Honda CBF1000F won't tie you in knots
Not every sports rider wants to ride crouched on their bike like a monkey on a stick - and fewer still can afford to have a bike for every reason.
Like it or not we need, a bike that can do everything - commuting, getting out of town on weekends, and even the occasional blast around the circuit on a track day.
Honda's entries in this segment are called CBF (because they're all four-cylinder bikes) and now there's a litre-class flagship in the series - the CBF1000F.
Honda touts it as an easy-riding step up for born-agains and young riders stepping up from a 600 - although they may be limiting themselves!
The engine is derived from the previous-generation CBR1000RR engine, detuned for more mid-range at the expense of some top-end rush, delivering a quoted 79kW at a mild 9000rpm (the original version would happily spin well into five figures) and a creditable 96Nm at 6500rpm.
Its PGM-FI electronic fuel-injection system constantly measures engine speed, throttle input and operating conditions in deliver responsive power and throttle response, via 36mm throttle bodies, each with a 12-hole injectors for optimum fuel atomisation.
Honda quotes fuel consumption of 5.4 litres per 100km; given a 20 litre fuel-tank, the CBF1000F should be good for about 360km on a tankful; we'll reserve judgment until we've ridden one.
The rest of the drive train is also lifted from the Fireblade, with an industry-standard six-speed 'box and chain final drive.
It's mounted as a stressed member, with the swing-arm pivot passing through both the engine plates and gearbox casing for maximum stiffness at this crucial point, giving it a compact (by big-bike standards) 1495mm wheelbase. The conventional 41mm forks - adjustable for preload only - are spaced well apart for precise steering while the rear monoshock can be tuned for both preload and rebound damping.
Six-spoked, 17” cast-alloy rims complete the running gear, modulated by dual 296mm discs, each with twin-piston calliper, in front and a single-piston calliper gripping a 240mmm disc at the rear. Honda's effective but fiendishly complex linked brakes with anti-lock function are standard.
Honda has also taken pains that the CBF shall all things to all riders by making the screen adjustable to four positions over a range of 120mm, and seat height through three levels from 780-810mm, while the bars drop the rider into a natural, slightly forward-leaning riding position.
The headlight clusters are borrowed from the CBR600RR, garnished with cute little LED indicators and an unusually bright tail light.
This is not a kids' bike, so the instrumentation is centred on a large, central analogue rev counter, surrounded by digital readouts for speed, distance, time, fuel, consumption and range.
The Honda CBF1000F weighs 245kg ready to go and is available in pearl red or pearl white, at R90 000.