He rides for Honda, like he is not gonna like it, but it sounds pretty nice
AMASuperbike.com talked yesterday with Superbike and Supersport King Miguel DuHamel about his ride on the 2003 CBR600RR last week at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. DuHamel has more 600 Supersport wins than anyone in the history of the class and will race the entire series next year, after taking a year off.
These are DuHamel's comments on the new Honda Supersport machine:
I'm really excited about the new 600 from Honda, I'm glad you called, I'm going to be looking for people to talk to about this because the bike is that amazing. It's so amazing that Honda went out and built this bike ... before, you know, they built great street bikes that were good race bikes, street bikes with a racing edge so that we could go out there and win.
This time they totally—totally—stepped away from that concept. Now, they're going to build a race bike and then we're going to try and make it street legal if you will, put some flashers on it and send it on the street.
It's so different. You sit on a CBR on the showroom floor and then you sit on a 600RR and it's not even the same animal, it's not even the same ... it's not even close. But the thing is, sometimes people want to go racing or own a race bike for the street and what they end up with is a bike that is not that comfortable and not that great a race bike. But with the new 600RR, you get that—you get a race bike for the street.
Everybody should try this bike, they should loan one or try one out because I think it'll change the way they think about high performance 600s. I think it's the closest thing that you will get (to the) RC211 (RC211V GP bike); this 600 is obviously a derivative, or a diluted version of the RC211. I can only imagine how great that bike is, because this bike that they made for us is simply amazing.
I think it's a race bike. I think that after this, people will look at this bike like they do an RS250. Because maybe if you race then if you want to be the really cutting edge guy, until now you'd race an RS250, thinking that the normal 600 is too sedate. To me, this is that same thing: when you buy a CBR600RR this year, you're buying yourself a straight-up race bike. Pure and simple.
I even jokingly-half seriously-told the team, 'Is there any way that we can make this into the Superbike?'
(What makes this motorcycle so special?)
The bike is so composed at speed. You're going and throwing it into the corners and braking deep in the corners and ... I was throwing it into the corners at Las Vegas and attacking the corners really hard, really aggressive. The way I always wanted to. Usually a 600 has a little twitch or a little movement to them and there's an uncertainty there, if you will. You're not too sure what it is. The feedback is not there.
With this bike, the feedback is so good and it is so composed it almost encourages you to keep going more and more. I never got to the limit of the bike, but I got going pretty fast on it, and I always felt in total control.
With this bike, when you throw it in there (into a corner), you're thinking, 'Should I be two inches over the paint line or should I be two inches in front of it?'. That's unheard of on a Supersport bike. This is why it is so incredible. You know that right-hander in Vegas where it's a half carousel kind of thing? There's a paint line there and there are big cement bumps there too. I told myself that I was going to ride right between the line and the bumps; and when I did it I was kind of nervous because it requires such a precise line. It was amazing because the bike just did it.
Before, with other 600s, you were working in a window about a foot wide of where you hoped the bike will be in a situation like that. Now you're working in inches.
I am willing to put my reputation on the line with this bike. I think that any motorcyclist who is into bikes because of the way they feel, the way they handle-all of us are, right? I think that once those people ride this bike, I don't care what other bike you've got, this is going to be your favorite bike. There is something to this bike in the way that it is composed at speed, I'm sure the rear suspension has something to do with it.
The traction with the DOT tires was pretty amazing. What this bike gives me is an incredible feeling of control, it's like my finger tips are on the road sensing the traction. I know exactly what's going on with the rear tire and exactly what is going on with the rear tire. It's comforting, I can go in there and push the front, and it feels so good that I can just push a little more. And if it does happen that I push it a little too much, it's not like a bike where if you're leaned over and it gets sketchy, bam!, you're on the ground. If you're lucky, you can wedge your knee in there and save it.
But, with this bike, I can easily see myself losing the front and having more than enough time to get my knee on the ground. I'm picking it up, wedging, sliding the bike and bringing it back up.
I feel like a kid again. It's rejuvenated me. I'm happy that I signed on to do the whole year in the 600 class with this bike. I think I did like 60 laps at Vegas and I don't even think I broke a sweat. The bike is so good that it makes you so much more relaxed and you use less energy.
All the riders got to ride it at the test, Ben and everybody. I wish it would be only my bike because if it was I'm sure I'd have a really good time out there racing. I told them before they rode it that they were going to be smiling from ear to ear after they got off—and sure enough they were doing back flips.