Will There Be A 2018 CBR600RR After All? Patent Docs Suggest…“Maybe”
Patent Docs Suggest A 2018 CBR600RR May Happen
Updated August 18, 2018
Honda has filed some interesting new patents, and it looks like we could be seeing a new 2018 CBR600RR (in some capacity) in the near future. If you think this is just another recycled “Honda’s Supercharged Patent” article that’s been doing the rounds recently, it’s not. That’s old news that has resurfaced somehow. This, however, is completely different. It’s not about supercharging, and it may not be terribly exciting either, but at least it’s some evidence that Honda hasn’t quite given up the idea of a 600cc sportsbike just yet…
Here, we have a series of sketches and files that are a part of a Honda patent filing application…As you can see, it all pretty much points to a redesign of the front end, or rather, a revision, of the CBR600RR model. If you look closely, you can see that Honda are experimenting with a slightly new front cowl stay, in conjunction with a new air intake…. Like we said, it’s nothing particularly groundbreaking – but since patents are being filed, it does indicate that Honda haven’t quite given up on the CBR600RR just yet. So, we can see a slight redesign, but whether or not this particular future model will have any type of real, significant update remains to be seen.
For the time being, sure, Honda could just give the CBR600RR a few aesthetic upgrades, a few electronic package extras and a new paintjob – and we’d probably all be happy with it. However, the platform is in need of a real shake up if it’s going to continuing competing against 600cc supersport gems like the Yamaha R6. So what would Honda need to do to keep us interested? Or rather, what are all manufacturers going to have to do to keep the 600cc sportsbike category from falling into obscurity?
More product synergy might be in order: it would be nice to see Honda’s CBR600RR to have a more CBR1000RR inspired electronics package, with a decent form of traction control and variable ride modes. It would be even nicer to see some of Honda’s MotoGP derived technology filter down further than just to the SP and SP2 models too. The only way to make people take more of an interest in the 600cc class again is to make them exciting – and to make them exciting, manufacturers have to get excited when they design them. If that makes sense? Upgrading the onboard tech is probably the cheapest way to go about it.
In fact, the more I think about it, the more I want Honda to take their onboard tech seriously. Why? They’re always in the press talking about their new innovations like their Live Instructor technology, or their self-balancing whatever. Riffing off that, a lot of people like to pretend that a 600cc sportsbike is just an “entry level” bike for beginners, when in fact it’s a formidable powerhouse of a motorcycle. With that in mind, why not make it a proper entry-level, educational tool with all the gadgetry to help new riders become better riders, and keep them safe at the same time?
To keep things affordable – which the 600s definitely need to be – we can rule out any pipe dreams we might have about ultra-lightweight parts or complete “from the ground up” redesigns for the time being. Adding tech could be the go – but whatever Honda decides to do in future, it better be something more exciting than a simple rehash of a tired idea… But the first step will be simple one: just keep the CBR600RR alive for now. The innovation might have to wait…
Are we looking at a 2018 CBR600RR model? We certainly hope so.