Nice to get some feedback on the RR vs. its competition. Also nice to see how well it stacked up!
I've been waiting for an official test to see how the hard data and the pros/editors impressions stacked up against our (and my own personal) impresssions of the bike. The high points I got out of the test relative to having put in 700 miles on the bike:
- Mid-corner stability and the ability to finish off the corner were both highlighted, which syncs nicely with what we've seen. This is a true strength of this bike.
- Honda's focus on a strong mid-range and broad power spread as opposed to peak power at max revs. This is usable power on the street AND the track, and is really borne out in riding the bike. I am looking forward to additional tests of the bike on higher speed tracks where the Kawi can better use its power (they didnt post numbers for willow springs).
- The Honda's torque, in combination with the decision to run a shorter overall gearing, leading to significant roll-on performance. Honda obviously eschewed top end speed for responsiveness. Again, this is borne out by riding the bike, although the shorter gearing is apparent when riding on the freeway, where you look for another gear once in a while.
- The agility and flickability (is that at word
of this bike for a 1000. I originally debated getting an 07 600RR vs. waiting for this bike, and I'm glad Honda made this a priority. I havent ridden a recent 600, but I'm glad we seem to be getting the best of both worlds. BTW, I really liked the 'turbo-charged 600' reference. Some have said in the past that Honda have leaned toward agility at the expense of stability/front end feedback. Again, this is what separates this model and you really sense it when riding it.
- Its hard to call a supersport 'comfortable' (I own a VFR as well), but aside from the seat, the ergos work pretty well in the real world (although the seat does get a bit hard after a relatively short time). The test seems to bear this out in comparing the bike to the others, especially the Kawi.
- theres no accounting for taste, but I did notice they called the fairing styling 'retro'. Hadnt thought of it that way, but since I owned and loved the original 900RR in '93, I guess maybe thats one of the reasons I had an easier time liking the look of the bike. Personally, I think the looks are sort of grown up and sophisticated, sort of what Mercedes Benz would do if they made a sport bike (hope that isn't damning praise
All in all, a great first test. Looking forward to more.