Last week Motorcycle News (MCN) reported that they got some new details on the upcoming CBR1000RR that Honda is currently developing. Since then we’ve seen the release of the CBR250RR in Indonesia amid much enthusiasm on social media and from motorcycle blogs and news sites. This led us to do a bit of digging ourselves and though we don’t have the connections that MCN has, we have one person we know that is related to a senior technician at Honda America. This technician although isn’t part of the development team has friends that work directly with that team. So take what we’re reporting with a grain of salt since we’re talking “someone that knows someone that said blah blah blah.” They’re still in the early developmental phase and although high level details have been hashed out, other things are more ephemeral and can change throughout this process.
When asked about details of the new 2018 CBR1000RR we were told that what MCN reported is accurate at this point in time. Regarding ABS and traction control Bosch electronics were cited again. This is not surprising since Bosch ABS, traction control and the IMU are pretty much a requirement on modern liter bikes. Horsepower is estimated to be from 180-200hp and kept in check with multiple rider modes. The bump in horsepower is to keep it competitive but the major focus is not on horsepower but balance. Anyone who’s been a fan of Honda products will roll their eyes and probably close this article. People often lament that most Honda products do not focus on one specific attribute and most that pilot these vehicles speak nothing of praises with a slight gripe about horsepower. Other’s complain about character but we chalk that up to it not having orbital capable acceleration like the BMW S1000RR. Weight is another area Big Red will be looking to reduce. Combined with a bump in horsepower, this would put the new Fireblade on par with their countryman rival, Yamaha’s YZF-R1 and Kawasaki’s World Superbike dominating ZX10-R. The other aspect they commented on was the design. Expect to see more design cues from the CBR250RR especially since the overall reception of that bike was positive. We were told to look at the current Suzuka 8hr Endurance race for an idea about the front. Those LED headlights aren’t on there by accident. MCN’s article stated don’t expect a revolution as much as an evolution and if you follow Nicky Hayden on Instagram you were treated to this:
While there’s no photo’s of Michael van Der Mark piloting his face-lifted CBR1000RR yet, there is a photo of Aegerter Dominique riding his Technomag sponsored Honda with the same headlight update. There’s even an video! Active suspension is most likely reserved for a middling trim level much like the Ducati Panigale 1299S or Yamaha’s top of the line YZF-R1M. Expect to see a true color TFT dash like that found on the YZF-R1/M as well.
So there you have it. Someone that knew someone that knows someone corroborated the MCN article that was published last week. If we’re going to glean anything from that information, expect to see something visually sharper and more pronounced like the 2017 CBR250RR. Given Honda’s penchant with anime styled bikes like the CBR250RR and this interesting tidbit from Honda, we may have a clearer picture of what to expect with the 2018 Honda CBR1000RR.