Powersports / Motorcycles / Sport / CBR600F4i / Development
2004 Honda CBR600 Model History
1987 Hurricane 600
Honda's first-generation CBR600F established new standards for the middleweight class. The Hurricane's unique full-coverage bodywork allowed engineers to skip costly engine cosmetics and focus development dollars inside the engine cases. The result was a class-leading 83 horsepower from the CBR's liquid-cooled dohc inline-four. With a dry weight of 396.8 pounds--the lightest 600 available--the Hurricane blew away the competition, yet remained true to its design philosophy by offering versatility to match its incredible performance.
For the 600's first makeover, Honda focused its attention on the engine. Revised porting and a new stainless steel exhaust system allowed the engine to breathe more easily, while altered cam timing, reconfigured pistons and combustion chambers, a slightly higher compression ratio and new ignition and carb settings helped make best use of the air/fuel mix. These carefully orchestrated engine changes yielded 10 more horsepower, making the CBR600F that much harder to catch on the street and on the track.
Honda redesigned the CBR from the contact patches up to create the class-leading F2. A lighter and more compact inline-four engine pumped out an astonishing 100 horsepower, thanks to more oversquare dimensions, bigger carbs, higher compression and significant reductions in internal friction. A stiffer frame, shorter wheelbase, revalved suspension, stronger brakes and RC30-style wheels gave the bike handling manners to match. Once again the CBR600 was the lightest, quickest and most powerful middleweight the world had seen.
Increasing sophistication marked the fourth variation of Honda's middleweight champ. The F3 got stronger via a Dual-Stage Ram Air system, more compact combustion chambers with a higher compression ratio, a computer-controlled 3D-mapped ignition and a comprehensive program to reduce internal engine friction. Again, a retuned chassis, including freshly recalibrated suspension systems and bigger brakes, helped the F3 keep its handling edge, while still maintaining class-leading livability on the street.
Totally redesigned for 1999, the CBR600F4 continued to push the boundaries of 600 performance even higher. Lighter, more compact and significantly more powerful, the F4's all-new inline-four engine used the latest Honda design and manufacturing technologies, including RC45™-inspired aluminum composite cylinder sleeves and LUB™-Coat pistons, and a new dual-stage ram-air system to crank out an incredible 110 horsepower. That new engine bolted to an aluminum Pro Frame™--a first for the CBR600--that was more rigid than the previous steel frame, yet 15.4 pounds lighter, for a feathery overall weight of just 372.6 pounds. New suspension systems, including fully adjustable Honda Multi-Action Suspension™ (HMAS) components, race-spec brakes, wide three-spoke wheels and low-profile radial tires round out the F4's exceptional handling package. The one thing that hadn't changed, though, was the CBR's all-around capabilities, making it as comfortable on the street as it is competent on the race track.