2013 Honda CBR 1000 RR SuperbikeLast year, the Honda CBR Fireblade celebrated its 20th anniversary.
The literbike began life as a CBR900RR in 1992, and morphed into bigger and better models throughout the years.In 2000, the original 900 was replaced by the CBR929RR. The 929 survived until 2002, when Honda released the CBR954RR, a transitional bike that lasted another two model years.With pressure arriving from other manufacturers, most notably the Suzuki GSX-R1000 and Yamaha YZF-R1, Honda totally revised its Honda Fireblade, releasing the CBR1000RR in 2004 (the same year Kawasaki released the ZX-10R).Honda updated the bike in 2006, though the changes were subtle. The CBR1000RR would remain relatively unchanged until 2009, when Honda upgraded the CBR with an all-new, more powerful engine.And for the 2012 20th anniversary CBR1000RR, Honda provided the CBR1000RR with another major revision, this one centered around better handling over horsepower. The upgrades were highlighted by a Balance-Free Rear Shock, Big Piston Fork and new 12-spoke aluminum wheels.With such huge changes, nothing was needed for the 2013 model, which Honda offers as a carry-over. The only new options arrive in color choices: a Repsol Edition paint scheme, which pays homage to Honda’s factory MotoGP team colors, and a new White/Blue/Red color scheme, which appears similar to Honda’s World Superbike colors.Everything else on the 2013 model arrives as it did in 2012.Highlighting the CBR1000RR is the Balance-Free Rear Shock; the CBR1000RR was the first production motorcycle to use one.Honda explains: “In place of the conventional single-tube shock configuration, the Balance-Free Rear Shock design incorporates a double-tube design featuring a damper case plus an internal cylinder. The damper piston does not feature any valves; instead, the damping force is generated as displaced oil passes through a separate damping component.“In conventional rear shocks the damping force is generated in two places, the main and sub damping valves. In the Balance-Free Rear Shock, however, this action is handled in one circuit, allowing pressure changes to be controlled more smoothly by a larger body of oil. The net result is more responsive damping and a smoother, better-controlled damping action, particularly during the transition from compression to rebound.“As a result, the Balance-Free Rear Shock delivers more consistent damping over the duration of a ride, track session or race, improved shock absorption and greater traction since contact is more consistently maintained between the rear tire and the road or track surface. In addition, the adjusters for compression and rebound damping settings are placed prominently on the top of the shock body for quick and easy access.”For further chassis performance, Honda paired the Balance-Free Rear Shock with inverted, 43mm telescopic fork that features Showa’s Big Piston Fork technology. The fork uses a larger damping volume to effectively reduce the hydraulic pressure generated as the fork legs compress and extend.Honda says: “The result is more precise action during the initial stroke and smoother damping action, which the rider perceives as improved handling, enhanced front-end feedback and a more solid feel during hard braking.”The chassis was revamped to completely utilize all the mid-range horsepower and gobs of torque from the 999.8cc engine, which has revised fuel-injection settings for a more linear response.Honda has also added a layered fairing concept which assists in the aerodynamics of the Honda CBR1000RR. The redesigned fairing concept creates “a large still-air pocket around the rider while also helping draw air through the cooling system.” The CBR1000RR also features an integrated chin spoiler which not only adds an aggressive look, but also reduces aerodynamic lift at high speeds.Regarding the LCD instruments also got some upgrades; the Honda CBR 1000 RR features a lap timer and five-level shift indicator.Also, CBR buyers can opt for Honda’s Combined ABS braking system. But the C-ABS was upgraded for sport riding; now when the rear brake pedal is actuated, there’s less initial braking application from the front brake compared to the previous-generation setup, followed by more-progressive front-brake application as brake pedal pressure increases.Following are the highlights, specs, color options and MSRP for the 2013 Honda CBR1000RR.2013 Honda CBR 1000 RR Highlights:
New for 2013 – Standard model available in Red, Repsol Edition or White/Blue/Red. C-ABS model available in Black.
Unit Pro-Link rear suspension features a new, patented Balance-Free Rear Shock from Showa that incorporates a unique double-tube design featuring a damper case plus an internal cylinder for more responsive damping and a smoother, better-controlled damping action.
The 43mm fork incorporates Showa’s latest Big Piston Fork technology with a larger damping volume to effectively reduce the hydraulic pressure generated as the fork legs compress and extend. The result is more precise action during the initial stroke and smoother damping action, for improved handling, enhanced front-end feedback and a more solid feel during hard braking.
12-spoke cast aluminum wheels provide more consistent rigidity. Together with the new suspension, these wheels offer improved feedback for the rider.
Layered fairing design creates a large pocket of calm air around the rider to improve comfort while also helping draw air through the cooling system. An integrated chin spoiler in the nose also reduces aerodynamic lift to improve handling.
Multi-function LCD instruments communicate all important information plus the option of four readout modes for tachometer display, lap timer, five-level shift indicator, gear position indicator and more.
Revised fuel injection settings give the CBR1000RR a more linear response, particularly at smaller throttle openings.
Revisions to the optional electronic Combined ABS create a new bias toward sporting/track riding conditions during rear brake application.
Honda Genuine Accessories: Color-Matched Passenger Seat Cowl, Carbon-Fiber Accents, Carbon Fiber License Plate Frame, Outdoor Cycle Cover, “E-Cushion” Seat for greater comfort, Rear Tire Hugger, HRC Power-Up Kit for Racing (Track Use Only)
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This week, in the first segment Editor Don Williams talks to us about the new Kawasaki Versys 650 LT. It’s the middleweight ADV style machine that uses the same 650 parallel twin motor as the Ninja 650, so it’s an excellent performer in a user-friendly, good looking package.
In the second segment, I chat with one of my dearest industry friends—now retired Honda PR executive, Jon Seidel. Jon’s fascinating career spans some 30 years with Big Red, and gave him some great experiences with some incredible machines. I was fortunate enough to be invited on many of the press launches that he organized. His new project is documenting and saving many of the old archives from years gone by—and incidentally, if you have anything that may be of value to the project, please contact us by email at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll pass it all on to Jon.
So on that note, from all of us here at Ultimate Motorcycling, we hope you enjoy this episode!