2017 Honda CBR1000RR SP | First Look Review

For 2017, Honda's flagship CBR1000RR SP gets a full electronics package, more power and less weight.
For 2017, Honda’s flagship CBR1000RR SP gets a full electronics package, more power and less weight.

Honda’s flagship sportbike, the CBR1000RR SP, has undergone a major redesign for 2017, resulting in 10 more horsepower, a 33-pound weight reduction and a 14-percent improvement in power-to-weight.

The new model also honors the 25th anniversary of the liter-class CBR line, which was introduced in 1992 with the first CBR900RR and evolved over the years according to a holistic “Total Control” design approach that focused on cornering, acceleration and braking. Equipped with a cutting-edge electronics package, the new CBR1000RR SP goes further, adhering to the “Next Stage Total Control” concept and offering significant improvements in handling and acceleration, says Honda.

Honda has shaved an incredible 33 pounds off of the CBR1000RR SP, reducing curb weight to 430 pounds (claimed, European spec).
Honda has shaved an incredible 33 pounds off of the CBR1000RR SP, reducing curb weight to 430 pounds (claimed, European spec).

“Since their debut, CBR liter bikes have been designed to perform in the real world, the way real customers use them,” said Lee Edmunds, Manager of Motorcycle Marketing Communications at American Honda. “We’re pleased to unveil the 2017 CBR1000RR SP, which follows in that same tradition by providing a superbly balanced package with our best power-to-weight ratio ever. It works incredibly well on track and, even more importantly, is both exhilarating and uniquely rewarding to ride out on the open road.”

The CBR1000RR SP has received a vast array of improvements, including some that come straight from the MotoGP-derived RC213V-S. Electronics play a big role, including semi-active Öhlins Electronic Control suspension (S-EC), plus a number of rider aids built around a five-axis Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU; it calculates to a sixth axis), such as Honda Selectable Torque Control (HSTC), wheelie control, slide control and lean angle-sensitive ABS with rear-lift control. It has throttle-by-wire, a five-level Power Selector (for on-the-fly adjustment of riding modes, HSTC and suspension electronics), adjustable engine braking and a quickshifter with an auto-blipper for clutchless up- and downshifts.

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Generous use of lightweight materials like magnesium and titanium helped Honda reduce weight significantly.
Generous use of lightweight materials like magnesium and titanium helped Honda reduce weight significantly.

Power and torque have been increased through a higher compression ratio and revised cam timing, while a magnesium oil pan and engine covers, a titanium muffler, a titanium fuel tank (a first on a mass-production motorcycle) and a lithium-ion battery reduce weight and improve mass centralization. The twin-spar aluminum frame’s rigidity balance has been finely adjusted, the swingarm is stiffer and weight has been taken out of the frame, subframe and swingarm. Brembo Monobloc four-piston front brake calipers use high-performance track-ready brake pads, while a narrower radiator and new bodywork achieve a slimmer profile. Cast aluminum wheels now have a five-spoke design (down from six), which lowers weight and improves stability. A first on a Honda, the full-color thin-film-transistor (TFT) liquid crystal meter features Street, Circuit and Mechanic displays and is designed to be less intrusive for the rider.

Not only has weight been reduced and mass been centralized, but new bodywork makes the CBR1000RR SP slimmer as well.
Not only has weight been reduced and mass been centralized, but new bodywork makes the CBR1000RR SP slimmer as well.

In addition to the CBR1000RR SP, Honda is also offering a competition-focused, limited-production CBR1000RR SP2, which comes with larger valves and lighter forged-aluminum Marchesini wheels. A line of accessories will be available, and qualified racers will have access to special HRC racing parts for the SP2.

The CBR1000RR SP/2 will be available in special HRC Tri-Color livery, with the SP arriving in March 2017 (price should be less than $20,000) and the SP2 arriving in May 2017 (price should be less than $25,000).

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