Make or Break? Honda CBR600FL.
‘Is that a Jelly Mould?’
Yes! The slippery bodywork on the first generation Honda CBR600 ( FH-FL) earned the model the nickname of the ‘Jelly Mould’ and 30 odd years later it’s a tag that the bike still can’t shake off.
‘Wasn’t it like the best 600cc sportsbike in its day?’
The mid 1980s gave motorcycling many things, useful stuff like race replicas? Multi-valved engines and two stroke GP replicas that were ready for the Romford ring road. It also gave us some iffy things, like Honda and their inboard brake discs and strange names for mechanical tech, full floater anyone?
The mid 80’s also gave us the 600cc class. Kawasaki often get the credit for creating the middleweight motorcycle with their GPz600R. But it was Yamaha that first served us up a true 600 with their jack of all trades XJ600F. OK, so it wasn’t a true sports bike, but it is still a bone of contention with some people who have more time than others on their hands.
Honda launched the CBR600FH into the popular 600 class and it made the GPz600R not only look dated, but feel dated too.
‘If the Jelly Mould is so good, then why are they still so cheap?’
Unlike other bikes that pick up a classic bike tag and prices to match, the CBR600F so far hasn’t attracted much of a following from those who had them back in their youth. Perhaps we are all too busy buying race reps from the past and stinky two strokes? Or is that just me?
The Jelly Mould is very much overlooked from what I can make out. Why? Is it because it looks like a Tupperware tub? Is it because it’s a Honda? Is it because the 600cc sports bike market from the past is going to be the next big thing within classic bike circles? One thing is for sure, they won’t get any cheaper!
‘Where’s the rest of this one?’
Take one motorcycle that is covered in plastic, add a mishap at less than 30mph, and this is the end result. The fairings are long gone, so to are the seat panels. What’s left is actually still very useable.
Despite having been sat for over a year, you just know that with a fresh battery and fuel, this 4 cylinder water cooled motor will pop back into life. The best bit is the exhaust is still nice and solid. If it had been the original exhaust system, it would have been rotten by now. Gawd bless Motad! Sure, the FM onwards steelie model is a better bike in every way possible, but there is still something charming about the first generation CBR600F.
With prices for really good bikes struggling to break £2,000, there are rich pickings if you fancy a cheapy sports bike that won’t break your back to ride, or bank balance to buy!
This project example is up for £495 and is available now! Contact NTS on 07872 530202.
Article provided by Scottie Redmond