The bike that carried John McGuinness to his 18th career Isle of Man TT win, the very same Honda TT Legends CBR1000RR could be the King of the Mountain’s stead to an even 20 wins this TT fortnight. Making 200+ bhp, the factory-backed Honda CBR1000RR has to contend with some of the most gruel miles in racing, and has the scars to prove it. Pitted and potted with rocks and pebbles from the course, McGuinness’s ride on the CBR is an equally tumultuous affair.

Splitting his time equally between head shakes and wheelies, it is no small feat in keeping a TT bike on-line at the famous road course. Only able to complete two laps before needing to be refueled, the Honda TT Legends race team has not only optimized the Honda CBR1000RR for the 37.733 mile Snaefell Mountain Course, but also for the single and double pitstops it will have in the Senior TT and Junior TT races, respectively.

Looking at the bikes of the other teams, what is most striking about McGuinness’s ride, aside from its drool-worthy livery homage to the Honda RC30, is how stock the bike appears. Sure, there is a heavily massaged and tuned motor underneath that bodywork, and the bike’s top-shelf brakes, wheels, and quick-shifter are readily apparent, but for a bike that any racer would kill to ride, the Honda TT Legends CBR is rather unassuming, as is its portly rider. Maybe that is how they like it.

Photos: © 2012 Jensen Beeler / Asphalt & Rubber – Creative Commons – Attribution 3.0

  • Rob

    Amazing pictures. Maybe someone with more knowledge could clear up a few things I’ve noticed?

    1. The left fork is CLEARLY higher in the triple than the right fork, would this be to have the bike more willing to turn right?

    2. What is the “WIDE” on the triple clamp referring to?

    3. I see something inline with the rear brake hose. Would this a proportioning valve or something?

    4. Clearly two reservoirs bolted to the triple, but the CBR has a cable driven clutch…so what’s the second (left) reservoir for?

  • monkeyfumi

    1. Probably just a shot from the pits whe the forks were being fiddled with.
    2. Don’t know
    3. Most likely a dry break coupling
    4. McGuiness runs a thumb brake for the rear (no foot lever on the RH rearset)
    Hope that helps

  • Damo


    If you look at the third to lats picture you can see they are running an upgraded Brembo rear break off the left handle bar, hence the extra reservoir like monkeyfumi said.

    I am pretty sure Troy Corser used to run a thumb break set up like that as well as a few others.

  • Faust

    If you look at the right rearset it’s obvious that there is no brake pedal, it’s run off the handlebar. Also, the Honda TT Legends team runs quick detatch couplings on their brake systems on their endurance racing bikes as well as this one. They started this as a test project for future brake configurations for Honda this past year on the endurance scene, and all the TT Legends riders prefered the new brake setup. Honda uses the TT Legends team as a testbed for stuff they are working on.

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  • Ryan

    Does anybody what kinda of gearing setup he runs on this bike. Just curious how close it is to stock gearing??

  • Andrew Goodman

    Lots of photos, but beyond that this article is not giving anything away.