Just a few days back, we saw the first teaser videos of Honda’s new CBR600RR, and liked what we saw. Looks like Honda is taking its previous-generation supersport and adding some key updates, while keeping the trustworthy engine and frame. It’s just what 600 fans have been asking for for years … and it isn’t coming to Canada.
Honda’s motorcycle marketeers have confirmed Big Red is not planning to bring the CBR600RR to our market, and according to Asphalt & Rubber, it’s also not going to the US, or Europe. Honda appears to be planning to sell it in Japan, but maybe nowhere else.
That’s disappointing, considering the bike’s many upgrades are exactly what people have been asking for—advanced electronics package (traction control, etc.), updated suspension (Showa Big Piston Forks) and even a set of aerodynamic winglets. Kawasaki and Yamaha have both moved their 600s forward with new electronics and suspension in the past few years, and Aprilia’s new RS660 appears ready to bring aerodynamics to the 600 class. Now Honda will have a bike that can compete with those machines … but you won’t be able to buy it here.
A&R says the reason the machine isn’t coming to North America is pricing. Honda’s upgrades will drive the CBR’s price sky-high, and North Americans won’t pay it, Big Red figures.
Why would Honda even bother with this? A couple of guesses: First, this could be some sort of transitional model, like the last-gen CBR1000, which did the same thing: added minimal upgrades to the basic engine/chassis, to fill time while Honda developed a new litrebike.
Or, this could just be the 20th-century version of a homologation special. Honda’s getting its butt kicked in World Supersport, and an updated 600 would be very welcome there. Bet we’ll see a new machine in that series next year, changing Honda’s fortunes.