All who rode Big Red’s new middleweight came away impressed, so much so that it edged out last year’s winner, the still-spectacular Triumph 675. After riding the bikes back-to-back multiple times, in all conditions and environments, we had to give the Honda its due. As a streetbike it can do no wrong. The engine cranks out impressive horsepower and is tractable all the way down in the rev-range basement. Handling has been improved dramatically, aided in part by a 16-pound drop in weight and radical new chassis geometry. Keeping things stable and giving the bike its split, road-and-track personality is the electronically controlled, speed-sensitive steering damper. The CBR proves that you don’t have to “go big” to take home the accolades.
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