2004 BLACK / SILVER HONDA CBR 600RR
The story of my '04 Honda CBR600RR- After a self-imposed seven year sabbatical from riding motorcycles, I felt in the mood to own and ride again. Like all of my passions, this one came on strong and unstoppable. My wife was initially against me purchasing another motorcycle and riding it on a regular basis but I assured her that in my life riding a sport bike was the least dangerous thing that I would be doing and when she understood that all of her protests were put away. But which bike? Honda built the best all around bikes year after year with the occasional offering from the other three managing to show up Honda one year or another. I had owned three Hondas, two Yamahas, one Kawasaki and no Suzukis. Out of all of the motorcycles that I've owned, it was the Hondas that were built the best, performed the best and had the best track record for longevity. Still, there was the fact that the Suzuki GSX-R was a hot bike which was giving Honda fits on the showroom floor and the street. The fuel injected 2001 GSX-R 1000 (or "Gixxer" but fanboys hate it when you call a GSX-R a "gixxer" which is why I do it every occasion I can) was an epic icon and the black / silver model was something that I lusted after but never got around to purchasing.
So, for a sport bike, I started looking at the offerings from Suzuki not because it was the better bike but because I had never owned one and I felt that in my life I needed to sample the offerings from all four of the great Far East manufacturers. So, I went looking for a Gixxer. The only problem I faced was that the sport bike offerings for 2004 were bleak and bland. The colors for that year were horrid in the bikes that I wanted and nothing stirred my soul with any alacrity. After looking online and in local showrooms at all of the offerings, I almost gave up and steeled myself to wait a year until the big four could hire better designers in the color coordination departments. Still, I wanted a bike, a new sport bike not a used one, and with my heart set on a Suzuki GSX-R600 and so it came down to deciding which poorly arranged color I wanted to live for the next five to ten years with on the street.
So, there I was, about to purchase a brand new, '04 Suzuki
GSX-R600 when I thought to give my Honda dealer one last
chance to stir my soul. I'm a Honda man from way back (try 1984 VF500F
Interceptor followed by a 1993 VFR750F ... hell, my first
paper route scooter was a Honda way back in 1980) so I knew the bikes were both fast and
well made. Basically, I walked into the Hattiesburg, MS Honda shop on Friday,
after lunch, not really expecting to find anything I was interested in.
My wife had asked me to even look at a cruiser or a standard, so I entered the
shop with the last thing on my mind being a new CBR. I was interested in
what a '04 Shadow or VTX might offer.
Lucky for me, the black / silver '04 CBR600RR was parked right near the front door, so close, in fact, that I almost tripped over it walking in. I walked into the Honda shop and walked around the black CBR600RR as it grabbed my soul like a tractor beam. I didn't even wait on anyone to help me with the bike as I walked right back out with the instant inner understanding that this black CBR600RR was my next bike and I would be riding it home in the next few days. My life is like that ... sometimes its a lot of fun and sometimes it can be so unnerving.
On Saturday, I went to my hometown Honda dealer in Columbia (trying to spend some money locally to help the economy, you know) to see if he had a CBR600RR. He did, but it was an '03 model, a red / black paint scheme for $7499 but that wasn't the color I wanted because as nice looking as the red / black skinned Honda is, everyone has one. I wanted a color that no one else had, or at least no one else had locally. I know he had a black and silver one just a week before, but he didn't remember it, even though I had seen it in the window and now there was a very tell-tale vacant space between a 600F4i and a 954RR where the black 600RR USED to be. No, he didn't have a black 600RR but he said he would try to get me one and that he'd have to trade a bike for it from another dealer. When I asked him what the price would be, he was very non-committal about it. I told him that I knew there was a black CBR600RR in Hattiesburg, but the local dealer said he didn't deal with the H'burg people (there's some really bad blood between them because this dealer actually worked for them ten years ago). I've always dealt with the H'burg people, they're the best in local Honda dealers, so I decided to go back to them instead of deal with the local guy since he's a flake.
Well, to make a long story short, I picked up the 2004 black / silver CBR600RR (in Hattiesburg, MS) like I said I would, like I knew that I would.
The Honda shop was closed on Mondays, so Tuesday, June 15, 2004 I went in as soon as they opened. Thirty minutes later, the ink was drying on the paperwork as I rode the brand new CBR600RR home. Truly love at first sight for this bike in this particular (locally rare / never seen) color scheme.
Ram air box and fuel tank detail
Fake fuel tank cutaway showing ram air box, upper mounted secondary fuel "enriching" injectors (x4, eight injectors in all) and fuel tank. Think of these injectors as the afterburners because once you get over about 6000 RPM at WOT, these extra four injectors go into shower mode. That's what gives the 600RR it's afterburner-like kick that keeps on kicking all the way to the stratospheric 15,000 RPM redline. What a rush! What a ride!
Engine view showing
air box (with upper mounted
fuel injectors), thermostat and lower fuel rail.
16 valves, 8 fuel injectors, 6 gears, 4 cylinders, 2 overhead cams, 1 purpose: Domination.
115 horsepower 599cc
(36cid) inline 4,
liquid cooled, DOHC, 16V
You'll never see anything this powerful or advanced coming out of Milwaukee ...
|Specifications||2004 Honda CBR600RR|
|Engine Type||4-stroke liquid-cooled In-line four cylinder|
|Bore x stroke||67.0 x 42.5mm|
|Valve System||chain driven double overhead cams, 16 valves|
|Induction||Dual stage fuel injection- PGM-FI|
|Ignition||Computer-controlled digital transistorized with three-dimensional mapping|
|Horsepower||115 hp @ 13,250 RPM|
|Torque||44.5 lbs. / ft @ 11,250 RPM|
|Transmission||Close-ratio six speed|
|Frame Type||Aluminum, extruded|
|Rake / trail||24.0 degrees / 3.7 inches|
|Suspension- Front||45mm HMAS cartridge fork with spring-preload, rebound- and compression damping adjustabtility|
|Suspension- Rear||Unit Pro-Link HMAS single-shock with spring-preload, rebound- and compression damping adjustability|
|Tires, Front / Rear||Tubeless radial; 120/70ZR-17; 180/55ZR-17|
|Brakes- Front||Dual 310mm discs with four-piston calipers|
|Brakes- Rear||Single 220mm disc with single-piston caliper|
|Seat height||32.3 inches|
|Fuel Capacity||4.8 gallons|
|Dry weight||370 pounds|
|Performance||10.63 @ 130.22mph|
|MSRP cost||$8499.00 USD|
June to August, 2004-
Just a few pictures and some musings on riding
during a really bad rainy season.
May, 13th, 2005- The
Dark Horse goes down on Friday the 13th...
behind in a turn lane in Lamar county by a careless driver. Who would have
thought that? A careless Lamar county driver. Duh.
June 15, 2005 -
The first year anniversary of owning the CBR600RR is spent with the bike in the
shop getting rebuilt from the swing-arm back. Happy first birthday.
July 16 - 22, 2005-
Vacation in the Great Smoky Mountains of
Tennessee. I've been wanting to ride this area for ten years, long before
I got married and now I finally get the chance. One day I hope to get to
Deal's Gap and ride The Dragon. I've already done that in a car and it was
Replaced the OEM front and rear tires at 11,500 miles. Not bad for a sport
bike (most riders get half of that kind of mileage). The dealer didn't
have the replacement tires but I wasn't too keen on them anyway so I went back
with a set of Bridgestone Battlax. I could tell a big difference in handling.
My next set of tires will also be Battlax.
May 15, 2006-
Upgraded to some Miracool software, namely a cooling bandanna, cooling helmet
pack and a cooling doo-rag (triple approach) but the doo-rag tends to cut my
vision somewhat so I stopped wearing it after two days. Upgraded to Smith
and Wesson Magnum series safety / riding glasses with 100 % UV filtering, smoke
lenses and wrap around style with safety impact features. I picked up a
clear set of the S&W's for any night riding I do. Now I can leave my visor
open more than "just cracked" on hot days and not worry about small pebbles or
rocks thrown up by traffic putting one of my eyes out.
June 16, 2006 -
The second anniversary of owning the Honda passes in trouble free times.
July 21, 2006-
Upgraded to a mesh style Joe Rocket silver / black Phoenix 4.0 jacket and
Cortech GX silver / black air gloves. Required after two years of riding
in Mississippi's triple digit heat index complete with identical humidity.
The difference is night and day for comfort and cool. The old black and
silver Joe Rocket will be retained for cooler riding. The helmet stays the
same. Upgraded to a better backpack, one that can carry my laptop as well.
Upgraded to a Miracool double wide chill bandanna. With the new jacket,
when the heat and humidity indexes reach over 105 degrees, you can still ride
August 15, 2006
- Replaced the original chain with a new one at 16,500 miles.
June 15, 2007 -
Three year anniversary of owning the 2004 CBR600RR. As always, she's
trouble free and purrs like a kitten. I'm putting less miles on her per
day now since I cut my mileage from 70 miles down to 20 miles round trip.
June 15, 2008 -
Four year anniversary of owning the 2004 CBR600RR. Still trouble free.
I'm not riding so much now simply because the company has given me a vehicle to
commute in on a daily basis. I'd be a fool not to let someone else pay for
my gas as well as upkeep and wear and tear on a loaner vehicle.
Unfortunately this means that the CBR600RR, which was purchased to commute on,
is now relegated to the occasional fun ride and blowing the dust out of her.
December 15, 2008
- Wow! Four and a half years have gone by in the blink of an eye. I
can remember walking half-hearted into the Honda dealership four and a half
years ago and falling in love at first sight with my CBR600RR and I remember
this like it was yesterday. Four and a half years of owning the same bike
and I'm yet to get tired of it. Over 17,000 trouble free miles. I'm
on my second chain, my second set of tires and I still have the original set of
brake pads on her with plenty of stopping power left. She's been down once
in four and a half years (see above) and other than that she's never been
dropped or abused. Six months to go to pay it off completely and I don't
see any real reason to get rid of it. I've had several offers to buy the
bike but I've turned them all down (forcing the offer lenders to go buy their
own bikes instead). To tell you the truth, I don't think I've picked up
more than three or four cycle magazines in the last four and a half years ... no
need to. This bike will last me another ten years ... fifteen years ...
maybe twenty. I once skipped an entire generation of computer (going from
a 386DX40 to a Pentium I). I think I'll probably do the same with this
bike ... that is, go looking for a new sport bike in about a decade or so.
I really don't see the need to buy a new bike once this one is paid for.
The styling is still contemporary (even, to me, somewhat superior to some of the
stuff that they are cranking out this year), the power is still high in the
class range and the dealer will have parts for the bike (should I ever need
them) for years to come. This bike has been rock solid from the
first time I cranked her and the best sport / commuter bike I've ever owned.
She's docile below 6000 RPM and a cruise missile with a saddle when you twist
the throttle all the way back. Riding a Honda CBR600RR at the edge of its
hardware limits must be like what the first test pilots who flew the F-104
Starfighter must have felt like ... The Honda CBR600R; truly an amazing piece of
machinery that demolishes the fine line between cutting edge race ready hardware
June 15, 2009 -
And like that ... she's paid for and title in hand. She's got over 17k
miles on her, one wreck under her belt and she's still on her second chain and
second set of tires. Even though I don't ride her near as hard or often as
I used to, she still looks brand new and gets at least one offer of purchase
every time I take her out to blow the dust off of her. Since the company I
work for gave me a motor pool vehicle to commute in way back in 2006, I've not
had the need to ride the Honda for the economy that I originally bought it for.
Maybe in the next few years, if things change and the vehicles get relegated
back to the motor pool and taken out of "take-home" status my Honda will be
there, waiting for me to throw my leg over the saddle and ride again.
Until then, like the 406cid Lingenfelter, this toy pretty much just occupies
space in my garage.
June 15, 2010 - Six years of owning this bike and I'm still happy with it. No problems. I may, just for kicks, trade out the body work with the red / black CBR set this Summer to change things up a bit.