For 17 years, Honda's CBR(r)600s have been the benchmarks of middleweight performance. The story began with the 1987 Hurricane(r) 600. It was the lightest, quickest, most powerful middleweight the world had ever seen, and obliterated class standards as easily as its namesake. That's not what made the bike such a standout, though. It was how Honda's versatile 600 blew away the dividing line between street and race track.
That unheard-of ability to combine street civility with the performance of a race bike pushed Honda's 600 beyond any middleweight that had gone before. It became a best-seller in the showroom, winning races and enthusiast magazine accolades with equal authority. Honda's new 600 hit the market bulls-eye, and all-round abilities remained the crucial concept behind every middleweight CBR for almost 20 years. Such thinking has kept CBR600s at the top of middleweight sales, and forged a reputation as the winningest bike in the history of AMA Supersport racing, with almost three times the number of total race wins and championship titles compared to the second-ranked manufacturer.
The marketplace has changed, however, and now some riders demand a motorcycle with a narrower focus on the elements of pure performance. Rather than compromise the CBR600F's unique, holistic approach, Honda is introducing a new model: the 2003 CBR600RR. Both will be sold, with the RR and CBR600F4i taking a double-barrel approach to covering the needs of 600 class riders.
The CBR600RR is just as revolutionary as the original CBR600, and will set a new, even higher benchmark for high-performance middleweights. And that's because the RR has closer ties to an elite, exotic MotoGP racer--Honda's world-championship-winning RC211V--than any other bike in the class. The RC211V is such an advanced motorcycle that it simply rewrote the rules for competing in the world's premier class of road racing. In its debut 2002 season, the RC211V crushed the opposition. Valentino Rossi took the championship with 11 race wins out of the 16-race series, while his teammate Tohru Ukawa scored one race win, and West Honda Pons' Alex Barros swept two. That's 88 percent of the series' race wins going to the RC211V.
The similarities in appearance between the RR and RC211V are obvious, and intentional. Because underneath the RR's RC211V-style looks are technologies never before seen on a production motorcycle: Unit Pro-Link(r) rear suspension and Dual Stage Fuel Injection (PGM-DSFI). Both are taken directly from the all-conquering RC211V. And while it's not uncommon for street bikes to utilize racing technology, this is the first time such totally new technologies have found their way to the production line the same year they made their way to the Grand prix grid. Need more proof of how serious Honda was in developing the RR? Read on.
For more information go directly to the CBR600RR page at Honda's website: CBR600RR