Rumor: Honda Working on a 1,000cc V4 Sportbike

05/26/2011 @ 9:09 am, by Jensen Beeler19 COMMENTS

Fanned by a recent article in Motorcyclist (and an earlier article in MCN from the same author), rumors abound that Honda is working on a 1,000cc V4 sportbike, likely to be called the RVF1000R. A supplement to Honda’s superbike offering, and not a replacement to the CBR line, the new RVF would be a more premium superbike offering, differentiating itself from its inline-four cousin in a similar manner as the Rc-45 and RC-51 motorcycles did in previous decades.

If rumors are to be believed, we could see the new Honda V4 as early as the end of this year, with the major differentiation over the CBR1000RR being both the RVF1000R’s price, performance, and exclusivity. If done properly, the new Honda superbike could be an opportunity for the Japanese company to build some brand value beyond making cheap & reliable motorcycles. While the Japanese manufacturers have a reputation for making quality bikes, their work has never been translated into lifestyle status brand value, which is something a premium superbike could help foster.

As for the validity of this rumor, the idea sounds plausible as pitched, though some of the conclusions seem a bit contrived. Honda certainly wouldn’t dabble again in v-twin and V4 motors without ensuring that its CBR line-up would not be heavily cannibalized upon by the new sportbike, so the idea of a premium-spec’d bike makes basic sense.

However, it remains to be shown that the same pressures that brought about the RC-45 and RC-51 exist in the racing world to justify an RVF revival, and how such an homologation special would play into Honda’s MotoGP agenda, as suggested by author Ben Purvis, probably does more to beef up the word count than to be add more meat to the content (the article is all over the place, making links as well to the powerplant coming from the VFR1200F). Such connections seems dubious at best , though certainly anything is possible.

We like to think that such a motorcycle is currently being brewed up by the Japanese manufacturer, which is perhaps the biggest allure of this rumor. There’s a lot Honda could do with a a V4-based RFV1000R, but it can also be asked whether the brand needs another sportbike in its line-up at this point in time. However, keep an eye on Honda leading up to the EICMA show this November, they might just surprise us.

Source: Motorcyclist

  • Nobody

    If they build it, I will buy it.

  • KK

    yeah, its called honda needs something new to start showing face again on the podium for WSBK. Their bikes are getting long the tooth for sure.

    But sounds like it will be sweet. Im always down for a new V4 or Twin offering. God knows the RSV4 sounds like sex…..

  • Shaman

    Why wait, the RSV4 is truly incredible. My friend’s RSV4-R is the little brother of the Factory and up to 120mph, it will decimate just about anything in a straight line (including our friend’s 2011 ZX-10R and S1000RR). It’s pure aggression and sexy as hell.

    Not that I want to deter Honda from going down this route… I’m just saying that if you want an incredible V4, there’s no reason to wait.

  • Damo

    If your friend’s RSV4-R is walking away from the ZX-10R and an S1000rr in a straight line he is racing bad riders. The RSV4-R is almost a full second slower than both those bikes in the quarter AND 60-100 roll on.

    Check last year’s liter bike shoot out if you don’t believe me.

    (Note: I am not hating on the aprilia, I ride an 2003 RSV myself. I am just stating facts.)

  • Jay

    @ Nobody,

    came here to say that too.

  • akatsuki

    I’m definitely for it. It will definitely let them take the CBR line a bit downmarket to catch the teens that they couldn’t anymore as prices went up.

  • Damo

    I am excited, either way we know Honda is at the very least going to respin the CBR next year. I mean they kinda have to at this point.

  • Butch

    I was a long-time and loyal owner of Honda motorcycles and I waited a long time for them to build the a V4 sportbike again. Finally Aprilia did it, and I bought an RSV4. So good luck to Honda on this project, but I’ll be keeping my Aprilia. For my personal taste, the Aprilia RSV4 is the best sportbike out there from handling, power delivery and visceral feel.

  • aaron

    if they do this right, it could be like a half price desmosedeici, only with a few years more development… where do I sign up?

  • Westward

    RSV4 is a very sexy machine. The ZX-10R would be next in line…

    But I might be a little bias being Ducatisti…

  • Tom

    Why would Honda care about homologation? Look at MV Agusta. They haven’t raced in decades and look at their prices, exclusivity, and desirability. I’m convinced that so many motorcycle companies are stuck in, not making the best motorcycle possible but rather the best motorcycle to get crammed within the narrowest of current racing rules. Look at Ducati and the AMA issue. If I were making a bike being punished on the track, I’d market that and play it up big time. “Our bikes are so good that we have to be punished at the track so that the other guys can look like they compete with us”.

  • Damo


    See that is the kind of comment I respect. I like when people get a bike they like BECAUSE they like it and don’t feel the need to over inflate its numbers.

    I did the same thing. I bought a 2003 Arpilia RSV Mille and I love it (I like sticking to used bikes for the deal factor) I could have purchase a 2004 CBR around the same price range that could burn my bike down, but for me the RSV was what I wanted.

  • MikeD

    Hope they do…BUT…i won’t be able to afford it if it’s more $$$ than the current PUG FACED CBR1000RR.

  • MikeD

    P.S: Love those classy twin round lights on the old school SuperBikes ! Nothing like today’s cluttered messes xcuses for headlights we get.

  • GeddyT

    Rumor: Honda is building a V4 superbike.

    Fact: If I had a dollar for every time I read a rumor that Honda was “definitely” building a V4 or V5 superbike, I’d be rich.

    Conclusion: I’ll believe it when I see it. The 2008 1000RR was supposed to have a V5 in it. No really, the internet said so.

  • MikeD



  • Mitch

    I will just keep my RC-51.

  • Reedster

    Just bring back 750’s!

  • Cpt.Slow

    +1 Shaman