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Honda CBR600 F2 Forks Query

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  • Honda CBR600 F2 Forks Query

    Yep I know there is a boat load of queries and info on here and believe me I’ve read a lot of it but I still have a question.

    The earlier F2 forks were basic damper rod forks as I understand it and not a million miles different to the Hawks I guess internally. (Please feel free to correct me there) So the only advantage of fitting them in my mind is to gain the potential of running twin discs. Is that correct ?

    The later F2 and F3 forks were cartridge type and these offer more tuning options if like I do, I want to put the F2 inners into the Hawk lowers so I can run better suspension (more adjustability) with the stock Hawk wheels / single disc set up. Is this a correct assumption ?

  • #2
    Pretty much.

    94 F2 went to cartridge. And then of course F3 was. You will need good F2/3 chrome fork tubes as the cartridge units will not slide into the NT chrome tubes (without mod). CBR F2/3 cartridge forks with good tubes are getting harder to find.

    Or go RaceTech Cartridge Emulators in the NT forks. They are pretty damn good, I have them in a few bikes.

    You can also use 90 - 97 VFR chrome tubes with CBR Cartridge internals. But they are also getting hard to find in decent condition.
    "I couldn't afford NOT to buy it!"


    • #3
      There are differences between cartridges - I personally wouldn't look for 94 CBR600 F2 cartridges - they are not really high quality, very old and worst of all they have the rebound needle in the fork top (recirculating), which means that oil needs to be displaced up through the shaft to get metered. Much better are F3 (HMAS) as they meter the damping inside the cartridge (non-recirculating), but went to smaller port pistons so needs a different approach than the big port F2 pistons similar to Racetech Goldvalves... today,. with the option of aftermarket cartridges from several suppliers, I would go with one of them. In my opinion they almost all require some kind of work, but as they are made to work on, it is not that difficult.

      Lots of info on cartridges here in the forum, eg.

      So I was reading on a cbr 600 forum last night; they were saying F3 internals will fit in an F2 fork. Which got me wondering if F3 internals would fit in a

      Last year Ohlins announced a cartridge kit to be fitted to damperrod forks, but no application for Hawk... later last year the FKS210 was announced to fit a 2014-16

      Cartridges from Ohlins, Nitron, YSS, Andreani, Bitubo, Matris, Mupo etc. can be adapted and there are probably more... it is still possible to fit cartridges from other OEM forks and work with them - but I wouldn't look at the recirculating type as 94 CBR600 F2 but go with non-recirculating type as normally seen in newer cartridges - or aftermarket, which are all non-recirculating or separated.

      As mentioned in the links it is possible to put cartridges in damperrod forks, but there are things to be aware of...


      • #4
        Thanks Jan, wow you know your stuff mate and I am indebted to you for sharing this. Over here both F2 and F3 forks in reasonable nick are very difficult to locate. I’ve managed to get some later F2 forks which I know you comment aren’t ideal but I figure at least they can be upgraded to a certain cartridge spec.
        First step I am going to dismantle those and the fork tubes and swop the F2 upper fork legs / cartridges into the fork lowers.

        Any mods I should make or snag points to look for ?

        Thanks again for your continued guidance, so so appreciated by me and I’m sure others on their various Hawk journeys.


        • #5
          Hi Zanderk, F2 in RC31 forks is plug and play, you only need the fork lowers from the RC31 - everything else from the F2, except their lowers.

          One of the biggest things in my opinion is to make a plan for the complete bike within your budget.

          Springs, tires, damping... front and rear. Make a setup (checking sags and adjust preload accordingly) to verify a good baseline and work from there.


          • #6
            Amen to that Jan, very wise words!

            My mates here expect it to turn into an 850 tuned V twin running Ducati parts, Kineo wheels, blah blah overnight !!

            in reality, stage 1 is to upgrade suspension and brakes and fine tune the handling for me before I start going radical if I ever do. I will go Nitron on the rear as I run that already on my R9T and rate their shocks.

            Thanks again for coming back to me, appreciated