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Honda’s New CBR900 – The Latest

Honda UK's Evolution Fireblade - This bike may have been a testbed for developement of the new CBR900
Honda UK’s Evolution Fireblade – This bike may be similar to the new for 2000 CBR900

By now, everyone has heard that Honda is expected to introduce a completely new replacement for the CBR900 (known as the Fireblade in Europe). Several motorcycle publications have speculated about this new bike. Here is a brief summary of the latest information.

Honda apparently wants to keep the CBR900 designation — this bike has been hugely successful in Europe and in the United States, and Honda does not want to change the name. This is understandable. In part, because of this, Honda reportedly will not build a 1000cc machine, but will leave the displacement of the new bike below 950cc’s.

The latest reports indicate that Honda, instead, will focus its efforts on making the bike extremely lightweight. One source indicates the new big bore Honda will weigh less than a Yamaha R6 (around 360 pounds dry). You heard that correctly — Honda is expected to make the CBR900 lighter than the world’s lightest 600, the R6. This would make the new bike nearly 30 pounds lighter than the amazingly light Yamaha R1.

The new bike (displacing between 900 and 950cc) will also receive major engine updates, including a sophisticated ram air system and fuel injection. The big question mark is whether Honda will employ its VTEC variable valve timing system on the new bike.

Honda manufactures a 400cc street bike in Japan which employs its automobile-derived VTEC valve timing system. This system improves both low end torque and high rpm horsepower by opening just one intake and one exhaust valve at lower rpm’s, and switching over to a cam lobe which opens all four valves (two intake and two exhaust) at higher rpm’s.

If Honda uses VTEC on the CBR900 replacement, you can expect that the bike will have awesome low end — at least as good as the R1’s (which is phenomenal), coupled with a ripping top end to the power band.

In summary, expect Honda to pull out all the stops with its new CBR900 replacement. The new motor, light weight, and chassis refinement will likely create a superb combination. Make no mistake, Honda wants its new flagship sportbike to exceed the performance of Yamaha’s R1 in every respect. It should be interesting. MotorcycleDaily will keep you posted.