Last w/e I hopped on the RC and rode onto Edmonton. I went in to join the Honda demo ride team specifically to test the F6B Wing, the CBR500r, and the updated 600rr.
The F6B isn't going to make any friends out of the current Wing faithful, but it is a great handling machine. The loss of 70 lbs is immediately noticeable and makes parking lot maneuvers a pice of cake. On the open road the thing fairly begs to be ridden with gusto and it definitely out guns the full dress version in the performance and handling department. No cruise is a bummer and wind noise due to the shorty screen is very noticeable. The driver's seat is actually very good, but passengers will find the pillion wanting. Definitley the hooligan's choice if you're looking for a bagger model.
The CBR500r is an absolute blast to ride. It's extremely quick and pulls strong in spite of the meager 471cc twin powerplant. It gives away very little to bigger bikes until well past anything legal on the clock. The last bike I rode in this size category was an EX500 Kawi Ninja, and this bike is light years ahead of those yokes. Even seasoned RR bike fans would have a ball on these mid sized scoots.
Here's the one that took me by surprise: the CBR600rr. While the improvements may seem minor on the spec sheet, it's how the total package comes together that hits home runs. The front fork is completely new and it is nothing short of fantastic. The rear end is tweaked, and the mass is more centralized and lower in the revised chassis. The 600rr bikes always were quick and nimble, but this thing handles great! The new dual stage EFI has no flat spots or burps anywhere and the thing reponds instantly to throttle inputs. The ergos are better and the new bodywork controls airflow far and away cleaner than the previous edition. It is much closer to the 1000rr now in rider position and overall feel. Not real sure how it will stack up against the ZX6 or R6 current offerings, but this time around, the 600rr is a definite contender for the middleweight crown. I can't wait for a shootout comparison test.
Now one of ther most fun things about going in to the rides was taking the RC51 in to get there. Was only 150 miles each way but it felt good to get out for a decent spin on it, even if our roads around here are too friggin straight. The ride captains along with my DSM were all over my bike like a fat kid on smarties. They practically wet themselves when I thumbed the starter button and let the Yosh pipes sing their sweet song. Naturally I idled sedately out of the lot and kept the rpms low on the road away from the dealership...NOT!