And on the track, the Honda’s robust midrange made it the quickest to spin the rear tire, keeping everyone on their toes and causing one TC-reliant tester to back off. If you could manage the wheelspin, the CBR got incredible drive off of corners, but riding the bike at that level proved mentally and physically exhausting. Below race pace, the Honda was actually the easiest to ride due to its 600-like handling and linear literbike power. The back end felt lower than we remember—perhaps due to the new Balance-Free rear suspension—and the “captured” shock has no provision for ride-height adjustment. Even so, the CBR had the lightest steering and felt unshakably stable, with the best front-to-rear suspension balance. Support from the new Showa Big Piston Fork was superb and enabled hard, late braking, but the Tokico brakes faded as our test progressed, resulting in inconsistent performance during our timed sessions. Even with that handicap, the Honda clicked off the second-quickest lap time, proving it’s still competent and relevant.