A Travelling Salesman

When I passed my test back in early March I was faced with the possibility of a six week wait before my staff bike GSX650F was available – an eternity when you are as keen as mustard! I couldn’t wait that long and after a few days scouring the classifieds and doing my homework on suitable first big bikes I came across this tidy looking Honda CBR600F on eBay.

The owner lived less than fifteen miles away and the price looked about right, for the age and mileage. A test ride and £1,900 later the deal was done and she was mine.

This if the FX (1999, 2000) version of the CBR600F, and it has some significant differences over earlier versions.  The riding position is reckoned to be more sports bike than the earlier versions and it’s also the first CBR600 to have an aluminium chassis making it significantly lighter than previous models.  The engine in mine is carb fed; they went to fuel injection a year later paving the way for the current 600RR models. Still the carb fed motor is reckoned to be good for 108 bhp and it certainly feels good for it as well, particularly as it’s only got 11,000 miles on the clock.

The bike isn’t perfect, however, and Moby’s sound words of “don’t buy the first thing you see” (which I did) may turn out to be prophetic.  Aside from the ancient Michelin touring rubber and the totally illegal race can complete with the words “not for road use” stamped in full view there are the following issues, the rear brake is pretty crap, the engine is very fluffy low down (probably due to the can), the rear shock is clearly buggered, the centre stand rubs the very cruddy looking chain, and there is a slight knock from the handlebars when applying the brakes.  Apart from that she’s all good!

Still I’ve had six months summer fun with the MOT due next week. Wish me luck!

James ‘Ginge’ Thomas (FB’s advertising Account Manager)


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