2024 Honda CBR600RR Review: Portimao Track Test of the New 600

2024 Honda CBR600RR Review: Portimao Track Test of the New 600

Shaking up the supersport segment in 2024 is a revived and refreshed CBR600RR

The Honda CBR600RR was stripped from Europe (and other regions) in 2017, forced out by ever-tightening emissions regulations and dwindling sales in the traditional supersport 600 segment.

The emissions regulations haven’t got any easier for this year, although the new breed of (mostly parallel twin-cylinder) sport bikes has injected a bit of confidence back into the market. That’s pushed Honda to update the much-loved CBR600RR for this year, and it features revised styling and new aerodynamics, MotoGP-derived electronics, and a revised 600 cc 119bhp engine.

With the press launch of the new CBR600RR just around the corner, we are going to take a deep dive into the relaunched machine, and once we’ve ridden the bike we’ll update this page with how it handled the roller coaster that is the Portimao circuit.

To skip straight to the riding review, click here.

Price, colours and availability

The Matt Ballistic Black Metallic version of the CBR600RR​

The new CBR will be rolling into UK dealerships in March 2024 and will be priced at a competitive £10,499 OTR. colours available are either Matt Ballistic Black Metallic or the slightly more shouty Grand Prix Red HRC TriColour.

What’s new with the 2024 CBR600RR?

While not a totally new bike, there are a significant amount of changes for the 2024 model, some aimed at improving the bike’s exhaust emissions, and a number aimed at honing the already sweet handling machine.

Starting with the engine, the 599cc inline four-cylinder shares the same basic architecture as the old one (67mm bore and 42.5mm stroke) and the same compression ratio. It does feature larger throttle bodies though, now 44mm (up from 40mm). Valve lift and duration have also been altered, but overall the engine has performance specs that are about the same as the machine we lost in 2017 - 119bhp and 46lb ft.

The electronics of the latest generation bike are an area that has seen big changes, with the CBR600RR gaining a package of rider support that is derived from the CBR1000RR-R (itself using electronics trickled down from the Honda RCV MotoGP machines). To start with, there’s now a full-colour TFT (as you’d expect!) which links to a six-axis IMU that governs the Honda Selectable Torque Control (traction control to you and me), the cornering ABS and rear lift control.

The new bike also features heavily updated styling, with a more sleek and modern design to the fairing, headlights and tail unit. It also sports the now obligatory winglets on either side of the bike, although with them being fairly diminutive in size, it’s hard to imagine how much they help to improve front-end stability.

Honda is claiming the bike boasts the best drag coefficient in the supersport class of 0.555 - whatever that means! The fuel tank cover is also 10mm lower than on the old bike, meaning the rider can hunker down even further helping to reduce the frontal area of the bike. The screen has also been angled at 38 degrees, something that Honda claims is to "maximise aerodynamic efficiency relative to any position the rider might use on track."

On the chassis front, the CBR600RR features similar specs, with the same frame as was found on the 2017 bike even boasting the same wheelbase as before - 1,370mm. The swingarm has been optimised over the 2017 model, and is a claimed 150g lighter than before, while the fully adjustable Showa 41mm Big Piston upside-down forks are 15mm longer in the legs to allow flexible geometry changes. The rear of the bike is suspended by a fully adjustable Showa rear shock that operates through Unit Pro-Link. All told the new 2024 CBR600RR tips the scales at 193kg or a kilo lighter than the 2017 edition.

What's it like to ride?

If you had a challenging new MotoGP-spec track to learn, and only a day to do it, you’d probably not want any rain or high winds. Sadly that message didn’t get through to the Portuguese weather gods, and the launch even for both the returning Honda CBR600RR and updated 2024 CBR1000RR-R SP Fireblade was a wet and very windy affair.

With nothing we could do but crack on, full racing wet tyres were slotted onto the bikes, and trundling out of the pitlane felt more like a February trackday at Anglesey, not a global press launch at the stunning Portimao circuit. I had a short ten-minute acclimatisation session to begin the day, with two more 20-minute sessions scheduled for the morning before jumping on the Fireblade for two twenty-minute sessions in the afternoon.

Session one doesn’t give me much food for thought about the new bike, as most of it’s spent trying to learn the track and the tyres, while also staying out of the way of the faster riders who already know which way the layout goes! It took me until session two on the 600 to get an idea of braking and turn-in points, and I think the CBR600RR was the perfect bike to get to grips with the track on, especially in these conditions. 

As you’d expect, the handling of the bike is its trump card, the suspension and chassis feel so innately in tune with one another, even in these slippery conditions, that I never really feel like I’m about to lose grip at either end of the bike. There’s enough reassuring dive on the brakes to make me (who rides predominantly on the road) feel at home, and for the more banzai riders out there the Showa kit is fully adjustable at both ends. 

It’s still a bike that loves corner speed, and with John McGuinness spotting my nervous riding, and odd lines around the 2.8-mile circuit he swoops in front and gives me a seat tap to follow him around. Having a 23-time Isle of Man TT winner to follow doesn’t happen every day, and it made a big difference for that final session on the track. I’m still nervous about tipping the bike into a blind corner (Portimao has a few of those!) but I am realising I can carry much more corner speed than I have been through a number of the quicker corners. 

One turn where the CBR feels totally planted and 100 per cent at home is the extremely fast final corner. Even on heavily used wets, through the downhill right that swoops onto the start-finish straight the CBR600RR is egging me on, urging me to accelerate harder and earlier every lap. Throughout this section, it always felt totally planted and utterly stable, with just the slightest lift of the front wheel as I rose over the crest at the start of the main straight in fourth gear and right in the chunky part of the rev range. If anything, the wet sessions on the 600 have got me excited about the prospect of riding it on a dry track. If it’s this good in high winds and sideways rain, imagine how good it’ll be on a dry circuit with full slick tyres!

Another area of significant note on the new bike is the gearbox. It’s a beautifully crafted thing to use, and mated to a faultless quickshifter that makes shifting up through the ‘box along the back straight an absolute joy. The sight of the rev counter launching from left to right and the sound of the 599cc inline four-cylinder screaming away beneath me really does make me feel like a racer. And you’re getting all this for a smidgen over £10,000, which to me, especially taking into account the improvements in tech and electronics, sounds like very good value indeed.

While the engine of the 2024 bike has been updated, don’t expect much of a difference in performance or delivery when you ride it. Most of the changes have been made to appease the Euro emissions gods, and centre around the exhaust system to help it meet the latest Euro5+ regulations. It’s still the rev-happy screamer it always was, with all the fun happening above 10,000rpm as the bike races towards the 15,000rpm redline. The pick-up in pace as you cross the 10k mark isn’t ever a problem,  though, and even when you venture above there on the exit of a corner, the trick new traction control system, a trickle down in tech from the Fireblade, scoops up any slip without totally chopping the throttle and killing all your momentum.

The rest of the electronics on the bike are as slick and top-spec as you’d expect: you have engine power modes, traction control, wheelie control, engine braking control, and non-adjustable (but switchable on/off) cornering ABS to fettle and fiddle with. The whole system is now controlled via a full-colour TFT screen, matched with a simple and uncluttered left-hand switchcube.

The riding position of the bike is a carbon copy of the machine we lost in 2017, although now with the inclusion of a fuel tank that sits lower than before. The last time I rode a CBR600 was at the now-defunct Ron Haslam Race School, and the change to the fuel tank does make tucking in much easier, although you’ll need to have a slight frame to fully shield yourself behind the sloped-back and fairly diminutive screen. 

Should I buy the CBR600RR?

It’s going to be interesting watching how this inter-segment battle for Supersport glory plays out, as on the one hand we have new-wave supersport bikes, things like the R7, RS660, GSX-8R and Daytona 660, and on the other machines like the Ninja ZX-6R, and, if you squint a bit, the MV Agusta F3. While it’s true that historically it was lacking sales that seemed to kill off traditional supersport bikes, sales of the revamped CBR in Australia, Japan, and across Asia proved there was still an appetite for them, convincing Honda to re-work the model for the UK and Europe. 

Will the racy little Honda have a hand in stealing some sales from the above-mentioned twins and the triple? I think it will. On the handling front, there isn’t a bike from the ones mentioned above that could hold a candle to the CBR600RR. It’s a proper pocket rocket, and feels like a race bike with lights and mirrors, only without the knife-edge handling and with a friendly delivery. If you want a bike for road and track riding but don’t fancy wrestling a fire-breathing litre bike, yes, the new CBR600 represents an extremely attractive (in every way!) option.

It has also clearly been priced to sell, and with the leader of the new-wave pack coming in the shape of the £9,500 Aprilia RS660, the more focused and track-ready CBR looks like exceptionally good value at just £1,000 more.

2024 CBR600RR specs



Liquid cooled 16-valve DOHC, inline-4

Engine Displacement (cm³)


No. of Valves per Cylinder


Bore  Stroke (mm)

67mm x 42.5mm

Compression Ratio


Max. Power Output

89kW (119 bhp) @ 14,250rpm

Max. Torque

63Nm (46 lb ft) @ 11,500rpm

Noise Level

Lurban - 74dB, Lwot - 77dB

Oil Capacity





Fuel Tank Capacity


C02 Emissions WMTC

128 g/km

Fuel Consumption

18.2km/L (5.5L/100km)




Battery Capacity

12-9.1Ah YTZ10S


Clutch Type

Wet, multiplate hydraulic clutch 

Transmission Type

Manual 6-speed

Final Drive




Aluminium twin tube composite twin spar


Dimensions (L x W x H)

2,030mm x 685mm x 1140mm



Caster Angle

24 o 06’



Seat Height


Ground Clearance


Kerb Weight


Turning Radius



Type Front

Fully adjustable Showa 41mm Big Piston USD, 120mm stroke.

Type Rear

Fully adjustable Showa rear shock operating through Unit Pro-Link. 128mm axle travel.


Rim Size Front


Rim Size Rear


Tyres Front

120/70ZR17M/C DUNLOP SPORTMAX Roadsports2 

Tyres Rear

180/55ZR17M/C DUNLOP SPORTMAX Roadsports2


ABS System Type

2 channel 


310mm floating discs with radial-mount 4-piston caliper


220mm disc with single piston caliper












12V Socket


Auto Winker Cancel




Security System


Cruise Control


Cornering Lights


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