New Bikes

Should Honda make a new CBR600RR for 2012?

Weak sales in the supersport category holding back a replacement for the dated CBR600RR

CAN you believe it's been five years since Honda introduced the current CBR600RR? Actually, it seems longer; it was a development of the previous model and we're so used to 600cc sports bikes being updated every two or three years that a five-year lifespan is some sort of world record.

Yep, good though it is, in supersport bike years (like dog years, only you multiply by about 20 instead of seven) the CBR600RR is beyond a pensioner and well on the way to its telegram from the queen.

And yet while there's been plenty of talk about 2012 Hondas, not least in the form of rumours about 1000cc V4 superbikes, new adventure bikes and weird cruisers, nary a word has been muttered about the CBR600RR.

Sure a while ago we brought you some images of a patent that hinted at a new CBR600RR – a small, four-cylinder sports bike in the mould of a Moto2 machine – but even so, there's a distinct lack of talk about what might be coming.

Some suggest that the 600cc supersport market is dying, and manufacturers are staying away as a result. Sure, sales are weak, but should that be a surprise? There hasn't been anything for buyers to get excited about in that class for years. The CBR is ancient, the Yamaha R6 nearly as old (the current model dates back to 08, and even then was a revamp of the 06 model), while the ZX-6R appeared in its current for as an 09 machine. Only the GSX-R600 is really new, having been reworked for 2011, but even it hasn't brought the sort of headline-making technology that's becoming widespread in other classes; traction control and other high-tech trickery is still alien to 600cc machines.

So while 600-class sales are weak, that could be down to the fact most fans of such bikes already have one and there's little or nothing in the new bike market that offers a serious advantage in terms of performance, technology or appearance over a three, four or even five-year-old used machine. And as such, the first manufacturer to offer something really new and exciting in that class could be in a position to cash in.

Will Honda make a new CBR600RR for 2012? Until it's launched or spied, we won't know for certain, but don't write off the idea...

Join the conversation!

Let us know what you think, just sign up for a free account, leave a comment and get involved!
Register Now

Latest Reviews


Latest Videos