It sounds like 2021 could be the year of the mid-size Honda CBR. Earlier in 2020, rumors that a CBR600RR-R would follow in the 1000’s footsteps before the end of the year surfaced. The most recent bit of information we found about a middleweight Fireblade was that the model was expected to debut during the 2020 Thailand MotoGP weekend, an event that has yet to be rescheduled.
While we wait to see when the Thai Grand Prix will be hosted and whether Honda will indeed take the opportunity to launch a new CBR600 flagship, yet another 600-related rumor started making the rounds. This time, there’s talk of an updated CBR600RR for 2021.
The information comes from Cycle World quoting a “Japanese informant” as the source. According to said information, we should expect the 2021 CBR600RR to receive a few stylistic and technological updates. The same source also suggests this could be the model’s last hurrah before increasingly more stringent emissions regulations sign its death warrant.
We’re looking at upgrades rather than a full overhaul because, according to Cycle World, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to make a 600cc inline-four mill that meets the new regulations. The CBR600RR was pulled from several markets including Europe a few years ago for that very reason.
The expected updates should include a new IMU that will add cornering ABS and lean-angle sensitive traction control to the 600’s list of features. A generic “tweak” is expected to keep the bike in line with the latest emissions standards—no word on what that tweak will be, exactly.
How long will this prolong the model’s life? We can’t say for sure. A few years at most. If you ever dreamed of owning a Honda CBR600RR, it’s time to get serious about saving that money and making the purchase, we don’t know how much longer it will be around.