This bike has nothing to fear but a Bandit
Smart and well styled, with a terrific engine and an equally good gearbox, the CBF is a bike we’ve been waiting for. But lurking by the roadside is a bandit – and it’s a lot cheaper. Suzuki’s Bandit 1250S with a bit more power, a lot more torque and similar running gear as well. Will the CBF be robbed of sales success?
Well, it has its own advantages. Don’t be fooled by the initially more impressive engine output of the Suzuki. The Honda is significantly smoother and better mannered and stays with the Bandit pretty well in both acceleration and top speed. And while the fuel economy is not quite as good, the Honda has a noticeably better clutch and gearbox.
The CBF looks smaller and more delicate than the Bandit, too. Surprisingly, this is actually more a matter of styling than fact; the Honda is only 5kg lighter and its adjustable seat is only 5mm lower.
Unusually for a Honda it also offers a terrific range of accessories. You can get everything from an alarm to a hugger and a magnetic tank bag to a choice of two complete three-box luggage kits, and from a rear seat cover to a U-lock.
The luggage, sourced from Givi (not a bad thing at all), is colour coded to the red or black bikes. The panniers have small protective rubber bumpers on them and you can even buy a bike cover to protect bike and baggage from the elements. The seat height is 795mm but there is provision to raise or lower it by 15mm. Long-legged riders will want to set this high, while shorties can slip it lower – once again, Goldilocks rules.
Handlebar mounts can be reversed to shift the bars 10mm further forward, but the position seemed pretty good to me. Pillions are well looked after with good seat, seating position and grab rails. It’s a relaxed ride on the back.
CBF or Bandit? Style or thump? Smoothness or power? It’s yours to decide; lucky you.
Model: Honda CBF 1000
Price: $14,990 (plus on-road charges)
Warranty: Two years, unlimited distance
Power: 72kW @ 8000rpm
Torque: 93Nm @ 6500rpm
Engine: Liquid cooled inline four, 16 valves DOHC, PGM-FI electronic fuel injection and digital ignition
Bore x stroke: 75 x 56.5mm
Transmission: Six-speed, wet multi plate clutch, final drive by O-ring chain
Suspension: Front, 41mm cartridge type telescopic fork, travel 120 mm. Rear, lever-type monoshock, preload adjustable, 120mm travel.
Dimensions: Seat height 795mm +/- 15mm), weight 242kg (wet), fuel capacity 19 litres, wheelbase 1480mm
Tyres: Front, 120/70 ZR 17. Rear, 160/60 ZR 17
Frame: Diamond, mono-backbone
Brakes: Front, twin 296mm discs with 3 piston Combined calipers. Rear, 240mm disc with 3 piston Combined caliper. ABS.
Top speed: 230km/h
0-100km/h: 3.8 sec
60-100km/h: 3.6 sec
Fuel consumption: 5.5 litres per 100km, unleaded
Theoretical range: 380km
Colours: Nightstar black, pearl sienna red. The yellow in the photos is not available in Australia.