We are knee-deep in new bike season right now, and it seems no motorcycle is safe from the internet’s two-wheeled rumor mill. This week, we see a number of rumors concerning the Honda CBR1000RR, and what the 2019 model year will bring for Big Red’s superbike offering.
Credible rumors suggest that the Honda CBR1000RR will see another update for next year, with promises of 212hp as Honda follows the rest of the pack with two variations of its venerable superbike.
Less credible rumors involve the CBR1000RR getting a name change for the US market, as the word “Fireblade” has been registered with the US Patents and Trademarks Office by the Japanese brand.
The New Horsepower
Let’s take these rumors in turn, starting with the idea that another “new” Honda CBR1000RR could be imminent in its debut. The rumor comes our way via the BikeSocial website, though I have heard similar murmurings from Japan as well.
The concept of this rumor is pretty simple: Honda will massage some more life out of the current CBR1000RR platform, hoping to find results in racing, without having to actually make a new motorcycle platform (that will likely come in 2021).
This refresh comes with a twist though, as the British site tips that Honda will bump up the displacement on its “street” spec superbike, likely in the neighborhood of 1,100cc in order to play the horsepower game with other brands (Ducati and Aprilia).
The trend in the superbike/supersport scene is now to offer a more limited edition “race homologation” model, which adheres to the confines of the racing rules, while also offering a “street” variant that allows designers and engineers more flexibility when chasing weight and power figures.
Honda seems to be latching onto this idea, with a beyond-liter-bike street model that will push 212hp to the crank, while SP models will surely accompany it, but with 1,000cc displacements.
With the World Superbike Championship capping superbikes at €40,000 – guessing the price of the SP2 variant should be pretty easy.
By Any Other Name
Our next bit of CBR news is the fact that Honda Japan has trademarked the name “Fireblade” in the United States, for use with motorcycles and motorcycle structural parts.
While it is known as the “Honda CBR1000RR” in North America, the rest of the world knows the superbike by the “Honda Fireblade” moniker.
What Honda’s “Fireblade” trademark means in reality though is subject for discussion. The Japanese motorcycle manufacturer could simply be protecting its assets in the United States, and this news effectively means nothing to anyone with a law degree.
Or, the trademarking of the Fireblade name hints to a future model or marketing shift. The name chanhe could certainly be linked to the news we covered above, with the next CBR1000RR set to be called by the Fireblade name.
This thought could also work with the rumors about Honda’s V4 superbike plans, which has long been rumored, and could sit alongside the Honda CBR1000RR in Honda’s superbike lineup.
Having both a CBR1000RR and RVF1000R in the public sphere could be confusing, however. So, it is plausible that Honda could employ a more user-friendly names for its marketing.
The waters are murky here, but we should know more as we get closer to the INTERMOT and EICMA trade shows in October and November. Stay tuned.