Editor ‘arris gets to try out the CBF1000 while in Cape Breton on a Honda get-together. After exclaiming the virtues of small over large, does he still believe it?
When I first picked up the CBF600 I was immediately concerned that we’d asked for the wrong long-termer. Needing some revs to utilize to the max as well as some buzziness coming from the motor, the 600 didn’t immediately twig with me.
But then I slowly switched out of North American mode and back into Euro and thoroughly fell in love with the thing. But love is fickle and the chance to ride the bigger CBF1000 at a recent Honda Canada get-together in Cape Breton has divided my affections.
MORE OF EVERYTHING
I had expected the (revamped for 2010) CBF1000 to lack the charm and subtleties of the 600 but what I found instead was a bike that shared the same core feel but with a little more of everything – torque, power, comfort and even wind protection.
It was perhaps a perfect bike for the helter-skelter ride that is the Cabot Trail and I quickly fell for the instant grunt that made a short slip by a bloated camper on a double yellow a stress free moment.
The motor has power everywhere despite the “detuned for more low to midrange power” that can just gut a motor. Here the returning is perfect for this reworked CBR motor, translating to predictable, balanced and, dare I say, user-friendly power delivery.
There’s no need to drop it down a gear to pass (though you can if you want to do it in a flash) or even think for that matter, and the motor’s buzz-free to boot.
The brakes — much like the 600 — are all you really need for this type of bike and were always there when I found a gentle corner on the Cabot was actually a hairpin halfway around! ABS comes as standard too.
The riding position is very similar to the 600, relaxed but allowing for a sporty posture if the road demands it. Well, you can slip an arse cheek off one side, drop the knee slightly and then just rail around a corner in a perfect sweep without anything touching down – perfect for Cape Breton!
Another thing I really liked is the 4-position screen that can be adjusted without tools and comes up higher than the 600’s for better wind protection. Hell, about the only thing I wasn’t enamoured with is the styling, but then I’m a little old school when it comes to looks.
Though my tester didn’t come with bags, Honda does offer side and top boxes for the CBF1000 (about $1700 for the lot) making it a must-consider option for anyone who’s looking for a big-bore touring machine.
A LOVE LOST
My flirtations with the 1000 only lasted for the day and the next day I felt a little sheepish (what happens in Cape Breton stays in Cape Breton) as I mounted the CBF600 once more – even though it had been thrashed the previous day by Glenn from Motorcycle Mojo.
Fully loaded and ready for the return leg home the 600 quickly reminded me that she was not to be so easily overlooked, coping perfectly well with an encore ride on the Cabot, albeit with a lot more gear changes.
Okay, so I had to think about passing rather than just doing, but these factors force you to be a better rider too, and that’s not all bad.
So the CBF1000 may be a bigger version of the 600, but is it better? I think I’d have to say yes from my one day romp around the Cabot Trail. Add the bags and topbox and you have a mighty usable touring machine that can get down and sporty any time you need it to and with more of everything to boot.
I still think the CBF600 is a superb machine, I just now know there’s even better out there …