Sporty – Honda CBR600RR 2013 test: the sacred fire – The sweetness of life

2013 Honda CBR600RR Review: Sacred Fire

Sporty - 2013 Honda CBR600RR test: the sacred fire - The sweetness of life

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

The sweetness of life

Continued on the same excellent technical bases as in 2012 (and therefore the same as in 2007), the CBR600RR is fatally getting old in terms of pure performance: respectable six years ago, its full power of " only "120 ch no longer impresses today compared to the 129 ch of a .

Likewise, its featherweight of 186 kg all full is no longer a benchmark in the category: the R6 (again!) Admits a small kilo less, while the Triumph Daytona 2013 is announced at 184 kg all full. However, the difference is negligible, even on such sharp motorcycles: the CBR600RR remains a ballerina as easy to handle as it is intuitive..

On the other hand, once equipped with, the CBR600RR takes 10 kg on the scale. There, it is a real abyss, knowing that the most recent systems – like that of the, in particular – weigh only 2 kg.

Technologically, the Honda Superport generally continues to fall behind: it leaves the recent Kawasaki ZX-6R 636 and MV Agusta F3 the leisure to "show off" with their traction control and their configurable injection maps – a device that l ‘we also find on the .

On the road and in the French version, the absence of this type of "electronic crutches" is however of very little importance. The Honda is so homogeneous and its reactions so predictable that it has to be done on purpose to put its formidable traction at fault! The fact remains that anti-skating is not superfluous, even on a motorcycle of less than 130 hp, when it comes to wringing the right full-angle grip on the circuit … or on the road, everywhere except in France.

Especially since the engine of the Honda CBR600RR 2013 retains a relatively high torque for a 600 "short": with 66 Nm in free version, it gives "only" 5 small Newton-meters to the Kawasaki ZX-6R 636 or the MV Agusta F3 (71 Nm), whose displacement is however higher.

Despite these flattering figures, the Honda’s 4-cylinder needs to be whipped to extract the best! Between 3000 and 5000 rev / min, the revivals are laborious once passed the first two reports and it is necessary to wait for 2000 additional laps to feel a first (small) kick in the derche.

The phenomenon is all the more noticeable as the transmission is long enough: the first rupts at 130 km / h and the third exceeds this pace before 10,000 rpm. "And he still has 5500 rpm before reaching the switch: it’s going to flash, boss !", rejoice in advance the police! From 7000 to 9000 rev / min, the acceleration becomes much more consistent: the beautiful rattle and rushes towards high speeds with an obvious enthusiasm, although tinged with a certain reserve.

High rank depreciation

A tad linear in its revving (especially in 106 hp where the acceleration literally stagnates at 13,000 rpm), the 599 cc unit seems indeed muzzled in a corset of good manners and the famous Total Control dear Honda engineers…

This does not prevent this very (too?) Well raised engine from sending tingling in the boots from 5500 rpm, then under the buttocks a little later. In addition, its injection – yet reworked – still deserves a little development: jolts are perceptible on the gas net, making it difficult to negotiate a roundabout or a hairpin smoothly. For once, we would gladly dispense with these (bad) character traits !

Remains a cycle part above all suspicion, starting with exemplary braking of power and progressiveness. Add to it a low interventionist coupled ABS and quite discreet when it comes into action and a front axle with surgical precision, and you have a bike that is simply enjoyable to place in curves. !

The new big piston fork is not for nothing in what turns out to be the point that has improved the most compared to the 2012 model: the feedback it delivers is incredibly rich and its ability to be freeing from variations in topography commands respect. This Showa equipment has the gift of absorbing small shocks as easily as the most violent mass transfers induced by braking loggers brilliantly. A success !

The rear not being outdone, the CBR600RR appears almost comfortable for a motorcycle of this category. On track, a more braked hydraulic system will however be necessary, especially to take advantage of all the capacities of a Full model. But on the road, the "sport-comfort" compromise borders on perfection.

Verdict: false redesign, real success

Let’s be clear: no, the 2013 CBR600RR does not mark a marked departure from the previous model. Only its excellent fork really differentiates this new vintage from the old one. The level of general performance, but also of driving pleasure, takes the opportunity to progress significantly.

So much so that we come to regret the hardness and the forward tilt of its saddle, the lack of space for the legs (what a shame not to have adopted adjustable footrests as on the GSX -R …), engine tingling and its anecdotal protection. Without this, the Honda Supersport would be an almost ideal alternative for those looking for a (relatively) tolerant on-road companion, and efficient on the track..

The most athletic will undoubtedly criticize its lack of developments, both mechanical and electronic. The most pragmatic, them, will notice especially that if the bike retains the "sacred fire" which made it a legend of Supersport, its price swells by 300 euros compared to a 2012 model yet very close technically…

Billed € 10,990 without ABS and € 11,990 with (excluding introductory price and promotions), the 2013 CBR600RR remains – fortunately! – much more accessible than the very expensive Yamaha R6 (€ 12,799). But the difference is significantly reduced with a Triumph Daytona 675 (€ 11,790), certainly much more demanding but otherwise more "sensational"…

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