So what is the difference between a CBF and CBR? That was my first question. When you stand before them side by side, you don’t really notice the differences, other than the obvious colour, until they are pointed out to you. However, take each one for a ride and the differences will present themselves.
The CBF seating position is pretty much a 90 degree ride with feet on pegs with straight legs. The CBR is a super sport designed for the track so seating position is more like a 45 degree, one with the bike, with foot pegs and controls placed behind so that your legs are hugging the frame of the bike as you ride. That is the difference you will notice without ever leaving the parking lot. But I couldn’t leave it at that. “Whose got the keys?”
Both models offer the liquid cooled inline-four cylinder 599 cc engine. Both are fuel injected so no throttle required when using the push button start. ABS brakes are another commonality as is the six speed transmission.
On the road, the CBF is easy to operate. Visual bar displays are easy to see and read, seating position is very comfortable which makes this a great bike for every day use. Ease of acceleration through the gears and enough compression that when you let off the throttle you will slow down but not with a jerk that will cause you whiplash. Rapid acceleration makes the transition from city to highway speed effortlessly. When on the highway, the bike is very lightweight so expect some shimmy when trucks pass by or you come to an open area where wind gusts are free to flow.
Mount a CBR600RR and your adrenaline just gets pumping. Head out on the road and you’re in for some fun. Suspension on this model has a completely different feel while riding compared to the CBF600 even though both models have an adjustable rear suspension. CBF offers single shock with adjustable preload and 4.9″ of travel while CBR has a Unit Pro-Link HMAS single shock with full adjustability and 5.1″ travel. The difference is a smooth ride versus a bit more ruggedness over bumps and pavement flaws.
Full fairing on the CBR has you cutting through any wind and maintaining speed without body stress that you will face with the CBF. Both models boast ABS brakes and dual seating in case you ride with a passenger. Three colour options with the CBR and black only for the CBF.
The only challenge I had while riding was the angle on my wrists while riding the CBR. Due to the layout of the bike, your wrists take the weight of your body and the angle tests your endurance. However, compared to the smile on your face, the wrist pain becomes forgotten.
If you are looking for an entry level bike that will give you room to grow and develop your skills, I would highly recommend either of these two models. For first time riders, go with the CBF, for riders upgrading from the CBR125, go with the CBR.
Suggested retail price for these bikes is approximately $10K for the CBF and around $13K for the CBR.