Honda CBR 600RR Fast In Initial Testing.

Sean Alexander
by Sean Alexander
Honda wrapped up an initial test of the new CBR 600RR Supersport bike and a shake down of Ben Bostrom's RC-51 Superbike, on November 26th. After the two days of testing, it looks like the riders and team owners not racing a 600RR next year, might have cause to be a just a little nervous.

In cold and blustery conditions, the 600RR (allegedly) turned in quicker times than Ben Bostrom's RC-51 Superbike. To be fair to Ben and the RC-51, he was only there for a shake down ride and never really got the opportunity to put in a truly hot lap. Furthermore, the comparatively gentle power delivery of the 600RR may have played a part, in the tricky conditions. According to Honda, there was only one CBR 600RR available for the test. Miguel DuHamel rode the bike for most of day1, the rest of the riders took turns with it, for the remainder of the test. Riders who attended the informal test include: American Honda’s DuHamel and Ben Bostrom, Erion Honda’s Kurtis Roberts, Jake Zemke and Roger Lee Hayden, Bruce Transportation Group's Martin Craggill and Jason Curtis of the No Limits Motorsports Team. All of the riders who got a chance to dance with the 600RR, came away highly impressed and confident of big things for the upcoming 600 Supersport season.

Here are the tidbits and specs for the 2003 Honda CBR 600RR streetbike:

Features:Completely new die cast aluminum frame utilizes new manufacturing methods to provide optimum rigidity while reducing weight. Frame is tuned for precise handling characteristics.

New Unit Pro-Link rear suspension system is patterned after RC211V GP racer. In this system, the upper shock mount is contained within the swingarm rather than the frame. With no top frame-mount for the shock, this unique system eliminates negative suspension energy from being transmitted into the frame, allowing optimum frame rigidity and improved rideability out of corners. The HMAS shock offers rebound and compression damping, and spring preload adjustability.

Rear swingarm technology derived from RC211V Moto GP racer.

Large, 45mm cartridge front fork offers rebound and compression damping and spring preload adjustability.

Engine redline increased to 15,000-RPM, (CBR 600 F4i redline is 14,200) for a wider powerband and more over-rev than the F4i.

All new liquid-cooled DOHC 16-valve 599cc four-stroke inline four-cylinder engine features oversquare bore and stroke of 67mm x 42.5mm.

New engine is more compact-engine length is now 236mm vs. 266mm-which helps move the rider forward 70mm.

New-style center-up, underseat exhaust system.

Dual Stage Fuel Injection (DSFI) system features two injectors per cylinder-one upper and one lower-controlled by an ECU that senses rpm and throttle opening. Lower injector enhances rideability while upper injector improves top-end horsepower. At lower rpm only the lower injector is working. Above 5500 rpm both injectors are activated. The system uses 40mm throttle bodies.

New Denso injectors with 12 laser-drilled holes deliver a finely atomized fuel mixture for optimum combustion efficiency and power.

Auto enriching system is integrated into PGM-FI module, eliminating the need for a manual choke.

Two-stage ram-air system provides a high volume of cool air to the airbox for linear power delivery and incredible engine performance.

Airbox volume increased to 15 liters (compared to CBR600F4i) for improved performance.

Cylinder head features angled valve inset to improve air flow.

Cylinder head features two springs per intake valve and two springs per exhaust valve for optimum high-rpm valve operation and durability.

Direct shim-under-bucket valve actuation ensures high-rpm performance and durability and offers 16,000-mile maintenance intervals.

New lighter pistons, piston pins and nutless connecting rods contribute to higher revving engine.

New double-pivot cam-chain tensioner improves cam chain durability.

Starter gears moved to the right side for increased lean angle.

Increased radiator capacity to match increased engine performance.

New one-piece fan assembly increases cooling efficiency.

New lightweight aluminum oil cooler.

Centrally located fuel tank increases mass centralization and allows more compact frame design.

New Line Beam Headlight features three- piece reflector design (first in the world) utilizing two H7 bulbs for optimum light distribution, and unique compact design.

Smooth-shifting close-ratio six-speed transmission is closely matched to the engine's powerband.

Braking system features twin four-piston front calipers, dual 310mm front discs and a single 220mm rear disc for optimum stopping power.

Handlebars located below top triple-clamp for precise handling.

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. This design positions the rider 70mm forward for optimum handling.

New plastic tank shell cover protects tank and airbox.

New instrumentation is more compact and features tachometer, speedometer and fuel gauge.

Attractive hollow-spoke aluminum alloy wheels feature race spec 3.5 x 17-inch front and 5.5 x 17-inch rear dimensions.

Maintenance-free battery.

Optional seat cowl.

Compact rear cowl storage compartment for U-type locking devices (lock not included) under the passenger seat.

Folding 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.

Ownership includes one-year complimentary membership in the Honda Riders Club.

Specifications:Engine Type: 599cc liquid-cooled inline four-cylinder

Bore and Stroke: 67mm x 42.5mm

Compression Ratio: 12.0:1

Valve Train: DOHC; four valves per cylinder

Carburetion: Dual Stage Fuel Injection (DSFI)

Ignition: Computer-controlled digital transistorized with three-dimensional mapping

Transmission: Close-ratio six-speed

Final Drive: #525 O-ring-sealed chain

Suspension Front: 45mm HMAS cartridge fork with spring preload, rebound and compression damping adjustability; 4.7 inches travel

Rear: Unit Pro-Link HMAS single shock with spring preload, rebound and compression damping adjustability; 4.7 inches travel

Brakes Front: Dual 310mm discs with four-piston calipers

Rear: Single 220mm disc

Tires: Front- 120/70ZR-17 radial. Rear- 180/55ZR-17 radial.

Wheelbase: 54.7"

Rake: 24.0 Deg.

Trail: 3.7"

Seat Height: 32.3 inches

Claimed Dry Weight: 370 pounds

Fuel Capacity: 4.8 Gal, Reserve: .9 Gal.

Colors : Red&Black, Solid Black, Pearl Yellow

The California version of the CBR 600RR meets CARB 2004 emissions standards.

U.S. MSRP: $8,599

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