The CBR600 has always held a special place in my heart due to the fact that it was the first motorcycle that I ever owned. It was a 1987 Hurricane F1 and though it is primitive bike by today's standards, in it's day it was quite an impressive performer. Though I have not had a chance to ride the 2000/01 F4, the 1998 CBR600 I owned was virtually identical. I am not even going to begin to argue the the CBR600 versus the Yamaha R6. Both are very impressive bikes that handle and perform
quite similarly. I've had the opportunity to ride both bikes and couldn't even imagine having to decide which is better. Anyone who could decisively choose one bike over the other based purely on performance, you have my admiration.
The CBR600 F4 offers quite a bit of impressive features for any avid fans of 600 cc sportbikes. It is lightweight, packs plenty of power (107 hp at the rear wheel), and offers smooth handling and cornering at ALL speeds. The bike will get you up to 60 mph in just over 3 seconds. One of the most pleasant surprises about the bike is that the power is ample throughout the powerband. Unlike the older CBR's that I owned, the F4's have plenty of power with little to no lag at 3000 rpm. And peak power begins around 6500 rpm.
One thing often overlooked by sportbike riders is comfort. No one really expects to be all that comfortable on a sportbike, so a lot of riders don't even consider it. The CBR600 F4 is surprisingly comfortable for a sportbike though. It allows the rider to maintain an upright position just as easily as the crouched position. Try doing that on most other bikes and see how sore your back and arms are after 3 hours of riding. Another great feature is the relatively low and set back position of the pegs. Your legs are not as cramped up as with many other bikes. Though this does lower corning ground clearance, unless you are racing or an extremely aggressive street rider, there will be no cornering side effects.
Do not be confused... this is not a superbike. The handling is not going to be like that of a Honda CBR929 Super Hawk or RC51. But the lighter weight and fully adjustable suspension is going to make pretty darn close. The adjustable suspension is also easily changed, requiring only simple tools (screwdriver). In my opinion this is great feature. The roads where I ride are consistently bumpy, cracked, and pot-holed from the freezing winter temperatures. Softening up the suspension only marginally affected handing while greatly improving the ride quality.
Overall the CBR600 F4 is a great bike for all but the most advanced riders. If you think this bike is not enough for you, then you are either a truely skilled rider or kidding yourself. And at only about $7900.00 for a new one, it's a great buy, too.
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