Honda CBR600F X/Y (1999-2000) – Tomorrow’s Classic Today

Honda had – for so many years – plodded on with the steel-framed CBR600F…

We say ‘plodded’ when – actually – we should say ‘dominated.’ However, by the late 1990s the venerable ‘Steelie’ was showing its age and being showed up by its younger peers, like the Kawasaki ZX-6R, Yamaha YZF-R6 and Suzuki GSX-R600…

Honda CBR600 FX FYTherefore, in 1999 Honda bit the bullet and released its all new middleweight supersports bike. This was a brave (but much-needed) move and they started with a clean-sheet design headed up by some of their top designers.

Finally, in came an alloy frame and swingarm (which bolted straight to the back of the motor), four piston Nissin callipers up front replaced the aging, twin piston sliding callipers of the old model. Also, in came ‘proper’ sized wheels to suit a 180 rear tyre (up from 5-inch to 5.5-inch rim), weight was reduced by 16kg and an all new motor with a claimed 110bhp was slotted in…

The result was that – arguably – the CBR went back to the top of the pile even if it was the more ‘sensible’ option compared to the also, then-new YZF-R6: hell, the Honda even still had a centre-stand!

The F-X redesign allowed the CBR to take on the competition head-on and yet still on its own ‘comfy’ terms. It just about kept up with the racier competition on the spec sheets, in the showrooms and on the track.

Honda CBR600 FX-YThat’s not to say all was perfect: faulty bearing caps holding the cams in place caused a lot of noise and allegedly accelerated mechanical wear (no recall was issued)  instead, it’s said that problems were dealt with at dealer level. This may have created a problem if you had purchased your new steed from a parallel dealer! Thankfully this issue was rare enough…

Riding the F-X you’re immediately hit with how ‘at home’ you feel, if you’ve ever ridden any other, previous CBR-6. Sure, it wasn’t as extreme as the opposition but this was the allure of the CBR600F model, right? It was – and still is – all things, to all men, women, newbies and experienced riders alike.

Prices show there’s some overlap with older and newer CBRs… Very rough ones/track machines will start around a grand, rising to around £3000 for low-mile minters… a shade under £2K should get a very good one if you look hard enough…

For – This is an easy-going, do-it-all classic. Do you need any more than this? Nah!

Against – Some say it’s dull, we don’t: but we do say the colour schemes are naff!


Make Honda
Model CBR600F-X/F-Y
Years available 1999 2000
Major changes Colour changes
Price when new £6359
Values now £1000-£3000

Verdict: You don’t need more than this on the road. Honest…