Sportive – Honda CBR600RR 2013 test: sacred fire – Honda CBR600RR 2013 technical update

2013 Honda CBR600RR Review: Sacred Fire

Sporty - Honda CBR600RR 2013 test: sacred fire - Honda CBR600RR 2013 technical update

Will the 2013 Honda CBR600RR be able to replace its rivals with a slight facelift, fine-tuned injection and a new “big piston” fork? To find out, Site tested the one that has long been a reference in Supersport.

Honda CBR600RR 2013 technical update


Almost identical to the previous vintage, the 599 cc in-line 4-cylinder of the 2013 Honda CBR600RR has the same dimensions (67 mm bore and 42.5 mm stroke) and a compression ratio (12.2: 1) identical. Its housings, compact, or its distribution (double overhead camshaft, 16 valves) have not been retouched.

Unsurprisingly, therefore, this engine used by Moto2 Grand Prix cars since 2010 develops the same power and torque values ​​as before: 119.7 hp at 13,500 rpm and 66 Nm at 11,250 rpm in Full ( 106 hp and 60 Nm in France). Honda engineers mainly focused on improving its responsiveness to throttle opening and its operating range..

For this purpose, the air intake has been improved through the use of an ultralight duct placed in the center of the front fairing. Responsible for making the air box "breathe" at the top of its lungs, this polypropylene and fiberglass piece would allow a reduction in intake noise of the order of 3 dB..

Honda has also opted for a new injection map which would manage more finely the performance of the two injectors per cylinder (up to 4800 rpm, only the lower injector is active). In addition, the functions of the removable valve placed at the intake have been extended in favor of the torque. Originally intended to stabilize the speed at idle, this system called IACV (Intake Air Control Valve) would now provide a gain over the entire speed range.

In terms of transmission, the CBR600RR uses a "classic" six-speed gearbox (unlike the extractable cassette boxes of some competitors) which is coupled to a clutch devoid of anti-dribble function. Final drive uses an O-ring chain.

Cycle part

As on the Superbike of the winged blazon, the 600 cc thus adopts an inverted fork of 41 mm "Big Piston", a technology which makes it possible to multiply by 3.5 the pressure surface inside the tubes in favor of a better progressiveness.

This Showa equipment also has the advantage of being easier to adjust thanks to the displacement of the compression and rebound screws at the top of the sleeves..

At the rear, the Unit Pro-Link type shock absorber (i.e. attached to the top of the swingarm and to the connecting rods) has received small improvements such as a new piston surface treatment and optimization the rigidity of the valves used to regulate the flow of oil.

Finally, the 2013 CBR600RR adopts the same twelve-spoke rims as the 2012 Fireblade, and renews its magnificent aluminum alloy swingarm. Worthy of a MotoGP, this one uses a molded element in the center, a stamped part on the right and an extruded spar on the left.

Its perimeter frame in die-cast aluminum maintains the same geometric values. We find in particular a closed caster angle (23 ° 45) and a very contained wheelbase (1375 mm), all for a weight in running order of 186 kg without electronic ABS (196 kg with ABS).

On the braking side, the 2013 Honda bombshell does not change either compared to 2012: the system is based on a 310 mm double disc associated with radial calipers with four pistons for the front and a 220 mm disc with caliper single piston for the rear.

The pads are made of sintered metal for more consistent performance, while the use of a radial master cylinder at the front allows for finer metering and increased efficiency.

Electronics, driving aids

Devoid of traction control, anti-wheeling and injection maps, the CBR600RR only embeds an electronic steering damper Honda Electronic Steering Damper (HESD) and coupled ABS introduced by Honda on its sports cars in 2009.

The action of the steering damper is managed by a solenoid valve, itself controlled by an electronic control unit. Concretely, at high speed, the oil circulation is slowed down by the solenoid valve to reduce steering movements. At low speed, the damping is released, which facilitates maneuvers.

Regarding the electronic C-ABS, this sophisticated device only intervenes from 6 km / h or if the pressure exerted on the lever or the pedal exceeds 0.5 bar. At this time, an ECU (Electronic Control Unit) analyzes the speed of the machine using sensors and toothed rings mounted on each wheel: if too great a difference is detected, the electronics "take control" of the brake controls that can be actuated by the pilot.

At this moment, it is the computer which decides the pressure it will send to each caliper (up to 80 bars). Naturally, its action is proportional to the pilot’s request! The ECU then actuates a modulator producing the requested hydraulic pressure through an electric motor. This actuates a crankshaft which is connected not to a piston (unlike "classic" ABS), but a worm which sends a regular flow to the calipers..

Combined from rear to front, the Honda system also helps to reduce trim variations by balancing the forces between front and rear during hard braking. However, it is still possible to "lick" the rear brake without the ECU trying to send pressure to the front: practical for correcting a trajectory, with the tip of the right boot.

The fact remains that if the use of electronics has made it possible to distribute the masses as judiciously as possible (under the tank, under the saddle, behind the exhaust manifold and under and in front of the swingarm), this new device channels the little space available under the saddle and leads above all to an overweight of 10 kg. A mass far too high, at a time when sports ABS developed by Bosch or Nissin only weigh between 1.5 and 2 kg…

In addition, unlike its more elaborate competitors, the Honda C-ABS is neither configurable nor disconnectable. A characteristic which constitutes a "mechanical brake" for many pistards, just like the more or less successful integration of the various components. The mechanism installed behind the left passenger footrest "strikes" indeed spoils the slender line of the rear part, while the cables and hoses are not always well camouflaged …

Finally, the electronic ABS of the winged crest entails a significant additional cost: first when purchasing (+ 1000 €!), Then when draining the brake system (recommended every 18,000 km or every 18 months , with or without ABS) whose duration goes from 30 minutes to three hours on the C-ABS version (read or reread our).

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