‘Honda know what they are doing’
‘You will struggle to buy a bad CBR600F on the used market’
“The CBR600F was a fantastic bike, a really solid machine and you will struggle to buy a bad one on the used market. Like all Hondas of that era, the camchain tensioner is a bit weak, but it’s not a massive issue. Getting it out can be a bit of a fiddle as it is fairly well tucked away and a banjo for the fuel pipe gets in the way, but a bit of persistence and you should be fine to swap it yourself.
“Some riders swear by fitting a manual tensioner, but personally I don’t trust them. You never know how tight to do them up and most of the time people over tighten them, putting more load on the chain and potentially causing it to snap, which is massive issue. I always think Honda know what they are doing and although they do wear out, the actual tensioner itself has been updated quite a few times over the years and the latest one is pretty reliable. You get a load of warning should it be on its way out and a new unit is just under £100 and takes an hour and a half for a garage to fit. Personally, if I had bought a used bike I’d get a new one fitted when the bike is already being serviced to save costs and be on the safe side. “The CBR does suffer a bit from charging issues, but this is mainly down to a faulty reg/rec. Again, swapping it is fairly easy and most times it is the reg/rec rather than the generator. You can check using a multimeter (there are internet guides) but the easiest way is to take off the cover and see if the generator is black – if it is then it is shot!
“The exhaust is steel and can rot from the inside out as water collects in it at its lowest point. Give it a good inspection and also listen for pinging or ticking sounds when the engine is running as the water boils. Oddly, crashed CBRS often develop ECU issues as the cut-out sensor seems to create a spike. Always check any crashed used bike starts as a replacement ECU is costly if you can’t find a used one.
“Owners complain the CBR has a high tickover on choke, but that’s just one of their traits. The problem with this is that some owners slam the bike into gear when it is revving, which can damage the gearbox. My advice is to put the bike in first and then start it with the clutch in.”
Check for corroded exhausts (they rot from the inside) and gearbox wear