They are reporting that the venerable superbike will get an increase of roughly 10hp, along with a diet of 33 lbs (15kg). Other features include Öhlins semi-active suspension, different riding modes (likely via ride-by-wire), and traction control (HSTC – Honda Select Torque Control).
The new Honda CBR1000RR is of course Euro4 compliant, and Honda is apparently touting that 90% of the machine has been redesigned for the 2017 model year.
To be certain, out of all the machines set to debut at the INTERMOT show tomorrow, the 2017 Honda CBR1000RR is the one we are looking forward to seeing the most.
Spy shots of the superbike showed a radical change to the bodywork of the Honda CBR1000RR, though the frame and chassis looked almost identical to the current-generation machine.
Honda’s teaser campaign for the new CBR1000RR have laid rest to a V4 engine, showing the glowing headers of an inline-four engine.
This poses an interesting proposition from Honda, who has constantly questioned the future of the sport bike market, and just recently made moves to no longer compete in the supersport class of the industry.
Seeing what Big Red has in store at INTERMOT for the 2017 Honda CBR1000RR is a huge signal for where the Japanese brand is headed.
If this information is correct, we would say that Honda has at the very least brought the CBR1000RR to a level where it can compete at a basic level with the offerings from the other brands. The devil is in the details of course, and we won’t have that information until tomorrow’s debut.
From a spec-sheet racing perspective, this news puts the 2017 Honda CBR1000R with a respectable 190hp at the crank, and a competitive 443 lbs wet at the curb. That puts the CBR1000RR in the ballpark of its competition, though albeit without the headline-grabbing power of 200hp figure.
Honda’s campaign for the new CBR1000R though seems to be taking the point of control over power, with the tagline “Total Control” being the consistent message. To that end, it would seem that Honda’s focus has been suspension and electronics, not outright power.
With this in mind, it’s not clear if the Öhlins semi-active suspension will only be for an “SP” model, or if Honda is making this feature available across all model trim levels.
We would expect the prior, but be supremely impressed if it was the latter. If Honda makes semi-active suspension standard on the CBR1000RR, this could truly be a strong way for the Japanese brand to make an asymmetrical attack on the superbike market.
It is unfortunate that technical items like traction control and ride-by-wire are commoditized by consumers, as they can vary widely from manufacturer to manufacturer in terms of refinement, ease-of-use, and effectiveness.
Honda has always excelled in this regard, so it will be 1) interesting to see what debuts at INTERMOT, and more importantly 2) see how it all works in the flesh. We would expect to be impressed in both regards.
The only thing that gives me great pause is that our friends at NieuwsMotor say that Honda is claiming 90% of the Honda CBR1000RR has been redesigned for the 2017 model year.
Motorcycle marketers love to make this claim, though often time what constitutes a “change” to a part can be sublimely subtle to anyone without an engineering degree or professional racing license.
For the layman rider and enthusiast, the market expectation isn’t that Honda needs to debut another good superbike, because the Honda CBR1000RR has always been a “good superbike” and more than most riders can handle.
Instead, the market expectation is based on aspirations – the latest and greatest. Anything less than that tomorrow will be met with tough replies in the comments section.
As I’m fond of saying, time will tell. We are certainly eager to see what Honda has in store for us in the coming hours.