LEAKED: 2012 Honda CBR1000RR

08/18/2011 @ 6:27 am, by Jensen Beeler63 COMMENTS

These images appear to be the first shots of the 2012 Honda CBR1000RR, and judging from our initial analysis, it looks like Honda is putting out only a cosmetically different version of the Fireblade for next year (*sigh*). Showing off the HRC tri-color paint scheme (that surely won’t be coming to the United States), the majority of the new Blade looks quite familiar. Obviously the wheels, headlights, and air intake ducts have clearly been worked over, and we see some big-piston forks on the front suspension, but otherwise the mechanical bits and and the rear of the motorcycle look like the current model (jump in the comments if you see something new).

Considering that the current-spec CBR1000RR has been around since 2008, we imagine CBR fans are going to be disappointed by this updated, though mechanically identical Fireblade (we can’t see inside the motor casings obviously). Though there have been rumors that the 2012 Honda CBR1000RR would receive a dual-clutch transmission (we suppose it technically still could, since these photos don’t exclude that option), or that the 2012 Fireblade would use a V4 motor inspired from the RC212V, it appears we’ll have to wait at least another year for the Japanese brand to truly re-work its opus of a superbike.

Maybe if we are really lucky, these shots from one of Honda’s international offices (that’s the only hint we’ll give other publications looking to copy this story) are of the Fireblade only going to that market (yes, we’re having a hard believing Honda hasn’t brought a new CBR to the table as well). Scrutineer all 29 photos of the new CBR1000RR, and a video of its dash startup screen after the jump. Thanks for the tip John, Tony, Djefri, and Asaph!

Source: Bothan Spies

  • SBPilot

    Certainly doesn’t look that stellar, can’t wait til the actual new one comes out, not the facelifted one. You can only imagine it’ll be bonkers with electronics but hopefully the mechanicals will be even more so.

    Funny these high res leaked pictures taken in Hong Kong, dealers there must be getting them already. Can only imagine Japan must have had it for a while already too..

  • Looks like the R1 at a glance! Just my opinion.

  • Tee-Dot

    Like the new wheels. Not much for the LCD tach, though..

  • Daniel Croft

    Looks like BPF front end there. That’s new isn’t it? New wheels. Seems like it’s more than BNG.

  • Damo

    I have been waiting for a new Fireblade for a couple years now. I guess I’ll just have to enjoy the RSV a little longer.

    Once Honda actually announces a new model though (hopefully with a V4) the aprilia 2003 Mille is getting put on craigslist.

  • Rob

    undoubtedly uglier than the previous version….yuck-o

  • Giova

    I think they went backwards, the front headlights look like the previous cbr 600 generation. UGLY! What a joke, just to change the headlight and making it worst.

  • Johnny

    I like the new tachometer, quite sexy indeed!

  • Cant see the R1 in it at all personally…

    Love the current model – still like this 2012 model too, however dissappointed a little that it isn’t a new bike yet… But as said – they are probably looking at producing the next BMW killer – and that would take some time to brew, I would guess… ;)

    JD ;)

  • Adam

    Suspension is different and the cosmetic updates you’ve mentioned. Other than that, it looks like my 2008 :-)

  • supermoto84

    Does anyone else notice the new Bridgestones? What are those? It looks like it says on the sidewall “Battlax Hypersport S20”. Can anyone else confirm this? If these are the BT-016 replacements, I’m stoked!!!
    LOL! A new ‘Blade and I’m hyperventilating over the tires. LMFAO!

  • Johnny

    Another year, another disapointment from Honda. Anyone remember when this car company made innovative motorcycles?? Now they are the pioneers of “BOLD NEW GRAPHICS”!!

  • jimmyo

    If it works, don’t fix it.

    A track junkie (WERA champion) I know swears the CBR1000RR is the easiest bike to ride fast on the track. So other than cosmetics, why change anything?

  • SBPilot

    @ Johnny,

    I think what’s more disappointing is that Honda is a Motorcycle company first, Car company second. And they use to make innovative bikes AND cars but someone hit the boring button at Honda. The new Civic is a not so exciting facelift. The CR-Z failed to capture much market share for hybrids. No sports cars anymore in production at all, no super cars. And as we see now their cream of the crop fireblade simply gets a face lift after half a decade, with headlights borrowed from the previous generation 600…

    It’s all a bit strange at Honda these days. I truely hope they come out with a bonkers Fireblade, or a new RVF, soon. The entire brand needs a spark. And for the car department, I hope something happens just as much.

  • Tom

    Yaaawn. Nothing new to really see here. This bike is the result of my criticism of FIM in constricting the design of motorcycles. How does this bike look substantively different than a bike from 2005? 2001? 1998? The continued use of telescopic forks on a “sport” bike. And we criticize Harley for clinging to outdated tech that doesn’t do well what it pretends to.

  • Tyler

    No need to jump the gun… The motor could very well be overhauled? They can’t stand back and watch BMW disappear into the distance in super stock for another year. They don’t have a reason to change the look of the bike completely, although I do not love the headlights myself being a previous 2008 Fireblade owner and preferring them.

    Hopefully motorwork is the case. But a solid bet would be some sort of electronics the bike doesn’t currently have, as well as the obvious suspension upgrades and wheels.

    We can only hope there is something we do not see…

  • Johnny

    @ SBPilot,

    As a person that has worked in the industry for 25 years now, I remember the yearly excitement of the Honda dealer show, waiting to see what new, amazing motorcycle Honda was coming out with. I built the first CBR our dealership recieved, the same with the first GL1500, CB-1, VTR250 etc… Now there is no dealer show, only web video. How do you expect the dealership management to get the staff and customers excited about the new Honda products, when no one has actually seen, touched or sat on them?! I believe that the engineers all take a back seat to the accounting department, and the customer is the last one to be heard!! How many versions of the same chrome covered couch do we need? How many Shadow varients? How many VTX1300 based “production Customs” Come on Honda, you were better than this…

  • Other Sean

    I think the new face on this is an improvement over the last.

  • Dr. Gellar

    Sooo…this is the new CBR that Ten Kate was excited about for next year? Looks like they could be in for another long season in 2012…

  • Jonny Rea needs to get away from Ten Kate as soon as possible. If it’s all merely cosmetic then he’ll crock himself (again) trying to keep up with the Aprilia, Ducati and Yamahas (if they’re still racing next season.)

  • Frenchie

    A longer video has been posted yesterday here: http://youtu.be/F1Sk_rtusc4

    New big piston forks and rear shock a la ZX10R.

    Naive question: are the Kawasaki and Suzuki WSSP and WSBK teams using “conventional” Ohlins forks or the BPFs?

  • MikeD

    LOL, Oh Honda…you are such a cock teaser.

    It certainly looks like an improvement over the exiting model…and yet…SUCH A LETDOWN…but honestly…why would someone expect something TOTALLY NEW ? Is Honda we talking about here after all…the State of the Art when it comes to recycling old hardware with BNG.

    @Dr.Gellar…LMAO. +1.

    Just a few uneducated observations…Headlight Lenses lower part forming part of the ram air (1199), shape of the intakes(RSV4), still loving the anorexic tail section, one of the cleanest and best looking of the industry, THE WHEELS! (Thank u who ever u may be at Honda for slapping these on instead of those OLD-OUTDATED-FUGLY-HEAVY LOOKING-EXCITING TO LOOK AT AS WATCHING PAINT DRY 3 Spoked abbominations (IM LOOKING AT U ZX-10R AND ALL THE Gixxers )…YES, YOU !
    Are these calipers Monoblocks ? and last but not least…did they change the curve of the “SnowPlow” section or is the Hype and the white paintjob playing tricks of me ?

    I like these 600ish headlights better than the old fish bowls.

  • MikeD

    Crap…forgot about the Dash ( MV Agusta F4 rip-off)…also, why dump the analog tach for a digital one ? This thing is not even close to the blinged out counterpart installed on the ZX10R.
    L.E.D Shift lights layout ? = Daytona 675

  • 76

    I wonder whats going on with those calipers? Did Tokico step it up?

  • carboncanyon

    “The continued use of telescopic forks on a “sport” bike”

    What else would you propose? Many have tried different, “theoretically better” systems, but which one of them can displace the humble telescopic forks in practice? Cost/performance is tough to beat.

    I’m open to new technologies, but only if they’re actually better in reality, not different for the sake of being different.

  • heres more video:

  • john Magnum

    No TC or ABS evident on the bike or the dash test, how in gods name are they going to market this thing against whats out now (BMW,KWAK,APE), let alone Yamaha and Suzuki have not announced their 2012 cake mix.

    i got coin ready to go, im walkin straight past this tent. Yamaha, Suzuki….what you got for me?

    Hey just looking, can somebody tell me this aint the 2012 600 and we been tricked?

  • John, the “Fireblade” decal on the fairing tells us this is the big boy CBR.

  • some of us don’t want/need abs or tc……

  • Alexontwowheels

    Suspension, wheels, and possible motor updates = significant. Great for those that want to RIDE.
    Cosmetic and dash updates = less significant.
    Both = this is not just a one year model. They will squeeze a minimum of 2 model years out of this bike, because otherwise they have one random model year for bodywork, parts, etc. Would never happen.
    I hold my breathe in anticipation of the rumors that Honda releases a super-superbike running the V4 and having higher end components in addition to the CBR model.

  • SBPilot


    Completely agree with you. Since the economy going down (and still is) seems like Honda and other companies have their Accounting department at the top of the pyramid and everyone else somewhere down there. I use to love Honda and it’s so hard to feel passionate for them now. So many Shadow varients. It is the reason why BMW still holds a place in my heart, they are SO passionate about motorsports, they never do any motosport half assed. If they do it, they go all out.

    It’s a shame the BMW electronics on their WSBK bike aint really working out, and their team, still very green. The Italia team with ex factory Ducati personel is making leaps forward in development on that bike, and using conventional MM electronics.

    Back on topic, again, I hope Honda turns around sooner rather than later.

  • John Magnum

    Thanks Jensen ya right.
    Kyle, not totally fussed myself either way with electronics, i dont have it now and i manage, im just disapointed though….been holding onto my 08 zx10 praying Honda would do the V4 thing.

    lets hope theres something evil in that motor and tranny we dont know of yet.

  • Jake

    Funny guess I’m the only one around here who hated the look of the current flat faced Honda and think the front end if real on the 2012 is a HUGE improvement. Now if they’d fit a complete tail on the bike then yeah. But until they give details on the motor I don’t understand how people can already be ragging on the bike. So what if it isn’t a V-4, that doesn’t mean it can’t be better. I mean the S1000R isn’t a V-4 and it pretty much out guns everything else in the class (if you are into that).

  • Billy B.Tso

    not all bad…but i still can’t stomach that intergrated exhaust design, just seems a little od…

  • Tom


    Vyrus has developed the Bimota Tesi’s hub-centered steering that gives a hell of lot more stable control than telescopic forks. The Hossack design was used by Britten. Even Motoczysz was developing an improvement over telescopic forks. For street bikes, better options exist. I won’t even start on rider position.

  • AndrewF

    Jake, you’re not the only one – everybody bitched about the flat faced front when it came out – now the same people bitch because Honda listened to them! I like the way this bike looks, and I like the way current Fireblade rides. It’s a fantastic bike for street riding, no matter where it places in track based comparos, it is the most useable superbike on the street and being a street rider, that’s all I care about. So I’m not gutted at all if they hang on to the current design for another year or two, it’s already much better than I will ever be anyway… I’m not too fond of the way exhaust looks, but it is still the easiest part to replace. I’m much more concerned about that LCD dash because I hate those things with a passion, and it is much harder to change – basically impossible for an amateur.

  • Jaybond

    This so-called facelift CBR 1000RR could still well be a BMW S1000RR killer, if only it’s equipped with a host of updated hardwares especially – more potent highly tuned engine and perhaps some form of traction control, but the engine department is what Honda really need to upgrade in order to topple BMW from the Superbike crown. It doesn’t mean it will be a brand new V4 for this bike (although that certainly very much welcomed!) , Honda just need to squeeze out more from the current In Line 4 plus the accompanying electronics gadgetry..

  • 76

    You can keep your ABS and Traction Control, Honestly give me better tires and a engine upgrade

  • Shereef

    I think it is too early to pass judgement on anything other than the way the bike looks. Even so, I think this is a visual improvement over the current Fireblade. We aren’t even sure if what we are seeing at this point is just the base model with a factory edition about to make its debut. Best thing is to wait and see what people who have ridden the bike in full test have to say. Or better yet, when your dealer gets a demo bike that you are allowed to test ride. Somehow, I have the feeling that this machine will ride as good if not better than any Fireblade before it. If so then it is an improvement. If not, there are many other bikes you can choose from.


  • We ALL want a new RVF but the truth is most of us couldnt afford or justify a $30-40k (Based on previous models that sounds like a reasonable est price)V4 Honda over a much cheaper and might I add well equiped CBR1000RR. So Unless Honda wants a title in WSBK and thinks it can win with a new RVF I dont see how it would be wise to invest capital in a project that wont make a return on the investment.

  • John Magnum

    love reading these posts. I’m having a good whinge too, and all this over it’s looks and no apparent electronics. And we say women nag on.

    makes champion reading gents.
    hope this thing blows our minds like the current bike.
    ……oh yeah, we loved it all along….

  • ogie wan

    This + v4 would =erection. Rc 48 or something. Hon…da, I love you. Please bring back a proper v4 sportbike…

  • Sentinel

    Honestly, the prejudice condemnation so many have posted here is ridiculous. Where most of us mere mortals actually spend by far the majority of our time (on public roads), the current CBR1000RR isn’t lacking in any area whatsoever. If all Honda has done for the new model is lighten a bit, improve handling a bit, and power up the engine a bit, it would still arguably be the best street going 1000 cc street bike made. I do expect anti-lock brakes will at least be an option for those that want them…

  • Djefri

    so, its true then… I thought its just customized blade :D

  • Brandon

    looks like they used the same headlight chrome pieces and just changed the lens shape.

  • Shaitan

    Yawnnnnnnn! Honda, you bore me.

  • 76

    Can someone please tell me about this S1000rr that is outgunning everything? AMA, nope… BSB, nope… WSBK, nope….

    Sure it has a shitload of horsepower and a dam fine bike, yet it still has outgunned nothing really, oh wait, that german championship, maybe they got that

    Who cares about HP when you cant use it?

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  • Frenchie

    @76: ok, I’ll tell you:

    In 2010 the S1000RR won at least the German and French SBK (champion and runner-up in France, on its way to do it again this year) and the FIM Superstock series with Badovini taking 8 poles, 9 wins and 10 podiums in 10 races.
    In France SBK it won 20 out of 24 races since its introduction.
    All this for the first try, first BMW superbike ever and first year of commercialization and competition.

    In fact, the BMW is super competitive in lesser-spec series which forbid extensive modifications from the street bike. When it comes to higher-spec series it is less competitive especially because BMW develop their own electronics which are sub-par for the moment compared to state-of-the-art Magneto Marelli WSBK electronics.

    So to me it means it definitely outguns anything on the street.

  • MikeD

    @John Magnum, Sentinel…

    Put down the Red Kool-Aid and stop being so condescending towards Honda…they are in deep shit and they know it…this refresh is all the evidence anyone needs to tell they are in a world of hurt both morally(more lipstick and make up on the old pug face) and financially(no COMPLETELY NEW Model).

    U do that and i’ll stop it with the Hate-O-Rade. (^_^ )

  • Nobody

    The CBR1000RR’s biggest competitor for 2012 will be the used ’08 that is selling for less than half the price of new.

    The fact that the CBR is getting nothing special only makes the 1199 more attractive. Thanks, Honda, for making the decision on my next bike that much easier.

  • carboncanyon

    I’ve seen all of those solutions, but are they truly better? Or just different? How do they compare in cost, weight, and performance?

  • Sean in Oz

    The Japanese manufacturers are hurting financially and so are many of their customers. Clearly Honda weren’t going to change the Fireblade to an expensive V4 (or introduce an alternate suspension system) under those conditions.

    The Fireblade is still coming out at, or near, the top in magazine comparisons and selling relatively well (at least here in Oz). So there isnt a strong reason for major changes.

    As for TC etc, How long did it take for the CBRs to get a slipper clutch?

    … and Im not entirely convinced that those photos are the actually 2012 Fireblade, rather than a modded current Blade.

  • Tom


    From my readings over the years, I recall that the hub design is truly more stable and gives a faster and more confidence inspiring response. The Hossack design is tried and proven by BMW. I am not a racing history oracle so someone much more knowledgeable than me on the subject can verify, but I recall that both designs were banned by MotoGP and IIRC, other technologies are banned as well.

    This is what I mean by FIM retarding motorcycle development because contrary to some people’s beliefs, racing for marketing is damned effective for the group of young people (who are often insecure trend humping fashion lemmings) who are swayed by the racing world. Its just a damned lie for people to say that racing improves the breed for motorcycles because the companies that compete aren’t interested in real competition.

    They are interested in turning the marketing event into sales. Its a vicious cycle where companies and FIM work to maintain the safe status quo instead of being avant garde. Britten scared the holy hell out of motorcycle companies in the mid 1990s and no one in the business wants to see such uncertainty again.

    This Honda is a testament to the maintenance of the status quo. There is nothing appreciable different between this CBR and one from 2001. Look at a F1 car from 2001 versus today. Look at the R34 GTR from 2001 versus the GTR today. The bridge between the cars is far far wider than what is happening in motorcycle racing development.

    Just my ranting .02Yen.

  • carboncanyon

    If the Hossack is so much better, I find it strange that BMW wouldn’t use it on the S1000RR. As long as it’s homologated, I don’t see anywhere in this reference that outlaws it:


    It’s a lengthy read, but I did my best to use the find function… I didn’t see any rules that banned a Hossack as long as it’s homologated (pg 70).

    I’m not trying to argue with you Tom… just trying to educate myself by asking questions. :D I appreciate any comments!

  • carboncanyon

    Just another thought. I think it’s difficult to compare motorcycle development to automotive development. The budgets and the size of the teams working on them are an order of magnitude larger (for cars).

    I don’t believe that avante garde is feared in the motorcycle industry itself. If they’re truly good ideas that can be brought to market profitably, I think any of the OEM’s would jump on them. For example, I see a lot of Cannondale in the current Yamaha dirtbikes. Maybe it doesn’t seem so nutty now, but I remember Cannondale having a lot of impact when they first came out.

    It’s easy to blame the manufacturers, but frankly I see a lot of resistance in the marketplace. Customers love to *see* new tech, but they don’t always want to *buy* new tech. For example, the GTS1000 was a sales flop. Yes, it had issues; new technology always does. Unless the market is more supportive and tolerant of new and sometimes “quirky” tech, the OEM’s don’t have the financial motivation to grind it out.

    On the flip side, the customers understandably fear being guinea pigs for new tech and view it with skepticism. There is a limit to just how much “avante garde” the customer will accept.

    I see issues on both sides, not just the mfg’s.

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  • @TOM
    “There is nothing appreciable different between this CBR and one from 2001”
    Are you kidding me?? go ride a 01 929 and then ride a new cbr1000 and tell me you can’t tell the difference between about 40hp, less weight and better brakes.

  • carboncanyon

    I think Tom meant that the basic architecture is the same. Telescopic forks, inline four, etc.

    I see what you mean tho… I rode my friend’s old CBR, and it felt like a dinosaur. Even though it’s more bike than my riding skills can fully utilize, I could still feel a huge difference in refinement, power, etc.

  • I think this one is a real bike but its an anniversary edition. There will be newer one that should be revealed this month. I owned 2005 & 2008 fireblades , 2008-2011 models are soooo good to the point that made me wounder if Honda can actually make a better bike. It is so good that it maintained its reputation throughout the 4 years and stayed the fastest in the track than all other bikes including the S1000RR. I kept the 2005 fireblade for dragracing and sold the 2008 one and purchased an S1000RR. I still prefer the 08 fireblade’s ride-ability over S1000RR.
    My point is that Honda can keep producing the same model with little more improvement and will keep selling very well, but I highly doubt it, lets wait few more weeks and see what Honda will announce.
    Also… it is so true what some has said… How can it be leaked from a showroom in HonKong and no one has an idea of its arrival let alone our local dealers still dunno what’s coming.
    So I stand to what I said earlier… It is an anniversary Edition , but not the main production bike.

  • Looks great. Love the instruments. Thanks, Honda.