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The RSV 1000 R Factory is an enhanced RSV 1000 R, i.e. the top twin-cylinder supersport bike. The twin V60 Magnesium engine and new RSV 1000 R settings together with special ultralight materials and the world's best quality production components bring the RSV 1000 R Factory up to track-riding excellence.

The Aprilia RSV 1000 R Factory is the utmost expression of Aprilia's technological and sporting heritage.

A project for those who demand maximum track-riding performance. Like the models which came before it, the Factory includes the very best motorcycle technology at a reasonable price, with an incomparable price/quality-component ratio for its category.

An RSV 1000 R raised to the umpteenth power, modified and further enhanced with the best possible components.

The most important parts which mark the difference between the RSV 1000 R Factory and the RSV 1000 R are:

  • Radial callipers
  • Fully adjustable Ohlins fork
  • Adjustable Ohlins shock absorber
  • Ohlins steering damper fitted as standard
  • Forged aluminium wheels
  • Rider's saddle with nonslip racing seat
  • Matt black painted frame
  • Carbon parts

The Aprilia RSV 1000 R Factory is fitted with the world's best components (also in order to reduce weight), and many devices and parts have been taken directly from the world of racing. This is important in terms of design and production, and makes the RSV 1000 R Factory a precise reference standard not only for other twin-cylinder bikes, but above all for other supersport bikes. It is the perfect balance between quality, technology, components and finish. The very best, offered however at an absolutely competitive price.

Of course all the technical innovations introduced on the new RSV 1000 R are found on the Factory too, which can also count on current state of the art brakes and suspension.


No change to the V60 Magnesium already fitted to the RSV 1000 R, with the same innovative features and high level performance. It pumps out 138.72 hp (102 kW) at 9,500 rpm with a maximum torque of 107 Nm at 7,500 rpm. The double-silencer exhaust has a three-way catalytic converter with Lambda sensor which brings the RSV 1000 R Factory within the Euro 2 limits.


The Factory has the same extremely light frame as the RSV 1000 R, apart from its black colour which gives it a slightly more aggressive look. The double banana swing arm is also the same, not polished but painted to resist surface wear better.


The 43 mm upside-down Ohlins Racing fork is titanium nitride coated to optimize smoothness. Its special structure with elongated sleeves and shortened legs reduces the load on two critical points of the forks themselves (the sliding bush and stanchion-leg coupling). The wheel travel is 120 mm. Like the racing models, the fork rebound, compression and preload may be precision adjusted.

The forged aluminium brake calliper mounting bracket allows the new radial callipers to be fitted, perfectly in line with the latest GP and world SBK trends.

The rear Ohlins Racing shock absorber originates directly from experience on the track. It is fitted with a separate piggy back nitrogen cylinder built into the body. It has adjustable rebound, compression, preload and length in order to lift and lower the rear axle and adjust the suspension to different riding styles and different race tracks.

Among the optional components is a continuous tyre pressure measuring system, to keep the alignment under complete control according to the settings and suspension.


The best sportbike deserves the best braking system, and the RSV 1000 R Factory is once more on the leading edge of technology, with a radial clamp front braking system developed by Aprilia together with Brembo. Aprilia is certainly not new to this kind of technology. It was in fact the first to use this sophisticated braking system, fitted to a 250 GP.

The benefits for the rider are:

  • More effective braking
  • More precise response to the driver's actions. Any free lever movement due to calliper "elasticity" is almost completely eliminated since radial mounting prevents any movement of the calliper itself.
  • Longer pad life. With radial mounting, the pads work more in line with the disc, precisely because the calliper is kept more strictly aligned with its theoretical working position even when under extreme stress. This lengthens pad life basically because better alignment leads to more even surface wear.
  • Better system stability and consequently less difference between hot and cold performance.

The 320 mm front floating steel discs use lowered mounts to minimize weight and inertia, leading to more effective handling. The radial system on the RSV 1000 R Factory is combined with a radial pump to form the most sophisticated braking system currently fitted to a production bike

The rear braking system is a Brembo Gold Series with 220 mm diameter stainless steel disc and a two-piston (32 mm diameter) calliper.

Both the front and rear systems use braided metal lines taken from the aeronautics industry, which eliminate the irritating pressure smoothing effect of conventional lines and ensure maximum braking precision.


What particularly characterizes and distinguishes the Aprilia RSV 1000 R Factory is the care taken in construction and attention paid to every single component and part. This attention leads to an increase in performance, feel and rideability, through a decrease in weight and considerable improvement in product quality and finish.

An exclusive two-chamber steering damper from the specialist Ohlins Racing line is fitted as standard. It may of course be adjusted to adapt the bike's response to various riding conditions.

The extensive use of carbon components make the motorbike even lighter and more refined. The mudguards and several parts of the fairing are made of extremely light "woven carbon composite". Furthermore the RSV 1000 R Factory headstock shaft is made of aluminium and not steel, which also contributes to reducing the overall weight of the bike.

The exclusively designed forged wheels deserve a particular mention, since they are definitely one of the most distinctive parts of the bike, not just aesthetically, but also technically. They are forged from Anticorodal 6061 aluminium using an 8,000 ton hydraulic press. This technique produces wheels without defects or the porosity which may always result from the casting process, and gives them exceptional mechanical characteristics.

Finite-element analysis was used to find the best design, which came out to be a front wheel with six spokes and back wheel with five which split in two towards the rim. This was not just an aesthetic choice; this structure provides excellent lateral and torsional rigidity (thus keeping the suspension stable). As with the whole RSV 1000 R project, performance becomes beauty in this case too.

The weight saving is exceptional: about 25% less for each wheel compared with the lightest wheels on the market made using the traditional aluminium casting technique. Inertia too is consequently 25 % lower than for cast aluminium alloy wheels.

The maniacal care taken over the RSV 1000 R Factory project has not overlooked even the most insignificant details. The wheels are anodized and not painted. This leads to a further weight saving on this essential component and ensures they keep their characteristic colour for the whole life of the bike. Furthermore the technical wheel data is not embossed, but carved into the wheel itself, consequently removing more material and further weight. Aprilia has also homologated a 5.5 inch rear wheel (6 inches are standard). The smaller section central rim channel gives additional support on bends, better handling, and better bike response, especially on the track.

All these "attentions" have reduced the weight of the RSV 1000 R Factory to a minimum. Only 185 kg dry weight.

Exclusive components fitted to the RSV 1000 R Factory:

  • front "Ohlins Racing" suspension with special settings, coated with titanium nitride for increased smoothness
  • ront brakes with radial callipers
  • one-piece forged aluminium brake calliper mounting for greater rigidity and braking stability
  • "Ohlins Racing" rear suspension with special settings optimized for single-seat use. Its length may be adjusted (as well as preload, compression and rebound)
  • two-chamber "Ohlins Racing" steering damper
  • front carbon fibre mudguard
  • rear carbon fibre mudguard
  • carbon fibre fairing extractors
  • carbon fibre windscreen deflectors
  • carbon fibre upper fairing cover
  • carbon fibre side fairing
  • forged aluminium front wheel
  • forged aluminium rear wheel


Like the R, the R factory is also available in three colour combinations: Lead Grey/Magnet Grey, Aprilia Black/Diablo Black and Fluo Red/Lead Grey; all three come with a black frame


  • Akrapovic Exhausts - Aprilia Racing
  • Titanium Exhausts - Aprilia Racing
  • Reversed gearbox
  • Tyre pressure indicator
  • Kickstand
  • Tank bag

2000 Kawasaki ZX-6R First Ride

Much more than just new bodywork--Kawasaki unleashes its 2000 ZX-6R at Valencia, Spain

Just as the previous version of Kawasaki's ZZR600 was virtually identical to the ZX-6E, the 2005 Kawasaki ZZR600 looks to be a ringer for the 2000-2002 version of the ZX-6R. Here is our first ride piece for that bike, from the June 2000 issue of Sport Rider.

World press introductions held at a racetrack to showcase a manufacturer's latest sportbike are a funny thing. Anytime you bring motojournalists from different countries together and cut them loose on a world-class racing circuit, sooner or later national pride invariably works its way into the mix. Yes, we're there primarily to find a bike's limitations and report on its handling characteristics on the controlled and relatively safe confines of racetrack tarmac. But when someone loudly proclaims that his rider is four seconds a lap faster than "you Americans," things turn ugly; the hairs on the back of our necks stand up, our hides get chafed and we're forced to take up the cudgels.

When a certain, rather arrogant, European tire distributor at Kawasaki's press launch for its new 2000 ZX-6R made this particular boast to Kawasaki U.S.A.'s PR manager, Yankee ire was raised to new levels-bringing a normally mild-mannered fellow American motojournalist to utter the aforementioned "talking..." remark. The result? Under the watchful eye of Kawasaki technicians at the Circuito Ricardo Tormo in Valencia, Spain, the fellow American magazine staffer and I clipped on our "red mist" visors, and ended up circulating more than a full second under that tire distributor test rider's best lap time. That'll learn ya....

Good-natured chest-pounding aside, when Kawasaki's PR team originally informed us that they were planning a world press introduction for the new ZX-6R, we wondered why they were going through all the trouble. Judging from preliminary press kit information and scattered reports, Team Green's middleweight had undergone some minor tweaks to the engine along with new bodywork nearly identical to its bigger brethren; but no apparent redesign that would normally warrant this major international launch.

However, after a rather surprising tech briefing that revealed many additional changes to both the engine and chassis than we originally thought-and two days of furious racetrack apex-strafing with some street riding thrown in-it became obvious why Kawasaki decided to make such a big splash with its new ZX-6R. Team Green's latest 600 may not seem too different from the outside; but inside lurks a revitalized performance potential that just might boost the 6R to the top of the most hotly contested category in sportbikes. And that's worth pounding your chest about.

The ZX-6R's 599cc four-cylinder mill was never a slouch horsepower-wise-consistently ranking at or near the top of the class. Kawasaki engineers weren't satisfied, however, and redesigned numerous engine parts with an evolutionary-rather than revolutionary-eye toward increased power and less weight. The powerplant's basic configuration and construction remains the same, but many key components received a thorough re-examination in pursuit of those goals.

Key changes center around the cylinder head and top-end. Capping the list is a new semi-hemispherical combustion chamber (based on Kawasaki's WSB racebike...from 1996!) that boosts the compression ratio to a stratospheric 12.8:1, requiring at least 90 octane pump fuel for proper combustion. In the interests of increased top-end power, the carburetor manifolds were shortened 7mm, reducing overall port length; while the ram-air ducts were reshaped to increase airbox pressure at higher speeds by a claimed 12.0 percent.

Redesigned pistons slide through an all-aluminum, closed-deck, electroplated cylinder assembly; this not only cuts weight and provides improved wear resistance and heat dispersion, but also allows tighter piston/cylinder clearances for more power. Stronger connecting rods mate to a revised crankshaft that is 12.3 percent lighter, which-combined with a 7.0 percent lighter flywheel-is aimed at quicker acceleration. A myriad of other changes and improvements (more magnesium engine covers, integrated ignition coil/plug caps, lightened cams, thinner steel clutch plates and ram-air ducts, etc.) were aimed at cutting weight, resulting in a total engine package that not only cranks out three more horsepower, but also weighs a remarkable 7.7 pounds less than last year's motor.

The new all-aluminum, electroplated, closed-deck design cylinder (right) is not only stronger, sheds heat better (allowing tighter piston/cylinder clearance for more power) and is longer wearing, but also cuts weight by two pounds.

Impressive on paper, yes; but does the 6R's motor deliver? Numerous racetrack sessions and several hours on curvy Spanish roads were enough to convince us that it does-in spades.
Our initial fears that the new engine's modifications may have sacrificed some of the impressive midrange that made last year's Kawasaki such fun to ride proved to be unfounded. If anything, it seems as if the revisions bolstered the ZX's low-to-midrange acceleration. The throttle response is noticeably snappier, and the bike zips off from stoplights with unbridled enthusiasm. The meat of the powerband extends as low as 8000 rpm, which not only provides crisper acceleration off the line, but also allows the rider to maintain momentum through certain corner combinations by carrying a gear higher than normal-rather than expending time and concentration with more gear changes.

The new ZX-6R's more compact combustion chamber (above, left) is readily apparent-note the slight reconfiguration of the piston dome. The design comes straight from Kawasaki's 1996 ZX-7R WSB racebike.

The smooth transition to major thrust occurs around 9500 rpm, quickly wailing its way up to the power peak at 13,500 rpm, where the acceleration begins to tail off a bit. There's a little overrev capability available on up to the redline of 14,500 rpm, however. Although it's difficult to tell without a side-by-side comparison, our initial seat-of-the-pants impression is that the new ZX-6R's acceleration and speed is on par with Yamaha's YZF-R6, the winner of last year's SR 600 shootout (see June '99). And probably even more interesting is that the Kawasaki's handling now appears to be right up there too.

Overall chassis weight has been dropped by 3.3 pounds through revisions to the suspension, the swingarm material, and a thinner instrument panel. (All told, the new ZX-6R is claimed to weigh 11.0 pounds less than last year.) But the big news is centered around the front end geometry change and the revamped suspension's spring and damping rates. In an effort to gain front end feedback, Kawasaki engineers increased the fork pitch (the distance between fork tubes) 5mm, and reduced fork offset from 30mm to 28mm for more trail. Combined with stiffer springs front and back, plus new damping rates working with a more progressive shock linkage in the rear, the new 6R's chassis exhibits a far more controlled and stable feel on the track and the road. The Valencia circuit's relatively new pavement lacks the bumps to really put the suspension through its paces at ultra-elevated speeds, but the gnarly condition of the surrounding Spanish roads we traversed during our spirited street ride proved the Kawasaki's chassis is up to the task at sane riding levels.

A lot of little detail changes add up in the bike's overall weight savings-such as the new model's smaller and thinner instrument panel on the left.
Steering feel and tire feedback during banzai corner entries on the track were much improved-with none of the slightly numb feeling we experienced on the Kawasaki's previous model. Turn-in was as crisp as ever, and line changes could be easily accomplished midcorner without much effort. And virtually none of these assets changed with a switch to race compound tires; several ZX-6Rs were equipped with Dunlop D207GP Star production race tires during the latter half of the racetrack testing (when we had to silence the arrogant Euro tire distributor), and were hammered mercilessly with no ill effects other than a slight loss of straight line stability.

Another welcome change we noticed immediately was the upgraded front brakes. The calipers now sport differing piston sizes for more even pad wear, but we suspect the major reason for the brake's vastly improved power and modulation over the previous year's wooden-feeling binders is a change in brake pad compound. The new ZX-6R's brakes allow super-deep corner entries with confidence, providing excellent feel up to the point of tire lockup.
A cross-section comparison of the new (left) and old (right) swingarm construction shows the new internal bracing of the pentagonal box-section design. This allows additional strength while shedding some weight.

Thankfully, one item Kawasaki hasn't changed is the bike's excellent ergonomics. Although the clip-ons now mount below the triple clamps (permitting shorter fork tubes and reducing overall weight), the riding position feels nearly identical to last year; there's still plenty of legroom, and the seat gives great support for those highway drones. The new front fairing is more aggressive aerodynamically, yet the windscreen is 5mm taller for a bit more wind protection; and the mirrors give a decent rearward view. The engine is still silky-smooth at highway cruising speeds, with only the slightest tingle through the pegs at 6000 rpm.

So Kawasaki pulled another fast one on us. While the bike seemed to be nothing more than a dressed-up version of last year's highly competent model, at first glance, one ride was enough to convince us that Team Green's engineers haven't been sitting around twiddling their thumbs. The latest ZX-6R-improved in the few weak spots that we felt held it back compared to its competition-looks ready to battle for the top spot. We can hardly wait for this year's 600 shootout to begin.

Honda 599 First Ride

Honda brings the latest version of its hugely successful Hornet 600 Euro-model to the States

Five years ago, Honda decided to enter the "middleweight standard" market in Europe by slipping a softened-up version of the CBR600F3 motor into the frame of the budget-oriented Hornet 250 model. The resulting Hornet 600 became a huge sales success overseas, with Honda selling a gazillion of the reasonably priced bikes.
The middleweight Hornet's astounding popularity even gave rise to its own brand-specific racing series, the Hornet Cup.

Now Honda is looking to spread that enthusiasm stateside by bringing the Hornet--rechristened the 599--to the U.S. market. The new middleweight is aimed at a rapidly growing category currently dominated by Suzuki's SV650: the "bang for the buck" class.
The 599 only has a few changes from the tried-and-true Hornet platform. A redesigned fuel tank holds an additional liter of fuel (now 4.5 gallons), and the different shape repositions the rider 15mm forward for better weight distribution. The seat itself has been revamped for greater comfort, and suspension damping rates were firmed up for a more sporting attitude. The engine gets new tuning specs (with the California model utilizing a catalytic converter), and the single round headlight boasts a computer-designed, die-cast aluminum reflector with dual bulbs to improve lighting.
The aforementioned Hornet platform utilizes the 599cc inline-four cylinder from the CBR-F3, but employs smaller 34mm carbs (remember those?), longer intake tracts and extended exhaust head pipes to boost low and midrange power. The chassis is a steel mono-backbone frame that hangs the engine as a stressed member, with an aluminum swingarm out back. The 41mm conventional damping-rod fork and single shock are suitably bare-bones in design, with the fork lacking any adjustment and the shock having only spring preload adjustability. Rolling stock is decently sized, however, with 17-inchers in 3.5-inch width up front and 5.5-inch width out back, both shod with Michelin Pilot Road radials.
Braking duties are handled by twin 296mm discs grabbed by two-piston calipers in front, and a single 220mm disc with a single-piston caliper in the rear.
Our one-day exposure to the new 599 was spent in some of the many twisty canyon roads surrounding Los Angeles that we use for testing. Considering its budget oriented componentry, we were a bit apprehensive at first about flogging the little Honda through twisty pavement; but we were pleasantly surprised to find that the 599 can easily hold its own. Despite the nonadjustability of the suspension components, chassis and wheel control were excellent up to an eight-tenths pace (and we seriously doubt that any potential 599 buyers will approach that level), and handling overall was very agile (a short 55.9-inch wheelbase mates to a tight 25-degree steering-head angle), yet stable--a nice combination for this bike's intended audience. Acceleration from the CBR-F3-based engine was more than adequate, with good, usable power from 6000 rpm up to approximately 11,500 rpm, where the party starts to tail off, and the engine's smooth off-throttle response reminded us why we still like properly dialed-in carburetors.
High marks were also given for the brakes and tires. The 296mm discs and two-piston calipers provided enough power and feel to slow the 599 with ease and control, and the Michelin Pilot Road tires provided all the grip one could need, with very good ride quality.
We were quite impressed with Honda's new 599, and its concept of simplicity means the bike's performance can be had for only $7099. However, the 599 faces some stiff competition in the form of the $5899 Suzuki SV650 and the $6499 Yamaha FZ6. A "Bang for the Buck" comparison is surely looming over the horizon....


Suggested retail price: $7099


•Type: Liquid-cooled, DOHC inline four

•Displacement: 599cc

•Bore x stroke: 65 x 45.2mm

•Compression ratio: 12.0:1

•Induction: Four, 34mm flat-slide CV carburetors

•Transmission: 6-speed


•Front tire: 120/70ZR-17 Michelin Pilot Road

•Rear tire: 180/55ZR-17 Michelin Pilot Road

•Rake/trail: 25 deg./3.9 in. (98mm)

•Wheelbase: 55.9 in. (1420mm)

•Seat height: 31.1 in. (790mm)

•Fuel capacity: 4.5 gal. (17L)

•Claimed dry weight: 401 lbs. (182kg)

2008 KTM RC8 1190 - Austrian Attack

KTM Finally Makes Its Entrance Into The Serious Sporting Scene With The Svelte RC8 1190
KTM's arrival on the sportbike scene with the lean, mean RC8 1190 was worth waiting for. Ever since the Austrian company unveiled the prototype RC8 V-twin sportbike at the Tokyo Show in October 2003, we've been waiting for the finished product. The final production machine features the same distinctive styling from designer Gerald Kiska but with an all-new engine that raises capacity from the showbike's 990cc to 1148cc. The chance to ride the end result at the Ascari Race Resort near Ronda in southern Spain confirmed that this small but perfectly formed contender is indeed an exciting package unlike any other in the marketplace.
Just looking at the RC8 helps corroborate this. Kiska's design still remains fresh and individual, especially in white or black rather than the trademark KTM orange. But the RC8's unique qualities are also in function as well as form.
As soon as you sling a leg over the V-twin you notice the seat seems much lower and more spacious than expected, and the bike feels very narrow and compact overall, with your knees tucking in tight to the rear of the 4.4-gallon fuel tank. Set at a surprisingly low 31.7 inches for a modern sportbike, the KTM's saddle doesn't force all your weight onto your wrists (although the seat and footpegs are adjustable and can be raised by 20mm). "Our aim was to use the compact dimensions of our 75-degree V-twin motor, even in larger-capacity 1148cc form, to produce a bike with the engine performance of a Ducati 1098 but the chassis of a Honda CBR600RR," says RC8 Project Leader Wolfgang Felber. "But we wanted to be sure there was space for the rider to move about in the bike, to feel at ease in using his body to help maximize the handling. And it is important to be comfortable, since this brings confidence." KTM has you sitting in the RC8 rather than perched atop it, with the handlebars set forward of the 43mm, upside-down WP (the Dutch suspension specialist owned by KTM) fork's upper triple clamp.
Footpeg brackets (and seat) are adjustable in two positions 20mm apart, with additional adjustability in the bars as well.
Rear ride height is adjustable using this eccentric pivot on the rear suspension linkage. Rear WP shock has both high- and low-speed compression-damping adjustment.
The fully adjustable 43mm WP inverted fork holds a pair of monobloc Brembo calipers biting on twin 320mm discs for impressive stopping power.

The cockpit features a highly idiosyncratic digital dash; you'd get info overload if I told you everything this covers in either race or road mode. But while the large digital speedo reading is easy to pick up, the bar-graph tachometer across the top is much less so, with small numbers making it even more difficult (good thing there are two-stage shift lights atop the dash). The lack of fuel gauge or gear indicator is an oversight that should be corrected pronto, especially on a bike as deceptive as this one with such a smooth, linear power delivery and flat torque curve.
Because that's what the KTM's engine is: deceptive. Light the fire via your right thumb, and the 103x69mm eight-valve V-twin settles into a fairly fast 1500-rpm idle speed, with a higher-pitched exhaust note than a 90-degree Ducati. The 1148cc engine uses a dry-sump lubrication system similar to the 990cc LC8 engine used in the Duke series, with the exception of the four-liter oil reservoir integrated into the crankcases. Forged Mahle three-ring pistons force a compression ratio of 12.5:1, breathing through 43.5mm intake/38mm exhaust valves (up from the 990's 38mm/33mm combination) actuated by finger followers instead of bucket tappets. The double-overhead camshafts in each cylinder head are chain-driven instead of using the composite chain/gear drive of the 990; full gear drive is "too loud and not really reliable enough," Felber states, adding, "In my opinion, you should only use gear drive when you have a very even-firing motor like a four-cylinder. In this application on a V-twin engine there was too much gear shock, so we didn't use it."
The engine's throttle response from the Keihin 52mm throttle bodies is immediate, dialing up revs even more quickly than a Ducati thanks to what Felber confirms is a light flywheel setup. Yet this free-revving motor is also torquey, pulling out of turns from as low as 4000 rpm with a linear build of power all the way to the 10,700-rpm soft rev-limiter (followed 300 rpm later by a hard cut-out). There are no steps in the power delivery and especially no dip at around 5000 rpm such as you encounter on a Ducati; perhaps this is why the KTM's power delivery doesn't seem quite as exciting as its Italian rival's. There isn't the same impression of a midrange hit on the Austrian bike, which is even more refined in its fueling off the bottom and certainly has a smoother path to your appointment with the rev-limiter. Without a side-by-side comparison it's obviously impossible to say which bike is faster, but Felber claims the RC8's 155 horsepower at 10,000 rpm, with 88.5 ft-lb of torque peaking at 8000 rpm, is comparable on the Mattighofen dyno to a Ducati 1098's claimed 160 horsepower and 90.4 ft-lb.

Available Accessories

* Tank Pad

* Magnetic Tank Bag (Black)

* Cycle Cover

Additional Features

* Instrument display features analog tachometer with white numerals and needle indicator on a black face design; LCD digital displays for speedometer, odometer, A/B tripmeter, fuel reserve, clock, and coolant temperature; warning lights for coolant temperature, oil temperature, fuel injection, and over-rev; indicator lights for low/high beam, turn indicator and neutral* Aluminum-alloy hollow-spoke wheels feature race-spec 3.5 x 17-inch front and 5.5 x 17-inch rear dimensions.* Industry-leading ergonomics for minimum fatigue in all riding conditions* One-piece seat design for optimum rider and passenger comfort* Lightweight aluminum upper cowl stay also serves as mounting bracket for mirrors and instrument housing* Asymmetrical dual headlight design features computer designed multi-reflectors. Left-side low beam is complimented by both lights in high beam making for superb lighting in nighttime riding conditions* Folding aerodynamic mirrors* Front fairing and rear seat cowl utilize few parts for simple servicing* Rear cowl storage box for U-type and cable locking devices (lock not included) under the passenger seat* Integrated ignition switch/fork lock for added security* Convenient push-to-cancel turn-signal switch* Transferable one-year, unlimited-mileage limited warranty; extended coverage available with a Honda Protection Plan


* Pro Frame(R) design consists of an aluminum twin-spar frame and extruded aluminum swingarm. The Pro Frame design locates the lightweight extruded aluminum box-section swingarm via a combined pivot in both the frame and the rear of the engine, producing superb handling and stability with excellent control* Lightweight aluminum, detachable rear subframe section* Rigid, 43mm HMAS front fork offers rebound, compression damping and spring preload adjustability* 40mm HMAS rear shock assembly utilizes Pro-Link(R) design with external reservoir for plush feel and excellent, well-controlled damping for all types of riding* Twin front calipers feature four pistons each; pistons have a molybdenum/anodic-oxide coating and Teflon-coated rollback seals to enhance braking feel under repeated hard use* Hydraulic rear disc brake features single-piston caliper and 220mm disc* Durable, lightweight #525 O-ring-sealed drive chain


* High-output liquid-cooled DOHC 16-valve four-stroke engine features oversquare bore and stroke of 67mm x 42.5mm with a straight intake tract contributing to superb power throughout the rpm range* High-pressure programmed fuel injection (PGM-FI) delivers fuel to four injectors, each mounted in a 38mm throttle body, at 50 psi. Fuel is delivered through four nozzle tips in each injector, producing a highly combustible air/fuel charge for maximum combustion efficiency and power* A precise throttle sensor and sophisticated fuel injection mapping combine to produce smooth and linear throttle response, responding easily to fine throttle adjustments* Auto-enriching system is integrated into PGM-FI module, eliminating the need for a manual choke* Cylinder head features two springs per intake valve and hardened intake valve seats for even better high-rpm valve operation and durability* Inclined cylinder-head cover mating surface permits higher placement of the intake camshaft for a straight intake tract providing excellent engine efficiency and power* RC45-inspired aluminum composite cylinder sleeves are high-pressure-formed from sintered aluminum powder impregnated with ceramic and graphite. The lightweight composite sleeves provide better wear resistance and superior heat dissipation than conventional sleeves* Aluminum alloy pistons feature LUB-Coat solid lubricant to minimize friction between the piston and cylinder wall* Ram-air provides a high volume of cool air to the airbox, utilizing a two-stage system that precisely balances air pressure within the carburetor float and vacuum chambers with the air flowing through their bores, providing sharp throttle response, linear power delivery and incredible performance at all speeds* Four transistorized direct-ignition coils integrate spark plug cap and high-tension lead to produce a high-voltage, long-duration spark, providing maximum performance at high engine output levels* Electronic ignition CPU provides digital 3-D mapping for individual cylinders, creating ideal spark advance settings for all riding conditions* Four-into-two-into-one exhaust system feeds single high-output polished stainless steel muffler for maximum power and efficiency* Direct shim-under-bucket valve actuation ensures high-rpm performance and durability and offers 16,000-mile maintenance intervals* Mechanical automatic cam-chain tensioner* Engine cooling system features a series-flow pattern that reduces piston crown and spark plug seat temperatures, resulting in increased power* Bearingless water pump is lightweight and features high-efficiency design* High-capacity liquid-cooled oil cooler contributes to lightweight engine design* Clutch cover integrates pulser cover and is lighter than traditional designs* Smooth-shifting close-ratio six-speed transmission features ratios carefully matched to engine's powerband

2006 Honda CBR 600 F4i Sport Bike Motorcycle


The incredibly versatile CBR600F4i strikes the perfect balance between full-on sport performance and day-long comfort.

New for 2006
Available in Pearl Yellow/Metallic Titanium and Candy Blue/Black


First launched in 1992, Honda CBR900RR featured a large displacement engine fitted on a relatively lightweight and nimble frame. But the series of changes had long started as Tadao Baba initially designed the Fireblade as a 750cc engine back in 1989.
The name Fireblade saw its way through in the bike’s early years of development by a mis-translation from French to English for the Japanese word for lightning. It became the internal adopted name for the project’s development although all Honda inline-engined sport motorcycles of the time were labeled CBR, followed by a number approximately equal to the engine’s capacity in CC. However, Baba-san had said that as the project came to launch, the internal name was chosen as the bike’s marketing name so as not to emphasize the first Fireblade’s 893cc engine displacement, because at the time potential customers not accustomed to the new concept of lighter and agile superbikes would not perceive a motorbike of less than 1000cc as a competitor for the Yamaha FZR1000T or Suzuki GSXR1100N.
Developing 124 horsepower and moving 454.2 lb with its inline four-cylinder engine, the first Fireblade was indeed a competitor for the Suzuki and Yamaha as it used a simple but yet successful recipe: big displacement motor positioned on a bike as light as a 600cc, if not lighter.
This made for the bike to sell quickly demanding soon out stripped supply, as riders could not believe just how fast, light weight, a class breaking 185kg and easy to ride this new bike was, especially in the hands of rider’s more used to heavy weight bikes of the time like the Kawasaki ZX10, Suzuki GSX-R1100 and even Honda’s own CBR1000F.
Initially, due to the 16-inch front wheel making the front seem twitchy, there were some calls for a steering damper but the choice of wheel was soon proved to be the correct as the reduced unsprung weight of the 16-inch over a 17-inch improved the bike’s turning ability.
The colors for the first model year were red/white/blue but there was also the black and silver version so riders could easily make their minds and decide on a color scheme.
Future years brought visual upgrades for the already successful product so the bike received a new fairing in the shape of the redesigned bodywork, as the now familiar Foxey/Urban Tiger came along in December 1993.
Honda had prepared a big revamp for the Fireblade at the end of 1995 and it was now known as the CBR918RR. The name gives a very clear clue of the increase in displacement but this was unusual for Honda, to feature an all new dedicated 918cc engine, not the previous Japan-only bored-out 750 cc engine. Other updates aimed at improving the riding position but, very important, 1995 brought the upgrade of the suspensions. That model year was introduced as the RRT model.
Keeping their recipe for 1997, when the RRV model was released, Honda had added some horses and reduced the weight a little bit by using a new aluminum silencer. Weighing only 183 kg, the only thing that the bike than needed were some new color schemes which gave a new apparel and made that model year stand out even more.
1998 brought the RRW/X models featuring a redesigned fairing and headlamp unit and a wider seat/tail light unit. The upgrade now needed to bring better handling, was only achieved with a much stronger fork yoke unit and stiffness provided by a redesigned swingarm. That model year also brought the adding of a 17-inch front wheel instead of the previous 16-inch. The new element, taken right out the CBR600 completely transformed the handling and together with the new suspension parts made the critics raise no handling issues.
The new millennium had a great influence on the Fireblade, by then known through its all new fuel injected 929cc engine, upside down forks and a much awaited 17 inch front wheel. Baba-san had also given the bike a squarer look, with a dry weight of 170kg, losing 9kg in the process.
After losing out the Yamaha R1 in the sales charts, Honda understood that they have to increase displacement even more so the CBR929RR lasted for only two years.
Replacement came in 2002 and it was called Honda CBR954RR. The bigger capacity engine had the effect of producing 149 bhp and 77 ft lbf of torque with the help of a heavily improved EFI system with bigger injectors and more processing ability. It also handled better due to frame and headstock strengthening, and a more rigid swingarm. Weighing in at a class leading 169 kg it also weighed less than Honda’s own CBR600RR. Everything was dressed up beautifully in an altogether much leaner, sleeker, tougher look and after two years of production the CBR954RR saw its way out as it had completed its goal in Honda’s big class superbike history.
After the Fireblade exited the scene, the all-new 2004 CBR1000RR arrived at a true liter of displacement to line up with the other bikes built by the rest of the Japanese manufacturers. The team that built the fabulous Honda RC211V race bike from the MotoGP series was also behind the development of the CBR600RR and it was logical to take care of the development in the big superbike class at Hondas, which they did. It resulted in new technologies being implemented such as a lengthy swingarm, Unit Pro-Link rear suspension, and Dual Stage Fuel Injection System (DSFI).
Almost no part of the CBR954RR were carried over to the development of the new model as the compact 998cc in-line four was a completely new design featuring unique bore and stroke dimensions, race-inspired cassette-type six-speed gearbox, all-new ECU-controlled ram-air system, dual-stage fuel injection, and a center-up exhaust provided with a new computer-controlled butterfly valve. The chassis was likewise all new, including an organic-style aluminum frame composed of Gravity Die-Cast main sections and Fine Die-Cast steering head structure, inverted fork, Unit Pro-Link rear suspension, radial-mounted front brakes, and a centrally-located fuel tank hidden under a faux cover.
What made the new CBR1000RR behave so well under strong acceleration was the longer swingarm, acting as a longer lever arm in the rear suspension system. This element also determined the increase of wheelbase with 34mm.
But making room for the new swingarm required massive changes to the engine architecture, completely changed from the 954’s. Shortening the engine compared to the 954 meant rejecting the conventional in-line layout. Instead, engineers positioned the CBR1000R’s crankshaft, main shaft and countershaft in a triangulated configuration, with the countershaft located below the main shaft, dramatically shortening the engine front to back, and moving the swingarm pivot closer to the crankshaft. Honda had learned the lesson from Yamaha who implemented the design on the 1998 YZF-R1.
The engine was positioned farther forward in the chassis in order to keep its great amounts of power and torque to wheelie prone when not desired. This also provided very little space between the front wheel and the engine but the problem was solved by giving the RR a modest cylinder incline of 28 degrees, and moving the oil filter from its frontal placement on the 954 to the right side of the 1000RR engine. This allowed the RR’s center-up exhaust system to tuck closely to the engine, opening the space required for a massive MotoGP-style curved radiator with 40 percent more cooling capacity than the 954’s unit, a key to making big horsepower with high durability.
By concentrating the component masses as close to the motorcycle’s center as possible, Honda uses the engine designed especially toward horsepower and torque and makes the bike handle like a dream. The idea of mass centralization had never been better used than on the 2004 Honda CBR1000RR featuring an engine employing a relatively modest 75mm bore and 56.5mm stroke to derive the displacement of 998cc. The choice proved to be very benefic because the remarkable narrow engine attached on a commensurately narrow chassis increases mass centralization and ground clearance also.
The starter motor and drive gear were positioned on the right side of the engine providing a narrower engine profile for added ground clearance. The balancer shaft on the CBR1000RR did its job of eliminating secondary vibration properly but also had an eye towards mass centralization, also being positioned close to the engine’s center of gravity.
Another design providing a wealth of benefits was the Unit Pro-Link’s. The shock is contained entirely within the swingarm and is positioned lower than in a conventional design. Both contribute to mass centralization, in part by giving the centrally mounted fuel tank room to extend downward. Because the shock is contained within the swingarm and it doesn’t require a top mount on the frame, the bulk of the 4.8-gallon tank was positioned down low between the frame rails, close to the centerline of the machine. Two other benefits resulted from the RR’s fuel placement; the mass of the fuel load has less effect on handling, thereby facilitating quick directional changes; and, because the fuel tank is shorter, the CBR1000RR rider sits closer to the steering head than on the 954.
Quicker handling was achieved by lightening as many pieces far from the center of mass as possible. That gave rise to the RR’s compact Line-Beam headlights, with their high-illumination three-piece reflectors; slim-line LED taillight; single-piston rear brake system that’s lighter that of the 954; an analog/digital fully electronic instrument that’s one of the lightest and slimmest ever mounted on a street bike, among more other changes.
Being a brand new product, derived from a motorcycle filled with heritage coming from a motorcycle named after a mis-translation from French to English of the Japanese word for lightning, the CBR1000RR enjoyed its complete revision which determined designers to maintain the bike’s characteristics for 2005.
But that was no brake period as they prepared the next evolutionary step of the CBR1000RR for 2006. This aimed at improving the engine performance by adding new intake and exhaust porting, higher compression ratio, revised cam timing, more intake valve lift, double springs for the intake valves, all resulting into a higher redline.
The rear now featured a larger sprocket, revised suspension with new linkage ratios, and a new, lighter swingarm while the front received a revised front fairing design, larger 320mm front brake discs but thinner at 3.5mm, and a revised front suspension.
This model carried over to 2007 remaining mostly unchanged. The brushed aluminum swingarm was now black to complete the new color schemes available: Black, Red/Black, Satin Silver and Race-Replica Repsol.
The Paris International Motorcycle Show on 28 September 2007 brought the presentation of a brand new CBR1000RR for 2008, a motorcycle now presented on this review.


Probably the strongest opponent, and one which on a certain level influenced the development of the 1000RR, is the Yamaha YZF-R1. Also improved for 2008, the light, powerful and packed with trickle-down MotoGP technology, the YZF-R1 is one of the most advanced Open-class production motorcycle ever built.
The systems that contribute to that are starting from the YCC fly-by-wire throttle system for flawless response under all conditions, inline four-cylinder engine with powerful, tractable R1 powerplant ever, thanks partially to the world’s first electronic variable-length intake funnel system and ending up at the six-piston radial-mount front brake calipers and 310mm discs generating the kind of braking power a bike like the R1 requires.
Right next to the Honda and Yamaha stands the Suzuki GSX-R1000, one of the most successful open-class motorcycles in the history of production-based racing even better by applying the latest technology and the most recent hard-fought racing experience. Suzuki’s task is keeping the GSX-R1000 well ahead of the competition.
For the 2008 Ninja ZX-10R, Kawasaki engineers aimed for an ideal superbike with engine and chassis performance capable of satisfying professional racers, combined with top-notch streetbike qualities for mainstream riders. It’s a delicate balance, but these aren’t your average engineers. They’ve been directly involved in the development of every 600 and 1000cc supersport machine since the 2003 Ninja ZX-6R, plus Kawasaki’s factory Superbike racing efforts, so they have the know-how to deliver the goods.


By strongly improving the bike’s performance concerning engine, transmission, suspension, brakes, Honda achieved an astonishing upgrade of the CBR1000RR and this had to reflect in the motorcycle’s appearance as well.
2008 brought a complete redesign of the fuel tank, exhaust, fairing, headlights, mirrors, in conclusion everything visible on the new CBR can nowhere else be found.
The new line-beam headlights featuring two-piece reflector design utilizing two H7 bulbs for optimum light distribution and unique compact design are completed by the front turn signals integrated into the folding aerodynamic mirrors. This gives the tone to the new fairing which is also build with the purpose of reducing drag and, with the help of the windscreen, to increase riding comfort.
The centrally-mounted 4.7-gallon fuel tank is positioned low in the frame, increasing mass centralization and allowing a more compact design and together with the airbox are both protected by a plastic tank shall, improving the overall appearance and an Iconic new Honda Wind tank badge gives a distinctive touch.
The new exhaust system is very low positioned and complements the lines featured by the fairing. Its defined lines and contrast bring pure racing attitude in discussion and the engine is there to sustain that.
The rear end introduces our eyes to the new LED taillights for lighter weight and improved overall appearance.
Honda provided a multitude of colors for the 2008 CBR1000RR because this model signifies the maker’s evolution and this has to stand out on the track or outside it.
Black/Metallic Gray is this year’s special color but the bike can also feature other exciting new colors which include Red/Black, Black/Metallic Silver, Pearl Yellow/Black, Candy Dark Red/Metallic Silver.


If you are willing to become the rider of a class-leading motorcycle which was completely redesigned for 2008 model year, than you will be part of a select club encountering passion, speed and lots of horsepower only found on this kind of motorcycles. The best Honda has to offer in this class is the CBR1000RR and I am not wrong by saying that it is being offered with an almost symbolic price tag. With a retail price of only $11,599 and $200 more for the Black/Metallic Gray color option, fans can get that stone off their hearts.

Engine and Transmission

  • Displacement: 999cc
  • Type: liquid-cooled inline four-cylinder
  • Bore x Stroke: 76mm x 55.1mm
  • Compression Ratio: 12.3:1
  • Valve Train: DOHC; four valves per cylinder
  • Induction: Dual Stage Fuel Injection (DSFI)
  • Ignition: Computer-controlled digital transistorized with three-dimensional mapping
  • Transmission: Close-ratio six-speed
  • Final Drive: #530 O-ring - sealed chain

Chassis and Dimensions

  • Front Suspension: 43mm inverted HMAS cartridge fork with spring preload, rebound and compression damping adjustability; 4.7 inches travel
  • Rear Suspension: Unit Pro-Link HMAS single shock with spring pre-load, rebound and compression damping adjustability; 5.4 inches travel Brakes
  • Front Brake: Dual radial-mounted four-piston calipers with full-floating 320mm discs
  • Rear Brake: Single 220mm disc
  • Front Tire: 120/70ZR-17 radial
  • Rear Tire: 190/50ZR-17 radial
  • Wheelbase: 55.4 inches
  • Rake (Caster Angle): 23.3”
  • Trail: 96.2mm (3.8 inches)
  • Seat Height: 32.3 inches
  • Fuel Capacity: 4.7 gallons, including 1.06-gallon reserve
  • Curb Weight: TBD


  • Colors: Red/Black; Black/Metallic Grey; Black/Metallic Silver; Pearl Yellow/Black; Candy Dark Red/ Metallic Silver


  • All-new 999cc inline four-cylinder engine.
  • Lightweight titanium intake valves.
  • New thinner high-strength pistons featuring molybdenum coating.
  • New removable cylinder block with Nikasil-coated cylinders.
  • Idle-air control valve (IACV) and Ignition Interrupt Control for idle stability and smoother on/off throttle response.
  • Unique slipper clutch features cam mechanism to reduce clutch lever pull.
  • New mid-muffler exhaust system design incorporates exhaust valve and catalyst.
  • New-generation Honda Electronic Steering Damper (HESD).
  • New lighter-weight front brake hoses with lighter front brake rotors.
  • New monoblock front brake calipers with chromium-plated aluminum pistons.
  • Lightweight aluminum sidestand.
  • New four-piece Hollow Fine Die-Cast Frame.
  • New aluminum swingarm design.
  • New twin-tunnel ram-air induction.
  • New line-beam headlights.
  • Front turn signals integrated into mirrors.
  • New compact instrumentation.
  • New lighter-weight wheels.
  • New lightweight compact battery.
  • New improved ergonomics.
  • Iconic new Honda Wing tank badge.
  • Exciting new color include Red/Black, Black/Metallic Silver, Pearl Yellow/Black, Candy Dark Red/Metallic Silver.
  • Black/Metallic Grey (2008 special color)

Unique Features

  • Exclusive, MotoGP-derived Unit Pro-Link Rear Suspension.
  • Mid-muffler exhaust system design.
  • Specially designed slipper clutch.
  • Dual Stage Fuel Injection (DSFI) system features two injectors per cylinder.
  • Centrally located fuel tank increases mass centralization and allows more compact frame design.
  • Line-beam headlights feature two-piece reflector design.


  • Liquid-cooled DOHC 16-valve 999cc four-stroke inline four-cylinder engine features bore and stroke dimensions of 76mm x 55.1mm.
  • Sixteen-valve cylinder head features 30.5mm intake and 24mm exhaust valves with a 12.3:1 compression ratio for efficient combustion and high horsepower.
  • Larger titanium intake valves create a lighter valve train for higher rpm.
  • Intake valves feature double-spring design for optimum performance at high rpm.
  • Intake ports use new shot-peening technology that improves power and torque characteristics.
  • Cam-pulser location between the middle cylinders allows a narrower cylinder head and frame.
  • Direct shim-under-bucket valve actuation system ensures high-rpm durability and allows 16,000-mile valve maintenance intervals.
  • Forged-aluminum pistons with molybdenum coating for reduced friction.
    Lightweight nutless connecting rods.
  • Iridium-tip spark plugs improve fuel combustion and performance.
    Dual Stage Fuel Injection (DSFI).
  • 46mm throttle bodies feature Denso injectors with lightweight valving for faster reaction time and 12 holes per injector to optimize mixture atomization, combustion efficiency and power.
  • Auto-enriching system is integrated into programmed fuel injection (PGM-FI) module, eliminating the need for a manual choke.
  • New idle-air control valve (IACV) minimizes torque reaction and smoothness response to small throttle changes through gradual reductions of air and fuel intake when the throttle is opened and closed.
  • New Ignition Interrupt Control system works with IACV and FI mapping to enhance driveability.
  • Smaller and lighter ECU provides two 3-D fuel-injection maps for each cylinder and two 3-D ignition maps for cylinder pairs, creating ideal fuel-mixture and spark-advance settings for superb rideability.
  • MotoGP-derived twin ram-air system allows high volume of cooler air to the 9.7-liter airbox for linear power delivery and incredible engine performance.
  • Butterfly valves inside the ram-air ducts open and close depending on throttle opening and engine rpm for optimum performance.
  • High-capacity radiator incorporates twin cooling fans and allows a more compact cowl for reduced drag coefficient.
  • Maintenance-free automatic cam-chain tensioner.
  • Starter gears located on the right side to produce narrow engine and increased lean angle.
  • Unique slipper-clutch design uses a center-cam-assist mechanism for easier actuation. Unlike an ordinary slipper clutch where the pressure plate moves side to side, the Honda clutch moves both the center cam assist and the pressure plate to provide additional slipper effect.
  • Nine-plate clutch is compact and tough, featuring durable friction-plate material.
  • New extremely compact exhaust system incorporates a catalyzer and control valve in mid-muffler design that reduces rear bodywork size and significantly improves mass centralization, reducing roll and yaw inertia.
  • Durable #530 O-ring – sealed drive chain.


  • Lightweight Hollow Fine Die-Cast twin-spar aluminum frame utilizes MotoGP technology.
  • New aluminum subframe is lightweight and easily removed for easy maintenance.
  • MotoGP-derived Honda Electronic Steering Damper (HESD).
  • 43mm inverted aluminum-slider Honda Multi-Action System (HMAS) cartridge front fork features spring preload and rebound and compression damping adjustability, and offers precise action and unparallel rigidity.
  • Exclusive, MotoGP-derived Unit Pro-Ling rear Suspension.
  • Front brake system features radial-mounted four-piston calipers and 320mm floating discs, and rear brake system uses a 220mm disc with a single-piston caliper for exceptional stopping power.
  • Front discs with 72 holes of four different diameters for lighter weight and improved feel.
  • Super-light aluminum-alloy hollow-spoke wheels feature race-spec 3.5 x 17-inch front and 6.0 x 17-inch rear dimensions.
  • Centrally mounted 4.7-gallon fuel tank is positioned low in the frame, increasing mass centralization and allowing a more compact design. This design positions the rider further forward for optimum handling.

Additional Features

  • New ergonomic triangle lets rider sit 10mm farther forward and 10mm lower than previous-generation CBR1000RR. Handlebars are 6.5mm higher and 2mm forward.
  • High-capacity 400-watt AC generator.
  • High-tech instrument display features tachometer, plus LCD readouts for speedometer, coolant temperature, odometer, two tripmeters and a clock, mpg and average fuel consumption. A low-fuel LED light and shift-indicator light are located above the LCD.
  • Line-beam headlight features two-piece reflector design utilizing two H7 bulbs for optimum light distribution and unique compact design.
  • LED taillight for lighter weight and improved appearance.
  • Plastic tank shell cover protects tank and airbox.
  • Convenient ignition switch/fork lock for added security.
  • Folding aerodynamic mirrors.
  • Convenient push-to-cancel turn-signal switch.
  • New maintenance-free battery is 2.2 pounds lighter.
  • Transferable one-year, unlimited-mileage limited warranty; extended coverage available with a Honda Protection Plan.
  • Purchase of a new, previously unregistered Honda USA-certified unit by an individual retail user in the United States qualifies the owner for a one-year complimentary membership in the Honda Rider’s Club of America.

Available Accessories

  • Color-Matched Passenger Seat Cowl
  • U-Lock
  • CBR Racing Cycle Cover
  • Carbon-Fiber Accents
  • Limited color run, less than 500