2021 Honda CBR600RR won't come to Europe

A side view of the 2021 Honda CBR600RR
A side view of the 2021 Honda CBR600RR

The 2021 Honda CBR600RR was launched on 25 September featuring more aerodynamic styling, revised engine internals, traction control and more. Unfortunately, it’s not coming to Europe – with the Japanese manufacturer confirming they have no plans to sell the bike in the market.

Ready to spice up the middleweight sporty segment alongside the Kawasaki ZX-6R and Yamaha R6, the new RR was first revealed earlier in September by Honda Japan, with a brief YouTube video and short statement on their website.

With rumours of its arrival already circulating before its official unveil and early details limited to what we could pick out online, Honda have now released the full spec sheet – promising more power, more revs, less drag and a welcome update in technology. 

Starting up front, the eagle-eyed amongst you will have noticed the new face, which shares styling traits with the existing RR (still available in markets like the USA) and the 2020-on CBR1000RR-R Fireblade. Expect the standard new bike to cost 1,606,000 yen, or around £11,468.

Honda claim that it’s the most aerodynamic in class, boasting the lowest drag coefficient. As is the current trend, winglets have also been added to provide additional stability and downforce during acceleration and corner entry.

Providing that acceleration will be a traditional water-cooled 599cc inline-four-cylinder screamer, producing a claimed 119.3bhp – around the same output as when it left the UK in 2017, due to tightening emissions regulations and dwindling sales.

For a little extra pep, the DOHC lump now revs harder, too - making its maximum power at 14,000rpm. This has been achieved by altering the materials used in the camshaft and crankshaft, as well as changing the shape of the intake inlet port and expanding the throttle bore. Intake and exhaust efficiency are also said to be improved by altering the valve timing.

On top of work within the engine, the CBR also now benefits from some fresh electronics, with a TFT dash up front to replace the old part-analogue unit. A clever Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU) also sits in the middle of the bike and works with the ride-by-wire throttle to allow for traction control. This is present alongside conventional and cornering ABS, riding modes, wheelie control and engine braking control. Helping further during aggressive braking is a slipper clutch.

The suspension, brakes and chassis all appear to be carried over from the existing machine; with the 41mm manually-adjustable Showa big piston forks now protruding through the yokes a further 15mm for a more naturally sporty stance and 150g shaved off the weight of the rear swingarm.

Finishing the bike is a deep red HRC paint job, complete with strips of black, white and blue. LED lighting is also included, as is the automatic hazard feature when you brake hard.

The Honda CBR600RR is back! YouTube short film shows new model in action

First published on 6 August, 2020 by Dan Sutherland

After disappearing from UK showrooms in 2017, Honda’s CBR600RR could be about to make a shocking return, following a short model reveal trailer uploaded to the firm’s Japanese YouTube channel earlier today (above).

As reported by MCN last month, rumours of a new RR have been swirling for a while, with this new 1:16 film and a brief description on Honda Japan’s website giving us our first real glimpse of the forthcoming machine.

Related articles on MCN

A finished version of the CBR600RR appeared online

Little information is available, however a statement online confirmed the bike will feature a "water-cooled, four-stroke, DOHC, in-line four-cylinder 599cc engine and the latest electronic control technology and aerodynamic technology."

This is then further confirmed by a clip of a new TFT dash within the accompanying YouTube video, which shows optional riding modes controlling; power, traction, wheelie and engine braking - plus a redline figure of 15,000rpm.

This new layout replaces the existing RR’s part-analogue display – with the bike still available for purchase outside of the UK in countries like the USA.

Sticking with the front end, a close-up of the rider’s cockpit within the video suggests the upside down forks will be manually adjustable – unlike the semi-active Öhlins kit found on the latest Fireblade SP. Also lacking from the 'Blade is keyless ignition, with the rider clearly shown turning the bike on using a conventional key. 

Appearing to be ridden hard around Sugo circuit, in Japan, in the presence of masked data engineers in the video, the bike also gets a fresh front fairing – which shares styling traits with the new 'Blade and existing 600RR to meet somewhere in the middle. There also looks to be a small set of wings which look great, but are often unseen on a bike we would expect to produce just shy of 120bhp.

Helping to maximise the efficiency of this output is what appears to be a quickshifter, which is suggested by the fast upshifts overlaid as sound clips in the video.

Away from the new front end, the bike retains its under-seat exhaust, which has been a staple of the CBR600RR since its inception in 2003. Alongside similar exhausts, the wheels, frame and swingarm also appear to be taken from the current model, visible in a number of clips both on track, as well as static imagery.

With the bike currently unavailable in the UK due to emissions regulations and dwindling sales, it is questionable whether we will see the finished product brought to the UK, but it’s great to see manufacturers still investing in the supersport class. As always MCN will endeavour to bring you more information on the bike as it becomes available.

New Honda CBR600RR: Baby Blade rumours swirl as bike could be unveiled in August

First published on 22 July 2020 by Jordan Gibbons

A render of the 2021 Honda CBR600RR

Whispers from Japan suggest that Honda will unveil a final edition version of their CBR600RR supersports bike imminently. 

The CBR600RR has been in constant production since 2003 but with dwindling sales in Europe, and ever tighter emissions regulations, it’s been absent from the UK since 2016, although it’s rumbled on virtually unchanged in other markets ever since.

Now, though, the rumours from Japan suggest Honda will unveil a new model with some nice little touches as one last hurrah for the supersports machine before it is retired forever.  

Chances are the really big stuff like the engine, frame and running gear will remain unchanged – especially if it’s a final one-off. We’re told the exhaust will stay under the seat, as that’s a hallmark of the bike, but there’s mixed messages over the engine. Some sources are telling us it will get a Euro4 update with a revised engine and power around 110bhp, while others tell us nothing will change. It’s hard to say at this point – fingers crossed, but don’t get your hopes up. 

Whatever state the engine is in, all of our sources indicate it will get a big electronics update with kit borrowed from the Fireblade

That means a six-axis IMU bringing with it lean sensitive traction control, cornering ABS, anti-wheelie – you name it. It will also have the usual fancy bits that go along with that including ride-by-wire, power modes plus a quickshifter and autoblipper. 

Also coming from the new ‘Blade is an all new look. A fairing redesign dominated by a large central air-intake plus winglets is on the cards, just like all the latest full power superbikes. The suggestion currently is that Honda will quietly unveil the bike on August 9 at Sugo circuit, the opening round of the All Japan Road Race Championship, with the production machine to follow in Autumn.  

Honda CBR600RR fact file

  • Big changes Given the success of the CBR650R we’d be surprised if Honda updated the CBR600 for Europe but stranger things have happened 
  • Hey good looking With bodywork reportedly borrowed from the Blade, the new CBR600 should cut a nice silouhette 
  • Electronic star The CBR600RR still available overseas is quite a basic machine compared with modern superbikes, so an electronics boost will be welcome 
  • Not cheap If they do make a Euro-friendly final machine, don’t expect much change from £14,000 
  • Racing pedigree Superstock 600 is important in Japanese racing, with Honda winning 13 out of the 17 championships including an 11 year broken run 

Read the latest stories causing a buzz this week in News…

Dan Sutherland

By Dan Sutherland

Senior Writer (motorcycling), sportsbike nut, currently riding a FireBlade