Honda CB600F Hornet (2007 - present)

The old Hornet was quick, light, agile, easy to ride, good-looking and reasonably priced. This model is an improvement
Manufacturer
Category
Price
£5495
Available from
2007
It's a Honda, so it delivers
Styling is not a patch on the original model
Neat, quick, and well-thought out update for a firm favourite

User Reviews

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Submitted by markovich88 on Tue, 05/02/2008 - 15:49

Overall Review

love the bike, have ridden it every working day since May wthout missing a beat. Go and buy one !

Strengths

light, comfortable, manouverable, looks great, reliable

Weaknesses

None so far

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Submitted by matthew aldington on Mon, 12/05/2008 - 16:10

Overall Review

a great traffic buster with a rapid engine for the open road

Strengths

useable power, build quality, 10,000rpm thrill

Weaknesses

mirrors a virtually useless, seat is only comfortable for 50 miles

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Submitted by nig on Fri, 27/06/2008 - 10:40

Overall Review

brilliant allround naked, if this is the size and style of bike your looking for you wont go far wrong with one of these,easy around town and pretty nippy when you get on the open road.

Strengths

perky motor,handles great,good brakes

Weaknesses

no real weaknesses

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Submitted by sittingbull on Tue, 24/02/2009 - 19:43

Overall Review

Ideal for a new rider, a bike within a bike that you can grow into as your experience grows

Strengths

Easy to ride, great build quality for price, good funky styling, great for poodling along but above 10,000 revs plenty of excitement Combined ABS is brilliant for the less experienced rider

Weaknesses

Mirrors, mirrors, mirrors - useless unless you are only 2 feet wide Seat is bloody hard for any longer trip

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Submitted by flacky on Thu, 12/03/2009 - 16:50

Overall Review

A good reliable motor and fun bike.

Strengths

Handling & finish, the abs is smooth. plenty of poke for road riding.

Weaknesses

Wind blast but thats a license saver, unable to turn headlight off, lack of adjustment. Why doesnt honda supply the bike with crash bobbins? Only side pillion grab handles.

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Overall Review

Great bike and should be a definite consideration for anyone who does the majority of their riding commuting through town. Build quality seems to be good and the updated looks are great. I've never been a fan of naked bikes but I was really impressed with this. Handles great and is fantastically agile. The brakes get an average rating simply because I can't say that I think that they are any better than anything else 'new' on the market at the moment- but they still do the job well enough.

Strengths

Light, agile, sturdy and confidence inspiring. Handles brilliantly and is great fun. Great smooth power delivery and fairly fast if you can handle the wind blast

Weaknesses

Mirrors are useless. They vibrate like crazy at anything above 4.5k rpm so all you can see is a blur.

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Submitted by Tucky 659 on Fri, 02/04/2010 - 07:46

Overall Review

When looking around I had a £4500 budget and considered a lot of bikes - I thought of older modern classics but eventually settled on the newest bike I could get for my cash. I figured a street triple would be best but they hold their money very well. Cheapest I could find in Feb 10 was £4500 for a 2007 with 8k miles. By contrast the Hornet is a bargain, for my money I got a 6mth old silver one with 800 miles on it. I read the 09 BIKE mag review and although the triple won that test the Hornet was second. The major complaint being the Honda's lack of character. This can be levelled at most jap bikes and doesn't worry me too much. I have found that it does about 120 miles before the fuel light comes on, which is fine for me. I use it on a mixture of country and fast A roads (but not for long distances). This is a rev hungry bike and I find that it is very easy to go faster and faster, and have to slow myself down a bit. With 100bhp on tap and no fairing you aren't gonna wish for too much more power. There is a perception that this is a learner bike I have found. Recently at work, a guy with a BMW 1200gs turned his nose up at it - his is a '02 plate with 40k on the clock - he paid similar money - fine if you want an 8yr old bike with big miles (although the GS can easily handle this).But my bike would murder his anywhere if it came down to it, and I wanted the newest, least hassle bike I could get. If you have enough cash then try a triple, if not you won't go far with this.

Strengths

I bought my Hornet when it was 6 months old, privately from a fella locally via ebay for only £4500 - this bike is a steal for this sort of cash! The legendary build quality is still there and the engine/gearbox are as slick and smooth as you'd expect. The bike looks great and I love the stubby exhaust - it actually makes a fairly decent racket.I bought this after a year out of biking, my last was a KTM 950sm, so I wasn't expecting too much from the little honda but I was pleasantly surprised. Handling is rock solid and a real joy to behold.

Weaknesses

The bike isn't faired so wind blast is an issue over about 80mph but I really can't afford to lose my licence so after years of sportsbikes, unfaired bikes are the way forward for me. Just as much fun and less risk. The engine has near on 100 bhp, about the same as my old KTM but you really have to rev it if you want to be "on it". This bike is very rev happy so if that's a problem look at something else.

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idl1975's picture
Submitted by idl1975 on Wed, 12/05/2010 - 16:53

Overall Review

The Hornet has been the first bike I've owned where I don't feel useless if I'm not going flat-stick everywhere - you can cruise to work shortshifting it. Yet if you find a nice set of twisties and want to throw it onto its peg ends, it will respond as happily as a sportsbike. It's totally stable, but sits on its tail a bit, so any crest + throttle = instant wheelie. Excellent! Only issues with the bike are the shock, which is so bad it badly holds the bike back on b-road where the forks aren't even breaking a sweat, and the terrible linked braking. You get calipers the weight of 6-pots which are actually 2-piston sliders unless you are willing to stamp on the back brake. It's designed for idiots to stop the bike no matter which lever you use. This badly complicates using the two different ends to control chassis balance on tracks or in fast road riding. Want to use front brake to sharpen up the front and/or unweight the tail? No, you have to use the back pedal to get hard braking, meaning it behaves like a tele/paralever BMW and flattens itself at both ends. Then you have to modulate both brakes to get the two center front pistons to actuate in unison with the four others. If you do it wrong, your braking force at the front end will vary. Complete bollocks! Otherwise, the engine's very "600", and not as good as the Triumph Street Triple, but changing the final drive ratio sorts it out for b-roads. Despite the above, it's the best road bike I've ever owned!

Strengths

* Front end and chassis setup: amazingly balanced, happy pootling, hooning or doing track days, with masses of feedback * Quality: lovely build and materials quality (mine is 3 years old and nearly spotless), clever design touches and designed to survive drops and lowsides. * Power delivery: decent roll on from low RPM for winter commuting, plus a storming 93hp top end for the warm sunny bits. Nice sound and 40+mpg cruising from a modern sportsbike engine.

Weaknesses

* C-ABS system: while the ABS rarely intervenes, the linked braking is awful. You will only ever get 4 pistons out of 6 working at the front without touching the back brake. You can't use back brake on its own. Non-ABS bike? You are stuck with the same 2-pot Nissins as my 1980s NC23. And they are pisspoor. * The shock: it's terrible - oversprung, hopelessly underdamped, non-rebuildable. The bike is so good the shock can't ruin it, but on any bumpy b-road, the bike is held back by lack of grip as the back wheel goes like a sewing machine. So budget £350+ for a shock!

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Brakes
Handling
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Build Quality
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Overall Review

Nothing's perfect, is it? Still, the Hornet makes a good try. Being a naked bike, you wouldn't much want to ride it hundreds of miles on motorways. For zipping around on country roads, though, could hardly be improved. Get one!

Strengths

I can't imagine a bike being more fun than this one to ride. The engine has reserves of power exactly where you want them. You always feel in perfect control. You must use the gears, not too much power below 7000 rpm, but that's part of the experience. Lightness, agility, positive cornering, and the brakes inspire absolute confidence. Just great. (Forty years ago I rode a BSA Rocket Gold Star. That was wonderful enough, but with the Hornet you learn just how much a concept can be improved, if you try.)

Weaknesses

1. Idiotic design of the back end make it a real pain to ride in the wet! You and the bike get a mudbath. A hugger is is not much help. What's with this "mudguards are sissy" fetish possessed by modern bike designers? The old RGS never had such a dumb problem. 2. The ABS system just broke, at 10,000 miles and 9 months out of warranty. It's going to be expensive to fix, since the whole wiring harness must be replaced. According to the dealers this is a known problem, looks like a design flaw. Hope later models won't suffer the problem.

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Submitted by Andy949494 on Thu, 24/11/2011 - 13:21

Overall Review

I borrowed one for a weekend when my bike was in the dealer and took some time to get used to it but really enjoyed it. Economy was pretty similar to other mid size bikes (e.g. ER6F and slightly better than the deau I had). The bike itself is fairly small and the riding position holds you in place very well so its perfect for fast riding but not good for touring. Similarly I wouldn't recommend it for regular pillion use as the engine doesn't have much grunt but for commuting up to 20 miles or so (beyond which the lack of a fairing to keep rain and cold off will be noticed) or for enjoying a blast on a weekend it is a very good bike. The engine doesn't have a lot of low end but when you rev it beyond 7000 or so it will move fast and if you really rev it near its red line it takes off. This becomes very addictive particularly as the sound is so good when its doing this. I still want one!

Strengths

Relatively cheap to run (insure, economy etc) Beautiful telepathic handling. Good brakes too. Physically small so easy to touch the ground and use in traffic. Wonderful zip when you rev it but power is all high up so safe in slippery conditions. Attractive looks and sounds lovely when revved. Suspension is just perfect for absorbing bumps at high speed (great B road killer).

Weaknesses

Physically very small so not very good for a tourer or for tall people (over 29 inch inside leg). headlight is poor. Not much low end grunt. You really have to rev it to make it move...

Rating Breakdown
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Comfort
Build Quality
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