To say that the Honda Hurricane CBR600F took the world by storm in 1987 would almost be an understatement. The Hurricane revolutionized the sports bike world forever, and it was not apologetic for the disturbance it caused.
The Hurricane performed like nothing before, setting new standards across the board. Winning all of the major AMA races it entered in its inaugural year, the CBR600F made the rest of the sports bike community stand up, take notice, and do their best not to be blown away.
A different kind of storm: what made this hurricane the perfect storm?
Once the world got a glimpse of the Hurricane, competitors knew that they had to scramble in order to escape the wake of the storm it had rustled up. There were many things that set this bike apart from the others:
- The Hurricane was much lighter than other bikes, letting it pack a more powerful punch
- It had a fully-covered body, giving it an ultra-sleek, sporty appearance, making it look more aerodynamic and perform that way, as well
- Before any fluids were added, the bike’s weight was equivalent to the GSX-R 750, coming in at around 400 lbs, without using more expensive, exotic materials or sacrificing strength utilizing an aluminum frame
- The Hurricane could be used as a comfortable, everyday vehicle regardless of its sporty appearance
- It could reach 0-60 at a breakneck 3.5 seconds and a quarter-mile in a cool 11 seconds
- The Hurricane could blow most other bikes away by reaching a max speed of around 140 mph
Even noting a couple of issues with the initial incarnation of the Hurricane in the areas of minor fuel pump issues and learning that the brakes could warp with extensive, aggressive driving, the bike was solid as a rock. They have even been known to reach well past the 100,000-mile marker and still remain a reliable mode of transportation for the owner.
Honda was so confident in its design, once the kinks were worked out of the ’87 edition, the ’88 model rolled out without any changes in specs. That year, the Hurricane won six of the nine AMA races.
In the Hurricane’s final year of production in 1989, a few modifications made the bike even better — if that is even possible!
The ’89 Hurricane: could there be a more perfect storm?
In an effort to fix what wasn’t broken, Honda made a few modifications to the final version of the Hurricane. Those modifications included:
- The front suspension was improved, and larger tires helped to deal with the extra weight added to the bike
- The engine was beefed up and offered riders ten more horsepower
- The bike received a front-end redesign to help accommodate the changes made to its mechanical front
- The cam chain was tweaked in order to cut back on the “annoying” sound reported by buyers
If a bike only required those few changes during a three-year stint, the designers got things right from the get go with the Hurricane. But all storms must eventually pass, and the same was true for this Honda miracle, to an extent.
The passing of the storm: the end of the Honda Hurricane
The 1990 CBR600F was the first of this model not to carry the name “Hurricane.” The main focus of this retooling was on its engine, and it was given about ten more horsepower, thus making it a quicker ride both on the track and on the street if the rider were so inclined. The turn of the decade marked the end of the first generation of the Honda CRB600F, but it left a trail of debris in its wake that will not be forgotten any time soon.
The Honda Hurricane CBR600F: the true perfect storm
Though the Hurricane only drifted across the land for a short time, Honda continued to produce a variant of the CBR600F for multiple generations, with each one promising to bring something more to the table than the last.
Most bike enthusiasts will tell you, though, that the best incarnation of this bike was the first one: the Hurricane. It revolutionized the way that bikes took to the streets and to the track. It was a beautiful thing to behold, and it was beyond innovative in more ways than one.
Bikers will tell you that the Honda Hurricane CBR600F was a bike that you either loved or hated. Still, no one will argue that it was to be respected as indeed the perfect storm that took over the motorcycle world and turned it on its head, making the rest of the biking community stand up, take notice, and pay respect. After all, this was not just a puff of wind. It was the Hurricane.