2013 Honda CBR600RR - Up to Speed

The Winged Ones Reinvigorate Their Supersport

It's alive! After a half-decade slumber, Japan's 600 supersport category is showing signs of life. First we saw an all-new Kawasaki ZX-6R Ninja-we call it the 636-and now Honda releases a revamped version of its CBR600RR, the first substantial update of this popular model since 2007.

Many of the same upgrades applied to the CBR1000RR last season now appear here, including the addition of Showa's super-responsive, 41mm Big Piston fork and a revised version of Honda's Unit Pro-Link rear suspension with new damping settings for improved rear-wheel control. New split-spoke wheels are identical in appearance to those on the liter bike, and impart the same visual lightness.

The biggest change for 2013, however, is the restyled upper fairing-reportedly developed with data from the RC213V MotoGP racer. The race-proven aerodynamics result in a claimed 6.5-percent reduction in aero drag, while a reconfigured, centrally located ram-air intake works in conjunction with an improved ECU and revised PGM-DSFI programming for more midrange power and improved throttle response at high rpm. Combined ABS remains an option just like before, and three color schemes will be offered: Red, White/Red/Blue, and, for the first time on the 600, a Repsol Edition. Pricing hadn't been revealed at press time, but availability was announced for March 2013.