It may be sad, but the truth is that the 600cc class of supersports has been extremely quiet in recent years. With the demise of the Yamaha YZF-R6, as well as the Suzuki GSX-R600 falling into the abyss of memory, only the Kawasaki ZX-6R and the Honda CBR600RR remain in production today. Now, despite continued production, these two bikes, for the most part, haven't been in the spotlight for quite a long time.
In August last year, Honda gave the CBR600RR a much-needed refresh, launching what was in essence, a brand new bike. However, the spirits of CBR600RR fans in the U.S. were all but dampened when it was confirmed that this iconic sportbike wouldn't make it stateside. To make things even more grim, the new sportbike wasn't slated for a European launch either. That said, it appeared that Honda was releasing the new CBR600RR as a Japan-only release, as is the case with many other awesome bikes we certainly wish were available in other markets.
If you're one of our few readers who happens to live in Asia, as I do, then you'll be glad to know that there is a glimmer of hope for Honda's legendary supersport. As luck would have it, Honda has decided to launch the CBR600RR outside of Japan. Late last month, Qatar got its hands on the all-new CBR600RR. More recently, Honda has also announced the launch of the sportbike in Malaysia. Now, I know this bike is legendary, and carries decades of racing heritage, as well as megasquid-energy, but this bike's price may surprise you. Honda Malaysia is in fact selling the CBR600RR for RM 98,888, or the equivalent of $23,976 USD.
For reference, the Kawasaki ZX-6R comes with a price tag of $9,999 USD, while the YZF-R6 retailed for $12,199 before Yamaha relegated the bike as a track-only machine for the 2021 model-year. Now, granted, of course, the Asian market is subject to a plethora of tarifs and taxes, especially when it comes to luxury goods such as sportbikes and top-shelf big bikes. Price aside, however, this is a clear sign that Honda is reconsidering keeping the CBR600RR as a Japan-only release. Would you like the CBR600RR to make its return to the U.S. market?