Carole Nash
Content Writer
Published: 17th October 2018

It’s that time of year when you might be considering whether to buy yourself a winter bike. It’s a recognised fact that subjecting your pride and joy to the rigours of winter will quickly knock the shine of it, which in turn will dent its resale value down the line. That often leads to riders buying, cheaper/older/scruffier bikes to ‘hack’ around on in winter, while keeping their main motorcycle in pristine condition.

What’s more, hunting for a suitable winter bargain can be fun. And it also gives you a legitimate excuse to buy another bike!

A 600cc machine makes a very good starting point for a bike that will be ridden in all manner of weather conditions. It will also be much easier on its mechanical consumables than a larger cc option, meaning it shouldn’t break the bank to see you through to the springtime.

Buying anything that’s too well used can be a false economy, that’s why this rather tidy low mileage CBR600FW caught my eye.

Some might say that it’s in too good a condition to be a winter hack, and that’s a valid point. Thankfully the old steel framed CBR600F series was built to last and with regular cleaning it will be just fine.

The FW model was the climax of the steel framed CBR600F and there are plenty of them still out there on the used bike market. Even more have ended up broken up for parts over the decades, so used parts are cheap and extremely plentiful.

The low mileage of only 15,869 miles is backed up by wads of MOT history and service receipts. It’s also had a celebrity owner! None other than Captain Slow himself, James May. The former Top Gear host is something of a Honda fanatic, and if it was good enough for him it’ll be just fine for you.

Other than the swinging arm and hugger, which have been repainted black instead of the original silver, this pinnacle of ‘steelie’ development is totally original, even the original silencer is still fitted. It also comes with both keys and the Honda handbook.

Priced at £2,789 from a Middlesex dealer it isn’t the cheapest CBR600F out there, but there’s a heck of a lot of winter riding left in it.

What to look for when buying a CBR600F?

Bodywork will often be scruffy, if it bothers you there’s loads of good panels on eBay. New old stock panels are not overly expensive either.

The exhaust is a bit of a weak spot, any original headers will probably be on their last legs. Try to find a bike with a recent replacement system, it’s not unheard of for exhaust studs to snap when you remove the downpipes, and this will leave you with the nasty job of removing the snapped stud remains from the engine.

Check that it’s charging ok. Also take a look at how new the battery is and probe the seller to see if there’s been any regulator woes.

Expect to pay?

£500 can bag you a minger, £1,500 gets you something tidy. Low mileage bikes are creeping up beyond the £2,000 barrier.

You can see this particular example up for sale at: