By John Burns
Oy vey, how things have changed in just 20 years. Though the Canon was still upon the Wing and His eye upon the light meter, in 1999 Bush II had not yet ascended to the throne, the Millennium and 9/11 had not yet occurred, and the Honda CBR600 was still one of the biggest-selling motorcycles in the world – even though the new F4 still wore carburetors and MO’s illustrious founder still wore the pants. Good times. Let us revisit the Las Vegas launch. Amen.
First Ride: 1999 Honda CBR600F4
Little, Yellow, Different
After months of waiting and a flurry of rumors and half-truths, Honda has finally introduced the latest version of the best-selling sport bike in the English-speaking world — the CBR600F4. For those of you who care only about raw numbers, dig in: 410 pounds wet, 98.9 hp at the rear wheel (ram air not factored in), 45.6 ft-lbs of torque, 24° rake, four-piston brakes, 48 miles per gallon on the highway. Everyone else should read on. This bike is about much more than numbers.To showcase the outright performance of the F4, Honda sprung for a day on the AMA course at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, a high-speed track with long sweepers, a second and third gear infield and a flat-out run on the banks that reaches speeds of up to 150 mph. Honda also brought along a few 1998 CBR600F3s for comparison.
“Head-to-head, the F4 retains the same character of the venerable F3, but it does just about everything better.”
It has more power, it weighs less, it comes equipped with better brakes and suspension, it’s quicker steering, less buzzy, has wider wheels and provides more feedback. This is not to say that the F3 was not a great motorcycle, it is just …read more
Source:: Church of MO: 1999 Honda CBR600F4