Honda CBR600RR is a highly capable racing machine. It was a tad unimpressive when it debuted in 2003 in the intermediate supersport class, which was fiercely competitive back then. However, there have only been modest changes ever since and the CBR600RR is still an excellent sports motorcycle.
Major revisions to the engine and frame in 2007 provided a considerable performance boost, bringing it on par with its rivals. The 599cc liquid-cooled, DOHC inline-four engine of the CBR is extremely powerful and delivers about 100 hp.
The engine was last updated in 2013, with a ram-air intake situated in the middle of the engine, a better ECU, and altered PGM-DSFI programming for increased midrange power and enhanced throttle response at high rpm.
In 2013, Honda improved the CBR600RR's chassis with a 41mm Showa BPF inverting fork and tweaked rear shock parameters, further polishing the motorcycle's already exceptional handling abilities. Rapid and responsive steering into bends is supplemented with sure-footed steadiness even on bumpy pavement, giving you a solid sense of what's going on at the tire contact patches.
Tokico calipers with four pistons and 310mm discs give a great feel of sharp, precise stopping power. Honda's C-ABS system, which instantly actuates both front and rear brakes to better control in emergency braking scenarios, is standard on the ABS version.
The front brakes are softly applied when the user tugs on the front brake lever. The rear brakes are gently engaged if the user pushes on the rear brake pedal further than a particular point. The CBR600RR is a super sport motorcycle, so it has clip-on bars, but they're positioned a little higher.
Therefore, the mechanics aren't as demanding as you might anticipate for a motorcycle of this type. While the rider's saddle is large and comfortable, the passenger seat won't offer many conveniences.
The CBR600RR's only electronic riding aid is C-ABS on the ABS version. The CBR, on the other hand, is a throwback, with a conventional wire controlling the throttle plates, no stability control, and no swappable engine settings.
Honda motorcycles have always set the bar high for quality, durability, and finish, and the CBR600RR is no exception. A one-year, unlimited-mileage guarantee is standard for the 2021 model.
There's no doubt that the Suzuki GSX-R750 is a stunning motorcycle. If you want a light sports motorcycle that moves well and has a good combination of low, semi, and peak power, Suzuki GSX-R750 is the motorcycle for you. The reduced weight contributes to the remarkable acceleration, making it a true treasure in the realm of sport bikes.
Suzuki hasn't altered much in terms of the motorcycle's general appearance, but they have greatly improved the conditions of the components, as evidenced by the more recent versions. Even for larger riders, the GSX-R750 is quite pleasant to ride.
Suzuki GSX-R750 sits nicely between the GSX-R1000 and GSX-R600 with its inline 750cc four-cylinder engine, maintaining its iconic sport motorcycle status since its 1985 release. Some prominent features of this two-wheeler are Twin Brembo Monoblock brakes, a Showa Big Piston fork, engine programming settings, and a twin-spar aluminum alloy chassis with a cast aluminum swing arm.
At the back wheel, the maximum horsepower of the motorcycle is 130. Slipper-type clutch aids downshifting, but you'll miss an electronic quick-shifter as a standard feature.
Despite having somewhat sharper steering gear and weighing only 7 pounds more than the GSX-R600, the R750 steers slightly slower, owing to the 750 engine's greater crankshaft weight. However, keep in mind that the Suzuki still carves bends well.
The Showa BPF front suspension enhances the already excellent handling by providing more control over large impacts while remaining supple over minor scratches. In 2011, the 750 gained Brembo radial-mount Monoblock calipers as the original kit.
As you'd imagine, the braking performance is excellent. However, there is no ABS. Because this is a GSX-R, the seating position is extremely sporty, complete with clip-on bars and tall rear-set footpegs. The footpeg hooks are three-way movable, much like the 600. You have more legroom if needed.
Compared to other sports motorcycles, the GSX-R750 has a low ride height and accommodating ergonomics. More road-worthy characteristics include the option to adjust the rider's foot pegs and a comfortable rider and back seat. Suzuki's regular one-year warranty is also included with the current GSX-R750. Suzuki Extended Protection offers longer coverage terms and additional advantages.
Overall, the GSX-R750 is nimble on the road. Compared to newer rides with crisper handling, this motorcycle may not compete well, but it is still a good option for more experienced riders. However, the absence of a quick shifter and the old LCD dash info screen demonstrates this ride's antiquity, which may be a concern for some riders.
Kawasaki Ninja 650
Kawasaki's Ninja became an emblem during the last three decades. From the initial 250 and 400 versions to the turbocharged H2 R, Kawasaki is providing motorcyclists with a pleasant learning base and motorcycles to develop into as their performance improves. The Ninja 650 is a suitable entry-level motorcycle with aggressive yet supportive ergonomics, a flexible 649cc parallel-twin engine, and an affordable price tag.
The Ninja's 2017 update included modifications to its engine, braking, and aerodynamics, in addition to reduced weight. The DOHC, 649cc liquid-cooled parallel-twin was reverted for enhanced low-to-midrange performance, and fresh injectors were installed for more precise feeding. A motorized gear position indicator, a revamped airbox, a modified exhaust, and smaller throttle blades were other add-ons.
The Ninja 650 retains some high-end features not seen on middleweights, including an assist and slipper clutch, a six-speed gearbox with a positive neutral finder, Kawasaki's Air Management System, and a variable clutch and front brake levers. Kawasaki's innovative Rideology app may also provide a wealth of additional information via Bluetooth.
The Ninja's instrument panel contains a microchip that enables the motorcycle's owner to link wirelessly to the Ninja, allowing numerous instrument functions to be viewed, logged, and analyzed from the comfort of home.
The new TFT display is the first thing you will notice after slinging your leg over the Kawasaki Ninja 650. It's a big step forward from the prior LCD unit. It's far more useful and, without a doubt, gives the Ninja a more upscale appearance. The Ninja is the only motorcycle in the class with a dash.
Fortunately, you don't miss that luxury feel after you press the starter button. The Ninja 650 has a nice, croaky, and powerful sound for a parallel twin. Most previous Japanese parallel twins did not do so instead of sounding drab and uninspired. The Ninja 650, however, is not one of them.
The engine not only looks fiery, but it also operates nicely. The sweet spot of the Ninja 650 may be located from low to middle, as previously. It boasts a lot of engine power at the bottom end. It will shriek upwards from its 10,000 rpm redline if you would like it to, but most of the enjoyment is in the lowest rpm rev zone.
With only 649cc of capacity to work with, the model makes the most of every one of them, resulting in impressive power. And with a weight of only 419 pounds, 423 with ABS, it seems very light. Thanks to its low center of gravity and thin profile, the Ninja 650 seems very light and quick between your legs, not to forget highly agile and secure in the turns.
Lower seat height also gives the impression of total domination and control. The Ninja glides smoothly on the floor at just 31 inches, and the seating position is also very comfortable. A streamlined seat cowl is one of the several modifications that Kawasaki provides for the Ninja 650, which gives a much more super sport motorcycle style.
The little windscreen does a fantastic task of maintaining the wind away from your torso. Anyone contemplating the Ninja 650 will most likely use it for commuting, and it's a decent motorcycle for that. It has little trouble keeping up with interstate traffic while spinning a reasonable 4500 to 5000 rpm. 42-45 mpg appears to be typical, according to the Ninja's electronics. In addition, Kawasaki sells a 30-liter top box as an extra for this motorcycle if you require more storage space.
The famous R6 is no longer available, leaving a gap in Yamaha's sporty lineup between the R3 and R1, which the Japanese automaker saw as an opening. It was a no-brainer to create a new motorcycle based on the MT-07's great popularity and sales chart triumph.
The new YZF-R7 claims to give a combination of road and racetrack riding and be affordable and available while maintaining the company's R-series style and appearance. Yamaha introduced the R7 for 2022, employing the same parallel-twin as the MT-07.
The parallel-twin is based on the MT-07. It has a distinctive 270-degree crank. The engine's diameter and height, compression ratio, and transmission have not changed since it was modified in 2021 to be Euro -5 compatible. This translates to 73.4 horsepower at 8700 rpm and 49.41 lb-ft of torque at 6500 rpm.
On the other hand, Yamaha has installed a first assist and slipper clutch, which not only enhances braking power but also lowers clutch lever stress by 33%. The throttle pulley is routed more directly for a sharper, faster feel, and the gears are longer, dropping from a 43-tooth rear sprocket to a 42-tooth rear sprocket.
Aside from the motorcycle's aesthetics, the front received the most attention, as it is more muscular than previous iterations. The angle of the steering wheel has been increased to 23.7 degrees. The fork tubes have been reversed, the springs have been stiffened, and the triple-clamp pitch has been decreased.
The shock also has a firmer spring, as expected, and the vehicle's back ride height has been boosted. All of this implies that the R7 has a smaller wheelbase and much less trail than its sibling and a higher seat, and much more front-end weight distribution.
Yamaha improved some essential components for the R7's goals, in addition to the fundamental modifications. The front braking hardware is comparable, excluding a massive Brembo radial-pull cylinder with a tunable lever. An additional quick shifter also works with the preconfigured ECU and is plug-and-play.
The R7, according to Yamaha, is the narrowest R-series model ever, and it feels sleek and light. It weighs 415 pounds. This is a major motorbike for Yamaha since it fills an R6-sized void in its lineup while targeting the mid-size and cheap sport motorcycle marketplace.
This intermediate Ninja is one of the finest buys in the category. It is equally comfortable on the street and on the racetrack with a very versatile engine and strong chassis. Since its introduction in 1995, the Kawasaki ZX-6R has gone through multiple modifications, the most recent of which was in 2013, when Kawasaki increased the engine capacity from 599cc to 636cc and suspension, frame, and other improvements. The outcome was a far more adaptable and civilized middleweight motorcycle that could keep up with the best of them when the conditions got tough.
The ZX-6R's status as the finest performer in the middleweight sport motorcycle category was further cemented with the inclusion of Kawasaki's KTRC stability control, quick digital shifter, LED lighting, and other minor upgrades for the 2019 edition.
Unlike the earlier Kawasaki ZX636 engine, which was essentially just a 2mm overbore of the preceding 599cc inline-four powerplant from 2003 to 2006, the newest version is an entirely new layout with several improvements. The engine produces 109.7 horsepower at 13,400 rpm and 45.4 lb-ft of torque at 11,000 rpm. In 2020, Kawasaki introduced the KQS quick shifter, although its operation isn't as slick as comparable OEM configurations.
Sharper steering geometry, a Showa SFF-BP fork, and changed rear suspension parameters were among the changes made to the 2013 design. All of this adds up to a middleweight supersport motorcycle that is more street-friendly while being more competent on the racetrack.
Nissin's four-piston Monoblock calipers and 310mm discs deliver excellent braking force, with a light initial grip and superb feel all through the lever motion. Because there is no ABS, wet road security is entirely up to the user in difficult circumstances.
There are no electronic rider settings to choose from or rider aids to raise or decrease on this motorcycle. Simply get on and go because the fueling and delivery are quite convenient. On the roads, the R7 is remarkably like the highly praised MT-07.
Compared to other similar engines with a 180-crank, the parallel-twin has a smoother throttle response, great fueling, and a 270-crank. This bike is also capable of fast touring. If you tuck behind the relatively protected bodywork, the electronic clocks will read 135 mph. If you stretch the cable and try a little more, you might be able to reach the estimated 140mph.
The Ninja ZX-6R is unmistakably influenced by Kawasaki's racing pedigree, evidenced by its aggressive frame, high-spec parts, and sharp design, yet Kawasaki has tweaked it to be practical on the street. The ZX-6R has an exceptionally smooth initial power delivery, enhanced by the three-level Kawasaki Traction Control for speed and safety.
The Kawasaki ZX-6R's rider pyramid is very aggressive, with wide rear-set footpegs and short clip-on bars, as well as a minimally padded seat, like any supersport class motorcycle focused on power. While this is ideal for high-performance biking, any less intense riding after half an hour will become unpleasant.
The model received three degrees of Kawasaki's KTRC stability control as part of the 2013 update. There are also three power modes: Full for maximum power and throttle reaction, and 1 or 2 for reduced power and gentler throttle response.
Kawasaki's standard 12-month warranty coverage covers the latest ZX-6R. Twelve, twenty-four, thirty-six, and forty-eight-month extended warranties are available. The new model also comes with a slew of high-end components that normally command a significantly greater price.
With the debut of the first GSX-R750 in 1985, Suzuki revolutionized the sport motorcycle sector, and the GSX-R pedigree was eventually expanded with the introduction of the GSX-R600. Suzuki's newest GSX-R600 continues the company's history of combining race-winning performance with outstanding street characteristics. It's difficult to surpass the mix of low weight, powerful engine, sturdy chassis, superb handling, and good braking.
The race-ready appearance of the GSX-R600 is the result of decades of manufacturing road racing success that remains to this day. It's a good alternative for a rider looking for a mid-size Supersport motorcycle that can be used on the racetrack or the streets.
Even though there haven't been any changes since 2011, the GSX-R600 can be outright excellent. There are no fancy technological rider aids here, just basic engineering that gets a rider from point A to B in the shortest time.
The Gixxer 600 appears to be entirely at ease at your local track. The molded front fairing goes all the way back to the swingarm pivot and makes a one-piece entrance from the jet wind deflector. The rider is pulled forward into a comprehensive, forward-leaning race position by the small handlebars. The three adjustable foot pegs give the user some influence over the ultimate shape of the rider pyramid.
The R600 comprises five cast aluminum parts soldered together to produce a light and sturdy twin-spar structure with a cast-aluminum swingarm to keep the weight low in the rear. A digitally adjustable damper responds to ride speed, stiffening up at faster speeds to prevent kickback at the bars and loosening up at lower speeds to allow easier maneuverability.
The triple tree attaches a pair of Showa Big Piston Forks, which use racing innovation to provide variable rebound and compression damping and spring preload for total control of the front-end ride comfort. Showa also provides support for the rear end with a centralized mono-shock with variable compression and rebounding damping and a ride-height lever.
The DOHC 599cc inline-four engine produces plenty of power without sacrificing top-end performance. The extra midrange allows for smoother and better driving off the corner departures, and gear choice isn't as crucial while entering corners. It produces 104.6 horsepower at 13,700 rpm and 44.4 lb-ft of torque at 11,500 rpm. In the 2011 modifications, a new lighter gearbox with closer-ratio gears was fitted, making it possible to keep the engine more powerful.
Suzuki's standard one-year warranty is included with the current GSX-R600. Suzuki Extended Protection offers longer coverage terms and additional advantages. Suzuki has long been known for producing high-quality motorcycles, and the GSX-R600 maintains that heritage. Brembo brake calipers up front and a Showa BPF fork just contribute to the higher-end feel.
Triumph Daytona 675R
The Triumph Daytona 675R is a good alternative to the Yamaha R6. At first glance, you’ll know that this bike is about speed. The high seat, rear-set footpegs, and swooping front end seem to be designed to deliver the best performance.
The Daytona boasts a narrow, tightly packed body and everything sits in between the wheels, helping to keep the center of gravity low. This makes it easier to take sharp turns around the corners. There’s also practicality as the 675R features grab rails at the back side and the rear seat can support a pillion. However, it won’t be too comfortable as the motorcycle is more suitable for a single rider.
When it comes to power, the Daytona 675R boasts a 675cc in-line 3-cylinder DOHC engine with liquid-cooling technology to manage the heat. The wide bore-short stroke engine formula is combined to give the bike the maximum 14,400 rpm. The 675R can pump out 117 hp and 70.2 Nm of torque, which is quite impressive.
Triumph wanted the Daytona 675R to be faster and hence it gave a quickshifter, meaning that you won’t have to worry about pulling in the clutch while upshifting. A slippery clutch is also there and switchable ABS with race-mode is standard. In addition, Pirelli SuperCorsa Tires and strong Brembo Monobloc brakes make the Daytona 675R a great competitor to the Yamaha R6.
About THE AUTHOR
Russ currently owns a Yamaha FZ6N and KTM RC 390. When it comes to vintage bikes, his favorite motorcycle is the feisty BMW R32. He also holds a particular interest in the LAMS segment and triple cylinders. Himself a riding enthusiast, Russ has had experience with racetracks from around the world including Willow Springs Raceway in California and the Imola Circuit in Italy.Read More About Russ Crowley