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NEW FACE ON THE BLOCK
Published on Friday 24 May 2013 18:46
What's It All About?
Previously, if you wanted a cutting edge Supersports 600 then maybe your local Yamaha dealer was the place to go, but not any more! Honda is bringing its updated CBR600RR to the UK in spring 2013 with a few added goodies and a new face. This latest Honda will continue to be a bike that you can live with day in and day out yet will still be at the high end of the performance scale for track days at the weekends. It remains plenty focused and includes a few well-judged improvements in both style and ride.
The CBR600 is a model that's been around for sometime now time. There have been some great examples down the years like the F2 and there have been some average models. Never a duffer, mind you. This latest version, the CBR600RR for 2013 that we look at here, offers Showa big piston forks. These provide greater stability and a much smoother ride than before. The rear shock also has an uprated piston and improved damping.
What Does It Cost?
Buying this sort of expertise doesn't come cheap and we expect you will need around £9,500 to get your hands on this latest CBR from March 2013 onwards. That's quite some investment if you're the sort of inexperienced rider liable to throw it up the road the first time you deal with its astonishing power delivery. Insurance will also be a problem if you live in certain higher risk post codes, as the CBR600RR is rated a pretty high risk by the policy providers.
How Does It Handle?
The new CBR600RR has a redesigned front end with re-styled headlights set back into the fairing. The effect of this is not just cosmetic as it also reduces the drag by 6.5%. The Honda engineers have improved the CBR600RR's balance by adding a lighter sub-frame and moving as much of the bike's weight as possible nearer to its centre of gravity.
The 119bhp 599cc engine has been remapped for efficiency and a smarter response. It gets the job done effectively and Honda's build quality is evident throughout, especially on the controls and factory paintwork.
The comfortable riding position allows you to bully the bike into submission rather than it imposing its will on you. The throttle action is now much smoother making this middleweight sportster the one to choose. There are no real layers to the CBR's personality. What you see is what you get and this is, depending on your experience, either its abiding strength or a damning weakness.
A Supersports 600 is never going to be a wholly pragmatic choice but if you want a fractionally bigger proportion of head than heart compared to its rivals, the Honda CBR600RR will still be the logical pick.
FACTS AT A GLANCE
BIKE: Honda CBR600RR
PRICE: £9,500 (est)
ENGINE: 599cc 16v liquid-cooled, in-line four-cylinder, four-stroke
TANK SIZE: 18.1 litres
14th December 2012