Farewell to the Honda CBR 600

After a long life, the Honda CBR600RR production is set to be cut off by 2017, ending 30 years as a superbike legend. This and a whole host of other iconic bikes will not meet the guidelines of the Euro4 noise and emissions regulations coming into place in 2017. The Honda CBR600 is undeniably one of the most crucial sports bikes of the past 30 years, and will be sorely missed. So to say goodbye, we’ve put together a throwback of the past years of the Honda CBR600. It began with the Honda Hurricane 1987, the CBR600F swept through the racing world bagging title after title. It managed to pack in more power with less weight than other 600s on the scene at the time and gave people a powerful but smooth ride. From there on, the CBR600F was updated in 1991, now with more competition coming from Japanese 600’s, Honda needed to step their game up. They improved braking and gave it another 3bhp and 3ftlb of torque, along with a stiffer frame and new fairings. At this point, the CBR600 already had the attention and admiration of the motorbike community, but Honda had more up their sleeve! The competition hotted up yet again, with Kawasaki and Yamaha releasing the ZX-6R and the Thundercat. To keep current, Honda introduced a ram-air system and a larger rear wheel which gave a wider choice of tyres. The biggest step yet came in 2003, with the release of the Honda CBR600RR. This bike became a full-on track beast with 13,500rpm and a 117bhp motor. A couple more updates in 2005 gave the bike better handling, suspension and brilliant balance. The CBR600RR came out as more or less a brand new bike, only keeping the name. In 2011, the CBR600F was back yet again and came to give us all the practicality that the RR models were lacking. It housed a detuned engine like the RR models in an aluminium chassis, and without the same punch as the RR, this F model made for a great everyday bike with a sporty edge. The final CBR600RR model was released in 2013, with only a few minor updates to keep up with the competition. Even though sales of 600s were seriously dwindling towards the end of the CBR600RR’s long life, it still managed to keep current. This model was given a Big Piston Fork along with a couple of updates to the C-ABS unit, so overall it was the bike we knew and loved. As sales dwindled, it became clear that the CBR600RR was becoming an all-around specialist bike for those with a love of compact 600s. The Honda CBR600 has thoroughly proved its prowess in the motorbike world over the past 30 years. Even though its life is coming to an end next year to make way for a new generation of more environmentally friendly bikes, I’m sure it will remain in history as one of the most iconic modern-day bikes!

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