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The CBF1000F is one of the great unsung heroes of biking, reports Alastair Walker, with its ability to tour, commute and handle a twisty road all wrapped up in a bargain priced package. Now Honda are tweaking the format with the new 2010 CBF1000F.

The new CBF1000F features a sporty, single exhaust end-can to its 998cc Fireblade-derived motor, which again is tuned for torque, but features slightly higher compression ratio to the existing CBF1000 range and around 10bhp more. It’s interesting that Honda have given the bike a slight power increase, as most owners probably would say they’re happy with the existing CBF1000′s poke – it’s easily fast enough.

Despite this claimed increase in power, Honda’s say that their PGM-FI system makes the new CBF1000F 7% more fuel-efficient. Time will tell whether that statistic actually means anything on the open road, but the existing CBF1000 is generally capable of around 40-45mpg, so any improvement is welcome, especially for long distance touring riders. The new CBF1000F also utilises a new aluminium frame, replacing the steel original, which alongside improved suspension and adjustability, should enhance the handling slightly, not that there was anything wrong with the existing model.

The bike also has Honda’s Combined ABS (C-ABS) system. If you haven’t tried a Honda with the CBS braking system, insidebikes recommends you have a demo ride before writing it off as a gimmick – it works.

The CBF1000F has a racier, slimmer look to the half-fairing and a sporty new dash layout. This includes a large, central analogue rev-counter and digital speedometer along with practical touches such as dual trip meters and fuel gauge, which also shows both real-time and average fuel consumption.

The current range includes the CBF1000 model available in both standard and ABS versions priced at £7,075 and £7,575 (OTR) respectively, with the CBF1000GT, which features fairing lowers and a three-box luggage system, priced at £8,425 (OTR). The GT is insidebikes fave CBF1000 model, because it makes a brilliant alternative to many touring bikes costing 13K or more. Arguably, only the Suzuki Bandit 1250GT offers better value for money as a budget tourer.

The new CBF1000F will also come with luggage, heated grips, alarm and U-lock as optional extras. It will be available in four new colours and the RRP is expected to be around £9,000, with further details of its Autumn launch date, price and service packages to be announced closer to that time.

Honda are offering test rides of the CBF1000F in the autumn, so visit www.honda.co.uk, or call 0845 200 8000, for more.

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