Snow at the CBR600RR launch

By Tim Thompson -

First rides & tests

 21 March 2013 11:43

Snow and freezing temperatures at the press launch of the 2013 Honda CBR600RR ensured that the myriad changes to the bike Honda remain, for now, untested.

The repackaged CBR features new 41mm Big Piston Forks, a remapped ECU for improved mid and upper-range engine performance, plus a pair of Fireblade-style 12-spoke ally wheels --  modifications that Honda hope will improve the CBR's performance on both road and track. But with the weather at Donington Park refusing to play ball, it was only the latest development of Honda's Combined-ABS that got a good work out.

The linked braking system, tweaked this year to give the rear caliper more bias and reduce pitching under hard braking, proved faultless and reassuring in the Arctic conditions. Despite the continued absence of traction control and switchable riding modes on the new CBR, the bike's smooth handling and precise fuelling helped find grip and instill confidence on a surface that Donington master Ron Halslam described as the most slippery he had exprerienced there.

Find out more, and how the new bike compares with the 2012 CBR600RR, in the April 3 edition of MCN.