05/21/12 at 9:53 am #8945
I have written several reviews on the Honda CBR600 sportbikes and this is my latest one on the 2007 onwards Honda CBR600RR.
They’re beautiful and purposeful looking bikes aren’t they, these latest 600RRs
Things have moved on at such a pace that you forget how 600s were once something a lot less than their 750 or 1000cc bigger brothers … early bikes lacked midrange and some areas were very much budget.
Not so today, the modern 600 is a very different animal and due to racing developments and competition we now have a selection of 600cc machines that are quite simply, sublime!!
One such 600 and one considered by many to be the best and most sorted 600 ever produced is Honda’s CBR600RR and even if not the best at everything it is the best overall, especially for the road.
Yes, I said for the road there … think about it, although these machines have been primarily designed for track use with high power and super handling, it is exactly these qualities that make them great road bikes too. The latest CBR600 has such strong midrange compared with older bikes you would swear it must have the wrong stickers on and can’t be a *mere* 600cc!!
Combine this with almost supernatural handling that feels like it plugs straight into your cerebral cortex and all the things that makes it great on the track make it great on the road too and an absolute joy to ride at almost any pace. Even just bimbling along briskly on these bikes you can tell you are on something with pedigree and the engine is strong and vibrant at all revs.
The CBR600RR was launched in 2003, it was considered fast, quick handling and a little uncomfortable at the time … it was revised in 2005, lost a bit of weight, gained upside down forks, radial brakes and a shade more power and torque.
As you can see the new 2007 onwards RR looks more evolutionary than revolutionary but it is in fact quite a different bike, with a completely different engine at it’s core, in fact the engine is tiny and sits in a new frame too.
They shifted some of the focus from race track back to road use, so we have power but more importantly noticeably more torque from low down and right where it’s needed, the midrange. Couple this with higher handlebars and a steering damper and the whole bike feels very refined, comfortable and powerful, on the road.
The comfort and extra power is quite noticeable compared with earlier incarnations of the 600RR and the bike is much more agile too.
What’s it like to ride?
Well, I can give a first hand accurate account of this since it is my current bike and I can compare it directly with an old school CBR600F3 and other bikes I have ridden.
Sitting on the bike for the first time impresses, the compact handlebars, the neat, purposeful instrument console, the low seat and higher bars all feel just right, as all CBRs of old do.
So, what’s it like living in a world where 15,000rpm is the new idle ..lol
These bikes are all revs and no guts, only fit for a race track, right? WRONG!!
Snicking the bike into first gear and pulling away has the bike squirt down the road like a litre bike in comparison with the old school F2/F3s and once on the move the bike feels like a toy underneath you as you so easily flick it from side to side.
The bike reacts so quickly to steering inputs you swear it is riding itself or by thought control around smooth twisty roads … the bike simply swishes from side to side with such little effort and such aplomb that it makes you feel a much better rider than you really are.
I found myself taking bends far faster and with so little effort compared to my F3 that sometimes I would have to pull over to readjust my senses, calm down and start again at a somewhat reduced pace, only to find myself going for it again and again … this bike is addictive around smooth twisty roads!!
I found there is also a plushness and sophistication about the suspension, it may need tweaking for the track but for the road it is absolutely perfect. It seems to isolate you from the worst of the bumps out there and yet still retain enough firmness so you still feel very connected with the road surface. Sometimes the bike feels almost an extension of your self, it plugs into your skill and psyche oh so easily.
Comparing this bike with old school F2/F3s or even the later F4i is night and day. The RR feels much lighter and much faster everywhere in any situation, even right down in the rev range it pulls like a train. Short shift through the gears at just 6,000 rpm and it’s an absolute blast around twisty roads, snick it into top gear and open the throttle at just 5,000 rpm and it romps away as if in a lower gear and you find yourself searching for another gear because it just surely can’t be pulling like this in top. Indeed it feels noticeably faster than the earlier RR model from 2003 onwards, especially stronger in the midrange I found … If you wind it on past 7,000 rpm the pull gets pretty serious, charging through the gears from 9,000rpm plus sees you enter hyper space and barely able to keep the digital speedo from being a blur as it charges relentlessly forwards.
There are no power dips, troughs or flatspots anywhere to be felt in the range like 600s of old and the power never seems to run out, there is enough everywhere on this bike, it has such a broad spread of power and 15,000rpm to play with. You can pootle through town and enjoy low down very useable torque from just 4,000 rpm or charge through the countryside at 10,000 rpm plus and blow your head clean off. The engine is an absolute peach, it always feels alive, healthy and vibrant and even if you get stuck at too low revs in too high a gear it just seems to pull through. You definitely don’t have to worry about being in the right gear all the time, for the road just twist and go, and smile!!
Performance and Specifications.
This review written by Juliet Jameson.
It can and will be added to with extra information over time.06/30/12 at 2:58 am #14511
mactacularRegistered MemberRideCBR AddictPoints: 9,916
nice review @juliet JAMESON!
haha, are you SURE you work in a hospital and not for the newspaper?!06/30/12 at 3:16 am #14512
shoichirohondaRegistered MemberRideCBR RegularPoints: 3,894
Nice review, you write well. Thanks. (:06/30/12 at 7:41 am #14520
inkslingerxxRegistered MemberRideCBR GuruPoints: 13,628
That orange one in the first pic is that a se there. That one is sweet, those orange wheels pop.07/02/12 at 8:58 am #1476107/02/12 at 9:07 am #1476207/02/12 at 9:16 am #14767
inkslingerxxRegistered MemberRideCBR GuruPoints: 13,628
07/03/12 at 5:27 pm #14979
sergedagherRegistered MemberTraining WheelsPoints: 18009/17/12 at 3:11 pm #20158
spdfrkRegistered MemberRideCBR AddictPoints: 6,20610/26/12 at 5:34 pm #22612
ar15Registered MemberTraining WheelsPoints: 141
thanks for the review juliet. Esp. for the beginner whos in search of a bike!!!!10/27/12 at 4:16 pm #22670
thanks for the review juliet. Esp. for the beginner whos in search of a bike!!!!
You’re very welcome!! I’m glad they help … I always say to people with older 600s that if you are thinking of going bigger, don’t until you’ve tried an 07/08 onwards 600RR as they are so far ahead of the older 600’s not just in terms of handling but also in power … it’s like you’ve gone out and bought a larger capacity bike because of their much better power spread.10/31/12 at 9:17 am #22888
dtoneRegistered MemberRideCBR GuruPoints: 14,169
Juliet: it’s like you’ve gone out and bought a larger capacity bike
You literally have if you think about it. The 1992 Firebalde weighed in at 185kg and made 124BHP back then.
The new CBR600RR weighs 184kg and produces 118BHP but because it’s chassis, suspension and brakes have had 20 years of development it is way ahead of the original Fireblade.10/31/12 at 9:37 am #22894
Darren: You literally have if you think about it. The 1992 Firebalde weighed in at 185kg and made 124BHP back then.
The new CBR600RR weighs 184kg and produces 118BHP but because it’s chassis, suspension and brakes have had 20 years of development it is way ahead of the original Fireblade.
You know, I have some performance figures somewhere that if I find them I’ll post them up here … basically they took an original 1997 900cc fireblade and put the 600RR against it. Not only could the RR trounce it in handling but it held it in performance and acceleration too!!
What surprised me was that the 600RR could not only accelerate the same or faster but even in top gear roll ons the little RR just held the blade in any speed and any gear. Opening up the throttle in top at just 60mph had the little 600RR hold the blade all the way. I think it even bettered it by a few milliseconds here and there…
Most people are genuinely surprised by the power and torque of the later 2007/8 onwards 600RRs … I was too after my F3, I genuinely knew the RR would be faster but expected it to be peaky. Not at all, the RR always surprises me by how strong it pulls even in top gear, that has me sometimes searching for another gear because I can’t believe it’s in top.
On the contrary, it makes my good old 600F3 with it’s nice spread of power feel completely peaky by comparison!!
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