‘It’s boring, but very good and extremely reliable’
“If you want a bike that delivers total reliability then the CBF600 is a great buy. In fact, it is so reliable that I am struggling to think of many issues to watch out for. If it looks a good, tidy, bike that has been looked after then you should be pretty safe.
“If a CBF has been left standing for a while then the carbs might need a bit of a clean out, which isn’t a massive problem and more than possible for a competent home mechanic. When you do it, always change the seals for items that don’t react with ethanol as when the CBF was built, petrol had a far lower ethanol content. The CBF also responds well to having its carbs balanced, which can improve fuel economy and make it run sweeter.
“As with any older CBRstyle engine, get the motor warm and when you blip the throttle listen out for a rattle on the over-run that indicates the camchain tensioner is on its way out. But again, this isn’t a big job to fix and won’t cost the earth. Always look out for any ABS warning lights as this can be costly to fix. I’ve seen a few bikes whose owners have forgotten to remove the disc lock and that has bent the disc or broken the ABS sensor. Other than the odd charging issue and broken panels, you are only looking for wear and tear on the CBF. It’s a boring, but very good bike and you know exactly what you are getting. There are no mechanical surprises to worry about. “To be honest, the older Hornetengined CBF is a more reliable machine than the later RRpowered one. On the newer bike, water can collect and cause the loom to fail, which actually led to a recall from Honda. If the speedo is starting to miss-read, check the loom under the tank on the left hand side where the earths bolt onto the frame. If this area is badly corroded, which causes the speedo sensor to fail, then you are in trouble.”
‘If it’s a tidy, bike that’s been looked after then you should be safe’
Carbs can need cleaning and balancing and listen for camchain rattles