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Honda’s next-generation CBR600RR


THE HONDA CBR600RR represented a big step forward for the 600cc Supersport class when it was launched in 2003.

Thanks to input from the MotoGP race bike of the time, the RC211V, the CBR600RR not only redefined performance parameters on the road with its flexible, yet high-revving engine and pin-sharp handling, it went on to win 
the FIM World Supersports Championship six years in a row.

Two key factors drove development of the new CBR600RR: improved racetrack performance, combined with the ability of on-road riders who genuinely enjoyed a twisty road or city street.

The CBR600RR’s stunning and very clean new styling is a blend of Honda’s current RC213V MotoGP race bike with aerodynamic lessons taken directly from the 2011 RC212V, fitting for a motorcycle that shares DNA with one of the world’s ultimate racing machines.

The CBR600RR’s front suspension was targeted as the main area from which to find improved levels of handling.

Improved damping function was key for the new CBR600RR, so a fully adjustable Showa Big Piston inverted front fork with an exceptionally rigid 41mm diameter inner tube had been used. Compared with the previous fork, the larger-diameter piston results in a 3.5-times larger pressure-bearing area. This provides greater smoothness, a more comfortable ride and better stability when braking hard. Riding on ordinary roads is more comfortable than before and when the bike is taken to the limit on the racetrack, there’s an improved sense of connection with the tarmac when 

The CBR600RR’s Unit Pro-Link rear suspension uses no shock top mount on the frame and is a system unique to Honda. The shock mounts to the upper part of the swingarm and the lower link, effectively operating independently of swingarm movement. This stabilises behaviour under hard cornering and delivers superb traction and turning ability, plus improved shock absorption and much more consistent damping.

Continued development of the Unit Pro-Link system - refinement of the pressure-bearing surfaces in the piston and optimisation of valve rigidity - has resulted in much better low-speed performance and greater feedback in the initial phase of operation, giving superb stability and controllability.

In terms of the engine, the CBR600RR’s extremely compact 599cc, liquid-cooled DOHC 16-valve inline four-cylinder power plant makes a great contribution to the bike’s superb handling. Featuring a compression ratio of 12.2:1, it produces 88kW at 13 500rpm, with torque of 66Nm at 11 250rpm. In this stage of the engine’s development, improved power and torque were not the focus. Instead, throttle response and feel across the entire rev-range were targeted.

The new CBR600RR is expected to be available in dealerships immediately and will retail for R119 900.

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