After a five-year run, Honda’s middleweight CBR600RR sportbike gets a re-fresh for ’13. The 2013
features new front suspension, wheels, and quite literally, a facelift in effort to keep up with new models from Japan and Europe.
Over the years we’ve logged thousands of miles on Honda’s CBR600RR and it’s really hard to find any fault with the way it performs on the street or track. In fact, in our most recent 2011 Supersport Shootout IX Track
test, the CBR finished runner-up in spite of being one of the oldest bikes in the contest. Still Big Red aims to fine-tune the handling performance by fitting Showa’s current generation Big Piston Fork technology.
The suspension technology is similar to what’s used on the 2012-plus CBR1000RRs employing larger diameter pistons in each fork leg. The increased piston surface area allows damping pressure to be reduced yet still retains an equal level of force. This reduces initial dive under load (braking) and permits smoother, more controlled action, especially in the initial part of suspension travel. Furthermore the BPF uses fewer components which reduces weight. The fork continues to offer three-way adjustability for spring preload (now adjusted at the bottom of the fork leg via a hex key) while compression and rebound adjustment are located atop the blue anodized fork caps. New 12-spoke cast aluminum wheels complement the suspension update however it’s unclear if the wheels are any lighter than the three-spoke rims they replace.
The face of the CBR is also new and said to be derived from Honda’s factory MotoGP team. The front fairing has a flatter nose and the halogen headlamps have been positioned more closely together. The windscreen is claimed to be smaller and the shape of the tank was also tweaked for improved rider interaction during braking. The bottom and tail cowls were also tailored for better air flow. Lastly a new LED-style taillight was fitted.
For the most part the drivetrain is unchanged with the exception of updated intake and fuel-injection tuning aimed at improving bottom-to-mid-range engine performance. Aside from that the 599cc liquid-cooled Inline-Four engine is unchanged.
The new CBR will be available in three colorways (Red; Repsol Edition; White/Red/Blue) and will be available in U.S. dealerships March, 2013. An ABS-equipped version will also be available (in Red only) at an upcharge. As of this post the prices haven't been announced but expect it to be well above this year’s model ($11,540).