It looks like Honda is bringing an all-new show-stopper to EICMA this year in the form of a wholly revised 2019 Honda CBR1000RR. Along with a completely revamped chassis and bodywork, Honda’s top-flight superbike is getting more power from a new engine. Some are speculating that engine will be a V4 but more concrete reports suggest a traditional inline-four with a possible bump in displacement.
Drawing on experience from MotoGP and World SuperBike championships, Honda is completely revamping its halo liter-bike, focusing on both a new chassis from the ground up and more aerodynamic fairings to keep it grounded under acceleration. If putting aerodynamics on a motorcycle to keep it planted reeks of overkill, keep in mind the new inline-four powerplant, which might see an increase to 1,100cc or even 1,200cc, is expected to produce around 212 horsepower. On a bike that only weighs a hair over 400lbs, you’ll need extra help to keep from taking flight. Moreso, the new swell in power is around 15-20 over the current model — that’s astronomical in motorcycle-math — and right around the power mark where the Ducati Panigale V4S plays.
While hopes of the CBR100RR of getting a more powerful V4 engine are all but dashed, other reports suggest the V4 is coming to life in an all-new bike named the RVF1000R, which will be designed with light weight as the top priority over outright power.
It’ll be interesting to see how this new generation of apex-predator sport bikes develops with more and more riders gravitating towards smaller more approachable and versatile motorcycles. That’s not to say the liter-bike’s place in history is disappearing. Quite the opposite: there will always be a need for brands to show off their latest and greatest tech and advancements by bringing them off the race track and on to public roads. Scramblers and cafe racers might have the culture spotlight now, but superbikes are and always will be the contenders in the global pissing contest.
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