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Honda CBR1000RR

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A patent application spotted by Ben Purvis at Cycle World hints at Honda expanding its variable valve timing technology on its two-wheeled offerings, with designs of a sophisticated VVT system could come to a new CBR model.

Filed in June 2018, the patent application (not yet an actual US patent, mind you) is a restatement of a Japanese patent that dates back to 2017, and in it Honda describes a mechanism where “an internal combustion engine is provided with a variable valve operating apparatus.”

Today is the Friday after Thanksgiving, which means many of you awoke from your food coma, and headed to the stores for Black Friday start to your Christmas shopping.

That is right, the holiday season is upon us, and that means that we should be publishing some sort of Holiday Gift Guide for you, where we pretend to be journalists while taking a small commission from the links we funnel you towards.

It is a sad practice, and one that fills our inbox around this time of year. I wonder how many hundreds of dollars are traded for whatever last scrap of journalism that remains in this industry…it’s probably best not to think about it.

Don’t worry, we have a remedy. A real item you would want to have in your garage, and it is not some garbage tire pressure gauge from a company that bought a bunch of advertising from us this year.

This is a superbike. A real superbike. A WorldSBK-spec Honda CBR1000RR SP2 superbike. It is one of the Triple M Honda CBR1000RR SP2 superbikes that PJ Jacobsen raced in the 2018 World Superbike Championship.

Another week, another rumor about a new Honda CBR1000RR. You can almost set your clock to the rumors that surround Big Red’s future superbike offering, and there are several factors for this.

First, the Honda CBR1000RR is a woefully old machine, even in its “all-new” guise, the current model can trace its lineage back to the 2008 model year. Second, the Honda CBR1000RR is obviously underpowered when you make spec sheet comparisons, by a palpable 20hp/10% margin.

The Honda makes up for this by being one of the lightest superbikes on the market, and it is easily the best handling of the bunch. But even still, in our tests, we found it to be a second a lap slower than the rest of the superbike class…and the stopwatch decides all in this segment.

Despite all this, the real reason that we keep seeing rumors about a new CBR1000RR likely stems from one simple reason: Honda is working on a new machine. Will that new bike debut for 2019? 2020? 2021? Well, that’s the debate, and even a broken clock is correct twice a day, so…

Here we are, another week, and another rumor about a new Honda CBR1000RR.

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.

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.

Crashing during the superbike practice at the North West 200 on Thursday, John McGuinness was reported to have suffered a broken right leg. But now getting an update on his condition, we can see that his injuries are far worse than was initially thought.

While Honda Racing has withdrawn from the rest of superstock and superbike races at the North West 200, because of concerns regarding a mechanical issue causing the McGuinness’ crash, these injuries also cast significant doubt over John McGuinness competing in this year’s Isle of Man TT.

*It should be noted that after the publication of this article, American Honda adjusted the price on the 2017 Honda CBR1000RR to an MSRP of $16,499. American Honda has since also announced pricing on the 2017 Honda CBR1000RR ABS, set at $16,799 MSRP.

I’m not sure if I missed the memo, or if Honda just didn’t make much of a fuss about it, but pricing for the 2017 Honda CBR1000RR and its kin are now showing on the American Honda website.

Prices for the new Honda CBR1000RR seems to be only available in the USA right now, but early indications appear that Big Red is asking for quite the pretty penny for its freshly updated superbike.

As such, current pricing is as follows: Honda CBR1000RR – $16,999; Honda CBR1000RR ABS – TBD; Honda CBR1000RR SP – $19,999; Honda CBR1000RR SP2 – $24,999.

When it came time to unveil its new revised superbike, Honda wisely debuted its premium and homologation models first, at October’s INTERMOT show in Cologne, Germany.

With EICMA now here, we can finally see the bike that most enthusiasts will find in their garage, the base model 2017 Honda CBR1000RR.

So as expected, the base model 2017 Honda CBR1000RR uses lower-spec suspension and braking components than its SP sibling, but thankfully it retains all of the other engine, chassis, and electronic upgrades that we have already seen.

This includes the CBR1000RR’s new magnesium casings, titanium fuel tank, five-spoke wheels, and internal engine modifications. In total, this means that the 2017 Honda CBR1000RR makes 190hp and weighs 432 lbs at the curb.

As for the changes, suspension is handled by Showa 43mm large-volume BPF forks at the front, and with the Show Balance Free Rear Cushion (BFRC) shock in the rear, while braking is done by four-piston Tokico calipers up front, as well.

The 2017 Honda CBR1000RR was easily one of the most talked about machines at the 2016 INTERMOT show in Cologne, Germany.

The new CBR1000RR is still the same platform that we have seen from previous model years, though it is also a big step for Honda, keeping the Japanese motorcycle manufacturer relevant in the superbike segment.

This mixture of old and new has certainly lead to some intrigue from the sport bike community, so in effort to answer some of the questions posed by our readers, we reached out to American Honda for some answers.