Twenty-five years and two days ago, we had this to say about Honda’s numba-One selling motorcycle in the USA – Honda CBR600F3. Did it say something wrong, or did our taste just change? Show me something more masochistic and expensive, please…
“With this much performance on tap, you’d be forgiven in expecting a seating position akin to a medieval torture table.”
We had the opportunity to ride Honda’s number one seller, and their number one bike off the 1996 model production line. The fun only lasted a couple days before we had to return the bike, but it long was enough to rekindle the love affair with the amazing middle weight. All aspects of the bike — handling, brakes, suspension, fit and finish — are top of the line. But just reading from a list of parts doesn’t begin to convey the tactile experience of actually riding one of these bikes.
Steering is light and precise, and the suspension and tires work together at keeping the bike planted in the corners. Hauling the bike down from over 150 mph is no sweat with brakes strong enough to float the rear end at every stop. With this much performance on tap, you’d be forgiven in expecting a seating position akin to a medieval torture table.
The happy truth is that the F3 comes with one of the most comfortable peg/seat/bar relationships in the class. With all that going for it, it’s no wonder Honda chose not to mess with their best-selling bike in America.
Manufacturer: Honda Model: 1996 CBR600F3 Price: $7699 Engine: dohc, 16-valve, inline-Four Bore x stroke: 65.0 x 45.2mm Displacement: 599cc Carburetion: (4) 36 mm Keihin Transmission: 6-speed Wheelbase: 55.3 in. Seat height: 31.9 in. Fuel capacity: 4.5 gal. Claimed dry weight: 405.6 lbs. Time to distance: (not corrected for weather, rider talent, or anything.) 60ft 1.735 seconds 1/4 mile 11.317 @ 119 mph