If 2007 gave any clue, the CBR600RR has only just begun writing its legacy in the annals of 600-class performance. With Dual Stage Fuel Injection, Pro-Link rear suspension, HESD electronic steering damper, wicked new colors for 2008 there’s no other 600 like it. And there never will be.
Innovative technology has been a Honda hallmark from the very beginning. Today, Honda’s pioneering technology results in a truly unique brand of high-quality, high-performance powersport products and the new CBR600RR is the best example possible. Being completely redesigned and featuring the most unique MotoGP-inspired equipments which start with the injection system having the purpose of providing the engine with the perfect amount of fuel in any stage and ending up with the center-up exhaust system using the burned gases for smooth delivery of the awesome performance encountered on the fabulous 2008 Honda CBR600RR.
The CBR600 was first introduced to the public back in 1987 with the original Huricane model. This bike broke big ground for Honda with its liquid cooled across the frame inline four incased in a fully closed bodywork to produce the machine that tip the skies at a lightweight for the time, 180kg dry. It was a fabulous machine and this Huricane model continued with only minor changes over the next three years before the CBR600F arrived in 1990. This was another huge leap forward in the 600 market with nearly 15 percent more power than the model it replaced thanks to a heavily revised engine. But Honda didn’t rest on the laurels. The next year the F2 version of the CBR600 arrived with power increasing again thanks to a more oversquare bore and stroke ratio, bigger carburetors, a higher compression ratio and less internal friction. By now the chassis was getting a little stretched with the increase leaps in performance so Honda gave the F2 a stiffer frame and revised suspension to help keep the show in control.
It was 1995 before a major revision to the CBR600 which came with the F3 model. Engine upgrades featured again along with larger air intakes and damping rates were changed and a more serious set of stoppers were added to the stiffer front fork.
1999 saw the arrival of the F4 model, virtually a complete new model from the ground up. The engine was all new with even more oversquare cylinder dimensions and Honda now claimed 110hp from their motorcycle. The new alloy frame also made an appearance along with Honda’s Multi-Action System (HMAS) rear suspension lair. The F4 also benefited from a further upgrade to the braking system. The new millennium brought a major change for Honda.
The 2001 model was the first middleweight to feature fuel injection and it is also the model that had to leave the seat for the new CBR600F4I. Lots of other changes were also made to the 4-into-one exhaust system and Honda claimed a further 5 percent boost in power over the previous, carbureted, F4 model. The frame was now more rigid than ever and the F4I tip the skies at a claimed 160kg dry.
Just two years after the introduction of the first Honda CBR600F4I, the RR made its debut. The “RR”, of course, was made so famous by the continuously improved Fireblade model, but the 600 model was launched with much fain fair and claims it is being inspired by the four-stroke RC211V that Valentino Rossi was using to grab effect in what was then the all-new four-stroke MotoGP series. The exhaust had moved under the pillion seat following the fashioned look of taking the mufflers out of the way, but the really big improvements came with the 45mm forks and Unit Pro-Link rear suspension lair. Wisely, Honda didn’t mop like the model two overly stiff so on bumpy back roads, the machine was the most confidence-inspiring middleweight available. It is exactly this type of every day road that most sportbike riders seek out and this is where the 600RR shines brightly.
The only other criticism that I was able to pick on the 2003 CBR600RR was that the paint finish on the tank was not hardy enough and had a little tend of scuffing. The paint issue was fixed for the 2004 model year.
Honda added small improvements to the CBR600RR, mostly color schemes, until they decided that 2008 has to bring a completely revised model which it did.
The supersport middleweight class is a very competitive, if not the most competitive class which needs to be leaden in order for sales to grow and popularity to hit. This is the reason why every manufacturer has a special place reserved for its middleweight sports bike and improvements never stop rolling out the production lines.
I believe that it is clear who’s the class leader for the moment by it is a must mentioning which manufacturers are in the race and with what models they plan on stole Honda’s crown.
Almost anywhere you look on the 2008 R6 you’ll find something new, including YCC-I, Yamaha Chip Controlled Intake. It’s bristling with loads of refinements and knowledge gained from years of racing. You can confidently say the YZF-R6 is in the race for the most advanced production 600cc motorcycle.
With the 2007 GSX-R600, Suzuki produced a racer replica that delivers “the outstanding power-to-weight ratio, powerband and throttle response”, a sportbike that also establishes the 600cc state-of-the-art in terms of throttle response, suspension performance and braking power. A motorcycle with the type of overall handling that inspires rider confidence and leads to quicker lap times. A machine infused with lessons from the racetrack and another competitor for the CBR600RR.
Also designed to place its rider on the top step of the podium, the new Ninja ZX-6R sportbike elevates 600cc class power and handling to a new level. Considering to stellar capabilities of the last year’s ZX-6R, Kawasaki designers knew it would take a special combination of middleweight power and nimble handling characteristics if they were to make the next leap in the middleweight performance.
Has anyone a better product to offer? Let the race begin!
It is hard not to fall in love with the 2008 CBR600RR by simply looking at it. The aggressive and still smooth lines have the purpose of introducing you in the world championship-winning machines and the task is completed spotless.
Every piece blends in perfectly with the other, kind of like a representation of how the engine works, and the result is what will astonish you every day you will open the garage’s door. The feeling given will be that you just bought your own RC51 as the bike is inspired from the racing version. The proof makes it the centrally-located ram-air intake duct nestled between the line-beam headlamps, the open-air look of the Formula One inspired bodywork that exposes the engine and its stylized covers.
Ever since its introduction, the 600RR was a combination of black and red and due to its power of representing Honda in the best way, the color can be found on the new CBR and it will surely have the same effect on people. Apart from the red/black color scheme, other paintjobs like the Pearl Orange/Black and Metallic Silver paintjobs are success guaranteed but the Graffiti will immediately become popular as customers tend to desire products with more and more unique characteristics and that includes paint too.
Being a big fan of the CBR600RR, I have to admit the night before my test drive didn’t brought too much sleep and adrenaline was rushing through my veins even before I got my costume on the next morning. Yes, I know, a big rush will always be followed by an even bigger one but I felt like a kid on Christmas and my present was truly overwhelming.
As I approached the bike, my mind and body were both dedicated on reflecting all that MotoGP inspired technology into a unique track riding experience. The equipment that really stands out and transforms the motorcycle into a dream machine is the Dual Stage Fuel Injection System (PGM-DSFI) featuring two injectors per cylinder. This results in excellent throttle response and a powerful supplied engine which can perform its task of revving freely at any given rpm range and in any of the six gears although I had the best time at around 13500rpm where the bike develops the biggest amount of torque. Between 3,000 and 10,000rpm, the 599cc engine is more user-friendly and it doesn’t plan on scaring traffic participants but cared about that? I was on a track having the time of my live on my dream motorcycle so I pulled the best out of that fabulous engine up to 15,000rpm where the redline comes in.
Cornering is sharp due to the bike’s exclusive MotoGP derived Unit Pro-Link Rear Suspension and MotoGP-derived Honda Electronic Steering Damper (HESD) so you will quickly become confident in the bike abilities and all the fun will be unveiled as your knee touches the track’s asphalt and the bike follows the line imposed at the beginning of the corner.
Quickly reducing speed before a curve implies some gear changing and the smooth-shifting close-ratio six-speed transmission with ratios closely matched to the engine’s powerband takes all the problems off your head and you can concentrate on handling the great performer underneath you.
The bike has suffered some serious weight reduction and it ended up weighting 410 lbs with all the fluids and its fuel tank full of gas so it will gently show you the way in motorcycling without any problems whatsoever. You should keep in mind, though, that this is no machine for beginners.
If you’re thinking that you’ll be suffering some pain on your backside and shoulders, than you are very wrong my friend. This model is designed for the road and it does prove being able to carry you, pain excluded, for a couple of miles.
I especially loved to tuck underneath the windshield in order to maximize the improved aerodynamics of the bike and I have to mention that I did a hot shower and a bit of stretching that morning as I knew what was expecting me. No regrets related to that. In fact, no regrets related to any of the bikes behavior.
Braking components have the purpose of hauling the new CBR down from speed and they do it very quickly. Who exactly? you will ask. Up front, a pair of 310mm discs and four-piston radial-mount Tokico calipers actuated by the new vertical-piston radial-mount master cylinder. At the back, a single-piston caliper and 220mm disc keeps the rear of the bike where it should be and the rest is only coordination, throttle switches and gear changes as you are tucked in the fairing. Did I forget mentioning fun? It is all about fun!
When buying the new CBR600RR, MotoGP technology will be placed right in the palm of your hand and everyone will know it. What they’ll probably not know is that you only paid a retail price of $9,599 so I wish you good luck transmitting that to them.
Overall, the 2008 Honda CBR600RR gets an A plus for being extremely good looking and having loads of power available on twist away. For a sportbike, it offers very good comfort and given to its lightweight and Electronic Steering Damper it also corners and handles like no other bike on any given track. It is good to know that development never stops at Hondas and they only end up offering a great package for the less of money.
Engine and Transmission
Type: liquid-cooled inline four-cylinder
Bore x Stroke: 67mm x 42.5mm
Compression Ratio: 12.2:1
Valve Train: DOHC; four valves per cylinder
Carburetion: Dual Stage Fuel Injection (DSFI) with 40mm throttle bodies, Denso 12-hole injectors
Ignition: Computer-controlled digital transistorized with three-dimensional mapping
Transmission: Close-ratio six-speed
Final Drive: #525 0-ring chain
Chassis and Dimensions
Front Suspension: 41mm inverted HMAS cartridge fork with spring preload, rebound and compression damping adjustability; 4.7 inches travel
Rear Suspension: Unit Pro-Link HMAS single shock with spring preload, rebound and compression damping adjustability; 5.1 inches of travel
Front Brakes: Dual radial-mounted four-piston calipers with 310mm discs
Rear Brake: Single 220mm disc
Front Tire: 120/70ZR-17 radial
Rear Tire: 180/55ZR-17 radial
Rake: (Caster Angle): 23.55 degree
Trail: 97.7mm (3.8 inches)
Wheelbase: 53.9 inches
Seat Height: 32.3 inches
Curb Weight: 410 lbs (Includes all standard equipment, required fluids and a full tank of fuel-ready to ride)
Fuel Capacity: 4.8 gallons, including 0.9-gallon reserve
Available Colors: Red/Black, Pearl Orange/Black, Metallic Silver, Graffiti
Model ID: CBR600RR
Features & Benefits
New for 2008
-Exciting new color: Red/Black, Pearl Orange/Black, Metallic Silver, and Graffiti
-Exclusive, MotoGP derived Unit Pro-Link Rear Suspension.
Dual Stage Fuel Injection System (PGM-DSFI) features two injectors per cylinder.
MotoGP-derived Honda Electronic Steering Damper (HESD).
High-revving engine redlines at 15,000rpm.
-MotoGP-style center-up exhaust system.
Radial-mount front brake calipers combined with radial actuated master cylinder.
41mm Honda Multi-Action System (HMAS) inverted front fork.
Centrally located fuel tank increases mass centralization for a more compact frame design.
Line beam headlights feature three-piece multi-reflector design.
-Liquid-cooled DOHC 16-valve 599cc four-stroke inline four-cylinder engine features oversquare bore and stroke of 67mm x 42.5mm.
Idle-air control valve (IACV) minimizes torque reaction and smoothes responsive to small throttle changes through gradual reduction of air and fuel intake.
Oil jets located beneath the pistons for extra friction reduction and cooling.
Iridium-tip spark plugs improve fuel combustion and performance.
Non-resonance knock sensor maintains optimum spark advance while constantly monitoring combustion performance during mid-to high-rpm operation.
Nose-mounted, two-stage ram-air system provides high volume of cool air to the airbox for linear power delivery and incredible engine performance.
Lightweight magnesium head cover.
Cylinder head features angled valve insets to improve airflow.
Cylinder head features two springs per intake valve and one spring per exhaust valve for optimum high-rpm valve operation and durability.
Direct shim-under-bucket valve actuation ensures high-rpm performance and durability with 16,000-mile maintenance intervals.
Lightweight, forged-aluminum pistons incorporate special shoot peening for added strength.
Nutless connecting rods contribute to quicker acceleration.
Light neodymium magnet ACG.
Lightweight stainless steel four-into-one exhaust features inline-exhaust valve to control exhaust pressure for maximum performance.
Double-pivot tensioner for cam-chain durability.
Smooth-shifting close-ratio six-speed transmission with ratios closely matched to the engine’s powerband.
-Hollow Fine Die-Cast (DC) frame uses four large castings for ultra light weight.
41mm inverted HMAS cartridge front fork features spring preload, rebound and compression damping adjustability for precise suspension tuning.
Exclusive, MotoGP derived Unit Pro-Link Rear Suspension.
Braking system features twin four-piston radial-mounted front calipers, dual 310mm front discs and a single 220mm rear disc for optimum stopping power.
Vertical-piston master-cylinder system produces superior leverage ratio at the front brake lever for higher braking efficiency, excellent feel, and controllability. This layout permits the use of a longer brake lever, which means more braking force with less effort from the rider.
Light aluminum steering system.
-Industry-leading ergonomic design features maximum rider comfort for minimum fatigue in all riding conditions.
Centrally-mounted 4.8-gallon fuel tank is positioned low in the frame, increasing mass centralization and allowing a more compact design.
Plastic tank shell cover protects tank and airbox.
Line-beam headlights feature three-piece multi-reflector design utilizing two H7 bulbs for optimum light distribution and a unique compact design.
Instrumentation is very compact and features a LCD panel with tachometer, odometer, twin tripmeters, speedometer, fuel gauge and clock.
Attractive, hollow-spoke aluminum-alloy wheels feature race-spec 3.5 x 17.0-inch front and 5.5 x 17.0 inch rear dimensions.
One-piece fan assembly for maximum cooling efficiency.
Compact rear cowl storage compartment for U-type locking devices under the passenger seat. (lock not included)
Pivoting aerodynamic mirrors.
Integrated ignition-switch/fork lock for added security.
Convenient push-to-cancel turn-signal switch.
Transferable one-year, unlimited mileage limited warranty; extended coverage available with a Honda Protection Plan.
Purchase of a new, previously unregistered Honda USA-certified unit by an individual retail user in the United States qualifies the owner for a one-year complimentary membership in the Honda Rider’s Club of America (HRCA).
Available Honda Genuine Accessories
-Color-Matched Passenger Seat Cowl, U-lock, CBR Racing Cycle Cover, Carbon Fiber Accents.