2009 Honda CBR600RR-ABS - It Really Works!

Honda's Electronic Combined ABS Could Revolutionize Sportbikes

By: Roland Brown, Ari Henning, Photography by Giuseppe Gori, Honda

Hard Parts
Better braking through technology

The CBR600RR's 16-valve inline-four produces more torque between 4000 and 10,000 rpm than it did last year, while still maintaining a peak output of 120 bhp at 13,500 revs. Increased midrange comes courtesy of a redesigned exhaust system with enhanced crossover tubes and an exhaust valve (as on the CBR1000RR) that regulates back-pressure for maximum power. Two Denso injectors per cylinder spray their combustibles into a bank of 40mm throttle bodies, which lead into intake ports with a shot-peen finish for optimized atomization.

Showa components are standard equipment, an inverted 41mm fork with 4.7 inches of fully adjustable travel holding up the front and Honda's Unit Pro-Link suspension anchoring the rear. Based on the MotoGP championship-winning RC211V, the rear end features a cast-aluminum gull-wing swingarm controlled by a single shock whose upper mount is contained within the swingarm. This reduces negative suspension energy from being transmitted to the frame and improves stability when driving out of corners.

The '09 CBR's Hollow Fine Die-Cast frame sheds more than a pound through the use of astonishingly thin 2.5mm walls. Frame spars are tuned to specific rigidities to enhance handling and feedback, although rake, trail and wheelbase remain the same. Honda's electronic steering damper hides under the plastic tank skin and works to maintain stability at high speeds. Use of the Unit Pro-Link swingarm allows the 4.8-gallon fuel tank to be shifted back and down, helping to centralize mass. Bodywork is restyled slightly to conceal the bike's electronic paraphernalia.

Honda's Electronic Combined ABS is a step above the rest, offering controlled braking at the threshold of wheel lock-up. At low input pressures, the system is inactive and hydraulic force travels directly from the vertical-piston master cylinder to the new lightweight Tokico four-piston monobock calipers. Electric Control Modules (ECM) connected to the front and rear brake hoses measure pressure input and feed data to the system's dedicated ECU. When high pressure is applied to the lever, the ECU goes to work scrutinizing sensor data from the wheels and brake lines hundreds of times per second to direct pressure and determine if intervention is necessary. When traction loss is imminent, the ECU signals the corresponding wheel's Electronic Pressure Unit (EPU). Responding in just .006 of a second (about the speed of a honey bee's wings), the EPU's motor-driven ball screw acts on a modulating piston to adjust braking force and maintain traction. A stroke simulator inside each ECM creates artificial pressure at the lever, so feel is consistent and uninterrupted.

Tech Spec

Honda's class-leading 600cc supersport is endowed with
electronically controlled linked ABS.
The rest of the middleweights from the Land of The Rising
Sun: Kawasaki ZX-6R, Suzuki GSX-R600 and Yamaha YZF-R6.
Price $10,799 ($9799 without ABS)
Engine type l-c inline-four
Valve train DOHC, 16v
Displacement 599cc
Bore x stroke 67.0 x 42.5mm
Compression 12.2:1
Fuel system EFI
Clutch Wet, multi-plate
Transmission 6-speed
Claimed horsepower 120 bhp @ 13,500 rpm
Claimed torque NA
Frame Aluminum twin-spar
Front suspension 41mm Showa inverted cartridge fork with
adjustable spring preload, compression and
rebound damping
Rear suspension Single Showa shock with adjustable spring
preload, compression and rebound damping
Front brake Dual Tokico radial-mount four-piston monoblock
calipers, 310 mm discs, optional ABS
Rear brake Single Tokico two-piston caliper, 220mm disc,
optional ABS
Front tire 120/70-ZR17 Bridgestone BT015
Rear tire 180/55-ZR17 Bridgestone BT015
Rake/trail 23.5/3.9 in.
Seat height 32.3 in.
Wheelbase 53.8 in.
Fuel Capacity 4.8 gal.
Claimed dry weight 403 lbs. (381 lbs. without ABS)
Colors Red/Black, Black/Bright Green Metallic, Metallic
Black, Phoenix, Pearl White/Pearl Blue/Red
Available Now
Warranty 12 mo./unlimited mi.

American Honda Motor Co., Inc.
P.O. Box 2200
Torrance, CA 90509

Verdict 4.5 stars out of 5
Class-leading performance, further improved through brake-by-wire technology.

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