Honda will be launching the CBR 600RR in South Africa early this year as part of its campaign to continue the growth in motorcycle sales it experienced in 2002.

Honda will be launching the CBR 600RR early this year as part of its campaign to continue the growth in motorcycle sales it experienced in 2002.

“The bike was developed using the technology which took world champion, Valentino Rossi, to success in the Moto GP Series. This will give our South African customers another chance to experience Honda racing technology at its best” managing director, Masahiro Matsushita said.

Matshushita said Honda’s sales was helped by its successes in motorcycle motorsport. “Our customers enjoy riding machines which are setting the race tracks of the world alight and are helping us to podium positions in race after race,” he said.

Honda moved into the top spot in the superbike sales category in 2002 and said it nearly doubled its share of the total motorcycle and ATV market from 11 per cent in 2001 to 20 per cent last year.

Honda said early sales in 2003 indicated that this trend would continue. "We are confident that the groundwork laid in 2002 will continue in 2003 and Honda South Africa will grow even further,” Matsushita said.

“Honda SA in 2002 exceeded all our objectives. In the superbike category, we reached our target of being the best seller one year ahead of schedule,” said Matsushita. “Without doubt this success has come primarily from our focus on improving the company and dealer development. In 2002 we had 16 exclusive Honda dealers strategically positioned throughout the country serving our customers nationwide with professional and advanced technical backup from Honda SA and Honda Japan,” he adds.

“Ongoing dealer development continued through 2002 with dealer training and dealer brand identity high on the agenda. By the end of March this year all our dealers will have adopted the Honda Wing identity - which is our customers’ guarantee of top quality Honda service.”

However, Honda will not participate in motorcycle motorsport in South Africa this year. “We have taken a conscious decision not to participate in motorcycle motorsport in South Africa in 2003, but rather concentrate our energy and resources on further improving our dealer network and service to our customers,” Matshushita said.