The top recommended upgrades from actual CBR600RR owners complete with customer reviews
So you just picked yourself up a new or new-to-you CBR 600RR and you love it. Like many things though, there is always room for improvement whether it be in performance, looks or both. From exhaust systems to sprocket kits, there are endless things that you can do to enhance your performance, handling and looks. Some come with a high price tag, while some are extremely cheap and affordable and can potentially save you a lot of money in the long run.
We decided to do some of the legwork for you by scouring the internet to see what Honda CBR 600RR owners were suggesting. From Facebook to forums, we came up with a ton of suggestions and pulled what seem to be the most popular amongst owners. We’re pretty confident that we hit the nail on the head with this top ten selection, so take a glance and let us know what you think!.
1. Tires: You’ve got a million choices when it comes to tires and what kinds of riding you’re doing. If you purchased your motorcycle to commute, then it’s pretty obvious that you’ll want something that will give you lots of miles and great handling characteristics in various weather conditions. One of our more popular tires for customers looking for those properties is the Metzeler Roadtec Z6 as you can see from a customer review below.
“Great tire got 9000 miles on the last one I hope I get the same on this one Great price from bike bandit fast service will get another one when this one wears out”
John C. – BikeBandit.com customer
Maybe you’re not a commuter and you’re looking to burn up the canyon roads or hitting a track day to see just how small you can make the chicken strips on your tires after a day of riding. Mileage is of marginal concern to you and you need confidence that when you dive into a corner that the motorcycle is going to stay under you and the rubber is planted to the pavement. If this sounds like you, then the Dunlop Sportmax Q3+ is a great choice to install for the performance, but don’t take our word for it.
“The Q3+ has loads of grip on the sides; I’m feeling quite confident on the track on these. Warms up quickly, and has exceptional wear characteristics – usually last me for 2 track days and a bunch of street riding”
Olaf P. – BikeBandit.com customer
2. Frame Sliders: Remember when we said that some of these mods can not only be inexpensive, but may also possibly save you money in the long run? Well, frame sliders are exactly what we had in mind with that statement. This simple addition/mod may require that you cut a fairing for the install, but if you go down it may also protect that expensive bodywork and a slew of other hard parts that can add up to a costly repair bill.
3. Flush Mount Turn Signals: This upgrade/mod pulls double duty as well. Most riders recommended swapping out the stock stem-type turn signals for flush mounts simply because they looked much better and accomplished the same task. We did find other CBR600RR owners that suggested replacing them to potentially save the bodywork in the even that riders went down. They brought up a valid point that the stock turn signals stood a better chance of causing more damage because of the pressure they put on the fairings. We personally think that improving the looks of the bike was reason enough, but when you add that it also can save the stock bodywork how can you not want to do this mod.
4. Fender Eliminator Kit: Ok. This one strictly falls under the cosmetic category unless you can come up with some long winded story on how these actually increase the performance (aside from weight savings) of it. If you can come up with a good enough story/reason to justify it, we’ll be sure to reward you. Back to business. The stock rear fender/license plate on most motorcycles are just gigantic plastic eyesores. If you’re taking our advice on the flush mount turn signals, then these should also be on your list because many of the rear fender/license plate mounts have the turn signals integrated. The aftermarket kits are much more pleasing to the eyes and are very affordable depending on which brand you go with.
5. Tank Pad / Grippers: Another cosmetic piece that pulls double duty is a tank pad / gripper. The primary function of these adhesive pieces is to protect your fuel tank paint from being scratched, but many of these pads also have a gripper material that allow you to get a better feel of the bike between your legs when you squeeze.
6. Brake Pads: Aside from tires, brake pads are one of the more critical maintenance replacement parts that you can get for your CBR 600RR. Just like tires, you have a huge selection of brands to choose from each with different pads for different riding styles and conditions. The brakes that come on most motorcycles today are great for the average street rider who might hit the occasional track day or likes to run the twisty roads, so when looking for replacements you’ll want one with similar qualities and usually longer lifespans. One of our most popular brake pads for an OE replacement are the EBC Sintered Double-H Brake Pads with 4.7 out of a possible 5 stars and over 400 reviews. They claim that there is no brake fade when using these pads in either hot or cold conditions, but don’t take our word for it. See what customers have to say for this themselves.
“These EBC brakes front and rear are legit there smooth stopping power no harsh grabbing unless you applying the pressure must have on a sport bike, I have a 06 GSXR 1000 so you know what I mean.”
Stanley I. – BikeBandit.com Customer
“Better than stock and less expensive plus, they last longer. What more could I want?”
James B. – BikeBandit.com Customer
Now for more aggressive riders, the above mentioned pads may not meet your requirements. Many riders who attend track days require a much higher level of performance. It’s for this reason that many companies offer race specific compounds that offer tremendous bite under braking conditions, but require the pads to be run under temperatures only found on the race track. These pads are race specific so the tradeoff for performance is going to be longevity since they’ll wear faster, which takes them out of the running for your average commuter. If you are riding primarily at the track and want to try out a new set of pads to improve your braking performance, you might want to give these Galfer Carbon Race Compound Brake Pads a shot.
7. Brake Lines: The average street rider / commuter may not ever feel the need to swap out their OE rubber lines for a set of steel braided brake lines. That is until they ride a motorcycle that has them installed. Sure you’ll see track riders replace them off the showroom floor but the track isn’t the only place where this mod can benefit riders. Even commuters can benefit from installing stainless lines because not only do they look cool, they provide a more positive feel in the pedal and lever by eliminating the expansion of the OE rubber hose. Galfer makes some of our most popular Steel Braided Brake Line Kits and here is what one of our customers had to say about them.
“I don’t know why bikes don’t come stock with steel braided lines. Put these on your bike now! You will instantly notice a substantial amount of difference in action. No more mushy feeling when pulling/pressing on the brakes. You don’t need to be a professional racer to have these lines. You won’t be disappointed. Plus you can customize if you want with different colors, cleans up the look. Super easy to install.”
Benattacked – BikeBandit.com Customer.
8. High Flow Air Filters: Now that we’ve covered how to increase your stopping power, it’s time to focus on making more power to go faster. I mean isn’t that what we’re really wanting to do? Now simply adding a high-flow air filter from a company like K&N or BMC isn’t going to give you whiplash after you install it, but when done in conjunction with the following items on the list and tuned properly you can gain a significant amount of HP. An added benefit of these style of filters is that you can service them yourself eliminating the need to purchase new filters on regular intervals. Now which is better? We couldn’t get a definitive answer from CBR600RR owners but ultimately feel you can’t go wrong with either of your options.
9. Exhaust Systems: This is where things can get expensive but it all really depends on how much performance you want to gain. The mufflers that come stock on most motorcycles are fairly restrictive and choke up the full potential of the engine. In some states, like California, there is nothing you can do unless you’re modifying a motorcycle that will be “competition use only.” In other states that aren’t so regulated, you can replace the muffler which not only give the exhaust a completely different sound but it gets rid of the restriction and allows your motor to breathe and start to create some serious power. We’ve got some great offerings from trusted brands like Yoshimura and Two Brothers racing if you want to go the simple route. Here’s a review from a customer who installed a Two Bros. Slip-on Muffler so you can read for yourself.
“This is for the slip-on (they didn’t make the full system for my bike) Okay so I had a 2004 cbr1000rr. Fully stock. 6k miles. She was my baby. She got stolen. So the only thing I could afford at this time was a cbr500r… Needless to say… It was like going from a Ferrari to a 1998 Ford Taurus. It’s a wuss bike… But I needed my fix. I got this exhaust because the stock exhaust on the 500 made it unbearable to drive. I was almost embarrassed to be seen and heard on this thing. HOWEVER, I installed this exhaust and I just… Turned the bike on….and I was like “whoa this thing sounds like a beast.” So I took it for a ride… And now I can say I love this bike lol. If you want to make your little scooter sounding machine sound like a gnarly rancor from Star Wars you should definitely buy this exhaust. Make sure to get a performance air filter and use a power commander. It doesn’t improve MUCH but you’ll be glad you spent a few extra bucks.”
Blake B. – BikeBandit.com Customer
Now if you’re looking for the maximum power gains through an exhaust modification, check out the complete systems we offer from Two Bros. These systems get rid of the heavy OE systems and replace them with stainless steel headers and many of these systems also eliminate catalytic converters that are now coming from the factory. Aside from saving weight, you might be wondering how these systems generate more power to justify the high price tag. These systems have gone through rigorous testing to change tubing length and size to create the perfect amount of flow and backpressure to ensure optimal power delivery. Sure they’re expensive, but when you want the most performance it’ll cost you in the long run
10. Fuel Programmers: If you’ve made or are going to make any of the above exhaust or intake mods, it is HIGHLY recommended that you also purchase an EFI programming unit. Not doing so can drastically affect the performance of your motorcycle and even potentially cause damage to the internals of the engine by not delivering enough fuel causing it to run lean. These programmers typically piggyback off of your OEM ECU and allow you to alter your fuel delivery to maximize power. For best performance, we suggest leaving the adjustment to the pros who utilize exhaust analyzers to ensure you’re getting proper fuel delivery throughout the entire RPM range.
You can find some relatively inexpensive units like the Dynojet Power Commander FC where the adjustments are made through a series of dials built into the unit or popular options are the Dynojet Power Commander V or Bazzaz Z-FI Fuel Management System, where you can actually hook the components up to a laptop computer and get even more finely tuned fuel delivery. If you want to go balls-to-the-wall, Bazzaz offers their Z-Fi Engine Management controller that gives you the option of Traction Control if you didn’t have it before in addition Quick Shift technology for shifting under full power.
There you have it. 10 of the best recommended mods from actual Honda CBR600RR owners all around the globe. What do you think? Did we forget anything or did we hit the nail on the head? Have you made any of these modifications and have positive or even negative feedback on any of them? If some of these mods have your wheels spinning and you want to do them to your CBR, use this code (TOPMODS5) for 5% off your next order. Of course standard exclusions apply and the code is valid till 7/30/2018. Let us know what you’ve done or are going to do so we can share with the community of CBR rider/owners. Stay safe and enjoy the ride!