Want to follow in motorcycle champion Valentino Rossi’s tracks? Honda may just be able to help you with the launch of the CBR600RR, based on Rossi’s RC211V racer. Will this new bike help Honda dominate the middleweight motorcycle class in South Africa?

Honda hopes its new CBR600RR, based on world champion Valentino Rossi’s RC211V racer, will help it dominate the middleweight motorcycle class in South Africa.

The new bike looks like a road-going replica of the RC211V. It features a sharper nose with a much lower windscreen compared to the CBR600F and F/Sport. The CBR600RR's newly designed fuel tank cover is also 70mm shorter than the tank on the CBR600F or F-Sport. These factors help make the bike more aerodynamic and compact.

The CBR's seat cowl also features lighter looking lines and smoother curves. It has a slimline LED taillight display that is lighter and thinner by half than the LED taillight featured on the CBR RR FireBlade. The new seat cowl also mounts a small pillion seat pad that provides a comfortable enough perch for passengers.

The new 'RR' powerplant was designed from new concepts from Superbike and MotoGP competition. The engine's basic displacement figures remain the same as the current CBR600F. But the engine is smaller and lighter, with more efficient combustion characteristics. This was achieved by reducing the engine's width at the crankshaft through the repositioning of several key components.

The crankshaft's starter gear was moved from its current location on the left, behind the ACG, to the right, which freed up room to move the ACG itself further inboard, and reduce the dimensions of its cover accordingly. The distance from the engine centreline to the outer perimeter of the ACG cover was reduced by 21,5 mm.

The newly designed ACG and clutch covers have deeply tapered underside corners, which also helped narrow the width of the engine and, Honda said, produce a three degree increase in bank angles for each side.

The engine’s length has been shortened, freeing up space to lengthen the swingarm and move both engine and rider forward. This should result in more responsive manoeuvring and sharper cornering control.

The engine's new skirtless forged 'slipper' pistons are shorter and 15g lighter than the pistons currently used by the CBR600F and F/S.

The new CBR600RR's connecting rods feature a lighter “nutless” design, which use standard threaded bolts screwed directly into tapped holes in the body of the rod, instead of the conventional nut and bolt combination used in most rods to hold their endcaps in place.

The design is 12g lighter than the conventional bolt and nut combination, for a total weight savings of approximately 35g per cylinder, or 140g overall. Honda says this reduction in reciprocating weight makes a major contribution to reducing the engine's mechanical load to improve acceleration.

The new CBR600RR has been given an extra aggressive look with one large single exhaust pipe. The new Centre-Up exhaust system snakes directly under the engine, then up and over the rear tyre to rest in the specially sculpted space beneath the seat.

Taken out of the airstream, the turbulence and related air resistance associated with side-mounted pipes is eliminated, while cornering clearance is improved.

The bike comes in Italian red livery, but will also be available in all-black. Both versions feature metallic bronze colouring on their undercowls and engine case covers.

It sells for R96 500.

Original article from Car