The new CBR600RR will feature a 599cc in-line-four motor which churns out 119bhp and 64Nm, while there’s also a new electronics package to go with it
Honda has comprehensively overhauled the CBR600RR for 2020. Having been around for 13 years, the bike has been given a refresh with an engine that has been extensively worked on, a more comprehensive electronics package and styling that fits in perfectly with Honda’s latest superbikes. The guiding principle behind the changes has been to make the motorcycle more useable, both on track and on the road.
Let’s start with the engine. The 119bhp 599cc in-line four-cylinder engine has been reworked extensively to rev all the way to a screaming 15,000rpm. This comes courtesy of new camshafts, valve springs and crankshafts. While power is up a meagre 1bhp from the previous model, the peak torque output has dropped by 2Nm.
To make it more user friendly, Honda has tried to make the power more useable and the handling more agile. This vision was executed with the extensive use of modern electronics across the motorcycle. The new 600RR comes with ride-by-wire throttle, paired with IMU-based ABS and traction control, which Honda calls Honda Selectable Torque Control (HSTC). It will also get multiple riding modes, a slip and assist clutch and a bi-directional quickshifter.
The styling on the 600 bears a strong resemblance with its elder sibling, the CBR1000RR, with integrated winglets in the fairing and the aggressive front fascia. The design isn’t purely aesthetic though, it chases aerodynamic efficiency. The new lights are in the form of an LED setup and the new colour TFT dash is properly modern.
Honda has priced the CBR600RR at 1.46 million Japanese yen (which converts roughly to Rs 10.3 lakh), available only in Japan at the moment. We do not know if Honda will bring this bike to India and for what price, if they do. Setting that thought aside, this motorcycle is born out of legendary rivalry among the biggest firms in Japan. We’d love to see how the CBR will fair against the Yamaha R6 and Kawasaki Ninja ZX-6R on a circuit. Honda also plans to launch a track-only model of the 600RR, to share the garage with the CBR1000RR SP.