There was a time when middleweight sportbikes lived and died by the checkered flag. Sales were directly tied to success in production-based roadracing. Comparison tests reflected this ultra-competitive atmosphere, with overall winners closely wedded to lap times, dragstrip ETs, peak engine performance, and, yes, the Wow! factor. The Honda CBR600RR enjoyed many race victories and championship wins, yet it has always offered a rider-friendly jump-on-and-go demeanor with excellent engine performance and stable, predictable handling that instills instant confidence. That was true when the CBR600RR debuted in 2003 and it remains true today.
The CBR600RR has changed little since 2013 when it received new 12-spoke wheels, revised ECU settings, and a fine-tuned ram-air system to increase engine torque. It also benefited from fitment of a Showa Big Piston Fork and revised shock internals. This year, the CBR600RR comes in one color—Matte Black Metallic—with or without ABS. The difference in price is $1,000 and the claimed difference in weight is 24 pounds. Which one should you buy? That depends if you’re looking for a daily rider or a trackday weapon. Either way, the CBR600RR will serve you well.
Likes: Agility and stability equal trust, street or track
Dislikes: Five years is a long time between model updates
Verdict: A familiar friend you can always count on
Cycle World’s Annual Ten Best Bikes
Middleweight CBRs have won Ten Best awards nearly as many times as most folks have fingers, most recently in 2008. Lauding the impressive midrange power and competitive top-end, editors said the CBR600RR “delivers superior performance in day-to-day riding. An excellent chassis makes this one of the sweetest-handling motorcycles made.”
2019 Honda CBR600RR Reviews And Comparisons
When the 600cc supersport category was a critical sales tool for the motorcycle industry, the CBR600RR had heavy competition from other Japanese makers—Kawasaki, Suzuki, and Yamaha—and, later, European brands like Ducati and Triumph. Back then, comparisons meant gathering data on both street and track, the latter including road courses and dragstrips.
2019 Honda CBR600RR Competition
If you’re considering a Honda CBR600RR, perhaps you should also look at the three other available Japanese inline-fours—Kawasaki ZX-6R, Suzuki GSX-R600, and Yamaha YZF-R6—as well as the V-twin Ducati SuperSport and three-cylinder Triumph Daytona 675R. All offer exciting street and track performance with MSRPs ranging from $11K to $14K.
2019 Honda CBR600RR Specifications And Pricing
Honda offers nine accessories for the 2019 CBR600RR, including a sport windscreen, racing sticker kit, and cover. The passenger seat cowl is color-matched to the rest of the bike, and the rear fender, exhaust-pipe cover, license-plate frame, tank trim, and fuel lid cover are treated with a carbon-fiber look. Price $11,799 ($12,799 with ABS).