Classic CBR 600 as first bike?

Classic CBR 600 as first bike?

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Discussion

Stu-nph26

Original Poster:

920 posts

49 months

Monday 17th June
quotequote all
So I'm doing my CBT on Sunday and dead keen to do the DAS to commute to work. I did have my heart set on a Ninja 650 as I'm 6-4 and heard they are very accommodating for the taller rider. However, stories of dropping the bike and an insurance quote of over £1200 have put me off.

A friend at work suggested looking at a classic CBR 600 which can be had for about a £1000 and the insurance as its a classic is less than £200. So for obvious reasons, this seems like a no brainer for 12 months or so until I can upgrade to something bigger, maybe give it a couple of years and get a 1000cc of some variety as that's ultimately what I'd like.

So I'm after some advice is a 20 year old CBR a crazy idea and will it be far too much for a new rider? Thanks in advance.

Rubin215

3,316 posts

100 months

Monday 17th June
quotequote all
For a grand you will easily get something much newer and more commute friendly.

Off the top of my head you should be looking at Bandit 600's, Fazers and early ER6's.

don29

326 posts

149 months

Monday 17th June
quotequote all
I did exactly that after passing my test at 25 and regretted it.

For a novice biker it was just too powerful.

Even my examiner suggested I rethink my choice and look at a 250 or 400 as a first bike.

I ended up selling the CBR after 12 months having done less than 1200 miles on it.

In hindsight I should have listened to the examiner and bought something smaller to start with.

Scobblelotcher

1,202 posts

56 months

Monday 17th June
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Just to play devils advocate for a while, sure some new riders will drop a bike, but it’s not guaranteed for everyone. In fact I know many haven’t dropped a bike and if you get some frame sliders, bar ends etc damage can be minimised by a drop.

My first bike was a GSXR-600 which I never dropped. It’s also fairly docile at low revs and only really gets going above 8k so was very easy to ride around town and had to be wound up to get the most from it which allowed me to build my experience/skills before going wild.

With that said, getting a older/cheaper bike as your first bike is never bad advice.

Pothole

27,153 posts

226 months

Monday 17th June
quotequote all
don29 said:
I did exactly that after passing my test at 25 and regretted it.

For a novice biker it was just too powerful.

Even my examiner suggested I rethink my choice and look at a 250 or 400 as a first bike.

I ended up selling the CBR after 12 months having done less than 1200 miles on it.

In hindsight I should have listened to the examiner and bought something smaller to start with.
You just should have grown a pair and done some real miles on the CBR.

ClaphamGT3

7,495 posts

187 months

Monday 17th June
quotequote all
Talking about CBR600s as classic bikes makes me feel really old!

A twenty year-old CBR600 is right on the cusp of the transition from the FW model to the FX, which are very different bikes. The FX still feels quite modern whereas the W is definitely feels of an older generation.

Both however are easy to ride and forgiving if you don’t want to go 10/10ths everywhere and very reliable. One thing that I would say, given your height is that they do have quite a sporty riding position, with your legs folded and a lot of weight taken on your wrists.

Maybe, before making a choice, think about the sort of riding you plan to do and what sort of bike would suit that

Klippie

1,535 posts

89 months

Tuesday 18th June
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I jumped straight of a 125 to a spanking new CBR 6 yes it was a bit intimidating and felt like a missile but like anything else you get used to it, remember it only goes as fast as you twist the throttle.

Get one bought and enjoy yourself.

Google [bot]

5,039 posts

125 months

Tuesday 18th June
quotequote all
I've got an F4 (last of the carby ones) as my first post-provisional bike, though I had 18 months on a BMW G650GS before that which I suppose could count as a big bike.

As Scobblelotcher says above, they really are very docile unless you rev them out (6k+). It still feels insane in the upper rev range (to me). I've done over 15kkms in 10 months of mostly commuting on a variety of roads and I'm not really tempted to upgrade as it's just perfect for me. I cannot imagine what more fun/practicality:$ I could gain. Being the biggest/best bike I've owned though I suppose I would say that.

I wouldn't hesitate to recommend one.

Pothole

27,153 posts

226 months

Tuesday 18th June
quotequote all
I rode various 100s and 125s before and just after I passed my test. I then rode nothing for about 6 years and bought a CBR1000F off a mate at work. It took a couple of weeks to get used to the 100-odd bhp, then I never looked back.

Ed.

1,792 posts

182 months

Tuesday 18th June
quotequote all
I had a cbr600f4i as my first big bike and didn't drop it. I changed after a year to a v twin for a more linear power band but that's no reason not to get one. Going above 10k the first time might take you by surprise but below that they aren't intimidating.

Chicken dinner

1,143 posts

12 months

Tuesday 18th June
quotequote all
Pothole said:
don29 said:
I did exactly that after passing my test at 25 and regretted it.

For a novice biker it was just too powerful.

Even my examiner suggested I rethink my choice and look at a 250 or 400 as a first bike.

I ended up selling the CBR after 12 months having done less than 1200 miles on it.

In hindsight I should have listened to the examiner and bought something smaller to start with.
You just should have grown a pair and done some real miles on the CBR.
Agreed.

My first bike was a 1000cc Africa Twin and 6 months later added a 1200cc Diavel.
I don’t get the “too powerful comment” i can quite easily potter round on the Ducati.

OP. Buy what makes you happy.

Cambs_Stuart

569 posts

28 months

Tuesday 18th June
quotequote all
Interesting thread. 15 to 20 odd years ago i went from a RD125LC, to a RG250 gamma following my test, then to a honda CB500 due to the reliability of the 250. Then a ZZR600. Then I had children, and a budget that only meant one vehicle.
Now my children are a bit bigger i'm sorely tempted to get back on a bike. But i know it'd not be a great idea to buy the fastest thing i can afford. I'm also still tempted by the bikes of my youth. I nearly bought a slab sided GSXR 750...
So I've been looking at cbr600s, YZR600, all kinds of GSXRs, speed triples. All the best of the mid nineties.
To the OP. Something older and cheaper will be a good idea until you're used to it. It won't be as fast as the modern equivalent, but won't depreciate too much either when you're ready to move on. And if you bin it, it's not too bad.
Get the best tyres/brakes you can afford as they were skinnier and smaller back in the day.
The ZZR600, from memory, while not as sharp as a cbr600 was big and comfy and with a screen extender should suit even really tall riders. They're shed money now.

wormus

10,543 posts

147 months

Tuesday 18th June
quotequote all
The 90s Hondas were very well built and a CBR 600 isn’t a bad idea at all. They are fairly docile at low rpm and still pretty nimble/fun. For your height I’d look seriously at a FL/M model VFR750. Docile and nice torquey motor and not fast enough to terrify you but superb handling and fun, one of the most iconic 90s V4 exhaust notes too. I had one for years and loved every minute. Sold it to my brother who was a born again rider and 6’ 6” tall. He loved it too. Perfect commuting tool I’d you can find a nice one.

I really wouldn’t consider the more extreme GSXR 600/track focused stuff, you’ll be in agony and hate riding it in traffic:

Also the Yamaha Thundercat or Fraser 600, from mid-late 90s are cheap and worth a look. Get to about 1998 and all bikes suddenly shrunk and became only fit for midgets. I blame the R1.

Edited by wormus on Tuesday 18th June 07:26

Adam_W

1,021 posts

144 months

Tuesday 18th June
quotequote all
I had a '98 cbr600 sat at home waiting when I passed my test, was great but I soon changed to a cbr600f4i so I wouldn't have to faff about with choke and fuel tap stuff, injection is so much better (imo of course)

Jazoli

7,127 posts

194 months

Tuesday 18th June
quotequote all
Stu-nph26 said:
So I'm doing my CBT on Sunday and dead keen to do the DAS to commute to work. I did have my heart set on a Ninja 650 as I'm 6-4 and heard they are very accommodating for the taller rider. However, stories of dropping the bike and an insurance quote of over £1200 have put me off.

A friend at work suggested looking at a classic CBR 600 which can be had for about a £1000 and the insurance as its a classic is less than £200. So for obvious reasons, this seems like a no brainer for 12 months or so until I can upgrade to something bigger, maybe give it a couple of years and get a 1000cc of some variety as that's ultimately what I'd like.

So I'm after some advice is a 20 year old CBR a crazy idea and will it be far too much for a new rider? Thanks in advance.
Be aware that classic policies will not accrue any no claims discount so you will be stuck to insuring 'classics' for a while if you want to move onto something newer.

As for an older CBR why not? but don't discount stuff like VFR750's or Thundercats, the problem with older bikes is that invariably they will need work on the running gear/suspension/brakes at that age, I'd be more inclined to be looking at 10 year old Hornets/Fazer6's/Z750's to begin with, they are less likely to be knackered, will be cheap to insure compared to something more sporty and will still have more power and handling than you'll ever need, get a year or two's NCD on the books and the bike world is your lobster.

As for anything being too much, I wouldn't recommend an R1 for sure but most middleweight bikes are pretty docile and forgiving unless you really provoke them.

Sa Calobra

28,806 posts

155 months

Tuesday 18th June
quotequote all
That's a point. Insurance.

On say a 300 or 400 how much would that be in the first year

Zakalwe

79 posts

5 months

Tuesday 18th June
quotequote all
You’ll know a lot more about what bike you want after you’ve done your CBT and DAS, I don’t think a CBR600 is a bad choice personally - you either want a sport bike or you don’t. Ignore the talk about too much power, you’ll be doing your DAS on something like an SV650 with about 80bhp and you’ll soon realise how important it is to have that power when coming from the 125 for your CBT. Personally I went from no experience to CBT to licence in the space of 3 months then went and got a 150bhp sport bike and I couldn’t have been happier

Speed addicted

3,757 posts

171 months

Tuesday 18th June
quotequote all
I had a Kawasaki GPZ600R as a first bike, still have it 19 years on (with others).

A couple of things to think about, £1000 is about as cheap as working motorbikes generally get.
Are you reasonably competent at mechanical stuff?
If not you’re likely to end up spending quite a bit on it for parts and people to fit them.

The CBR has a great reputation for reliability, this doesn’t mean it won’t be worn out and corroded by the time is 20 years old.
You also often get the joy of annoying electrical problems once bikes get older, water gets in and corroded wires, connectors and everything else.

It’s also comfortable for a sports bike, this doesn’t mean it’s comfortable overall. Something like a Fazer or Hornet is a more natural shape if you’re not used to bikes.

The other thing to consider is just how cheap PCP is on new bikes, you’re looking at a couple of hundred a month. For something that will always start when you want it to.

Stu-nph26

Original Poster:

920 posts

49 months

Tuesday 18th June
quotequote all
Rubin215 said:
For a grand you will easily get something much newer and more commute friendly.

Off the top of my head you should be looking at Bandit 600's, Fazers and early ER6's.
Not looked into any of those but I'll check them out the thing is I did have my heart set on a sports bike.