The Honda CBR legacy, encompassing iconic models like the CBR900RR and the current flagship CBR1000RR-R, has produced remarkable motorcycles. Amid these successes, the once-leading CBR600RR has somewhat waned in recent years, available in limited markets and devoid of updates over the past decade.
However, a contrasting narrative unfolds in Japan, where the CBR600RR has undergone substantial revisions in 2021 and now again for MY24. These enhancements position it to rival the recently upgraded Kawasaki Ninja ZX-6R, creating an enticing proposition.
Distinctly sleeker than its American counterpart, the Japan-spec CBR600RR for 2024 flaunts two new captivating liveries. The Grand Prix Red version emulates the 2023 CBR1000RR-R with a vibrant tricolor HRC (Honda Racing Corp.) livery. A glossy red base is adorned with sporty blue and white graphics, spanning the fairings, tank, and headlight cowl. Conversely, the Matte Ballistic Black option exudes an understated allure, enveloping the RR in a sleek matte black finish, devoid of additional graphics.
The overall design retains its allure, featuring projector-equipped twin headlights crowned by aerodynamic wings—an innovation in the 600cc sport bike segment. The rear exudes elegance, highlighted by the popular under-seat exhaust, a rarity in modern times.
The engine receives a noteworthy update, encompassing a new exhaust system with redesigned headers and end pipe. A new catalytic converter aligning with strict Japanese standards, akin to Euro 5 norms, hints at potential international market availability.
Internally, the inline-four powerhouse remains unaltered, delivering 119 horsepower and 47 pound-feet of torque through a six-speed transmission. While slightly less potent than the new Ninja ZX-6R, the RR compensates with a sophisticated TFT instrument cluster housing wheelie control, traction control, power modes, and engine braking control, surpassing the US-spec RR and even outshining the new 6R’s simplicity.
Underpinning the MY24 RR, the aluminum die-cast perimeter chassis interfaces with fully adjustable Showa Big Piston upside-down forks and monoshock suspension. Accompanied by 17-inch, 12-spoke alloy wheels, fitted with Tokico radial calipers gripping 310/220 mm rotors, an electronic steering damper collaborates with the ECU to enhance stability and eliminate potential tank slappers.