Despite what you read elsewhere, the 2019 Honda CBR600RR remains unchanged for the American market. But will happen next year?
If you read publications from our colleagues in Europe, then you will know that Honda must surely have plans for a new CBR600RR for the 2019 model year. The proof that they offer is that the recent CARB filings by American Honda show a CBR with a significant weight drop for next year.
First spotted by our friends at Nieuwsmotor, the CARB filings quote a 10kg (22 lbs) weight difference between the listed Honda “CBR600RA” and Honda “CBR600RR” motorcycles, which makes it seem like a lighter and more focused supersport is on the way.
It is an interesting dream – and a funny one for European journalists to spot, since the CBR600 series is all but dead in Europe. But what is the reality of this discovery?
Do you want further proof that the supersport segment isn’t dead? I mean, besides the fact that both Suzuki and Kawasaki have plans to released new 600cc sport bikes later this year, for 2019? Our Bothan spies have been hard at work in Noale, and they bring us word of a project brewing at Aprilia: a two-cylinder supersport model, that should debut for the 2020 model year. The concept for this new model is pretty simple: take the class-leading Aprilia RSV4 superbike (which is also set for an update in 2019), lop off the rear cylinders, thus making it a parallel-twin engine. Boom goes the dynamite.
Sometimes, it seems like motorcycle manufacturers are intentionally tanking the supersport segment. For proof of this, I look at the electronics available, on this supposedly cutting-edge segment. Something as ubiquitous as traction control is still slow to come to the supersport space, while it remains a standard feature on virtually every new street bike model. The concept is so foreign in this segment that less than half of the available supersports on the market have a traction control option. One of those brands is MV Agusta, which was the first motorcycle marque to bring TC to the supersport class. Now, the Italian brand is ready to raise the bar another notch further, bringing the power of an inertial measurement unit (IMU) to supersport riders.
There will be a new Kawasaki Ninja ZX-6R for the 2019 model year, of this much we are certain. It is a story that has been floating around for over a year now (I thought we had reported it already, but apparently not), but now this rumor is heating up, and we have some details to share. First off, the confirmation. Making filings with the California Air Resources Board (CARB), we see that Kawasaki has plans for a new ZX-6R. It will have a 636cc (cheater) displacement, and produce roughly half the emissions of the previous model. Likely ready for the coming wave of Euro5 emission regulations, details from across the pond show a power decrease and weight increase for the 2019 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-6R, and point to a whole-new motorcycle coming from Team Green.
Motorcycle manufacturers may be abandoning the 600cc sport bike class, but the folks at Dunlop are continuing to provide support to supersport riders on the track, with a new KR451 slick tire.
For those who don’t know, the Dunlop KR451 slick tire has been the spec-tire for the MotoAmerica Supersport classes, in a 180/55 R17 configuration for the rear wheel.
Choosing now to develop the race tire specifically for supersport riders, Dunlop is releasing the KR451 to fit the 5.5-inch rim used on modern supersports. This has lead to the creation of a 180/60 R17 rear tire size for the new KR451 slick – in soft and medium compounds.
Monday’s racing action at the 2017 Isle of Man TT saw the supersport machines taking to the Mountain Course, for the four laps of the Monster Energy Supersport TT Race 1. Despite the change in the machinery, the narrative remained focused on two men: Ian Hutchinson and Michael Dunlop.
With Hutchinson already taking the honors in the opening Superbike TT, the question remained whether Dunlop would respond on the 600cc machines – a class where he typically goes quite well around the TT course.
The was a resounding yes, with Michael Dunlop taking Race 1 of the Supersport TT in a convincing fashion, making this his 14th Isle of Man TT race victory.
After the debut of the GSX-R1000, there has been a bit of talk about Suzuki’s plans for the rest of its sportbike lineup, namely the GSX-R600 and GSX-R750. A story from AMCN pointed to a new GSX-R750 for the 2019 model year, but said that the GSX-R600 would be no more. Our own sources disagree with that AMCN report though, saying that we would see both: an all new 2019 Suzuki GSX-R600 and an all-new Suzuki GSX-R750 for the 2019 model year. We would be on the wrong side of confirmation bias if we said that today’s news supports our claim, but what we can tell you is that it doesn’t look like new GSX-R600 or GSX-R750 models will be coming for the 2018 model year, as Suzuki Motor of America just filed some interesting paperwork with the California Air Resources Board.
The CCM Spitfire (above) was a big hit with A&R readers, with the bike’s basic looks and 600cc single-cylinder engine showing that sometimes less is indeed more.
In case you are not in the market for a roadster model though, CCM reportedly has a scrambler version in the works as well, so says Britain’s MCN .
The idea seems pretty obvious, when you think about it, with the two design aesthetics being very similar, and the SWM-sourced engine originally coming out for use in dirt bike models.
As such, we are almost surprised that CCM didn’t start first with a scrambler model, but that is despite the point.
It is apparently more difficult to sell a kidney than I had previously thought (type o- / non-smoker / non-drinker…if you happen to be in the market), which isn’t good news when you are trying to get together some scratch for a Vyrus 986 M2 – the hottest supersport we have ever seen. Making matters worse is that Vyrus got in touch with A&R, updating us with their latest pricing structure for their Honda-powered hub-center steering masterpiece, which now comes with a price tag of €37,940 for the street bike, and €27,930 for the street bike kit. That is quite the change from the originally quoted €25,000 street bike model and €16,000 kit, and there is good reason for that, say the folks at Vyrus.
Two weeks ago we shared with you a report done by Australian Motorcycle News, which said that we would see a new GSX-R750 in the next two model years, but the report also suggested that the GSX-R600 would not see an update in that same timeframe. That caught one of our Bothan spies a bit off-guard, as they are certainly someone who would know the real story and AMCN’s article didn’t jive, so they reached out to our Two Enthusiasts Podcast to give us the scoop, and correct the news. As such in Episode 48 then, Quentin set the record straight and broke some industry news, saying that we would see an all-new 2019 Suzuki GSX-R600, with Suzuki’s team in Hamamatsu showing commitment to the supersport market.