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MCN Claims to Have Inside Scoop on 2017 Honda CBR1000RR

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2014 Honda CBR1000RR SP

A new report from MCN claims to have inside information on the all-new 2017 Honda CBR1000RR — the homoligated superbike promised to Nicky Hayden when he switched over to WSB. The current CBR1000RR has only had relatively minor tweaks since 2008, with the biggest coming in the 2012 model that we tested. A nice bike, but certainly outdated when it comes to electronic rider aids and outright horsepower (the current bike makes far less than the production Kawasaki and BMW superbikes, for instance).

You can read the MCN article for yourself, but among the expected changes are an available semi-active Öhlins suspension package and a massive weight loss of close to 17 pounds (Honda claims the current model has a curb weight of 441 pounds).

Interestingly, MCN claims the new bike will not challenge the horsepower leaders (BMW and Kawasaki), but instead offer only a slight bump in power versus the existing model. This would be in keeping with Honda’s traditional desire to tune the CBR1000RR for good street performance (i.e., high peak horsepower traded for a stout mid-range).

 


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42 Comments

  1. Vega says:

    Honda Fireblade is already the lightest bike in Superbike Category according to a shootout conducted last year by MotorcycleUSA.com… And according to them, is one of the most user friendly bike (Behind the S1K and Gixxer)…
    I also don’t care about raw HP ala BMW S1K, which BTW has the most pathetic torque curve of all the Superbikes…
    I like Honda’s perspective to Horsepower Wars…
    But then again, only a complete IDIOT would use a Superbike for commuting!
    So, I’d prefer to see a naked roadster from Honda…

  2. ZX10R_AC says:

    I drive a Honda car, but I’m all Kawasaki on the motorbike front. The last Honda motorcycle that grabbed my interest (and still does) is the RC51.

    Now, meh. The redesign CBR was ugly when it debuted in 2010, went worse in 2012, and hs stayed ugly since. Why are they even competing in WSBK with such an old bike in mind0-boggling.

    • You and I agree. I sold my 2001 RC51 several years ago and it left a hole in my world. Just found a nice 2002 and man, that thing is great. Latest and greatest? Nope. Lightest and fastest? By far not. But it’s got every bit of power I can put to use on the street, and it’s got character oozing out of it. For 5 grand, I suddenly have zero interest in whatever next superbike Honda makes. Except that I’d like to see 69 on competitive machinery. Fingers crossed! The Honda superbikes of yesteryear have a certain something that I just don’t see in the current lineup. Hoping for whatever a 2017 RC30 would be!

  3. Mark R says:

    Looks like it’s an R1M for me then.

  4. WJF says:

    Comparing the superbikes from old (2005 era) to now..how on earth did we live with the ridiculously low HP those bike made back then, they could barely get out of their own way. I recall saying to myself in 05, if I can’t have 200 HP out of my 12k bike, then why bother…

    • Superbiker600 says:

      I owned a 2005 GSXR1000, it was a rather easy bike to control even without TC/ABS and all the other aids we now have as standard on the liter bikes. Could you get yourself into trouble….well yeah absolutely…shouldn’t responsibility and discipline be required with 168bhp and up? Haven’t ridden any current bikes, but I’m not sure I like the idea of having the electronic computerized “babysitter” watching over every throttle input.

  5. PatrickD says:

    I check into the MCN website regularly. They’ve been hawking pictures like this for 6 years, at a guess.

    Manufacturers use those shots of a bike in the shadows when they’ve finally got something together. This is a computer generated lash up. MCN were putting similar pictures up, masking the exhaust headers and telling us about the v5 coming soon ten years ago.
    Like a broken watch, they’re right occasionally, but not enough that you can rely on them.

    Honda do have to replace the existing bike due to emissions and a WSB regulation. If they fit the parts they’re mentioning, especially with regards to suspension, it’s going to cost way more than the current model.

    I think Honda are seeing how the sales figures for sports bikes are going (look at their dreary new models over the last five years) and might try the small-volume-high-spec path that Ducati take. Which would be an admission of failure, if you look at how successful the ZX-10R is.

    • Dave says:

      How successful is the ZX10r? It costs as much as a Ducati.Aside from the Italian “R” spec bikes, the Japanese and European bikes are now comparable in cost.

      • JVB says:

        That is why Ducati sales are on the rise. Remember back when Maico, Husky, and KTM (white bodywork and orange frames KTMs) were 2x the cost of Jap dirtbikes? Once the price gap narrowed, the better componentry of the euro bikes shifted the buyer’s option to seek out exclusive with better “stuff”. KTM essentially owns the trail market these days.

        One would say that in the superbike area, many of the non-diehard ZX, GSXR, CBR, Y? fans are opting for the niche Ducati now that the price gap has disappeared. Posers are diluting the Ducati market!

        • Dave says:

          Ducati sales are on the rise because of the Scrambler. Their last big boost was on the Monster. We don’t get to know how many Pannigale’s they sell, but I bet it’s not a very large number.

    • Simon says:

      MCN is great at unbridled speculation. They kept VFR devotees dangling for a decade with spy shots and wild speculation. I think they borrowed Bat-Boy for their reports.

  6. North of Missoula says:

    I have an 08 sitting in my garage. I am glad to hear they have continued the evolution which goes back to 1992 starting with the CBR900RR. Removing 17 lbs is crazy given that the bike is already a lightweight in the class. Knowing the bike well I can not imagine where they are going to save that much weight without taking a big hit at the MSRP.

    Two noteworthy things about the motorcycle

    1. It has surprisingly comfortable ergonomics.
    2. It has a stomping midrange.

    • PABLO says:

      I agree with the above post, and the bike can be made even better by fitting the optional “comfort seat” and helli bars.
      The current blade actually weighs more than the 2008 model thaks to heavier wheels and a couple of other things, so a new set of wheels, a lithium battery and a new ABS system will easily meet the 17lbs target.

    • Gutterslob says:

      3. The drivetrain is also the most refined of all inline 4 cylinder sportsbikes, barring the R1, even without the newfangled electronics.
      4. Packaging – in terms of how centralized the mass is in relation to the rider-peg-bar triangle.
      5. Fuel economy – though this isn’t really that surprising considering the other bikes make more power now.

  7. MGNorge says:

    I knew when I first put my general thoughts down that this would turn into “How much power does it have”, etc., etc. type thing. If that’s the only consideration that sells these missiles then I pity the manufacturers. If it’s only about bragging rights down at the watering hole then what about substance and qualities other than outright horsepower and speed? If I felt a model in this class had chassis manners that seemed to be telepathic compared to a competitor with more power but less refined handling I’d take the better handler any day. It makes for a much more pleasurable ride, after ride, after ride.
    But into my 6th decade this type of bike does not resonate with me. Highly impractical in today’s traffic, if they really were ever practical, it would be like trying to drive a Lamborghini Hurican in stop and go commuter traffic. It could be done but my pick would be something more comfortable.

    • Jeremy in TX says:

      I think you are jumping to conclusions or didn’t really read the discussion. You’ll notice the “how much horsepower does it have,” etc., etc. discussion following your post isn’t really about that at all. In fact, I don’t recall a single post yet from anyone demanding to know how much power it makes. The discussion really was, “How solid of a platform is this going to be in World Superbike?” A warmed over version of the current engine isn’t going to cut it. An all new engine, even if tuned for “street” power in stock form, could do the trick so long as they left some margin there for the engine builders to play with. I don’t care if Honda chooses not to participate in the HP wars on the street so long as they do participate in that fight on the WSBK circuit.

      For the record, I think the current CBR1000RR is the best street bike by far in its class. It is relatively comfortable and – thanks to a combination of engine tune and sane gearing compared to the rest of the class – feels strong at just about any speed. Handling-wise, it has the most natural feel of any sport bike I’ve ever ridden out of the box.

  8. Gutterslob says:

    MCN claims to have the inside scoop on everything, mind you.

  9. Will Parker says:

    Their “scoop” also didn’t mention the engine configuration. Is it a V4 or not? Bc if it is just an inline-4 again with slightly more power, the Kawasaki or new Suzuki would be preferable.

    • chase says:

      If you look at the photo I clearly see at least 3 exhaust pipes coming right off a bank of cylinders. It is likely an inline 4 , unless Honda is going to surprise everyone with a triple.

    • Ax1464 says:

      CB(R)s have always been inline, right? VF(R)s are the V-4s.

    • Stuki Moi says:

      The CBR will be an I4. There is rumors Honda will bifurcate their superbike lineup into a CBR, and a more exotic V4 (that’s still waaaay more accessible than the RC213V), to better compete at both ends of the market. Now that they’re seemingly back in the driver’s seat in GP with their V4, that makes more sense again.

  10. Joe Bogusheimer says:

    IMO these types of bikes are too uncompromising to make good street bikes, and if we’re honest with ourselves, way more than most of us can make full use of an a racetrack at track days or something. A litre bike won’t get your around the corners any faster than a 600 (or probably a 300).

    Looks pretty sweet, though, and I would choose this over a 600 for street riding, just for the more substantial midrange, even though I’d rarely ever get to use the full power of this (or a 600, for that matter) on the street. You’re typically already well over the legal maximum highway speed on these things before you’ve even hit redline in 1st gear.

    I used to be one of those guys who wanted a little more comfortable style of bike with an unadulterated liter bike engine, but the truth is that 50 extra HP at over 10,000 rpm just ins’t very accessible. Fun to try once in a while, but also a good way to lose your license, LOL.

    • Jeremy in TX says:

      “A litre bike won’t get your around the corners any faster than a 600 (or probably a 300).”

      While that is probably true in most cases, the liter bikes will get you down the straights way faster; and fans of the genre buy these bikes for that adrenaline-inducing hit of power. Does it really matter how much of the bike’s capabilities one can squeeze out of the machine? Master race skills aren’t required for a good time (though knowledge of personal limits are probably a good thing to be realistic about for anyone who doesn’t enjoy riding in ambulances.)

      • Joe Bogusheimer says:

        “fans of the genre buy these bikes for that adrenaline-inducing hit of power”

        True enough, and I understand that desire. But a lot of them aren’t really sport riders, and would probably be better served by something with at least more comfortable ergonomics.

        If you’re a track day rider, I wouldn’t think that max acceleration down the straights would be the main concern, although maybe that’s just me.

        Well, I guess these types of bikes are just largely lost on me. Riding any sort of race-replica on the street is just not my idea of fun, mostly because of the pain in my wrists, neck, and back. But hey, I’m getting to be an old dude (50 next year!) – although, I felt pretty much the same way when I was 30. Maybe if I’d had the money to buy bikes like this when I was 16…

        • mickey says:

          always cracks me up to hear a guy turning 50 claim to be an old dude, but I guess to a 23 old you are, but for those of us approaching our 7th decade on the planet you are still a pup (like Jeremy lol)

          Of course to a guy in his 80’s, guys my age are still spring chickens

        • NAJ says:

          I’m in agreement with you on pretty much every point. I have a 919 for the street and a 600RR for the track. Why? 919 is comfy and has stout grunt where I need it for the street. 600RR is on rails around corners and has actual usable power for corners and straights.

          Most of the liter bikes I see at the track are owned by people who are a bit heavy for a middleweight, wanted the perceived cachet of a big engine, or were too lazy to learn to ride properly around corners. These aren’t always accurate, but it does seem like most of the really quick guys are on 600cc bikes, not liter bikes.

          As for street use, sportbikes in general are just silly. I get that they move product, but they’re miserably uncomfortable, can’t be used to their potential without running afoul of the law, and don’t really offer much better performance than modern naked bikes.

        • Jeremy in TX says:

          “True enough, and I understand that desire. But a lot of them aren’t really sport riders, and would probably be better served by something with at least more comfortable ergonomics.”

          Can’t argue with that, and I have seen quite a few “practical” bikes at the track over the years – people just out there on their daily mounts to have a good time. Frankly speaking, judging by the pace of most people on the track in the novice and intermediate classes around here, many of them would also be better served with something like a Ninja 1000 than a ZX-10R even on the track.

          Trackday riders (as opposed to actual and aspiring racers) come in lots of flavors, so what matters to them in the bike can vary greatly. I don’t do much track day riding anymore – probably been two years since I was last out, – but I usually preferred the big bikes even though fear and respect saw to it that I wasn’t all that much faster around the circuit on a 1000 than I was on a 600. But that was before electronics were prevalent. Thing is, today’s electronics make the big bikes easier to ride than yesteryears 600s. But that is getting off topic.

          But to your point, an all-out sport bike would never be my choice of daily rider unless I was a track day junky that needed the motorcycle to get to the track.

      • Joe Bogusheimer says:

        On second thought, I was really just proclaiming my own reservations about bikes like this.

        I’m glad they exist and are available for purchase. If I had room (and the money) in my life for multiple bikes, I’d own an open-class sport bike, no doubt.

  11. MGNorge says:

    “This would be in keeping with Honda’s traditional desire to tune the CBR1000RR for good street performance (i.e., high peak horsepower traded for a stout mid-range).”

    Fine by me, it would be more than enough for any kind of street riding.

    • mickey says:

      For us mortals yes. That won’t satiate those that are looking for a 200 hp Honda super bike though

    • Jeremy in TX says:

      “Fine by me, it would be more than enough for any kind of street riding.”

      But is it enough to be competitive in WSB? Hopefully they’ve designed an engine that, while tuned for optimized street riding in stock form, can be seriously uncorked according to the rule book. Otherwise, Hayden is probably going to be pretty disappointed.

      I was initially under the impression that Honda was building a different, more serious bike for WSBK homologation and that the CBR would be Honda’s more street-oriented sport bike.

      • TexinOhio says:

        Yep, I think Nicky might be a little unhappy with what Honda’s going to have for him.

        Jeremy would the rules of WSBK allow a different bike for competition? I was under the impression that it had to be the “same” as the model the public can buy.

        Kind of the reason Yamaha doesn’t race the R1M I guess.

        • Dave says:

          The Honda has concessions to this rule, ride by wire throttle, for instance.

          As for those who want a 200hp Honda, the dozen or so of them who’d actually pony up the bucks can build them from aftermarket parts. The R1M is widely considered the best open bike on the road and it is not the horsepower leader.

        • Jeremy in TX says:

          As long as they can sell a total of 500 units to the public over two years and the bike meets all of the other rules, they can race it. If the $184K RC213V-S met those sales figures, Honda could race it in WSBK.

          Yamaha races the R1 instead of the R1M because they know for certain it will sell in sufficient numbers and because the rules allow them to essentially kit the race machine out with the same goods that the R1M has (and then some) anyway.

        • Will Parker says:

          What ya expect from Honda?! Sure, they’re boss in MotoGP, but when is the last time they introduced a class leading Superbike? The CBR 900? RC51 maybe?! They loss their mojo in production racing awhile back..

          • GhostedBlade says:

            Didnt Guintoli just win SBK 2 years ago? What about Marc Marquez a couple years ago and probably again this season? HP doesnt translate into Championships. If you have ridden a CBR anytime in the last 3-4 years you will know that the bike is one of the most balanced, comfortable, smooth riding bikes made. I have had 2015 Yamaha R1 owners take my bike for a ride and come back with nothing but praise for the bikes handling and smoothness. Its the best bike made, not the fastest or the most powerful..Just the best. You can keep all the fancy crap and give me a Honda anyday! (not saying I dont like the new R1)

          • Ibb says:

            Guintoli did indeed win the WSB championship in 2014 however it was on an Aprilia RSV4, which in my opinion is probably the best handling sports bike out there, although I’ve not ridden a new R1 yet so I can’t say for sure, most people have nothing but praise for either bike though.
            I’ve always liked Fireblades and I may well go for this new one.

        • GhostedBlade says:

          Actually the reason Yamaha doesnt use the R1M for racing is because they take off most of the upgraded parts that come on the R1M. The electronics package that you get on the R1M is sufficient for street use, but not anywhere near the same as what they use on race day. That comes straight from Josh Hayes at the R1M event at Laguna Seca.