VER­DICT ‘Classier, faster, do-it-all Honda’


Motorcycle News (UK) - - This Week -

Think of the new 690 Duke R as a snarling su­per­moto with a dash of prac­ti­cal­ity. It dances through B-roads and stunts like only a KTM can when you turn the elec­tron­ics off, but leave them on and you’ve got all the safety and piece of mind of trac­tion con­trol and ABS. It wears all the right de­signer la­bels, is good on fuel and is roomy, too. But we think nine grand is stretch­ing it just a bit too much for such a sin­gle-minded ma­chine, es­pe­cially when you com­pare it to the classier, faster, do-it-all Honda. that en­gine in an Rc-style race replica – it would be fan­tas­tic. But it loses out with its chas­sis. The sus­pen­sion feels crude on track, which makes it hard to trail brake and com­mit into cor­ners.

“Al­though the CBR is faster it could still be loads bet­ter – the ABS re­ally in­trudes. It’s far more sta­ble en­ter­ing cor­ners and mid-turn, and has more ac­cu­rate steer­ing. We saw 118mph at the cir­cuit’s fastest point – 14mph more than the KTM.

“But it’s only when you ride the Honda against the other 600s that the CBR starts to feel a bit stodgy, safe and slow-steer­ing. I was in sec­ond for most of the lap and you have to keep it howl­ing at 14,000rpm.”

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