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Rating 9 9

Honda CBR 1000RR

30th Sep 2009 7:00 am

The CBR1000RR didn’t win the International Bike of the Year 2008-2009 award without good reason

  • Make : Honda
  • Model : CBR1000

The CBR1000RR is really compact and belies its massive 1000cc engine capacity. This is a motorcycle with softer, friendlier lines that many have come to admire, and some just never grew into.

A notable feature of the 1000RR is that it concentrates its mass low and close to the centre of the bike, and the factory has labored hard to keep its weight to a bare minimum, so crucial on these kind of built-for-speed machines. Lightweight alloy is the norm across most of the bike’s cycle parts, including its frame, hollowed-out wheels, massive swing-arm and in-line, four-cylinder engine.

The CBR’s front fairing gives the bike an aggressive stance, with twin headlights glaring out of an aerodynamically shaped snout. Front turn signal indicators are located on the smart, really high-quality stalk-mounted mirrors, which show clear rear view at all speeds. The turn signal warning icons are smartly placed on the periphery of this single-pod fascia, while within the rev counter sit a low-fuel warning lamp, neutral, high beam and bright redline warning lights. The CBR also provides an odometer, A and B trip facility as well as accurate real-time fuel economy readouts. All this is located in front of its attractive, machined alloy steering triple clamp.
Clip-on handlebars are standard fare with all inclusive switches including a hazard warning button and engine kill switch to the right. The CBR leaves one headlight on all the time, with the rider only able to command high beam. The grips lend a nice feel to the rider’s palms and the bike has smartly buffed levers, with the front brake offering reach adjustability. A large and easy to turn cable- adjusting nut fastens into the clutch yoke.
The ’Blade utilizes Honda’s proven thief-repelling Honda Ignition Security System (H.I.S.S) that won’t allow the bike to start without its original set of keys.

The CBR1000RR’s engine and curved radiator sit semi-concealed beneath its distinctive bodywork, with its massive frame running back to expose itself just under its long tank section. The stubby silencer adds to the CBRs attractive appeal with much of its muscle coming from a humongous swing-arm, and 190/50 section rear tyre, flanked on one side by an exposed and O’ring sealed chain. The rear is slim, with boldly stepped rider and pillion pads ending in a petite tail-lamp, while the rear mudguard sticks out with considerable overhang.

Honda CBR1000RR houses a liquid-cooled, 999.8cc, in-line, four-stroke engine. It’s a motor with an integrated sump and sleeveless cylinder bank, these four sitting packed close together with nickel silicon carbide-plated bores. The 16-valve head is designed to be really compact, and piston construction has intentionally been kept light, to pave the way for really quick revving. This power plant uses dual sequential fuel-injection, precisely controlled via a nicely weighted throttle. The bike also makes use of a slipper clutch system that’s specially developed for the ’Blade – The system works to keep the shift smooth by sending power back in seamlessly after the shift, when a rider downshifts really aggressively from high rpm. This system works brilliantly in the real world, without being obtrusive in diluting the direct riding experience and allows for easy downshifts even when you simply lack good gear-shifting accuracy. And the CBR1000RR uses a cable-operated clutch and slick six-speed gearbox that shifts in a universal one-down-five-up pattern. High-speed performance is impressive with the power delivery furious, still ‘maska’ smooth and step-free all the way to the ’Blade’s 13k redline. There’s 174bhp made at 12000rpm, and 11.4kgm of torque that comes into play at 8500rpm. With a power wheelie at the beginning and ending at 130kph we recorded the best acceleration time from zero to 100kph in an astounding 3.56 seconds. And the ’Blade went on to crack 190kph in a blistering 7.62sec.

Once opened past 4000rpm the engine note takes on a gruff tone and unlimited power is at hand. Beyond 8000rpm it takes expert throttle modulation to keep this short wheelbase bike’s front wheel on the deck, but despite this the RR always has you feeling in control of the motorcycle.

Stuffed into a 1410mm wheelbase, the CBR1000RR never feels a full-blown 1000cc superbike. It’s just too compact for that, even with its largish-looking tank feeling nice and supportive between a rider’s thighs. The RR’s riding posture is just as uncomfortable as any other race-bred motorcycle with its aggressive riding stance. Its weight-forward riding position does well to load up the front end, but is a real palm-killer.

The bike uses a four-piece gravity die-cast frame. Front suspension is 43mm inverted telescopic forks, while the rear is brought up by Honda’s Pro-link system and a gas- charged monoshock, both of which are adjustable for preload, compression and rebound. A massive alloy swingarm holds up the rear. Braking comprises of a combined ABS system with radial-mounted four-piston front calipers chomping on 320mm twin discs up front, to haul the ’Blade from 100kph to rest in 46.71 metres.
The combined ABS system works so well that we could never feel it working. Handling is surprisingly light, and cornering ability was as sharp as we expected. An electronically adjusted steering damper made the CBR easier to steer at low speed, and progressively stiffened damping to keep us safe at high speeds.

ENGINE Petrol Petrol AT Diesel Diesel AT Electric
Fuel Petrol - - - -
Installation In-line four - - - -
Bore/stroke 76/ 55.1mm - - - -
Compression ratio 12.3: 1 - - - -
Valve gear 4 per cylinder, dohc - - - -
Power 174bhp at 12000rpm - - - -
Torque 11.4kgm at 8500rpm - - - -
Power to weight 874.3bhp per tonne - - - -
TRANSMISSION Petrol Petrol AT Diesel Diesel AT Electric
Type 6-speed - - - -
Gearbox 1-down, 5-up - - - -
BRAKES Petrol Petrol AT Diesel Diesel AT Electric
Front 320mm discs (ABS) - - - -
Rear 220mm disc (ABS) - - - -
SUSPENSION Petrol Petrol AT Diesel Diesel AT Electric
Front Upside-down telescopic forks - - - -
Rear Monoshock, alloy swingarm - - - -
Honda CBR 1000RR
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