The Honda CBR600RR is a 599 cc (36.6 cu in) sport bike made by Honda since 2003, part of the CBR series. The CBR600RR was marketed as Honda's top-of-the-line middleweight sport bike, succeeding the 2002 Supersport World Champion2001–2006 CBR600F4i, which was then repositioned as the tamer, more street-oriented sport bike behind the technically more advanced and uncompromising race-replica CBR600RR. It carried the Supersport World Championship winning streak into 2003, and on through 2008, and won in 2010 and 2014.
Honda's previous 600-class sport bike, the CBR600F4i, was considered a balance of practicality and performance, as capable as other Supersport-racing 600s, but a more docile and comfortable street bike relative to the competing Kawasaki Ninja ZX-6R, Suzuki GSX-R600, Yamaha YZF-R6, When introduced in 1999, the CBR600F "fought off racier contenders on the track while still managing to be a more practical streetbike", as described by Motorcyclist, "one golf club that acts like a whole bag." With the successor 2003 CBR600RR, Honda shifted to a more aggressive, less compromising strategy in the "churning dogfight that was the middleweight class at the time", Honda's CBR-RR Project Leader Hiroyuki Ito said, "We developed the RR in a completely different way from any model in the past. In the past Honda has always developed a roadbike, then modified it for racing. But with the RR, we first built a prototype racer, then gave it to the production department." Rotating an aging model down to the next tier of a product line as it is overshadowed by a model with the latest technology is common practice among sport bike manufacturers including Buell, Ducati, Honda, Kawasaki, Suzuki, Triumph, and Yamaha.
The 2003 CBR600RR was based on technologies used in the Honda RC211VMotoGP bike, and was given a similar appearance. It was the first Honda to use Unit Pro-Link rear suspension, a variant on the single rear shock absorber with the upper mount connected to the rear swingarm subframe to help isolate undesirable forces transmitted to the steering head. It also was the first to use Honda's Dual Stage Fuel Injection (PGM-DSFI): both were taken directly from the RC211V. Honda said that the use of its new 'Hollow Fine Die Cast' frame technology, in which sand casting molds were given a ceramic interior coating, made it possible to reduce the thickness of the five-piece aluminum frame from 3.5 mm to 2.5 mm.
The 2003 model carried over to 2004 technically unchanged, with only the addition of an oxygen sensor.
In 2005, the CBR600RR received a major revision with new bodywork, fully adjustable inverted front forks, disc brakes with radial-mounted four-piston calipers, and a new aluminum frame, swingarm and rear shock. The midrange power was also increased. These changes along with additional refinements to the engine and exhaust system brought CBR600RR's wet weight down by 10.0 kg (22 lb), and dry weight by 4.1 kg (9 lb). The 2006 model was unchanged from the 2005 model.
On September 6, 2006, Honda revealed an all new CBR600RR for the 2007 model year.
The CBR600's most radical redesign since the introduction of the RR in 2003 is highlighted by a whole new engine, frame, and bodywork that results in a smaller, lighter, more-powerful CBR600RR with a class-leading power-to-weight ratio and unparalleled performance.
Weight was the primary focus of the redesign. The result was a 9.1 kg (20 lb) reduction in dry weight over the 2006 model, from a claimed 163.7 kg (361 lb) to 154.7 kg (341 lb). Tested weights without fuel were 182–182 kg (401–402 lb).
In redesigning the CBR600RR for lighter weight and increased performance, Honda's engineers started with the engine. The completely new engine was smaller and lighter than its predecessor, the designers having used careful positioning of all internal components to achieve reductions in the motor's length, width, and height, as well as reducing weight by 2 kg (4.4 lb) compared to the 2006 model's powerplant. Horsepower increased to about 105 hp (78 kW) measured in independent tests.
The frame was lighter and more compact than the 2006 CBR600RR. The handling of the new bike was sharpened by its 22 mm (0.87 in) shorter wheelbase, as well as by the designer's focus on strict mass centralization. Despite the shorter wheelbase, the 2007 model's swingarm was 5 mm (0.20 in) longer than that of the 2006, made possible by the more compact dimensions of the new bike's engine.
The suspension of the 2007 model was carried over almost unchanged from the 2006 bike, with the same 41 mm (1.6 in) inverted fork in front, and Honda's Unit Pro-Link rear suspension configuration damping the rear wheel. The new three-spoke cast aluminum wheels were also lighter than those on the 2006 bike, which further contributed to the enhanced performance of the suspension. The brakes had dual radial-mount four-piston calipers and twin 310 mm (12 in) discs at the front, and a single-piston caliper and a 220 mm (8.7 in) disc at the rear. Hidden below the steering head was an updated version of the Honda Electronic Steering Damper (HESD) system, which was also available on the CBR1000RR.
The smaller, sharper-edged new front upper fairing was dominated by the large central ram-air duct which fed the airbox through an opening in the steering head section of the frame and was separated from the sides of the fairing by a large gap which Honda said was for air management purposes. The tail-section was similarly smaller and sharper-edged, riding atop a heavily restyled under-seat muffler.
Combined ABS prototype
On June 9, 2008, Honda revealed a CBR600RR prototype that had an all new braking system branded as Combined ABS which integrated combined braking, anti-lock braking, and brake-by-wire systems. Combined ABS used a computer control unit to ensure the correct balance of front and rear brake use and also controlled when the ABS should engage. The system was designed to be as unobtrusive as possible by delaying the engagement of the ABS until the last possible moment. Combined ABS was not made available on the production 2008 CBR600RR.
On September 5, 2008, Honda introduced a revised CBR600RR for the 2009 model year. Combined ABS became available as an option under the model (CBR600RA). Other changes included updates to the engine such as changes to its pistons, cylinder head and exhaust that Honda claims will increase torque delivery between 8,000–12,000 rpm with a 3.5% increase in torque at 10,000 rpm. The CBR600RR's engine also received a new high resistance valve lifter and a popup valve system inherited from the CBR1000RR. It looks were the same as last year apart from some extra mouldings added to the fairing mid-sections that enhance stability and reduce noise emission levels by now totally enclosing the clutch and gearbox. Although all of these changes involved the addition of some materials, the overall weight of the 2009 CBR600RR remained the same as the 2008 model. This was achieved through weight savings in the engine, exhaust, and the chassis.
The CBR600RR carried over for the 2010, 2011 and 2012 model years.
The 2013 CBR600RR includes new 12-spoke wheels, revised ECU settings, and a fine-tuned ram-air system to increase torque. It also gets a new Showa "Big Piston Fork" and retuned rear shock in a new bodywork. The model continued unchanged through the 2017 model year. Motorcycle.com said that while the CBR600RR's performance specifications, particularly the horsepower, were "pretty tame even for the middleweight class", and it lacked the newest technologies like cornering ABS, traction control and mobile apps, it remained a comfortable and good handling sport bike for the street.
Motor Cycle News said a Japanese source at Honda said that CBR600RR sales in Europe and the UK will end after the 2016 model year due to the redesign costs necessary to comply with Euro4 emissions regulations, which will come into effect on January 1, 2017. Sales of 2017 model year CBR600RRs in other markets are unaffected.[needs update]
For the 2007 model year, the CBR600RR competed with the Ducati 749, a completely redesigned Kawasaki Ninja ZX-6R, Suzuki GSX-R600, Triumph Daytona 675, and Yamaha YZF-R6. Shootout comparisons by motorcycle magazines consistently awarded the CBR600RR first place in the super sport class. Major print and online publishers said the CBR600RR had a powerful engine and class-leading light weight.
For the 2008 model year, the CBR600RR continued to compete with the Ninja ZX-6R, a revised GSX-R600, Daytona 675, and a R6. Even with no technical changes from the 2007 model, the CBR600RR continued to win middleweight shootouts at by Sport Rider, Motorcycle-USA, and Motorcycle.com.
As of 2015[update], in the Supersport World Championship, the CBR600 won eight out of twelve titles since its introduction in 2003, and ten manufacturers' crowns since 2003. Michael Dunlop holds the supersport lap record at the Isle of Man TT on a CBR600RR.
^Brown, Roland. "First Rides 2003: Honda CBR 600RR; honda goes all-out with its latest-generation 600-and in the process radically changes the way it develops its hardest-core sportbikes." Motorcyclist, Mar. 2003, p. 30+.
^Blain, Loz (10 June 2008). "Honda announces 'brake by wire' supersport motorcycle". Gizmag. Retrieved 22 February 2014. Lever inputs at both ends of the bike are input, analyzed by a braking ECU, and then braking force is distributed optimally between the wheels, with the goal of preventing the bike from pitching forward into a 'stoppie' under hard or emergency braking, as this forward roll often unsettles riders and prevents them from applying maximum braking force where required.