While it’s not the completely new superbike that was rumored extensively this year (see you in 2020?), updates have come to the 2019 Honda CBR1000RR, which make smart changes to the Japanese superbike.
The EICMA show waits for no motorcyclist, and we love us some superbikes, so let’s just get right down to it.
First off, the Honda Selectable Torque Control (HSTC) system – what the rest of the industry calls traction control – has been adjusted to offer more refined intervention, as well as better throttle response.
Second, there is now a separate wheelie control system, that allows you to tune the wheelie intervention independently from the traction control setting. Honda has also changed its algorithm to make the landing of the front wheel smoother. On the dash now – alongside the Power, Engine Braking and HSTC settings – there is a “W” for the wheelie control setting, which has three levels of intervention.
Third, the throttle control has been improved for both corner entry and corner exit. On corner entry, the speed of the TBW motor has been increased, so that the drop in RPM when you close a wide-open throttle happens 45% quicker than before.
On corner exit, changes have been made to the throttle mapping, particularly in Power Mode 1, which sees more torque delivered when operating at partial throttle. This means that the track mode is better suit for closed-course conditions and high-grip tires, and should result in better corner exit acceleration.
Fourth, the ABS algorithm has been improved upon, which in turn has reduced the intervention level. This means that deceleration performance has improved substantially by Honda’s measures.
Lastly, there are new paint liveries for 2019. The Fireblade receives a subtle update of its Matt Ballistic Black Metallic paint, with Silver instead of Red highlights; the Grand Prix Red version features more defined white stripes on the upper fairings. Meanwhile, the Fireblade SP’s Grand Prix Red HRC Tricolour is also given stronger White and Blue accent lines
There is no word yet from Honda whether these electronic changes can be applied retroactively to earlier CBR1000RR models. We would hope so though, as they make smart improvements to the machines.
As always, Asphalt & Rubber will be covering all the new bikes debuting at EICMA this year. Be sure to follow our coverage for the most recent news and photos.