The Honda CBR600RR is a popular track sport bike Honda has manufactured since 2003.
It’s known for its high performance, advanced technology, and sleek design.
However, like any other motorcycle, it can also have some problems that owners and shoppers should know about…
Table of Contents
1. Cam Chain Tensioner Wear Out Early
CBR 600RR riders often report worn Cam Chain Tensioners, which can pose a threat while riding at high speeds on the track.
Here’s what three riders on 600rr.net had to say about their Cam Chain Tensioners (CCTs) wearing out to the point of being unsafe for track riding.
“I recently picked up a 03 600rr for a track bike. I noticed today that when I rev it above about 6000 RPM I hear a little bit of a rattle coming from the right side, so I think it’s the cam chain tensioner.”
“I think I may have a similar CCT issue [on my Honda CBR 600RR], and I know it’s impossible to diagnose the noise over a forum. However, I am just wondering if any of my bike’s symptoms are indicators of a specific thing. I am fairly sure it is the cam chain tensioner, it recently started making noise around 5-6k RPMs, it only starts when the bike warms up, and it stops above 6000. Sometimes it kinda makes a noise around 4000, but rarely.”
The cam chain tensioner is a device that adjusts the tension of the cam chain, which synchronizes the timing between the pistons and valves.
A worn or faulty cam chain tensioner can cause the cam chain to slack or skip, resulting in engine noise, misfiring, or even damage to other motor parts.
This problem is more common in the early-generation models of the CBR600RR.
2. Fuel Pump Relay Failure
Other Honda CBR600RR owners report failures with their fuel pump relay, causing fuel and power delivery issues and faulty starting.
“I stunt an 04 cbr 600rr; it’s been a mint bike and never really thrashed. Here is my problem. Every once in a while in the past year, when I turned my key, the fuel pump would not prime. If I shut it off and then back on, it would then work fine. Now, it has been sitting all winter with the battery in it, and it was dead when I cranked it. So I jumped it with the battery charger, and it ran for a few seconds, then the relay clicked and shut down. It happened the three other times I started it too.” -600rr.net
“Fuel pump might be going bad. I replaced mine on my 04. Check the power from your battery; if it’s stock, I will replace it. If it still does it, get a new fuel pump or swap the relay with one of the others under the left mid.” -600rr.net
The fuel pump relay controls the power supply to the fuel pump, which delivers fuel to the engine.
Some owners have reported that the fuel pump relay fails, causing the fuel pump to stop working and resulting in the motorcycle not starting, stalling, or losing power.
This problem can be caused by a defective relay, a bad connection, or a short circuit.
3. Faulty Kill Switch Continuity
Another issue commonly reported by owners of the Honda CBR600RR is that the kill switch loses functionality due to corroded wires or compromised contacts interrupting the switch’s electrical power current.
Two riders on 600rr.net had this to say:
“you might want to check the continuity in your kill switch; it’s easy. I just got my 07 running, and that was to blame. Sometimes, your kill switch won’t make a good connection in the “on” position, which will cause the fuel pump to quit pumping, so check that too; that was also the last thing that I would have thought would cause the fuel pump not to prime…. if the killswitch isn’t making a good connection, you won’t have any voltage across the relay.”
“^^^ I’d check the kill switch too… there are problems with a tab coming loose inside. I don’t know exactly, but many posts are on that subject.”
The kill switch is a crucial safety feature for shutting off the engine during emergencies.
That said, your CBR600RR’s kill switch can fail if its contacts are dirty or corroded or if the switch tab is damaged.
To resolve this, assess continuity using a multimeter or test light to ensure a complete electrical circuit between the switch terminals.
4. Throttle Position Sensor Malfunctions
Some CBR600RR owners report that their throttle position sensor malfunctions, causing the engine to run rough, surge, or hesitate. This problem can affect performance, fuel economy, and motorcycle emissions.
“So, my bike, 2003 600rr, will run fine, and then once parked for a short period, 6 hours/overnight, I will turn it on, and the oil light will blink eight times, which I found is a throttle position sensor error.” -600rr.net
“I have a 03 600RR, 13k miles, and suddenly it stopped working well. It was choking, and it seemed to cut off and stop when not in motion. At the same time, the smoke is quite dark, and it smells like gas.
The mechanics from Honda verified it and said that the TPS (throttle position sensor) was damaged and they needed to replace it. The problem, as I understood, is that the sensor cannot be replaced, only the whole part, which I believe is quite expensive.” -600rr.net
“The light [on my CBR600RR] almost always blinks eight times, but when I turn it off after riding it for a few minutes, the light goes away, and then when parked for a while, it comes back on. When the light is on, the rpm goes to about 2-2.5k. When the light is off, the rpm is normal, 1.5k.
To me, it makes no sense. I have concluded that unless the oil is trapped somewhere from lifting the front end for the swap and that’s messing with the code, then I have a bad TPS.” -600rr.net
The throttle position sensor (TPS) is a device that measures the position of the throttle, which controls the amount of air and fuel entering the engine.
A faulty sensor, a loose connection, or a damaged wiring harness can cause a malfunctioning TPS.
5. Gauge Cluster Failure
Some Honda CBR600RR riders report problems with the gauge cluster, such as buttons getting stuck, backlighting not working, or digital displays not coming on.
“2008 cbr600rr… I have no backlighting for my gauge cluster. My speedometer works, turn signals work, and every light beside the backlighting for the speedometer and fuel gauge.” -600rr.net
“’05 CBR600RR … my instrument cluster had a few problems. Neither of my digital displays is coming on. My tach also will not do the usual movement on startup. It also doesn’t work when I roll the throttle. My turn signals work, and the high beam light works just fine.”
“Hey guys, my rpm gauge doesn’t work, but everything else works fine: the gas gauge, the speedometer, all that except the rpm. Anybody might know why this is????” -600rr.net
The gauge cluster is the instrument panel that displays the speedometer, tachometer, odometer, and other indicators.
Some possible causes and solutions of faulty gauge cluster on the 600rr are:
- Soldering errors, circuit board damage, or wire disconnection during LED mod: Check the connections, polarity, and resistance of the LEDs and test them with a multimeter or a battery.
- Loose, dirty, or corroded plug between the gauge cluster and the wiring harness: Check the plug and make sure it is fully inserted and clean. Check the continuity of the wires and the fuses with a multimeter or a test light.
- Faulty or stuck stepper motor that drives the RPM needle: Tap the gauge cluster gently to see if the needle moves. If not, replace the stepper motor or the whole gauge cluster.
6. Rapid Oil Consumption
Some owners have reported that their CBR600RR consumes more engine oil than usual, requiring frequent top-ups or oil changes.
“So during a pretty gnarly canyon ride today, turning 8k+ rpm for about 35 miles straight, keeping it between 2nd and third gear mostly, a little puff of smoke with a downshift is ok with turning those revs. A couple of people told me when I’d downshift and rip on it good; it would puff a lil bit of smoke and then take off… the bike is an ’03 600RR with 18700 miles on it.” -600rr.net
“I just picked up a 06 CBR 600RR. I have a question about oil consumption. The owner before me said that every once in a while, I gotta add some oil because it burns off since it’s a high-revving bike… Is this true? Is this something I should be worrying about a lot? -600rr.net
While rapid fuel consumption is typical on sport bikes when you push them to their limits, particularly on the track, the problem can also indicate that the engine is burning oil.
If the oil is burning hotter than usual, it can damage the engine components and increase the emissions.
If your 600rr is burning oil even at moderate RPMs, it could be caused by worn piston rings, valve seals, or cylinder walls or by using the wrong type or grade of oil.
7. Charging System Failure
Other Honda CBR600RR owners have experienced premature failure of the charging system components, especially the regulator/rectifier, which can overheat and burn out. This can lead to a dead battery, loss of power, or damaged wiring.
Riders on 600rr.net had this to say:
“So, after riding for a week or so on my new battery and rectifier, the charging problem persists. The battery will not charge when the bike is hot. What can I do to correct this? I have a 05 600rr… I need to keep the rectifier cool when the bike is hot. Any input would be greatly appreciated.”
“I have this exact problem. It is driving me insane. I have a 04rr, and I replace the reg and the batt. I am clueless. I made a thread as well.”
“ I have an ’05 CBR 600RR, bought a new battery, installed it, and went for a highway ride. When I got back, I turned the bike off and then started it again… When I started the bike, the voltage dropped a touch below 12V but then would not again rise above 12V, even when I revved the bike well above 5k.”
The charging system comprises the stator, the regulator/rectifier, and the battery. It is responsible for generating and regulating the electrical power for your CBR.
Honda stators and regulator/rectifiers manufactured in the early 2000s were known to burn out early due to overeating.
That said, if any of the changing system components are faulty or worn, it could also be caused by faulty wiring or excessive electrical load.
What Are the Pros and Cons of the Honda CBR600RR?
- High Performance
- Advanced Technology
- Sleek Design
- Fun to Ride
- Affordable and Economical for its class
- Cam Chain Tensioner Wears Early
- Charging System Failure
- Rapid Oil Consumption
- Gauge Cluster Failure
- Throttle Position Sensor Malfunctions
- Faulty Kill Switch Continuity
- Fuel Pump Relay Failure
What Are Some Alternative Models?
|Kawasaki Ninja ZX-6R ABS||$10,999||40|
|Triumph Daytona 675R||$14,000||41|
|Ducati 959 Panigale||$15,495||38|
What’s the Resale Value of the Honda CBR600RR?
|Year||Mileage||Used Listing Price|
What Do the Reviews Say?
“The Honda CB600RR middleweight SuperSport’s screamer was given subtle tweaks for 2009, designed to give it more mid-range oomph and smoother power delivery. New pistons, cylinder heads, and exhaust systems bolstered torque between 6000-10,000rpm, which made the engine more flexible on the road.
Luckily for us, this was done without sacrificing any top-end power. The big news, though, was the optional electronically-controlled Combined ABS, which was a world first for a super sports machine. A new-style belly pan covered the whole engine and the C-ABS valve unit for the front brake.”