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Why so many people ride an R6 at the track in the US? I know this bike has many adopters at the Daytona 200 (the winner this year was riding a Triumph but most bikes were R6) and other semi-professional races, but I think the reputation is overblown. I believe it's more a question of sponsorships and crowd effect.

Anyway wanted to know what the other CBR600RR owner think about this, perhaps somebody who tried both. Is it really the R6 a superior bike?
 

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I've ridden both. granted mostly on the CBR600RR and a couple of sessions on R6.

The R6 has more power. period. stock vs stock, mod vs mod the R6 always comes on top.
The earlier R6 has evil top end; it was so quick but you have to ride it like a 2 stroke, it's got very little mid range.
The later model 2012 and above got better balance engine but less crazy top end.

CBR600RR just has no power.

Handling wise, the CBR600RR is easier to go fast but hard to be the fastest.
Braking wise CBR600RR has way way way way way better brake. the R6 brake is rubbish, even after braided lines. I think the master Cylinder and caliper combo is not ideal.

Our field here is filled with GSX-R; I've never ridden them but they seem to always pull away in the straight, lol.
 

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From what I understand, it's a better track bike overall whereas the CBR is a better street bike. Both are competent for both uses, though. The rider will likely make a bigger difference than the bike.
I don't think a 600rr is better for the street at all. I think the race replicas all excel on the race track. Some ride more neutral, others have single things they're better at, but other things they aren't as good at. What it comes down to is what the operator wants and is comfortable with. Side by side comparisons can be pointless at times and don't always mean much, especially with different riders. In my opinion, I couldn't care less about a little more power switching to another brand etc. I care about handling characteristics, weight, geometry, suspension, things that will allow me to go fast and ride efficiently and feel in control. Power isn't anything without traction and control. For an example, I'd rather have better brakes on a bike and loose some hp than have more power and shitty brakes on a bike.
 

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The R6 reputation isn't overblown. In club racing where most racing budgets are out of the competitors' own pockets people will go with whatever bike at the moment is most competitive with the least amount of money in tuning it. That's been the R6 recently. That equation changes as brands leapfrog each other with new introductions and focus of their bikes. The R6 as delivered has gobs more top end horsepower than our 600RR's. That matters when a race series limits how much or if you can modify engine internals. Why run a 600RR if you need HRC kit parts and an engine build to get what you can with an R6 with an exhaust and remap? If you're racing and are limited by what you can afford or are allowed to do to the engine then this matters to you. If you are World Supersport it doesn't matter as much (600RR won title last year) nor does it if you are riding the public twisties or doing track days. Then it's all down to what bike feels best to you.
 

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I've raced both and can honestly say that the R6 is a better race bike. The honda was great and an easy bike to ride. Awesome handling and extremely stable. As others have said it lacks power where it needs it most. Just this season I've switched over to the R6 and once I adjusted to it I'm going faster than I ever did on my Honda.
 

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I've ridden both. granted mostly on the CBR600RR and a couple of sessions on R6.

The R6 has more power. period. stock vs stock, mod vs mod the R6 always comes on top.
The earlier R6 has evil top end; it was so quick but you have to ride it like a 2 stroke, it's got very little mid range.
The later model 2012 and above got better balance engine but less crazy top end.

CBR600RR just has no power.

Handling wise, the CBR600RR is easier to go fast but hard to be the fastest.
Braking wise CBR600RR has way way way way way better brake. the R6 brake is rubbish, even after braided lines. I think the master Cylinder and caliper combo is not ideal.

Our field here is filled with GSX-R; I've never ridden them but they seem to always pull away in the straight, lol.
Lol you say cbr 600rr has better brakes. Allow me to disagree, dear sir. I myself binned the master cylinder AND the calipers and replaced them with R6 ones. The calipers went on only after some machining was done, nothing complicated. But my brakes are now very reliable.

There may be yet another reason apart from the "cost per hp" for the evident preference for R6 bikes in club racing. Servicing a bike before and after a race is mightily important in club racing, but Hondas are - any mechanic will tell you - a pita. Everything is cramped and difficult to reach. Anyone who ought to endeavour a spark plug change in the pits knows what a hazardous adventure this could be. I could name many other concrete examples to prove my point.
 

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I have a 2007 600rr, R6 master cylinder and gold calipers. The 09-12 cbr has one piece calipers which are better, but still don't give me the braking progression and confidence I have with the R6 ones.
 

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The R6 is a way better STOCK bike. For sure. If your running classes like 600 supersport/superstock where your bike must be unmodified for the most part, the CBR is laking in braking as well as being behind the curve on having a slipper clutch stock. In classes like 600 superbike, where you can do engine modifications and brake modifications, the 600rr is on the same page as other bikes. I am irritated with Honda for not adding all of the modern technology that the other bikes have like the zx6r and r6 etc... I think even the GSXR is a better stock platform than the 600rr. The price off the bikes now days brand new arent all that different so they need to catch up quick.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 · (Edited)
I have to bump this thread. If you look at the FIM European 600 Superstock, Honda is up there with Kawasaki and Yamaha. FIM superstock 600 have very strict rules, I believe they can only change the ECU and suspensions.

So how do you explain R6s are not dominating races in Europe? Maybe there are just not as many racers buying them?

http://www.worldsbk.com/en/results statistics
 

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My say likely doesn't weigh in as much here because I've never ridden an R6, and plus I'm still new to the 600RR with only 1,200 miles since purchase about 5 weeks ago.

I chose the 600RR because I felt it was a better built / more polished bike, more conservative with traditional / reliable tech, and it seemed to overall be a more well balanced street / race motorcycle. I also read it was universally agreed that the CBR had a more practical power delivery with it's mid-range and torque.

I was leaning towards the R6 right off the bat about a year ago, but as I did more research and saw both bikes in person a countless number of times, I was starting to understand that I'd personally be more happy with the Honda.

I will admit that the R6 seems to be the more edgier and sharper bike - possibly more track oriented. I'd love to try it out someday.
 

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The big thing I've noticed on the track is that everyone seems to have an R6. I don't know how it is now that I've moved to California but in Colorado, there were only 3 600RR's in the club including myself. I love my bike but I would agree, it feels slower compared to others. Granted mine is an 06 so it's a little behind the curve but i keep it in good shape and it has only given me a few problems (comes with racing)

We joke that you could build a fresh r6 by gathering parts from around the pits. I actually had to retire from a race because my bike blew an ignition coil and there were no honda owners around to help me haha. (starting to bring spares)

That being said, our bikes IMO feel lighter and easier to flick around. A buddy of mine races an AMA prepped R6 and rode my bike a few times when his bike blew up. He loved the brakes (EBC HH's and stock brakes!), I watched him during races really dive on people in the corners because of its ability to late brake. He said it felt like a 250 in it's ability to turn in, just light and easy to whip around.

It does suffer from power though. I've had moments where I'll get better exit speed on someone on an r6 or something else and start to pull on them out of the corner but that quickly equalizes/they pull away because it just doesn't have enough go to keep up on the straights
 
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