Honda CBF1000A-7 (Combined ABS, 2007 model)

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Beans
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Honda CBF1000A-7 (Combined ABS, 2007 model)

#1 Post by Beans » Mon Jun 11, 2018 2:47 pm

Thought I would write up an initial review of my CBF1000 whilst its new and fresh to me, then hopefully come back later and update with a subsequent reply, as I get used to the bike. Bear in mind that this is my first big bike since I passed my DAS a couple of weeks ago, and I am new to motorcycling in general so I dont have a wealth of stuff to compare it with. What you are reading below is probably as much a "how a big bike feels" post as a specific review of the Honda, but hopefully some of it will be useful.

Intro
Having passed my DAS and enjoying the feel of the bigger bike used (new Kawasaki z650) I wondered about moving up myself, or sticking with my Yamaha MT125 which I had bought earlier this year from new, on finance. Idly searching the internet for suitable older, low-cost, low-maintenance but well-reviewed motorcycles I came across a few suggestions such as Honda CBF650, Suzuki v-strom 650, Yamaha Fazer, Diversion, etc. Curiosity got the better of me, eBay and autotrader were searched nightly, and I ended up taking a trip to Speedwell Motorcycles in Radcliffe, Manchester who seem to cater for good condition older bikes. It was a long ride on the motorway on the MT125, though not too far mileage-wise I really don't like motorways on a 125. Got to the shop (which is very highly recommended btw) and the guys were lovely, let me sit on her and I fell in love with the Honday CBF1000 ABS 2007 that they had there which I had been looking at on their website. Long story somewhat shorter: Got a lovely buyer for my MT (thank you again SusieQue), gave Speedwell the money Sue gave me, and rode home one week after this first viewing, on the CBF.

Size
Bike is overall huge to me, long and tall (tall due to the screen), the extra length means it doesn't fit in the garage like the MT did. Even had to move some of the other junk further back in there to make room. The addition of a top box rack makes it even longer. However the seat height is low-ish and adjustable and I would have thought that most riders could get feet flat on the floor. Compared to the MT which I thought was heavy, this thing is a monster weight-wise but it is a 1000cc bike. The riding position is superb, I know what is meant by sitting "in" the bike, thats how it feels. Seat and bars seem perfect. I'm 6 foot 2 and 33" inside leg and I have the seat as high as it goes and the position is lovely and gives me confidence in standing at traffic lights etc. Probably the previous owner was a similar height. Once on board the size and weight seem absolutely fine, they disappeared as soon as I sat on it I was happy and confident with the position itself.
Getting it on the centre stand is a swine, but this has to be a failing in my technique
Summary: its a litre bike with fairing etc so is sized accordingly, but really, most sizes of riders will be fine position-wise and fully able to control the bike at standstill. Sitting in the bike makes the weight/size just not an issue.

Performance
Sweet, smooth power on tap. Just stunning. Setting off is so little work compared to a 125, just ease the clutch out and it goes slow and steady and beautifully behaved. Its just so much easier. Engine sounds amazing, I have stock exhausts and I think it sounds beautiful. Its not a souped-up trying to be a racer exhaust note, its quiet but there is like a huge presence to the sound, like when you feel the bass in your chest. I know now why earplugs are recommended. Plenty of acceleration in the detuned Fireblade engine and at a rate thats both exiting and usable.
Fuel consumption is going to come as a shock. The yammy dash suggests it was averaging at around 129MPG and a tankful seemed to cost about 12 quid on the good stuff. Filling up the Honda was scary, whereas with the yammy the petrol station pump autoshutoff keeps cutting in, with the Honda it was like filling a car - just put the nozzle in and squeeze the lever. Cold sweat as we got to £15 something, at which point I called it a day. Bit early for consumption figures, will provide those in further post, but suspect its around 1/3 of the MT.

Features/accessories
Remember this is the 2007 version, so I am fortunate to have ABS on it. I believe its combined ABS so using the back brake only, the bike automatically puts on a bit of front brake over a certain speed. Even so, back brake seems a bit feeble, size and performance wise for this size of bike. Together, the brakes certainly hauled me to a stop that one time on the way home someone pulled out in front of me. I need to practice and test doing some hard stopping some more so details to follow.
Hydraulic clutch which is smooth baby
Half fairing
Twin stock exhaust (this changed to single in later models). I think this looks and sounds beautiful, but probably the exhaust on the chain-side gets in the way of maintenance? Not done any cleaning or lubing yet so can't say for sure. Why anyone needs/wants an aftermarket exhaust is beyond me at the moment.
Tyres Mine is on Bridgestone BT021, which looked pretty new. Tyres seem to divide opinion but so far in my 48 hours with this bike these have seemed fine to me
Centre stand is great for maintenance, if I can ever get the bike on there :roll:

Aftermarket bits, mine is fitted with a Givi tall screen, R&G crash bungs, Givi top box rack and I've bought a top box to go on it. Givi screen seems fine to me on motorway, etc. and is nice after riding a naked bike. Unable to comment on the standard stock screen, some say its too short and directs the wind into your face if you are tall. Having a Top box is dead handy, though I did always (and still do) think that top boxes really spoil the lines of a bike, however its no oil painting when alls said and done and its such a relief putting my rucksack in the topbox, that any aesthetic principles have been easily dropped.

Handling
I am still astonished at the handling. My big concern with this bike was that it would be flabby and wallowing around like a bloated harley or something, certainly no offence to anyone riding a harley, just I was concious that the CBF is a kind of big old sport tourer. What an eye opener. Like all big bikes, countersteering becomes a requirement not something done unconsciously, so thats a change from the 125. But man alive this thing rides and corners like a beauty once it dawned on me that its mass wants to really go straight on unless told otherwise. Suspension seems fine to me, firm-ish, and I was moving through twisties faster on day 2 than I had ever done on the MT. THe MT125 handles fine dont get me wrong, I think the difference I'm experiencing are probably due to size/weight/power/engine size and gyroscopic forces. All the stuff I had been reading about advanced cornering: active countersteering, steady throttle, etc all start to make sense now, whereas on a 125 you seem to be able to get away with riding it like a bicycle.

Filtering seems as easy as on the MT, no problem at all.

Slow speed handling is loads easier overall, I don't seem to have to be constantly changing a clutch/throttle/back brake variable. Feather that clutch and it just crawls away at a constant speed like its being pulled by a rope. The momentum that builds up in the bike is still catching me out sometimes though, when coming to a dead stop.

Looks
Its weakest area. Its not a beauty, I know that. Its functional, dull looking and the more modern versions aint any better.

Summary
My two concerns were:
it will wallow around really vague - no, quite the opposite, seems astonishingly precise.
It's boring/has no 'soul' (as per a few comments from people who have test-ridden one briefly - again absolutely not. Sure its a bit clinical but that, particularly to me as a new rider, means I can concentrate more on other stuff.

Pros
The performance and handling are good enough to put an enormous smile on anyone's face. The power delivery is just so smooth it defies physics. if you look at any longer-term review this is such an underrated bike.

Cons
Its no looker, it doesn't have the kind of attributes that you grow to love eventually but first need to be got used to, and there are more fuel efficient bikes around.

At this point in time, very early on in our relationship I absolutely lurve this bike and I recommend a good condition second hand model very strongly to experienced and new riders.
Learner rider.
Stll a student.
Mod 2 passed 1st June 2018 :D

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Mississippi Bullfrog
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Re: Honda CBF1000A-7 (Combined ABS, 2007 model)

#2 Post by Mississippi Bullfrog » Fri Jun 29, 2018 6:37 pm

Hmmm....I happened to call in at our local bike shop on the way home and they have a 2013 CBF1000 in stock. I like bikes that look like bikes, rather than some form of alien insect. I'm kind of interested. Thanks for your review.

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