(1/5/03 11:25 pm)
CBR 600's Reviews: 600RR, F4i, F4, F3, F2 and Hurricane|
Honda’s renowned CBR600 is one of the Japanese giant’s most successful models ever. Since its launch way back in 1987, the sporting middleweight has sold in huge numbers, captivating more than 350,000 buyers with its near perfect blend of sporting ability, excellent comfort and user-friendly manners.
It’s lost out a little to some rival manufacturers’ more focused offerings at times during its reign as one of the best sellers in the class. But that’s simply because of Honda’s reluctance to build anything that would compromise its famous all-rounder character. And even though the firm launched a harder-edged version with the CBR600 F4i in 2001, the ‘racier’ version wasn’t really different enough to tempt some buyers away from stuff like Yamaha’s R6 or Suzuki’s GSX-R600. But there’s been a significant change in the design philosophy in 2003, and the F4i will be joined by Honda’s sharpest CBR yet – the CBR600RR.
With its RCV Grand Prix bike-inspired style and engineering, Honda seems at last to have a choice for both traditionalists and hardened scratchers alike. Ironically, it was poor weather at the Estoril GP track in Portugal that helped to underline the RR’s surprisingly alternative character.
The track is extremely risky to ride on when it’s wet, and the thought of trying to manage what I expected would be more of a wild racer than a friendly road bike wasn’t making me feel at ease with the idea of lapping the track. Ex-Grand Prix racer Ron Haslam, on hand at the launch, advised us to wait a while to see if things might improve, and that gave me a chance to look at the new 600 in closer detail.
What a great looking bike the RR is. The RCV influence is obvious, with its sleek and sexy shapes mimicking the MotoGP bike very closely. The bodywork style, chunky-looking frame and swingarm, trick underseat exhaust, and diminutive size make it one of the snazziest Japanese sportbikes on the market. But sitting on it thankfully helped to dilute the impression of it being a tricky and uncompromising machine to manage. And, though the new CBR is very compact, its riding position was a lot less radical than I’d anticipated. I’m not saying it will rival a VFR800 for comfort, but it won’t be as far behind as you’d think.
Some of the tallest testers mumbled on a bit about it being a fraction too cramped to tuck in tidily, but I’d reckon anyone under six-foot could consider longer trips without packing any pain-killers. The riding position for those of a less gangly nature is relaxed enough, and the fairing and screen seem big enough to fend off the worst of the elements.
When we did finally get going, following Haslam’s lines at a very slow pace, the way the Honda dealt with the conditions was nothing short of amazing. Within a single lap the RR model revealed itself as an absolutely perfect tool for the job.
The most remarkable part of the bike at that stage was its engine. Instead of a manic and peaky animal, which I’d thought Honda must have been forced to build in order to get it to deliver its claimed maximum of 115 bhp, the new fuel-injected motor couldn’t have been more flexible. Just like the riding position, the engine is much less focussed that you’d expect. It’s a daft or docile as you want it to be.
Through Estoril’s very tight uphill chicane, where I’d guess none of us were going any faster than 20 mph, the bike pulled cleanly and smoothly without a single hiccup. All the way round the rest of the track there was nothing less than a fluid and friendly drive whatever the rpm, speaking volumes for the linear power delivery and glitch-free fuel-injection set up. Its superbly broad and smooth spread of power made me suspect the bike was not 600cc but actually something around 100cc bigger. We’re definitely talking VFR-style power delivery here. Brilliant.
Handling manners are crucial when you’re trying to stay upright on a slippery surface, and again the surprises continued to unfold. Helping matters are a claimed dry weight of just 373 lbs and bike dimensions of something more akin to a 400. But the real ally to cornering composure and faith in making it to the other side was the result of what Honda call ‘mass centralization.’
Packing as many parts into a small and concentrated area near the front of the bike, including the rider who now sits 70mm further forward, helps to make the RR feel very light and responsive, and the design of the frame and suspension give plenty of feedback. Overall the Honda was a piece of cake to ride, despite the dreadful lack of grip offered by the greasy circuit.
Even though we had yet to put the RR through its paces when the track was dry, I was totally impressed by the new CBR. It's obvious Honda engineers aimed to retain the famed user-friendly spirit, which has characterized the CBR right through its 16-year history.
There are some shortcomings compared to the previous standard-setter for civility, but in the whole scheme of things they’re quite minor. Underseat storage is virtually non-existent thanks to the silencer being where the storage once lived, and the tool kit has been ousted to behind the fairing panel as there’s nowhere else to put it. Although the riding position isn’t quite as relaxed, there isn’t much that the RR can’t do as well as the F4i. And when the track dried and we could ride a lot harder, we discovered that there’s plenty it can do better.
Slowly but surely the dry line on the track got wider, and the sportier side of the Honda showed its class and composure. The handling which had proved both nimble and manageable in the wet turned out to be just as kind when the speeds rose, and without a hint of instability. Even sudden direction changes couldn’t fluster the CBR, and they could be made without doing much more than thinking about them. It’s a bike that needs the very minimum effort to steer.
On longer corners where the power needed to be fed in little by little, the tiny Honda stayed glued to its line perfectly. And though the track is a lot smoother than many roads you can encounter, the planted feel of the bike throughout the lap at Estoril suggests you’ll still be able to depend on it to stay settled on all but the worst surfaced of public roads.
The accuracy and dependability offered by the CBR’s chassis shouldn’t really raise too many eyebrows. Looking at one of the bikes with its bodywork stripped off reveals a very serious looking frame. Its main cast alloy twin spars might not appear to be that massive at first glance, but with another two hangers dropping down from them on each side of the motor to form a beefy alloy triangle, rigidity is clearly not in question. Neither is the way its wheels track the road.
The quality of the suspension cannot be over-emphasized. We did firm up both ends a little before riding harder, but only a few of the hardest riders had to turn up the damping settings significantly. All agreed that the influence of the adjusters was immediate and apparent, so there was a setting within the range to suit everyone.
It’s hard to say whether the unique Unit Pro-Link rear suspension (which has no link between the shock and the frame behind the tank) is the main reason why the rear end feels superbly suspended. But the system, which instead has the shock attached to a cross-member behind the engine via two tie-rods, is fitted on the RCV Grand Prix bike and it worked well enough there! Along with the big 45mm conventional forks, the exceptional feel and feedback given through the seat and bars is a massive boost to confidence.
They undoubtedly make life easier for the Michelin Pilot Sport road tires too, and the French-made rubber could be taken right to the edge of its grip in complete confidence. The tucked-in exhaust and smaller and narrower engine are designed to improve ground clearance, and if you can scrape anything on this Honda you’re either very talented or you’re about to crash!
The 4-piston Nissin calipers and 310mm twin discs provide a near-faultless arrangement. Whether you’re just scrubbing off a few mph mid-corner or hauling the bike down from something like 145 mph in just a couple of hundred yards, the result is always the same - sharp, progressive, and highly impressive deceleration, with enough feel to take you to the limit of the tire and hold it there.
There’s no doubt that the CBR is a flier when let loose, but the linear delivery of power does occasionally mask its potency - until you look at the speedo and shock yourself. It’s quite simply a case of more revs and more power, with the midrange grunt being the most exceptional part of the output.
The four-cylinder mill revs out all the way to a heady 15,000 rpm, with a shift light blazing on the dash to nag you to click up another cog of the surprisingly (for a Honda at least) slick gearbox. Then the rev-limiter gives you a final nudge a fraction of a moment later.
The slightly more focused RR is without question the very best CBR600 yet made, and I’d actually argue it’s one of the finest Hondas ever. Very few bikes can match its versatility, refinement, civility and high sporting credentials. At $8599, the RR is the most expensive 600 on the market, and is $400 more than the F4i.
Only a back-to-back test with the other new 600s will reveal whether the RR is the best of the bunch, but they’ll have to be really good to stand a chance of topping it. It’s that brilliant.
Suggested Retail Price: $8,599.00
Engine Type: 599cc liquid-cooled inline four-cylinder
Bore and Stroke: 67.0mm x 42.5mm
Compression Ratio: 12.0:1
Valve Train: DOHC; four valves per cylinder
Carburetion: Dual Stage Fuel Injection (DSFI)
Ignition: Computer-controlled digital transistorized with three-dimensional mapping
Transmission: Close-ratio 6-speed
Final Drive: #525 O-ring-sealed chain
Front Suspension: 45mm HMAS cartridge fork with spring-preload, rebound and compression-damping adjustability; 4.7-inch travel
Rear Suspension: Unit Pro-Link HMAS single shock with spring-preload, rebound and compression-damping adjustability; 4.7-inch travel
Front Brakes: Dual 310mm discs with four-piston calipers
Rear Brake: Single 220mm disc
Front Tire: 120/70 ZR-17 radial
Rear Tire: 180/55 ZR-17 radial
Wheelbase: 54.74 inches
Rake (Caster Angle): 24.0 degrees
Trail: 95mm(3.74 inches)
Seat Height: 32.3 inches
Dry Weight: 370.0 pounds
Fuel Capacity: 4.8 gallons, including 0.9-gallon reserve
Colors: Black, Pearl Yellow, Red/Black
Edited by: ctutorf4i at: 1/17/03 11:45:56 pm
(1/17/03 11:36 pm)
2001 and 2002
Base Price $8,199
WheelBase 1384 mm / 54.5 in
Length 2010 mm / 79.1 in
Height 1080 mm / 42.5 in
Seat Height 800 mm / 31.5 in
Width 670 mm / 26.4 in
Dry Weight 168 kg / 370 lbs
Rake 24.0 degrees
Trail 96.0mm (3.8 inches)
Fuel Capacity 4.8 gallons, including 0.9-gallon reserve
Configuration Liquid-Cooled, In-Line 4
Valvetrain DOHC 4 valves / cylinder
Displacement 599 cc / 36.6 cu in
Power 61.9 kw / 96.1 bhp @ 12,500 rpm
Torque 53.3 nm / 42.8 ft lbs @ 10,200 rpm
Bore 67 mm / 2.64 in
Stroke 42.5 mm / 1.67 in
Compression Ratio 12.0:1
BHP / Liter 167.0 bhp
Redline 14,500 rpm
Carburetion Programmed Fuel Injection (PGM-FI) with automatic choke; 38mm throttle bodies
Type 6-Speed Constant Mesh
Final Drive 3.018
1st Gear Ratio 2.930
2nd Gear Ratio 2.102
3rd Gear Ratio 1.592
4th Gear Ratio 1.377
5th Gear Ratio 1.190
6th Gear Ratio 1.075
Chassis & Body
Front Suspension Fully Adjustable 43mm HMAS™ cartridge fork
Rear Suspension Fully Adjustable Pro-Link® HMAS Aluminum swingarm
Tire Sizes F 120/70-ZR17
Brake Types Cross drilled discs
Brake Size F Dual 296 mm / 11.6 in
R 220 mm / 8.6 in
Available ABS Not Available
Body Material Aluminum alloy - twin-spar
Top Speed 156.0 mph / 251 kph
0 - 30 mph 1.5 seconds
0 - 60 mph 2.8 seconds
0 - 100 mph 6.4 seconds
0 - ¼ mile 10.82 @ 126.93 mph
EPA City / Hwy 34/40 mpg
New Honda CBR600 F4i raises the bar Offering an unparalleled balance of blistering performance and long-term riding comfort, the CBR has consistently been a well-rounded first choice that provides an inspiring ride for both well-seasoned sport bike aficionados and those setting out to expand the limits of their Super Sport riding abilities. For fourteen years since its 1987 debut, the popular CBR600F has been one of Honda’s biggest selling Super Sport street bikes, and a major force on racing circuits around the world.
Out on the world’s race tracks, the CBR has also been a dominant figure that has consistently held its CBR 600 own against the latest in technologically sophisticated racing machinery, winning a lion’s share of gold and glory. Still, for all its successes on the racetrack, the CBR600F has always remained close to the Honda’s ‘F’ concept of user-friendly Super Sport machines that has guided its development through the years. Thus, the CBR600F has always been equally at home providing a comfortable ride for one or two as it has been competing in the world’s racing arenas.
Now all this is changed. Responding to cries for a more sharply focused road burner that looks and feels more like the racer that has always been lurking just below its civil and well-mannered surface, Honda now proudly presents the all-new CBR600F4i. A hotter, even more performance-oriented CBR for those who like their riding fast and the corners tighter.
Incorporating new performance features, the new model features a stunning new front cowl and a new solo seat and tail section that completely change its character. Performance was also further upgraded CBR 600F4 with the addition of a new fuel injection system, while handling was further improved with detailed modifications made to its frame to optimise its balance of rigidity and control. The end result is a sharper, lighter and more aggressive CBR600F than anyone has ever seen before. And with the race-winning performance to back it up, there will be no mistaking what this new CBR600F4i is all about. Coming to shed tyres at a racetrack near you soon.
Direct Air Intake System
Wind-tunnel-designed ram air ducts and high-capacity airbox optimize airflow for stunning high-rpm performance.
PGM-FI Throttle Bodies/Cylinder Head
High-pressure programmed fuel injection (PGM-FI) delivers fuel to four injectors, each mounted in a 38mm throttle body, at 50 psi. Cylinder head features two springs per intake valve and durable, hardened intake valve seats for sustained high-rpm valve operation.
Center and rear engine hangers and collars optimize torsional chassis rigidity for precise handling. Exhaust header pipe length and internal muffler baffling accentuate high-rpm output while maintaining the F4i’s superior mid-range power.
Frame Pivot Plate Comparison
Strengthening ribs cast into Pro Frame® side plates increase lateral and torsional rigidity.
Steering Head Casting Comparison
Reinforcing ribs cast into the Pro Frame® steering head to increase lateral and torsional rigidity.
Front 3/4: Body Off
The 2002 CBR®600F4i produces peak power at 12,500 rpm and tips the scale at 370 pounds dry—the lightest, most powerful 600 supersport Honda ever. Race-proven chassis delivers superior road feel and handling.
Dual headlight design features computer-designed multi-reflectors with one left-side-mounted 55-watt H7 low beam and one right-side-mounted 55-watt H7 high beam. The asymmetrical low-beam mode is complemented by the operation of both lights in high-beam mode for superb lighting in nighttime riding conditions.
Front Wheel/Front Brake/Fork
Twin front calipers feature four pistons each. Pistons have a molybdenum/anodic-oxide coating and Teflon-coated rollback seals to enhance braking feel under repeated hard use. CBR929RR-style aluminum-alloy hollow-spoke wheels feature race-spec 3.5 x 17-inch front and 5.5 x 17-inch rear dimensions.
Instrument display features: analog tachometer with white numerals and needle indicator on a black face design; LCD digital displays for speedometer, odometer, A/B tripmeter, fuel reserve, clock and coolant temperature; warning lights for coolant temperature, oil temperature, fuel injection and over-rev; indicator lights for low/high beam, turn indicator and neutral.
Rear 3/4 shot
Sculpted, 4.8-gallon fuel tank, including 0.9-gallon reserve, integrates with race track-inspired bodywork, aerodynamic dual headlight design, Black painted frame and swingarm underline the F4i’s racing credentials. Shift linkage design delivers precise shifting feel. A 46-tooth final-drive sprocket helps step up acceleration in all gears.
Edited by: ctutorf4i at: 1/17/03 11:46:31 pm
(1/17/03 11:38 pm)
1999 and 2000 Honda CBR600F4
For those of you who care only about raw numbers, dig in: 410 pounds wet, 98.9 hp at the rear wheel (ram air not factored in), 45.6 ft-lbs of torque, 24° rake, four-piston brakes, 48 miles per gallon on the highway. Everyone else should read on. This bike is about much more than numbers.
To showcase the outright performance of the F4, Honda sprung for a day on the AMA course at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, a high-speed track with long sweepers, a second and third gear infield and a flat-out run on the banks that reaches speeds of up to 150 mph. Honda also brought along a few 1998 CBR600F3s for comparison. Head-to-head, the F4 retains the same character of the venerable F3, but it does just about everything better. It has more power, it weighs less, it comes equipped with better brakes and suspension, it's quicker steering, less buzzy, has wider wheels and provides more feedback. This is not to say that the F3 was not a great motorcycle, it is just that the F4 surpasses the F3 in all measurable categories.
Our reactions to riding the stock rubber on the track were mixed. Initially, we couldn't get enough heat in the tires to go fast enough to evaluate them. Eventually, we grew tired of riding slowly and when we began to throw the bike around enough to heat the Dunlop D207 street-compound tires (which are distinctly different from the D207GP race tires), we then found the chassis to be more than adequate. But even with ill-equipped tires it handled great at the track, although one staffer, after spending the initial portion of the intro riding the F3, needed time to get used to the quicker-steering F4.
The F4's new four-piston brakes are a big improvement over the two-piston units of the CBR600F3. Power and feel is exemplary, without a hint of fade. The brakes work well with the new aluminum Pro-Frame chassis, which is very stable while braking mid-corner. On the gas or off, if you need to change direction, the F4 responds without complaint.
Editor-in-chief Brent Plummer on one of the '98 CBR300F3s brought along for comparison purposes.
The transmission is extremely smooth, but it tends to seek neutral when shifting between first and second. That's great if you're waiting at a stoplight, but it is not particularly desirable when you're entering a corner. Overall, at the track we came to two conclusions: The F4 is a big improvement over the F3 and if you're riding on a track, bring along a pair of real tires.
American Honda gave us an F4 to ride home and, predictably, we ran into trouble. Five miles north of the California border, we were pulled over for allegedly speeding while doing an impromptu top-gear roll-on that reached speeds legal counsel said we should refrain from mentioning in this story. Even so, the Nevada State Trooper was impressed with the bike and accepted our lame defense that it wasn't our fault, the motorcycle made us do it. He let us off with only a warning. Still, kids, don't try this at home. We're trained professionals.
For the trip back to LA, Honda equipped the F4 with a fresh set of tires and reset the suspension to stock. If you do buy this bike, we recommend you tighten up the setup before hitting your favorite back roads. Compared to the track settings the stock suspension settings felt like a Cadillac El Dorado. The point? Honda's stock suspension offers excellent adjustment range, easily adaptable to be at home on the track or the boulevard.
While not exactly luxury car plushness, Honda kept intact the comfortable ergonomics that made the F3 such a popular street bike. Weather protection and wind management have been improved and we covered the entire distance back to LA comfortably. With the soft suspension setup, even LA's notorious expansion joints couldn't cause the F4 to buck. It is in these conditions that the ultra-soft carcass of the street D207s really shines.
Honda decreased reciprocating mass (pistons, rods, pins -- parts that move in a straight line) and increased rotating mass (crankshaft and flywheels -- things that spin) for better mid-range torque. (In a perfect engine, all the mass rotates, thus manufacturers try to keep the reciprocating weight as close to zero as possible.) There is also another benefit to this: An average fuel economy of 48 mpg on the highway, which gives the F4 an approximate touring range of 220 miles. Even riding full-on in the twisties the F4 averaged 33 mpg. Not bad.
Back home in the mountains and canyons, we discovered something that wasn't so obvious on the track: At spirited street speeds the F4 is ridiculously easy to ride. Whether you ride with a lot of body lean or prefer aggressive counter-steering, the CBR600F4 will adapt to your style. It takes very little work to ride and it is very forgiving in case you encounter loose road surfaces or whenever you might need to make mid-corner adjustments. The F4 is a great street bike.
All the suspension settings -- rebound, preload, compression -- are easily accessible and everything can be adjusted with the tool kit Honda provides beneath the key-removable seat, first ever for a Honda CBR600 sport bike. We made adjustments in under five minutes on the side of the road. Everything was stiffened up one-half turn from stock and we set rear preload to three. The bike handled great on the back roads but was too stiff for the freeway. When we get the F4 for a longer test, we'll try to figure out how to dial it in for both the freeway and in the tight stuff.
The Honda CBR600F4 is a motorcycle you can race at a national and cruise comfortably on the freeway with little more than a change in suspension and good set of tires. It certainly lived up to everyone's expectations of being a great street bike that can haul ass around a racetrack as well.
Completely redesigned engine features oversquare bore and stroke of 67mm x 42.5mm with a straight, 40 degree intake tract angle contributing to a 5 percent power increase.
All-new ProFrame features diamond-type aluminum twin-tube frame and extruded aluminum swingarm, with a combined swingarm pivot incorporating both engine crankcase and frame-mounted pivot points.
Class-leading design and improved manufacturing process reduce dry weight to an incredible 372.6 pounds.
Liquid-cooled DOHC 16-valve four-stroke engine utilizes latest Honda design and manufacturing technologies for incredible mid range and top-end performance.
Inclined cylinder-head mating surface permits 40 degree intake tract for improved engine efficiency and power.
RC45 inspired aluminum composite cylinder sleeves are high-pressure-formed from sintered aluminum powder impregnated with ceramic and graphite. The lightweight composite sleeves provide better wear resistance and superior heat dissipation to conventional sleeves.
Aluminum alloy pistons feature LUB-Coat solid lubricant to minimize friction between the piston and cylinder wall.
Ram-air system provides a high volume of cool air to the airbox, utilizing a two-stage system that precisely balances air pressure within the carburetor float and vacuum chambers with the air flowing through their bores, providing sharp throttle response, linear power delivery, and improved performance at all speeds.
Airbox capacity increased 18 percent to 6.5 liters.
36.5mm bore carburetors feature tunable design and are 6 ounces lighter than CBR600F3 design.
Four-into-two-into-one exhaust system feeds single high-output polished stainless steel muffler for maximum power and efficiency.
Four transistorized direct-ignition coils integrate spark plug cap and high tension lead to reduce weight 13.5 ounces and produce high-voltage, long-duration spark, providing maximum performance at high engine output levels.
Electronic ignition CPU provides digital 3-D mapping for cylinder pairs, creating ideal spark advance settings for all riding conditions.
Direct, shim-under-bucket valve actuation ensures high-rpm performance and durability and offers 16,000-mile miantenance intervals.
Mechanical automatic cam-chain adjuster provides quiet, reliable service.
New seven-plate clutch replaces nine-plate unit and utilizes improved lining material to maintain overall capacity while reducing weight to 17,5 ounces.
Engine cooling system features a series-flow pattern that doubles previous flow rate, reducing piston crown and spark plug seat temperatures, resulting in increased power.
Radiator cooling capacity increased 17 percent to maintain optimum operating temperature in demanding riding conditions.
New bearingless water pump is lightweight and features high-efficiency design.
New, round-type high-capacity liquid-cooled oil cooler is 17.5 ounces lighter than previous design.
Redesigned AC generator and starter motor are 21 ounces lighter than CBR600F3 components.
Newly designed clutch cover integrates pulser cover and is lighter than previous design.
Smooth-shifting close-ratio six-speed transmission features ratios carefully matched to engine's powerband.
Diamond-type aluminum twin-tube frame utilizes new-technology casting process, reducing weight 15.4 pounds while increasing lateral rigidity 3 percent and torsional rigidity 15 percent.
ProFrame design locates the lightweight extruded aluminum box-section swingarm with a combined pivot of both the frame and the rear of the engine, producing superb handling and high-speed stability with excellent control feeling.
Lightweight aluminum rear subframe section.
HMAS front fork legs increased to 43 mm diameter for added rigidity, with stepless rebound and compression damping and adjustable spring preload.
Front fork span increased 12mm to 204mm for added fork rigidity.
40mm HMAS rear shock assembly utilizes Pro-Link design with external reservoir for plush feel and excellent, well-controlled high-speed damping.
Twin front calipers feature four pistons each with special nickel-plate surface treatment to enhance brake lever feel under repeated hard braking.
Sintered brake pads and 296mm floating front discs provide ultimate stopping power.
Hydraulic rear disc brake features single-piston caliper and 220mm disc.
New 3-spoke hollow design wheels.
Wide, 3.5-inch front wheel with 120.70ZR-17 Z-rated front tire and wide 5.5 inch rear wheel with 180/55ZR-17 Z-rated rear tire.
Durable, lightweight #525 O-ring sealed drive chain.
Industry-leading ergonomic design features maximum rider comfort and minimum fatigue in all riding conditions.
ABS fairing and bodywork provide superb aerodynamic design and function together with excellent weather protection.
Folding aerodynamic mirrors.
Front fairing and rear seat cowl utilize fewer parts for simpler servicing.
4.5-gallon fuel capacity.
High-tech instrument display features thin, lightweight design with analog readouts for engine rpm, speedometer, and water temperature and LCD display for odometer and tripmeter.
Headlight assembly features a computer designed multi-curvature reflector behind a clear plastic lens.
Rear cowl storage box for U-type and cable locking devices (not included) under the passenger seat.
Integrated ignition switch/fork lock for added security.
Convenient push-to-cancel turn-signal switch.
Transferable one-year unlimited-mileage limited warranty.
Magnetic tank bag.
Engine Type 599cc liquid-cooled inline four-cylinder
Bore and Stroke 67mm x 42.5mm
Compression Ratio 12.0:1
Valve Train DOHC; four valves per cylinder
Carburetion Four 36mm slanted flat-slide CV
Ignition Computer-controlled digital transistorized. with three-dimensional mapping
Transmission Close-ratio six-speed
Final Drive #525 O-ring-sealed chain
Suspension Front: 43mm HMAS cartridge fork with spring preload with rebound and compression damping adjustability;
4.7 inches travel.
Rear: Pro-Link HMAS single shock with spring preload, rebound and compression damping adjustability;
4.7 inches travel
Brakes Front: Dual disc with twin-piston calipers.
Rear: Single disc
Tires Front: 120/70ZR-17 radial
Rear: 180/55ZR-17 radial
Wheelbase 54.7 inches
Rake (Caster Angle) 24 degrees
Trail 96mm (3.78 inches)
Seat Height 31.9 inches
Dry Weight 372.6 pounds
Fuel Capacity 4.5 gallons, including 0.8-gallon reserve
Edited by: ctutorf4i at: 1/17/03 11:47:15 pm
(1/17/03 11:40 pm)
Here's the bottom line on Honda's CBR600F3: It's awesome. Whether you're a racer, canyon killer, commuter, or sport tourer, the CBR600F3 could be the perfect bike for you--not only is the F3 faster, smoother and better suspended than previous versions, it has captured that elusive quality that Japanese motorcycles lacked in recent decades: Personality.
So what gives the new F3 its new-found personality? Look no further than the new ram-air airbox -- not something you can see or hear in action -- but its there, nonetheless. And it gives you serious bragging and performance value -- the top-speed gain from this new airbox is phenomenal.
At Honda's semi-secret proving grounds in California's Mojave desert, we ran the new 1995 CBR600F3 side-by-side against its older sibling, the F2. Although there was no radar gun available, the new F3 is at least 5.0 mph faster than last year's model, and probably closer to seven or eight: our 1995 test bike indicated 175 mph around Honda's 7.5 mile flat oval test track while the 1994 model, decidedly slower, could only muster an indicated 167 or so. In the real world, this means that the F3 could be pushing 160 mph.
Seven miles per hour extra doesn't sound like much of a gain until you consider the amount of power needed to accomplish that -- basically, wind resistance is a function of the bike's frontal area times its coefficient of drag times the square of velocity, meaning that exponentially more amounts of power are needed for each mile per hour gain in speed. After doing the math, we'd guess that the new CBR600 makes seven or eight percent more top-end power, a figure difficult to verify on a dyno since its hard to get a 160 mph wind going in the dyno room!
In roll-on tests, the new F3 consistently chugged away from the F2, regardless of what gear we used or the speed we started at. However, in the real world, the deciding factor in winning roll-ons is weight: in our impromptu sessions, the lightest testers always left the heavier ones in the dust, regardless of what they were riding. Eventually, though, the CBR600F3s would always catch and pass the F2s, no matter who was riding what.
The bad news about the new F3, if there is any, is that it tips the scales at a claimed 407.9 pounds, without fluids. Comparatively, last year's F2 weight 2.2 pounds less -- never a good thing to gain weight as the years go by. The heavier bike was a surprise, since Honda went to great lengths to trim weight from the new machine: The headlight is now made of plastic and weighs 35 percent less than last year's, while the swingarm pivot has a larger diameter but is now hollow (generally, larger-diameter hollow tubes are more rigid than solid ones, and can be made lighter) to increase rigidity and save weight.
Conversely, metal has been added to the rear wheel, widening it by a half inch, to 5.0 inches. A new, CBR600F3-specific Bridgestone Battlax rear tire is mounted on the rear of the CBR600F3, and, according to Bridgestone, offers the best compromise between sporting grip and life span. Out on Honda's slick road course, the Battlax's performed well, showing minimal signs of wear after a day's testing, though traction wasn't as good as some racing-oriented compounds.
Inside the engine, the CBR600F3's engineers shortened the intake tracts and bumped compression from 11.6:1 up to 12:1 through a more compact combustion chamber and revised piston design. Further aiding power production throughout the rev range are new, low-friction piston rings that supposedly exert 10 percent less pressure on the cylinder wall.
The new pistons and rings are mated to lighter connecting rods, which, in turn, are secured to a new, five-main-bearing crankshaft via narrower crank pins--all in the interests of quicker acceleration.
Honda also ditched the old cam chain tensioner that had to be primed with oil on reassembly. Failure to do so led to improper cam-chain tension, meaning the valve timing would be off and the pistons could smash into them.
The engine, fed through new, larger, 36mm Keihin semi-downdraft carburetors (downdrafts are good for performance since the fuel will fall down to the motor of its own weight, and therefor, the manifold diameter can be larger) mates to a new exhaust system that features cross-connecting tubes on the pipe's headers, a la Yoshimura race pipes. This, says Honda, boosts midrange performance.
A new fairing on this year's model, slightly narrower and shorter, promises improved airflow to the engine and a lower coefficient of drag, comes in two color schemes: white, yellow & purple and white, purple & red. The fairing, in conjunction with a redesigned front fender, route more air to a new, curved radiatator which, due to its narrower width, reduces the overall width of the motorcycle. Even better, the new F3 runs five degrees cooler, due in part to increased flow to the radiator and because Honda increased the gear ratio in the water pump so it spins faster. In practice, the new system works: While drafting another journalist for three laps around the high-speed oval, our test bike never overheated despite sitting in a pool of buffeting, stagnant air behind the lead F3. Incidentally, while trailing the other rider at top speed, we felt no appreciable power loss -- and when pulling out of the draft, there was no power surge either.
And while its nice to pick up such a massive top speed gain between years -- especially if you race -- we felt an equally important improvement was the F3's suspension. Over the Honda Proving Center's speed bump-like surface, the new F3 performed flawlessly, absorbing walloping hits and allowing us to rid over mounds in the middle of an apex at speed, with confidence. In comparison, the F2's front end was unstable, prone to tankslapping across big bumps -- that you were better off going around--while the rear seemed overly harsh.
But there were no major revisions to the Honda's suspension. Indeed, they use the same rear shock as last year. Instead, Honda improved handling with a series of updates and improvements. First, the triple clamp was strengthened, adding stability. In conjunction with a new fork, which features spring preload adjustments and a new-for-1994 12-click rebound adjust, that improves rebound damping by submerging the rebound damping circuits in oil at the bottom of the fork (they used to be near the top), Honda has virtually eliminated the scary wobble that some bumps could set earlier models into.
At the rear, a new, less-linear rising-rate linkage hooks to the unchanged shock, which offers rebound damping adjusters in addition to a spring preload collar.
Out on the racetrack, the Honda's suspension worked flawlessly right out of the box: We never had to futz with any of the suspension's knobs, dials or other adjustments.
In truth, we would have preferred a more RR-type update with upside- down forks and maybe 15 pounds less pork to lug around. But we certainly wouldn't prefer to pay more than the manufacturer's suggested retail price of $7,299 (that's in US dollars). That's a $900 price increase in one year! But the good news for value shoppers -- which, as the dollar continues to drop against the yen, is just about all of us -- is that the new 1995 CBR600F3 will give us the best of both worlds: Race-winning speed and technology coupled with good ergonomics, a friendly riding position, and Honda's rock-solid reliability.
EXCLUSIVE 96' CBR600F3 FEATURES
Dual-Stage Air Induction system introduces a high-volume stream of cool, fresh air into the intake system to boost overall engine performance. However, unlike other ram air systems, which generally are designed to be eftective only at higher speeds, the Dual-Stage Air Induction system realizes a major boost in performance at all speeds, along with sharper throttle response and excellent linearity. This was achieved through the development of an innovative new two-stage system that precisely balances the air pressure within the carburetors' float and vacuum chambers with the air flowing through their bores. This reduces air pressure differentials that can adversely affect carburetor performance. The system consists of multiple intake ducts that feed pressurized air directly into the carburetor chambers to ensure optimal performance at both low and high speeds.
Liquid-cooled DOHC four-cylinder engine features light weight and high power.
One-piece upper crankcase/cylinder assembly and right-side camshaft-drive layout combine high rigidity and compact dimensions.
Sixteen-valve cylinder head incorporates a narrow, 32' included valve angle.
Compact combustion chambers and 12:1 compression ratio combine with low-friction piston rings, light connecting rods and small crank-pin diameters for excellent engine power and response.
Large, 36mm slanted flat-slide CV carburetors deliver responsive performance.
Computer-controlled ignition system using a three-dimensional map closely monitors throttle position and engine speed for precise response.
Mechanical cam chain adjuster gives quiet, reliable service in demanding conditions.
Direct, shim-under-bucket valve actuation system is compact, ensures high-rpm durability, and offers 16,000 mile valve-maintenance intervals.
NR-type curved radiator with large surface area.
High-capacity, liquid-cooled oil cooler.
Six-speed close-ratio transmission matches the engine's power band.
Four-into-two-into-one exhaust system gives a significant boost to mid-range power. Six-liter. canister-style silencer allows high performance while maintaining low noise levels.
Lightweight twin-spar steel frame is extremely rigid and offers precise handling.
Rigid, 41mm cartridge fork with spring preload adjusters features rebound damping adjuster submerged low in oil reselvoir to greatly reduce aeration during hard usage. CBR900RR-style fork protectors installed on top of sliders.
Pro-Link rear suspension system features spring preload and rebound and compression damping adjustability. Advanced DeCarbon-type shock has swirl-type oil passages for smooth valve operation.
Floating front disc brakes feature large-diameter 296mm drilled rotors using twin-piston calipers with sintered metal pads.
Single rear disc brake.
Cast aluminom wheels with wide, 5-inch rear rim permit mounting of wide-section 6-inch street tires and racing slicks for track use.
Fairing and bodywork design offer excellent wind and weather protection and low drag.
Durable, sealed O-ring drive chain.
Rectangular-section swingarm is lightweight and rigid.
Carefully designed seat/peg/bar relationship and wide seat offer good comfort and control.
Fully electronic one-piece instrument panel with electric speedometer eliminates wires and cable and reduces weight and complexity while ensuring high accuracy.
Lightweight, all-plastic headlight is 35 percent lighter than conventional glass headlights. The lens projects a sharper-edged pattern, and is protecte by a hard-coated, flush-mounted plastic cover.
Stalk-mounted front turn indicators allow easy removal for racing.
Left side-panel has a vent to allow a U-lock or cable to be hooked around sub-frame for added security.
Integrated ignition switch/fork lock.
Large-volume, 4.5-gallon fuel tank gives good cruising range.
Folding aero mirrors.
Convenient push-to-cancel turn-signal switch.
One-year transferable unlimited-mileage warranty.
Engine Type: 599cc liquid-cooled inline four-cylinder
Bore and Stroke: 65mm x 45.2mm
Compression Ratio: 12.0:1
Yalve Train: DOHC; four valves per cylinder
Carburetion: Four 36mm flat-slide CV
Ignition: Computer-controlled digital transistorized with three-dimensional mapping
Transmission: Close-ratio six-speed
Final Drive: O-ring-sealed chain
Suspension Front: 41mm cartridge fork with spring preload and rebound damping adjustability; 5.1 inces travel
Suspension Rear: Pro-Link single shock with seven-way spring preload, and rebound and compression damping adjustability; 4.3 inches travel
Brakes Front: Dual disc with twin-piston calipers
Brakes Rear: Single disc
Tires Front: 120/60Z-17 Bridgestone radial
Tires Rear: 160/60Z-17 Bridgestone radial
Whcelbase: 55.3 inches
Seat Height: 31.9 inches
Dry Weight: 405.6pounds
Fuel Capacity: 4.5gallons
Fuel Consumption 36 - 50 mpg; 45.9 mpg average
Average Touring Range 206 miles
Top Speed 161.4 mph
Standing 1/4-mil 11.02s @ 124.1 mph
Top Gear Roll-ons:
60-80 mph: 4.53 sec
80-100 mph: 5.36 sec
Edited by: ctutorf4i at: 1/17/03 11:48:17 pm
(1/17/03 11:41 pm)
When Honda's 600 Hurricane debuted in 1987, it was a revelation. Not only was it the quickest and most powerful middleweight ever made, but it also perfectly satisfied the disparate needs of street riders and racers alike, with a finesse no other sportbike had ever achieved before.
Four years later, when it was time to revamp the CBR600, Honda adhered to exactly the same formula to create the CBR600F2: class-leading performance, but with the same uncanny balance that characterized the original. Indeed, the F2 took over right where the Hurricane had left off, setting new class standards for peak power, acceleration and handling as well as comfort.
In its first two years, 1991 and 1992, the F2 won every 600-class comparison test in enthusiast magazines, even taking the laurels in two magazines as the best sportbike money could buy—period. The F2 took the AMA's 600 SuperSport title as well, even duplicating the original Hurricane's feat of winning every 600 SuperSport race on the calendar in 1991.
While the formula and the subsequent results were identical to the Hurricane's, the F2 was completely redesigned, from the wheels on up. The 599cc powerplant was six pounds lighter, considerably more compact and boasted an astonishing 100 horsepower, thanks to more oversquare cylinder dimensions, 2mm larger carburetors, a higher compression ratio and significant reductions in internal friction.
That more potent engine bolted into a stiffer, shorter-wheelbase frame that was composed of rectangular-section steel. And virtually every piece of unsprung weight was made lighter, yet more effective, from the brakes to the suspension components to the RC30-style U-spoke wheels and low-profile radial tires. Just as the F2's power and acceleration was a quantum leap over its predecessor, so was the F2's handling. And yet it still managed to balance those qualities with a comfort that marked the first CBR600 and still characterizes the current F4 model.
To say the enthusiast press liked the F2 understates the case:
"... the CBR600F2 ... combines a new standard of middleweight performance with the greatest comfort and versatility in the class." Cycle, July 1991
"The CBR has, above all, balance." Cycle World, July 1992
"Comfortable ergonomics, agile handling, and more horsepower than anything else in the class make the CBR600F2 the machine to beat." Motorcyclist, June 1992
"... the CBR600F2 takes a middleweight's inherent virtues and amplifies them into almost unassailable advantages." Sportbike, 1992
Over the course of its four-year tenure, the F2 remained virtually unchanged, a clear testament to the bike's inherent rightness. The F2, just as every CBR600 before or since, rewrote the rules of performance plus practicality, not only in the 600 class, but in all of motorcycling. Honda's CBR600F2 was a generation ahead of its competitors, and once again struck the perfect balance of poise and power.
Model: 1992 CBR600F2, 1991- 1994
Displacement: 599 cc,
Engine Type: Liquid cooled, vertical inline 4
Valves: DOHC, 16 (4 per cylinder, 2 intake and 2 exhaust)
Valve Adjustment: Shim under bucket
Carburetion: 4 - 34mm
Compression Ratio: 11.6:1
Bore and Stroke: 65.0 x 45.2 mm
Firing Order: 1-2-4-3
Overall Length: 80.3 inches
Wheel Base: 54.7 inches
Overall Height: 44.5 inches
Overall Width: 27.4 inches
Footpeg Height: 14.4 inches
Seat Height: 32.0 inches
Dry Weight: 405 pounds
Wet Weight: 452 pounds
Fuel Tank Capacity: 4.2 gallons
Front Tire: 120/60/17, 36psi
Rear Tire: 160/60/17, 42 psi
Coolant Capacity: 2.5 quarts
Crankcase Capacity: 3.7 quarts (with filter change)
Recommended Oil: SAE 10W-40
Final Drive: #525 o-ring sealed chain
Rake and Trail: 25' and 94 mm
Stock Transmission Gear Ratios:
1st: 2.928 (41:14)
2nd: 2.062 (33:16)
3rd: 1.588 (27:17)
4th: 1.368 (26:19)
5th: 1.200 (24:20)
6th: 1.086 (25:23)
This dyno test is for a before (red line) and after (blue line) the installation of a K&N air filter. Everything else on the bike is assumed to be stock (pipe, sprocket etc.).
Edited by: ctutorf4i at: 3/18/03 7:38:53 am
(1/17/03 11:42 pm)
Some motorcycles raise the bar. Others rewrite the rules. In the 1987 sportbike game, Honda's CBR®600F, better known as the 600 Hurricane,® was clearly one of the latter.
Introduced along with its big brother the CBR1000F, Honda's 600 Hurricane was a revolution. The reason was clearly visible in the Hurricane's aerodynamic, full-coverage bodywork. Less visible was the technological paradigm shift that blew away every other middleweight sportbike on earth and forever changed the way sportbikes were designed and built.
Honda engineers wrapped the Hurricane's engine and chassis in full-coverage, interlocking bodywork for more than aerodynamic reasons. Beneath the Hurricane's slick plastic skin, engine and chassis surfaces appeared unfinished, almost industrial. Development dollars saved on hardware beautification were spent instead on components that would redefine sportbike performance.
While the Hurricane's double-downtube, box-section steel-tube frame may have looked plain, the balance of agility and stability provided by its 54.6-inch wheelbase and racy 26.0-degree rake was beautiful. The Hurricane's trio of disc brakes were the best in the business, and at about 450.0 pounds wet, the bike was 20.0 pounds lighter than its nearest rival.
Power came from a dramatically oversquare, liquid-cooled, twin-cam in-line four-cylinder engine. With half the cylinder and head castings of the 500 Interceptor's® V-4 engine, the in-line CBR mill was less expensive to produce. The Hurricane engine redlined at 12,000 rpm and cranked out 85 horsepower at eleven grand—enough power to make the Hurricane the first 600cc sportbike to cover a quarter-mile in under 11 seconds.
As the magazines of the day discovered, no other sportbike could match the Hurricane's marvelously balanced, accessible mix of horsepower and handling at any price, let alone the Hurricane's affordable sticker. The esteemed Cycle magazine dubbed the Hurricane "The best Japanese motorcycle we have ever tested" in its May, 1987 issue.
The Hurricane's humane ergonomics and compliant ride proved that track-sharp handling didn't have to hurt anybody but the competition. Backed by Honda's investment in one of the richest contingency programs in history, Hurricanes filled club-racing grids all over America, launching 600 SuperSport racing into the limelight as one of the most popular and hotly contested road-racing series in the world.
Perhaps more powerful is the enduring and endearing nature of Honda's original CBR concept: the same basic concept found in the current CBR600F4. Other ideas have come and gone, but CBR600s have been the best-selling sportbike in America since the original Hurricane. From rookie sport riders to 2000 Daytona 600 SuperSport winner Kurtis Roberts, no sportbike has ever provided such exceptional versatility as Honda's revolutionary CBR600.
CBR600 Hurricane 1987-1990
Type 598 cc, Liquid cooled, 4 - cylinders in line
Bore x stroke (mm) 63 * 48
Valves per cylinder 4
Gears 6 speed
Power (Hp/rpm) 85 / 11000
Torque (Nm/rpm) 59 / 8500
Brakes front dual disc
Brakes rear single disc
Tires front 110/80-17
Tires rear 130/80-17
Seat Height 810 mm
Wheelbase 1405 mm
Fuel Capacity - reserve 16,5 l
Dry Weight 182 kg
* 11.38 sec. 1/4mile acceleration
* 144mph top speed
Edited by: ctutorf4i at: 3/18/03 7:43:26 am
(1/18/03 7:28 am)
Re: Hurricane/ F1|
Great job Slayer. Thanks for all the reviews and great pic's!
HSN Chicken Stripper
(2/19/03 10:00 am)
(3/11/03 3:00 am)
Re: CBR 600's Reviews: 600RR, F4i, F4, F3, F2 and Hurricane|
Excellent work, that was very helpful. That must have taken quite a while to post all of that. Do you have any pics of the Hurricane, F1? I am curious to see what the original looked like
(3/11/03 10:13 am)
Re: Hurricane/ F1|
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