todays (aug.30th) edition of motorcyclenews.com carries the following story and an artists impression of next years cbr600. sounds like good shiiiiit
THIS is the bike Honda hopes will return it to the top of the supersports tree - the revamped and fuel-injected CBR600.
Our artist's impression (www.motorcyclenews.com) comes from a highly reputable source in Japan, and we believe it accurately shows the changes Honda is making to the CBR for 2001.
Stung by criticism that the current styling is bland - particularly in comparison to Yamaha's class-leading R6 - the firm is giving the bike a whole new look.
The linked twin headlights give the CBR a FireBlade familiarity, while the bigger, triangular ram-air intakes add to the bike's sleek new appearance.
The rest of the fairing is unchanged, except for the paintscheme. This bike is shown in American colours, featuring a large Honda "wing" logo and the "F4" name. In the UK the bike will get a different paintjob and retain CBR600F stickers.
The current bike's ram-air ducts, which take the high-pressure air into the airbox, are black plastic. On the new machine they will get body-coloured paint - giving the appearance of a new fuel tank shape without any changes to the metal.
Under the skin, the CBR is largely unchanged from the current version of the bike, which arrived in 1998. Honda has left the frame and basic suspension design alone.
However, the spring and damper rates are expected to be uprated to improve handling.
The engine is expected to get more alterations. Fuel injection was originally planned for the 1998 bike, but was dropped at the last minute. For 2001, the injection system is expected to finally see the light of day - following in the wake of Triumph's fuel-injected TT600.
More efficient fuelling and changes to the ram-air are expected to add as much as 4bhp to the power figure at the crank - around 118 from 114bhp on the dyno.
Weight is expected to be shaved a little, by up to 2kg (4.4lb).
As previously predicted in MCN, two versions of the bike will be offered - a basic "street" model with all the comforts and practicality normally associated with the CBR, and a more extreme high-spec version aimed at racers and track day fans. The only visible difference between the two will be at the back - where the "RR" version is expected to feature a different exhaust and seat unit.
The most significant difference between the two models is thought to come from the suspension - with the track-targeted version offering more adjustability from higher-spec components.
The seat unit on even the "basic" bike is thought to be different to the one on the current model - with a slimmer appearance to go along with the bike's new nose styling.
Both versions of the bike will appear at next month's Munich Show, with the standard bike costing around the same as the current machine at about £6300.
The higher-spec bike will be slightly more expensive, probably selling for closer to £7000.