Niall's Spin: Honda CB600F Hornet

In 2005 Niall Mackenzie had a short fling with the Honda Hornet, here's what he had to say

Click to read: Honda CB600F Hornet owners reviewsHonda CB600F Hornet specs and to see the Honda CB600F Hornet image gallery.

For around nine months, I enjoyed the company of a burnt orange 600 Hornet. It wasn't my first choice for a long-termer but let's face it, so long as it's not diesel powered there has never been a bad free bike.

My first impression of the baby Hornet is that it was, well, a bit small and girly. I was wrong because although it does have a seat height that may suit some female riders it delivers big time in many other areas.

Its 98bhp (claimed) four-cylinder engine comes from the 1998 CBR600 and is just right for this funky naked middleweight. Unsurprisingly the engine and gearbox are super slick. I did quite a few 500-mile round trips and never tired of the motor, although hanging on over 85mph was always a good upper body work-out.

I also used the Hornet regularly at my Donington track days and Knockhill race schools. It was actually a brilliant track bike, with stable handling and good brakes, although the foot pegs soon started to ground out.
Unusually, I did a few trips two-up with my bike and found both passengers and motorcycle coped well. Overall, a cracker.