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  • Sachin Sen

Honda CBR600RR Returns: The Iconic Supersport is Refreshed for 2024

Updated: Nov 27, 2023

2024 Honda CBR600RR
Honda CBR600 is back for 2024. One of the truest Supersports.

I am not a fan of the question “what’s your dream bike?” simply because I do not like the sound of it, and yes, it’s a cliche. But there are some motorcycles that I would really really like to own… not all at once, but any one of them would do for me for life: like the Hayabusa, one of the BMW boxers (the new R 12 nineT looks really special), CB/CBR650R, CBR600RR…

So yes, the Honda CBR600RR is one such motorcycle. And the biggest reason I love these motorcycles is their engine, of course. However, it’s a different matter altogether that I do not have the financial capacity to buy any one of these… heh!!

That said, whether or not I have a certain motorcycle doesn’t affect the fact that its mere presence brings me immense joy. For that reason alone, I am so happy that Honda has brought the iconic CBR600RR back into production, for the European market at least. Although the bike’s production wasn’t entirely stopped (it has been continuously selling in Japan), its sales in Europe were halted after 2016 due to increasingly complicated emission norms and the diminishing sales in the Supersport class.

But the CBR600RR is Back

2024 Honda CBR600RR
The iconic and recognizable underseat exhaust releasing one of the purest inline-4 soundtracks...

Personally, one of the best things about the CBR600RR’s return is that it retains the underseat exhaust. Once a common sight, underseat exhausts have literally disappeared from production motorcycles as of today. Now looking at the 2024 CBR600RR feels like the bike never left. And especially today, the exhaust makes it look unique. The design might be “old” but it is still one of the most stunning sport bikes to look at.

In fact, the CBR600RR hasn’t really changed at all, unless you consider the obligatory changes required to meet the latest emission norms, as well as the additions in the form of new electronics.

The updated CBR600RR gets throttle by wire (derived from the CBR1000RR-R Fireblade; this specific throttle by wire was originally developed for the RC213V-S) which brings along three preset riding modes and two additional rider-customizable modes. Furthermore, there are all sorts of modern-day electronics, starting with the 6-axis IMU that works to enhance the 9-level traction control (Honda Selectable Torque Control), engine power modes, engine brake control, as well as wheelie control and rear-lift control.

Of course, there’s cornering ABS which Honda says is 2.5 kg lighter than the ‘combined ABS’ system of the last generation CBR600RR.

2024 Honda CBR600RR
Compact bodywork with updated front fairing (having integrated wings)) and all-LED lighting.

The overall chassis components have been updated as well. The aluminium frame and the swing-arm remain but the swing-arm is now 150 gram lighter than the one in the previous model. There’s a pair of fully adjustable Showa Big Piston 41mm forks at the front and a fully adjustable Showa shocker at the back. A Honda Electronic Steering Damper (HESD) also contributes to the bike’s stability, especially at high speeds.

The 2024 CBR600RR is a thoroughly modern sport bike with up to date electronics and suspension components designed to extract the maximum performance in the right hands. And the best part of this motorcycle is still its inline-4 engine. Measuring at 599cc, with DOHC, 16-valve, and liquid-cooling, it produces 121 PS at 14,250 RPM and 63 NM of torque at 11,500 RPM.

But these are merely numbers; what makes the engine special, for me, is how it feels. It is renowned for its faultless fueling and the inline-4 hum is unbelievably buttery smooth. The aural experience would tell you how well everything (from the engine to the exhaust and everything in between) is so well in sync with each other. There’s no interruption or a hiccup anywhere whether the engine is in idle or at speed, it’s just pure inline-4 sound.

The CBR600RR has always been one of the best sport bikes, it has won numerous championships; FIM World Super Sport Championship (WSSP) from 2003 to 2008, 2010, 2012, and 2014; the Asia Road Racing Championship from 2012 to 2016; the All-Japan Road Race Championship ST600 class from 2003 to 2011, and 2013, 2014, 2016, and 2019. Also, the CBR600RR’s phenomenal engine powered the MotoGP’s Moto2 category from 2010 to 2018.

2024 Honda CBR600RR
Fantastic on the road and on track... few motorcycles are as proven as this one.

There’s a sense of revival of the Supersport category with the re-introduction of the Honda CBR600RR and the already-selling Kawasaki ZX-6R. While infamous for having peaky power delivery, these 600cc sport bikes are fantastic sport bikes for the road, and far more practical than any Superbike in existence.

Now that the CBR600RR is back in Europe and adhering to the latest emissions, including the OBD2-2, I believe there’s a very good chance that Honda will bring it to India as well. If it does, it would be the first time that the CBR600RR will be sold in India officially.


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