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Off restrictions upgrade: Hornet 600 or CBR600F3

Discussion in 'Bike Reviews, Questions and Suggestions' at netrider.net.au started by LukeD, Jan 4, 2009.

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  1. 98 Hornet 600

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  2. 95-98 CBR600 (F3 or F4)

    0 vote(s)
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  3. 95-98 CBR900 Fireblede

    0 vote(s)
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  4. VFR750f (96ish)

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  1. Hi everyone and thanks in advance for your help. This is my first post here but have been an avid reader for ages. Anyway, on to the point.

    I am getting off restrictions very soon and want to upgrade. I am 5'6", 70kg and find the 600 Hornet just a tiny bit taller then I am confortable with (give me a few days and it would be fine, I rode one on the HART course a while back and thought it was great).

    I currently ride a GPX250 and having just came back from 4000km around victoria, act and a bit of nsw I have decided it is time to move on and get a bigger bike.

    I ride long trips when I can but most of all I ride in the city and suburbs (every day rain hail or shine). I don't ride with a pillion (can't yet and have no need in the immediate future) and I love bikes of many shapes and sizes (cept cruisers :mad: ).

    Every bike has fans, but what I am thinking of (mainly because of price, brand and reputation) are the CBR600f3/f4 and the CB600 Hornet. I know these are very different bikes and believe me I have looked for similar posts but no luck. I know that the Hornet is going to be slower and have less wind protection and a lower top speed. But I rode the Hornet and it felt very stable and predictable (though the throttle seems a little twitchy in comparison to a ZXR750 that I have ridden). Oh, and it is important to remember, these are the same price, they are cheap and given another 2-5k I could definitely find a better bike, but the budget says either 600 Hornet or CBR600f so sorry guys but a cbr1000rr or an R1 is not on the cards.

    I guess my main questions are:
    1. Are these the best choices in the price range? I have seen VFR750s for a similar price but heard they sound like sowing machines



    2. Given that they are both older (both about 95-98 models) which handles better for normal riding and in the twisties? And can it be easily and cheaply improved?

    3. Since I have to ride city every day, are they both good choices?

    4. The hornet is the first model, the cbr is after a few years of refinement, is the old hornet good?

    Any help would be appreciated, I know it is a bit like comparing apples and oranges but hey, I like both apples and oranges. Either bike needs to do big kms, I have done about 10k in the last 4 months on my bike (love weekend rides) and to me riding is fun, I don't have to race so while I like the cbr, i don't feel too many urges to overtake everything in front of me (of course on a gpx250 you can't overtake much faster than a tractor). Comfort is important, but safety, reliability and predictability are far more important.

    Hope people have a few ideas here, especially people that have ridden both. Other ideas are welcomed but price is my concern, I had also considered a cbr900 fireblade of the same era but I have a feeling that it is a bit too much of a jump in power.


    Thanks again, all the best

    Luke
     
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  2. I'm biased, but let me tell you my story.

    I bought my '98 600 Hornet in March '05, with around 55,000 kms on the clock. I've serviced it regularly, crashed it regularly, done every sort of riding from commuting to 1228kms in a day and it now has 126,000 kms on the clock, with the cam covers yet to be lifted, and only a couple of battery problems counting as breakdowns. A small handle-bar-mounted screen takes care of the long touring days, and a higher wattage headlight globe takes care of night riding.

    The fuel tank IS small; I get around 230kms before switching to reserve and very few after doing so, but on a trip that sort of distance is a good excuse to stop for a drink and some photos anyway.

    The 16" front tyre on the '98 model DOES limit your front tyre choice; I use Bridgestone BT-014s on the front, and BT-021s on the rear.
     
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  3. That is a big negative, a tiny tank. As you may guess, it never came up as an issue on my HART course... And the regularly crashing it sounds less than ideal, but I assume that is from being silly and having a great time rather than it having poor handling. Sounds like you are suggesting the Hornet? But it sounds like it is putting me off the Hornet... Not sure.

    Luke
     
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  4. I think due to availability I think you'll find a better condition CBR than hornet for the money. The CBR is an old race bike, the handling is fine, the engine is fine and the brakes are ok. I find getting about the city and traffic to be great on the CBR, haven't tried the Hornet to compare it to though. I *think* you'll find better grade equipment on the similar year CBR compared to Hornet.

    The CBR has 17" front and rear, finding tyres is easy. The Hornet and CBR have similar engines, so the longevity that 'hornet' (man this is getting confusing) is describing will also be true for the CBR. I bought mine at 20k kms, it now has 56k kms - one replaced battery, one upgraded headlamp and the rest is pretty much handbook service.

    A couple of notes from my CBR; because of the aftermarket pipe it come with, I fitted a k&n filter and had a jet kit professionaly installed. That made a great improvement to the ridability of the bike, there was much more power in the middle of the range.

    I don't like being blasted by the wind so I fitted a powerbronze double bubble screen, great investment - it has made riding in the winter much less of a chore.

    After a lot of heavy use (track day) you'll most likely find the stock brakes wanting, I'm about to fit some braided lines to try remedy this.
     
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  5. If you ride the CBR enthusiastically you'll be switching over at 180kms, if you're just on the highway you may get up to 230-250kms before switching over, this is pretty typical of most sports bikes that I'm aware of. It can vary greatly depending on what mods you have done and what the tank size is.
     
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  6. how will braided lines improve your braking?
     
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  7. By giving positive fluid movement rather than the flexing/bulging that rubber lines have.
     
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  8. There's already a fair bit on this topic on these forums, some guys that know more than me have explained it well. Try the search function.
     
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  9. Hi Luke, I'm looking at both these bikes as a future upgrade. Both are excellent from what I've discovered. Both can also be lowered ( I'm only 5'4" - you think You're having trouble? :LOL: )
    I've narrowed my list down to :
    1- 2000-2005 CBR600F ( banana seat ). I believe the the 2000+ models were lighter, later ones were injected, and the 05 model has a better looking set of gauges. $5500- $9000
    2- A faired 2000-2001 Hornet 600, $5000-$6000
    3- A 2008 Hornet 600, $8000-$9000
    I'll be looking for advice very soon myself.
     
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  10. Expand your short list to include something that doesn't have Honda on the tank and you will find many more options that suit your needs with less compromise.

    Whatever you want to get, see about riding as many of the bikes as possible to see what clicks with you.
     
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  11. :shock:
    Bite Your Tongue!
     
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  12. Either of those bikes (the 600s) will get the job done admirably, and you may well be able to get some that put you into this decade for the same money or not much more. Really depends on what you want to do, but given you're putting on the big trips... probably the CBR600f, since it's got the full fairing but still a relatively upright riding position.

    Actually, within this range, it might be more important to find a really excellent individual bike rather than to specify a make and model in advance...
     
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  13. Oh yeah, the Fireblade is a great bike but probably a bit sporty for your normal riding patterns, just in terms of comfort, and the VFR is also a great bike but pretty technically complicated and getting on a bit, so service costs might be a factor to consider.
     
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  14. Not bloody likely! :twisted:

    Before you go further with your decision making process, make a couple of insurance enquiries for the relevant bikes. Just something else to consider.
     
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  15. an f4 is miles better than a f3 (alloy frame, better engine) if you can afford it

    what about yzf600 thundercats, zx6r ninjas, gsxr-600s, tt600? the middleweight class is well catered for
     
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  16. They really don't fit in with what he wants to do with the bike.
     
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  17. my god a hornet topic i missed!

    Ok i have a 1998 Hornet 600.
    I bought it a few years ago, spent 12 months modding it, and have been riding it now for nearly 2 years. WHen i got it, it had 24,000kms. i just hit 43,000kms.

    i LOVE IT.
    I commute on it
    i go long distance on it (i.e riding from Adelaide to Phillip island & back)
    I do track days on it
    i go twisty road riding on it.

    it handles great, makes you want to pop wheelies, and the whole time it says to you 'give it to me, biatch!'

    plus there are SOOO many things you can do to mod this bike to be more personal.

    having said all that - i haven't ridden the other bikes in your list so can't compare.

    i will say the small tank is a pain, but it's really not too bad - i always managed to find a petrol station on the road from Adelaide to Melbourne & never got stranded before my tank ran out.
     
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  18. oops double post.

    hornets rule lol
     
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  19. hahahaha whatever makes you happy. atleast it will look shiny. sick!
     
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  20. Oh sweet! A troll arrived. Nice!

    Welcome to NR.
     
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