Honda CBR600RR long-term review update two | First service completed, Dan charts the hits and misses

My first update on Honda’s reborn CBR600RR came almost exactly a month ago. I’d had the keys for just a week and spent the running in period buzzing my way to and from the Isle of Man TT races.

Four weeks on, and with the supersport screamer now serviced, I’ve been dedicating as much time as possible to getting to know the top end of the rev counter – exploring the full 15,000rpm available across the winding B-roads surrounding my Lincolnshire home.

These were the routes that I grew up riding, spinning hundreds of laps aboard my Suzuki GSX-R600 SRAD as a 17-year-old, long before my time at MCN began.

Honda CBR60RR long-term test bike right side action

One loop on the CBR and all of those happy memories came flooding back, reminding me of a time where my main concern in life was being able to touch my knee to the tarmac, as well as which bike meet we were going to that evening.

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The Honda may be far more advanced than my carbureted Suzuki could ever have hoped to be, but the same basic recipe remains the same – short wheelbase, screaming four-cylinder engine in the middle, and wrist-heavy clip-ons. 

Outside of its abilities as a time machine, the CBR has also proved itself to be a fabulous commuting tool and continues to turn heads wherever we go. However, it’s not all been perfect, with some shortcomings now coming to the fore as the summer weather finally arrives.

Exhaust heat – Miss

Honda CBR60RR long-term test bike exhaust

A CBR600RR just wouldn’t look right without an underseat exhaust pipe and I’m so glad Honda kept it for this latest incarnation, despite growing emissions challenges. 

It may now be stuffed with catalysers, but it makes a brilliant noise as standard. There’s a burble on tickover like a race can, and there’s a real audible scream at the top end. 

Trouble is, when the weather gets hot, the end can, and associated piping can become uncomfortably warm beneath your bottom. It’s manageable on the move, but in slow speed traffic it can become very unpleasant and a borderline distraction. 

Sporty styling – Hit

Honda CBR60RR long-term test bike admired by Dan Sutherland

If we’re being honest, a supersport 600 doesn’t really need winglets for downforce if it’s spending the majority of its life on the road. 

However, regardless of their effectiveness, they just look so right on the bike – flanking the aggressive narrow headlights and following the lines on the sleek side fairings. Once upon a time, the RR was considered the conservative supersport option, but it now looks incredibly exotic, and draws plenty of welcome attention. 

The narrow proportions also make it a dream to filter through traffic on, with the low bars safe from risk of colliding with car wing mirrors.

Frugal nature – Hit

Honda CBR60RR long-term test bike engine

I can’t quite believe this, but the RR is one of the best bikes I’ve had for economy. Not only does the wide 18-litre tank help make the bike feel roomy, but it also allows you to achieve over 200 miles between fill ups.

Just this morning, I pulled onto a forecourt with 204.8 miles on the trip, with the range indicator still saying I had 21 miles available. Once filled, I could only squeeze in 15.92 litres back in – meaning it achieved a tested 58.5mpg. I’m yet to test the bike on a race track (more on that soon).

New Screen – Hit

Honda CBR60RR long-term test bike aftermarket screen

As standard, the screen is very small. It works with the styling, but it doesn’t do a great job of directing the wind away from your head and shoulders. I’ve swapped it for a £79.99 Puig R-Racer screen, which remains clear, but is slightly taller.

The result is a product that doesn’t look out of place on the bike, but also reduces the wind blast on your body. Being 5ft 6in I can hunker down behind it and smash out big miles in relative comfort. It’s a worthwhile accessory for any 600RR owner. 

Lack of a fuel gauge – Miss

Honda CBR60RR long-term test bike TFT dash

You can access your live mpg via the colour TFT dash and can even select to choose an additional CBR logo to look at, but the petrol gauge only appears when the fuel light comes on for the last 40 miles of range. It’s not the end of the world, but it does become a pain when you want to see how much juice you have at the start of a journey, to work out whether you should fill up. 

Watch Dan discuss his favourite kit for sportsbike riding in this video