Last week, you may remember, Scott picked up a cheap CBR600 for his old CBR400RR. This week he’s going to find out if it actually fits! Over to you, Scott…
Plucking the bright yellow springed CBR600F4i shock from the crate of NC29 parts, I tried to eye up if it would fit my bike. I have found a few internet threads that suggest it’s a piece of cake and simply a straightforward case of slotting it straight in. Places on the internet also inform me that the earth is flat and that ancient aliens built Stonehenge, so I’m always a touch dubious of any knowledge that’s delivered to my phone screen. Having coughed up a modest £19.99 for the potential answer to my prayers, I won’t be too upset if I’ve been duped by fake news. Still, it would be nice!
First impressions are positive. Both shocks share the the same style ends from what I can make out, they also look around the same length. My biggest fear is the incoming shock might be too short which if so, would give me a bike that had a bigger soggy bottom than a showstopper vegan cake on the Great British Bake Off.
Say what you like about Honda bikes, but they are put together in a lovely way. From the right hand side I’m left scratching my head as to how I get the lower mount free. Stepping around the other side, I can see that there’s the head of a 14mm bolt for me to aim for. The upper bolt is easy to see and reach. Armed with a 14mm socket and an 8mm Allen key, it takes only a few minutes to get the crusty old shock unbolted. Then with a further bit of wiggling with the bike laid safely on its side and the old shocker is off. Before chucking it in my scrap metal pile though I do some checks.
Laying the CBR600F4i shock next to the well past its best NC29 shock, I immediately spot a difference. My concerns about the new shock being too short were thankfully unfounded, what I hadn’t overly thought about was what if it’s too long? Yup, the F4i shock is visibly longer, not by too much though. I hunt for my tape measure to confirm the obvious. Two centimetres doesn’t sound too much, does it? That’s how much longer my fresh shock is from eye to eye.
I persist with the swap (an obvious decision given the fact that the old shock was in such a shocking state). I had given the CBR600 shock a sympathetic wipe over earlier in the week, taking the opportunity to check it over. The preload adjuster turned freely and it was set midships between the two extremes of adjustment. I offer the replacement shock up and other than working out where the remote reservoir will live (if I decide to stay with this slightly longer shock), there’s nothing stopping me from bolting it into situ. With the bike laid over on its side it takes no more than five minutes to get it into position and bolted up.
Lifting the bike back up and it’s clear that the higher rear stance now means that the side stand is now at a stretch to do its job. The rear part of the seat unit now sits higher, which doesn’t look too outrageous, but it’s all I can focus on. I should be feeling pleased with my bargain punt, so why do I instead scrunch up my face and feel this is a job that I will probably come back to down the line? Still, it can stay for the moment, though like other times during this project, I have that feeling of one step forward, two steps back.
What have we learnt?
The internet isn’t to be trusted. Always double check any information that you take as gospel.