2004 Honda CBR1000RR Motorcycle First Ride: Gettin' it On

The latest big sportbike from Honda, the CBR1000RR, is a motorcycle carrying 150 Prancing Ponies

Judging by this image (from Japan's Auto By magazine), Honda's replacement for the CBR954RR will indeed be a large-displacement-and far more powerful-version of the CBR600RR, just as we reported in our March 2003 issue (page 36).

This next-generation Honda open-classer (known as the RCB1000, but which will likely be called the CBR1000RR here in America) will form the basis of Big Red's re-energized efforts in Superbike racing beginning next year. Like the CBR600RR, the 1000RR uses a host of trickle-down GP technology, including RC211V-like bodywork/aerodynamics and Unit Pro Link rear suspension. An entirely new inline-four will provide motivation, and sources tell us the 1000RR's rear-wheel output will "at least" equal that of even the new Suzuki GSX-R1000, rumored to develop roughly 150 rear-wheel horsepower (vs. 145 hp for the '02 GSX-R).

This, of course, means goodbye to the venerable CBR900RR-spec machines that, when first introduced in late '91 (the first 900RR was an early release '93 model), dramatically redefined the sportbike landscape. We've written this before, but it's a fact that the CBR-RR concept was originally a 750-class machine, and was in late prototype stage when the decision was made to build an open-classer on the same platform-thus the 750-like bore dimension (and long stroke) of the CBR900RR engine.