Honda CBR 600 RR test
Intro: THE NEW REFERENCE
If the CBR 1000 has not been able to rival with the supremacy of Suzuki-s GSXR and Yamaha-s R1- well- things just may be "a changin-" on the supersport horizon. Unveiled at the end of last year- the 600cc version of the CBR earned the initials "RR" which characterized the CBR 900 at the time when it dominated its competitors. We should have realized that this was a sign of the stinging response of the number one manufacturer in the world- which today has been proven true.
Esthetique: LIKE THE RC211V
Honda has been saying loud and clear that the CBR 600 RR is the direct line heir to the famous RC211V. From an aesthetic and aerodynamic point of view- this seems obvious. With a streamlined front end enhanced by some super lamp units.
Everything seems to point forward and the central exhaust borrowed its look from the racing myth that we all know and love.The dashboard doesn-t ruin anything either. The rev. meter in its centralized position is all over the place and only gives up the tiniest little digital window for the speedometer- a daily meter and a totalizer- as well as a clock. Another window houses the gas gage- digital- and the engine thermometer.
This is a dashboard that contributes to the fight to stay trim since it is weighs at only half the weight of its predecessors.
Motorization: HALF ANGEL – HALF DEVIL
From a technical point of view- it also borrowed a bit from its competitors. First with the engine- lighter and also narrower- it gives up 116 hp at 13-000 revs- with torque at 6.3 mg at 10-000 revs/minute. The Estoril track- which welcomed us to this presentation- is almost entirely wet.
Here we started getting to know the machine- very easy to do with Hondas- even if the riding position seems radical right off the bat compared to the R6. With your butt in the air and your weight riding on the handlebars- you-re on a racing bike- no doubt about it. Under such conditions- you have to go easy on the accelerator. With this kind of experience- the new injection system makes things easier.
It combines classic injectors with other auxiliary injections- which kick in at around 6-000 revs/minute. Engine power is- as such- easy to control but mostly- the results it gives at mid-gear are surprising for a 600.
Once the track had dried out- we discovered a different side to the engine. As of 10-000 revs and up to 15-000- it screeches out its pleasure with a seducing sound- even with its original exhaust. Now- if power isn-t a factor to be used in deciding between the CBR and the R6- the Honda engine seems to get better results with the breaker.
On the road: AGILITY- STABILITY- VIVACITY
In terms of development of the engine-s capacity- the anchor point of the swing arm was moved up. And this brings us- logically- to talk about the cycle. The frame is in molded aluminum- a new procedure that allows reducing its size and- therefore- its weight- while increasing its rigidity.
As for engine power- rigidity of the chassis and the optimization of the mass were the main changes brought to this machine. To get the best centering of the masses possible- the engineers also changed the position of the gas tank- which now only takes up a small part of the original design- essentially vertical. It now shares the free space under the fake gas tank with the air box- which allows it- as a matter of fact- to move the rider 70mm forward.
The rider finds himself riding almost directly over the center of gravity. But what really gets us enthusiastic with the handlebars- is the chassis- behavior and the axel assembly. Thanks to its revolutionary frame- to its 45mm yoke and its entire swing arm – rear suspensions directly off of the RCV- the CBR 600 gets close to the perfect balance between agility- liveliness and stability.
You can almost do anything your little heart desires- the Honda responds to the slightest flick of the rider-s wrist- to the slightest movement. The downside means you have to be pretty damn precise to contemplate getting results- and that-s exactly what gives you the feeling of riding a racing bike. And to top it all off- the brakes also contribute to boosting your confidence.
Not only because of their bite- but also more so due to their progressiveness and their power. The two 310 mm disks equipped with 4 piston calipers are also real precise and the feeling that they create for the rider almost makes one want to brake even harder. and sometimes too late. – In other words- here-s a machine- which will not betray you- a sports model to the tip of its fingernails- it offers no storage space nor any practical gadgets.
However- the compromise between Honda-s racing division and the factory offer those of you ready to fork up almost 10-500 Euros a hyper-efficient machine whose only limits resided in its tire performance. The "Michelin Pilot Sport" being a sporty model- true- but designed for road driving- don-t allow the bike to live up to its potential on the track. But regardless- the CBR 600 has definitely earned the "RR" stamp of approval- because here you have- neither in our opinion- no more nor less than THE new reference in Supersport-
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