As it seems, Honda is planning to stretch the current-generation 600RR to a 6 year span. First introduced in the 2007 model year, the age of the bike is easily overlooked. People are typically used to new models being brought out between 3-4 years. Here is what looks to be the first picture of the new 2012 model… mostly just another color scheme change:
Other than the colorway (which tributes back to the early 90s 600’s), major revisions include a patented Balance-Free Rear Shock, Big Piston Fork, and new LCD instrumentation. All in all, however, this is essentially still the same machine. The Supersport, middle-weight bikes in general have been relatively passive. Manufacturers have not implemented any of the fancy features of other classes, like traction control, to make 600’s more in tune with the times.
With Honda going yet another year without a new redesign, at least my personal 2008 600RR is still up to date. Although I should be pleased, I honestly would have preferred for a new bike to have been released. I intend to ride my bike for a few more years regardless, but by then the used bike market would have been ripe for the picking.
Which ever manufacturer steps up to introduce a completely new and innovative bike will also stand to reap the benefits of its associated competitive advantage. Most people interested in a 600cc bike probably already have one, and lack the necessity to change for a newer model. If Honda is going to take another year, I hope the 2013 600RR is something radically different. I personally am hoping for these features:
- V-4!!! Enough Inlines already…
- Dual Clutch Transmission like on the VFRs for seamless shifts and electronically blipped downshifts
- Underbody side-exhaust. The upcoming Ducati 1199 Panigale seems to have the right idea
- Sleek tail, maybe something like what’s on the new 2012 1000RR
- Even lighter weight and balance (although the 600RR is still the lightest in its class)