I have to admit, this rumor is more than a week old, as Japanese magazine Young Machine breathed new life into the Honda V4 superbike rumor mill about a month ago.
And of course, the reality is that this rumor is much, much older than this tiny fraction of time.
If you know your motorcycle news history, talk of a Honda V4 replacement for the CBR1000RR line has existed for almost two decades now…but hey, a broken clock is correct twice a day, right?
So what is new from the Land of the Rising sun that we haven’t heard before? The big eye-catching component to this story is that Honda has/had a two-stage upgrade path for the CBR1000RR, of which we are about to see the second phase.
We witnessed the first iteration of this plan last year, with the 2017 Honda CBR1000RR. Debuted as a “new” bike, the Honda CBR1000RR was a gentle massaging of the nearly decade-old model it replaced.
Now with ride-by-wire, traction control, and cornering ABS (on the SP models), the Honda CBR1000RR got a much-needed electronics upgrade. And while the horsepower figures for the inline-four engine were bumped up, the CBR1000RR still made considerably less power than its competitors.
Too little too late has been the general consensus from moto-journalists, though the Honda CBR1000RR is perhaps one of the best handling superbikes on the market, thanks to its currently class-leading curb weight.
What is to come for the 2019 model year? According to Young Machine, we will see the next step in Honda’s upgrade plans – with 2019 being a bigger step than 2017. As such, a V4 is expected to finally debut…
We have heard this before, of course, many times. Where there’s smoke, there’s fire? Fake news? Something in between? It’s hard to say, really.
A two-year revision schedule seems like a tall order in the 2018 sport bike market, but considering how modest Honda’s updates were in 2017, maybe it is not too crazy to think the real “all-new” motorcycle is for next season, with last year merely planned to tide us over.
Honda could certainly do well to release an affordable V4 superbike, and talk of such a model for the 2019 model year isn’t new.
To be successful, Honda will have to hit the required 200hp mark that is standard in the space now. Electronics will have to be robust and easy to navigate and edit (something that they are not, right now), and the design will have to be fresh.
As for this rumor, color me interested, but unenthusiastic. We have been here before, and as of this writing, the A&R Bothan Spy Network has been mum about a new superbike from Big Red.
That being said, we were told to expect a big reveal later this summer. As always, time will tell.
Source: Young Machine