru:  /  blackbears.ru

The 1989 CBR no longer had the Hurricane name, It came in one of two color schemes: Pearl Crystal White with Winter Lake Blue Metallic or Pearl Crystal White with Terra Blue and Fighting Red, The "CBR" logo was on the gas tank, The serial number began JH2PC190*KM200001  

There are three things to say about the CBR600. It has consistently been the best seller in its class since it appeared three years ago. We voted the 88 model best of the group in a four bike shootout last May. The 89 version has been given a 10% power increase. Everything else is mere detail, although it is the detail which makes the Honda such a well-balanced bike, the blend of engine, comfort, handling and brakes is perfect for all occasions . . . from the race-track through long-distance touring, right down to everyday riding to work. The only criticisms to come out of this test were of the tyres and the tank size. The CBR comes with Dunlop K505s or Bridgestones as original equipment. Last year we sang the Dunlops' praises. This year we found that the Bridgestone Excedras were no good in the wet and not much better in the dry.

Strange, as other recent Bridgestone designs have been very good.

The only thing wrong with the tank is that it doesn't hold enough petrol. Or hold it for long enough. It usually managed 120-odd on the main tank, and reserve only took it 20 miles if you were lucky. On the occasion that I wasn't lucky we found that we could only squeeze 15 liters into the allegedly 16.5-litre tank. The missing 1.5 liters would have given it a useful 15 miles extra range but what it really needs is another 4 or 5 liters . With such a bulbously sculpted tank it would be easy to fit in that much without it even showing, just by making it half an inch bigger in all directions.

At £3999, the price has gone up by 11% which, I suppose, isn't bad allowing for a bit of inflation and the 10% power increase. It now compares to the GPX at £3899 and the GSX at £3299, plus of course the all-new and so far untested FZR which will be £3995.

Yamaha have been a bit slow off the mark in this country with their nice-looking FZR. The Spanish magazine Motociclismo tested one against the CBR and found that the Yamaha was Imph slower, although it recorded better lap times around a race track. The German magazine PS also tested the two; they said that the Yamaha gave about 5bhp less than the Honda, although it went 1.5mph faster in their test.

Last year the Honda was slightly down on power compared to the Kawasaki and the Suzuki. It didn't show up too much in the performance tests (in fact the CBR managed to go slightly faster than the Suzuki) but it was l-2bhp down all through the rev range. This year, Honda have obviously worked hard to rectify that situation and have put 6-8mph on to the CBR's top speed, taking it over 140mph.

Last year we also praised its ergonomics, saying that all the controls worked". . . ridiculously well over a huge range of bumps and speeds", while the motor's power delivery was "nice and explosive". Rupert summed it up by saying he would want to keep it for many miles and couldn't see how anybody could be disappointed with it. None of that has changed (except Rupert is currently negotiating for a Transalp; the first recorded evidence that the slaughter of whales can cause brain damage in another specy).

We reckoned that the 88 was resting on its laurels, but was still the bike to beat. And although the Kawasaki was slightly faster, the CBR was still the best overall package. Given the 89 level of performance it is going to be quite a lot harder to beat.

Ours topped 140 in a fairly stiff sidewind but the power increase is not restricted to the top end. Apart from a large hiccup at 5500  which was more noticeable on the dyno than it was on the road — the CBR has a stack more power and torque everywhere in its long rev range. On the road, the engine is one of the bike's nicest features. Smooth and instant, the response is crisp and the exhaust note has just a trace of the howl that used to mark Honda's four-stroke racers. Maybe it is no coincidence that the dip in the torque curve just happens to be where the noise test is conducted.

On the face of it, Honda haven't had to do that much to get the power increase. They have raised the compression slightly, and have probably got better combustion because the ignition unit is also different. The connecting rods are new, which probably means lighter or stronger. Or both. Lighter would mean less power wasted in moving bits of engine around. The carburettors are bigger  but only by half a millimetre. This on its own wouldn't account for too much, but it is probably the result of more extensive modifications to make the carbs flow more air.

And the engine certainly does flow more air, they haven't got the extra power by making it rev further; if anything, the rev range is a few hundred rpm shorter than it was on the earlier engines.

Honda have also changed the cams but it is not what you'd expect; they have made the duration a few degrees shorter on the new engine. My guess is that they've increased the air flow and have altered the cam timing to improve the trapping efficiency of the engine, to cram more air in — and keep it in  at all speeds. This, plus the increase in compression, would give higher pressures and a shorter burn time, so they would need a different advance curve and possibly a more powerful ignition system.

The earlier engines seemed to be intake-restricted; Leon Moss got one up to 85bhp (but without the strong midrange of the 89 model) just by working on the air filter and carbs, plus a race exhaust, and that proved good enough to nudge 150mph.

Other engine changes include stronger clutch springs (well, different clutch springs, but I don't suppose they've made them weaker) and an "improved" fuel pump. So they can empty the titchy tank even faster?

The dip in the torque curve at 5500 feels like an early peak when you're cruising along gently. There is no spluttering or hesitation but you sense the load dropping off and shift up. This coincides with 70mph in top and simply feels like a natural, relaxed cruising speed. Of course, ease it up past 6000 and the motor takes off again, screaming up to the places where it makes real power. But it at least gives the choice; instead of having a clearly-defined power band, it gives you the option of using the soft, woolly, low-speed delivery or letting it rev and feeling the hard edge of the 80 horsepower motor.

This dual role is matched by the chassis which is comfortable in its riding position and suspension yet still precise in its steering and handling. Last year, the CBR felt taut and often seemed too hard, especially at low speeds. This year, for no apparent changes, except the tyres, it seemed softer and more comfortable. Possibly the tyres made a better match with the suspension. The steering and handling were limited mainly by the tyre's grip. Both front and rear were too easy to move about, wet or dry  but especially in the wet  would follow ridges and lines and generally gave bad sensations without actually breaking away into lurid slides. The grip and the feel weren't good by any standards, but they were particularly poor in comparison to the current generation of sports compound tyres. Knowing what is available  and how well the CBR responds to it  made this set-up seem unecessarily inferior. It's a serious omission on Honda's part but not one that is entirely of their making, at least as far as the UK is concerned. Dunlop are not the most efficient company at distributing their goods and Honda UK simply didn't have any Dunlops to fit. Perhaps Honda Japan should follow Suzuki and Yamaha and specify Michelin, Pirelli and Metzeler as OEM. I'd include Avon, especially for the CBR, but have you tried to buy any?

The only chassis changes for 89 are the colours and the brakes, not counting a modified sidestand cutout switch and warning light, despite the fact that Honda's rubber strip outshone all other devices for preventing take-off without retracting the sidestand.

New hues are red/white/blue, black/red and white/red, using some of the most intense colours available on standard machinery. Regardless of the styling effect they are worthwhile for the attention they attract. Hardened doyens of the second and third lanes would pull over even though they could see there was a lorry in the slow lane only half a mile ahead. Well, some of them did anyway, and it seemed like significantly more than the average. Although it didn't prevent one little pervert from pulling out of a side turning after I had started hooting to warn him not to.

Which brings us to the subject of the Honda's brakes, the final items to be altered from last year. This year, the calipers have larger piston sizes and so does the front master cylinder. The result seems to be as powerful as before but the lever action is lighter, with a shade more travel. The brake lever still has the span adjuster but where last year's brake needed four fingers all the time, this year's only needs two for normal braking and all four when loonies throw themselves in front of you or when you want to outbrake Geoff Johnson into the chicane.

Given decent tyres it is hard to fault the CBR; in its third year of development it is a reliable, well-tried unit which is equally good at relaxed touring and high speed scratching. For sheer rideability, I still prefer the sports-bias of the KR-1 or the performance of the GSX-R750J; but the extra midrange of the 600 and its everyday practicality make a strong argument for it against a sports lightweight. Its price makes an equally strong defence against the 750s and, on the road, the difference in performance isn't that great. Of the 600s, it looks like it will stay at the head of the class as the best all-round package, the one to beat.

Source Performance Bikes 1989




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