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2009 Honda CBR1000RR Comparison Street

Monday, May 11, 2009
2009 Honda CBR1000RR - Winner
2009 Honda CBR1000RR Street Comparo
MSRP: $12,999
Curb Weight: 447 lbs.
Horsepower: 149.64 @ 10,700 rpm
Torque: 76.62 lb-ft @ 9600 rpm
Quarter Mile: 9.68 @ 138.8 mph
60 to 100 mph Roll On (fourth gear): 4.17 seconds
Top Speed: 183 mph
Average MPG: 33.1
Close your eyes for a moment and envision the perfect sportbike on the street. First, it would have to be fast - really, really fast - yet easy-to-ride. Because what’s the point of having a quick bike unless you can fully exploit it around every bend and on each straightaway? Last, it has to be comfortable. Because after all this is your perfect bike and you’re going to want to ride it every day, rain or shine, hot or cold because it is, in fact, perfect. Okay, you can open your eyes, close your computer screen and journey to the local Honda motorcycle dealership because they have one there right now - it’s called the 2009 Honda CBR1000RR.
 
Although last year’s champ returns to the party without any changes, other than new colors and its anti-lock braking system (ABS) option (which we tested on the 2009 Honda CBR600RR ABS during its first ride review), the CBR1000RR is still too good to be knocked from the top spot.
 
Although we’re not totally sold on its exterior profile, we are fans of its limited-edition Repsol Honda color scheme. No doubt some will complain it looks gaudy, but for any true motorcycle racing fan, it looks like you’re riding the same Repsol Honda MotoGP bike as Dani Pedrosa and Andrea Dovizioso - only with bright headlights, working rear view mirrors and an especially quiet exhaust. In fact next to the Ducati and Yamaha it garners the most attention at a stop light.
 
Hop aboard the CBR and you can’t help but notice its diminutive size - the most compact feeling motorcycle in this test. It also ties the Ducati for being the most svelte despite making use of the second largest fuel tank (4.7 gallon capacity). With a full tank of premium unleaded fuel the Honda comes in at 447 lbs ready to ride. Even if it’s still not down to the weight and overall size of a brand-new 600cc supersport, it’s certainly getting closer.
2009 Honda CBR1000RR Street Comparo
A liter-class motorcycle doesn't get any more agile than Honda's 2009 CBR1000RR

 
Despite its compact dimensions, the riding position isn’t cramped, even for a rider with above-average height. Everything, including the position of the handlebars, seat and footpegs, are laid out in an ergonomically correct manner, which proves to be the ideal balance between sport and comfort.
 
“Of all the motorcycles in this test the CBR is easily the most comfortable,” confirms Kenny. “It sounds like everyone seemed to fit it from our tall riders to the shorter ones and that’s pretty impressive in this day and age. Also, it just seems to work the best on the street of all these bikes. It’s comfortable, fast and the suspension is always rider-friendly no matter how screwed up the road is.” 
 
Push the starter button and the Honda fires up and settles right into idle. Lift the kickstand and the Honda’s light weight is noticeable. In fact, its mass deficiency translates into scooter-like nimbleness during parking lot maneuvers. Yet as speed increases the Honda doesn’t lose a bit of its agility. It turns from side-to-side the easiest and is by far the most-easy bike to manhandle during aggressive rides.
 
Most times agility comes at the price of overall stability, but that’s not the case with the CBR. With its high-tech and completely unobtrusive Honda Electronic Steering Damper (HESD) headshake is a non-factor, no matter how rough the pavement.

2009 Honda CBR1000RR Street Comparo
Curvy roads, straight roads, dirt roads. Nothing can stop the Honda CBR1000RR from delivering a comfortable yet entertaining ride.
“It really comes down to the Suzuki and the Honda for me,” says Wallace. “The Suzuki does everything well, but the Honda just does it a tad bit better. I don’t know about it being the better track bike but on the street it really is the best.”

Although it is difficult to notice without riding each motorcycle back-to-back, next to the Ducati, the Honda has by far the shortest first gear of the bunch, thus ensuring a quick escape from stop lights. Shifting to second reveals the Honda transmission’s accuracy, although it isn’t quite as refined as the ultra-precise Yamaha’s.

Like the Kawasaki, the Honda’s bottom-end power is on the mellow side, which makes it less intimidating for an inexperienced rider. Although the Honda doesn’t make use of any fancy power delivery gizmos, like the Suzuki and Yamaha drive mode selectors, if you keep the revs below 6000 rpm and short shift the engine, it feels quite similar to the CBR1000RR’s little bro, the CBR600RR.
 
But don’t let the Honda’s soft bottom-end power fool you. Find a stretch of open road and wick up the throttle and if you are anywhere near the CBR’s copious mid-range, the bike charges forward unlike any other in this test - no doubt a combination of shorter final drive gearing and copious amount of mid-range power. Just look at the hard numbers: The CBR was the only motorcycle to break the coveted 10-second mark in the quarter mile, coming in at 9.68 seconds at a speed of 138.8 mph. It also recorded the fastest 60 to 100 mph roll-on time (measured in fourth gear) of 4.17 seconds. That’s nearly a half-second faster than its closest competitor.
With upwards of 76 lb-ft of engine torque  spinning the rear tire is a simple affair.
With upwards of 76 lb-ft of engine torque, spinning the rear tire is a simple affair.

 
While the Honda’s mid-range power proves to be more potent, when you spin the engine up to its 13,000 rpm redline, it doesn’t have the same vicious acceleration sensation as the top-end biased Kawasaki and Suzuki. It’s very close, however, and a side-effect of that shorter gearing which pays such huge dividends at the drag strip or the roll-on tests.
 
“It may not have the ultimate top end but it does have the ultimate mid-range and that’s where the power needs to be,” says Hutch. “On the street the CBR brings serious heat. It’s light, powerful and easy to ride. In terms of big performance sportbikes, it just doesn’t get much better than this.”
 
Of all the bikes in the comparison, in terms of overall comfort and ride quality the Honda is truly on another level. While there is still some vibration at freeway speeds it isn’t enough to cloud the view from the Honda’s decent-sized rear view mirrors. It’s also super quiet. While that might be a turn-off to a potential buyer, the Honda is the bike for high-performance in a low-key package. Just make sure not to get it in the ‘hey, look at me!’ Repsol colors. While plus sized riders might get annoyed by its lack of wind protection, especially when compared against the Suzuki, for the vast majority of riders there isn’t a liter-class sportbike as comfortable as the CBR.
 
While the Honda wears the smallest-looking front brake calipers, the CBR is just as proficient at braking as it is in every other category. While each superbike’s braking capabilities are awesome, the Honda’s are our favorite.

The 2009 Honda CBR1000RR has the most comfortable cockpit for riders both short and tall.
The 2009 Honda CBR1000RR's instrument display is nearly perfect. All it needs now is a gear position indicator and a larger programmable shift light.
Adding to the CBR’s long list of street credentials is its clear and legible instruments. An oversized orange backlit tachometer is flanked by a digital display that provides, speed and trip functions in addition to engine coolant temperature and other warning lights. However, the Honda doesn’t have a gearshift position indicator and the shift light is way too small and can’t really be seen when needed.
 
The Honda’s top-shelf overall performance will cost you. Despite returning with zero updates the 2009 CBR1000RR will set you back $12,999. That’s $1000 more than last year and makes the Honda the most expensive Japanese superbike. The new ABS upcharge is another $1000, which pushes an ABS-equipped CBR1000RR to $13,999. But excellence certainly has its price and if you want the best, more often than not you have to fork out the most.

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2009 Honda CBR1000RR Specs
Like the Suzuki our testers had mixed opinions in regards to the Hondas styling.
Engine: Liquid-cooled 999cc Inline-Four, 16-valves
Bore and Stroke: 76 x 55.1mm
Compression Ratio: 12.3:1
Fuel Delivery: Dual Stage Fuel Injection
Clutch: Wet multi-plate slipper clutch; Cable actuation
Transmission: Six-speed; chain final drive
Frame: Twin spar aluminum
Front Suspension: 43mm Showa inverted fork; 3-way adjustable for spring preload, compression and rebound; 4.3 in. travel
Rear Suspension: Pro-Link equipped Showa gas-charged shock; 3-way adjustable for spring preload, compression and rebound; 5.4 in. travel
Front Brakes: 320mm discs with radial-mount Tokico four-piston calipers
Rear Brake: 220mm disc with twin-piston caliper
Tires: Bridgestone BT-016; 120/70R17, 190/55R17
Curb Weight: 447 lbs
Wheelbase: 55.4 in.
Rake: 23.3 deg. Trail: 3.7 in.
Seat Height: 32.3 in.
Fuel Capacity: 4.7 gallons Average MPG: 33.1
MSRP: $12,999; ABS $13,999
Colors: Black; Pearl White/Light Silver Metallic; Repsol Edition
Warranty: One year unlimited mileage

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Comments
steve -Honda CBR 1000RR  August 6, 2010 12:29 PM
If you need a gear indicator to tell you if your in the right gear, maybe you should try snorkling. I just rtest drove all the new litre bikes and liked the Honda the best. It's a hell of a bike.
CG -funny stuff but really...  May 6, 2010 11:01 AM
some of you internet guys are clowns. Who cares what these magazines say? Really if you think the R1 is better than another machine that is faster in US spec form get it. The R1 is slightly better in Europe, that doesn't change the fact that it has the same weight. Also why would you guys cite MotoGP as a tell tell sign of who's got the best bike? Those are purpose built machines you should be looking at the superstock 1000 fim cup. AND the BMW is crushing that class right now as no surprise with 176 HP at the wheel in stock form. The Honda is clearly the best of the Japanese Literbikes in US spec, and the standings are as such:

BMW 75
Honda 53
Suzuki 45
Yamaha 27
KTM 20

http://www.worldsbk.com/en/home.html

Stop being fanboys....
George -Gear shifter  March 12, 2010 02:15 PM
Gear shifter? Been riding for over twenty years and never had the need of a gear indicator.Learn your rpms.
George -CBR 1000RR  March 12, 2010 02:03 PM
I like very much the looks of the CBR, specially the front end!!! Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder, you can tell it's a cbr right away and different from the other liter bikes.
Ehhh.... -?  December 22, 2009 09:14 PM
Bike is as ugly as the backside of an elephant, but has ergonomics like a dream. Sits very well and comfortable. Can't get past the looks though... :( P.S. Used to own a 2007 CBR1000 and loved it. Honda produces a great machine. They should tweak the front end a little and it would be a hot bike. Purely my opinion.
Chris -Races Bikes heavy modified are not same as stock  December 9, 2009 11:34 AM
Jerry i gess u drive yahahahahahaha
kawasaki and suzuki riders suck big time , put valentino or lorenzo or pedrosa on a kawasaki, or suzuki and u will see how it's gows for yamahahahaha ex motor GP its a totally diferent world of a bike those tests are stock and quite accurate
.Ps the bike will newer make the rider don't forget that Jerry
;)

Daniel Vasconcelos - BRASIL -Honda...  November 29, 2009 08:42 PM
Go Honda! CBR 1000 RR HRC 2009 my favourite.
kinggator2 -Honda cbr1000r  November 26, 2009 09:04 AM
I think it's funny how everyone trashes everyone else's taste. People like what they like, and that's okay. Besides, isn't it a little odd telling Honda they ought to change the front of their bike so it looks like all the others? If you like the way the others look, buy one of them! Yeesh. One thing about the gear position indicator: In 1985 I bought a new Suzuki GS700ES that had one, and I'll never forget one of the magazine reviews said something along the lines of "what the hell is this for? I don't care what gear I'm in as long as it's the right one!" Made sense to me then, makes sense to me now.
DanY -HellWithHonda  November 11, 2009 08:21 PM
These MUSA guys crack me up. Its the european spec R1 thats beatin the s**t outta ur precious Honda and bla-bla bikes incase u havnt noticed outside US-mags!! It was and it'l be Yamaha 4m '98 that changed the story for superbikes and the R1 is the only good thing that makes you feel special among the commoners. Who cares for the comments,though they got a thing ri8 here,about the 21st Century styling. U guys do crack with Honda for all the time,so crack yourselves up.....!
Jerry -The R1 is the clear cut winner, it dominated the world in racing this year 2009  November 7, 2009 09:18 AM
The r1 dominated the world this year in racing, Second in the usless watered down AMA superbike league, The r1 Won world superbike championship, british superbike championship, dutch superbike championship, 24 hrs endurance the list goes on and on......R6 won the world supersport championship, M1 won first and second place in MOTOGP championship, what happend to Suzuki gixxer1k, honda cbr100rr, and kawasaki zx-10r and ducati 1198? i don't see any of them winning any championships hmmm makes you wonder how these guys tested these bikes? Watch i bet you guys will come up with excuses to why your favorite brand bike didn't win any championships this year, don't feel bad,honda, suzuki, and kawasaki, ducati got an azz whooping by yamaha this year too, the r1 and R6 are too good of bikes. come on let's hear the excuses now....

Don Fournier -Gear indicator opinion.  November 3, 2009 07:33 PM
I could be wrong, but when I'm getting down, I'm focused on the road, not the bells and whistles. As far as the price is concerned, sounds like maybe the bike is that good. How many people need a tighter bike on the street? Then maybe the FZ1 insurance is alot lower. I know my Bandit insurance was alot less. Do you need 150hp? or is 100 enough? You can lose your license with a Ninja 500. I know it's a tease for me. I've been lucky with a quiet exhaust system, but maybe it's just a matter of time before I have to pay the piper. Don
RCDAVE -Rep  October 18, 2009 03:03 PM
Love the bike, I miss my RC-51 but this is the next best thing, With out a doubt the best bike I have ridden in 47 years. If ya havent had a chance to really ride one, do it. Anyone that I have let ride my bike comes back saying Holy Shiz. that thing handles like a 600, But it has a ton of poewer. The mid range is awesome and the numbers dont lie! And the Nose? The R-1 is friggen ugly as hell
KM -Honda for Life  October 13, 2009 08:19 PM
Here is the deal, if you want the best buy a Honda. I have a Suzuki and a honda and they are both good bikes; but when it come to a bike thats stable, reliable, and fast as he** under any conditions my 2008 CBR1000RR takes the cake hands down.
matty -looks  September 18, 2009 07:51 AM
I'm sure you will all say something is terribly wrong with my taste but I think the honda Looks much better than any of the other bikes with the exception of the Ducati. I really do not like the overly angular and long pointy noses of the other bikes. I probably am biased as I own 3 Honda motorcycles and 1 Kawasaki. I still think Honda hit a home run with this bike. That said how can anyone go wrong with any of them. I think back to my 94 cbr 900rr, which I thought was great at the time and it may as well an 883 sportster among this group.
Wayne arless rhodes -cbr1000rr/ FZ1  August 12, 2009 11:45 AM
Ive decided to buy a Yamaha FZ1, right now the 2008's are on sale I've seen $7,194 + $95.00 otd. and a much more comfortable street ride. and 150 bhp @ 11000 rpm @ 78.2 ft. lbs. torque @ 8000 rpm 485 pounds with all fluids and a full tank of super unleaded. and 10:60's at 137 mph in the quarter mile.it wont out run a sport bike but will keep up with a super sport. don't get me twisted I would love to have the Honda but if I had the Honda i would not ride it as much as the more comfortable Yamaha. so there it is I'm 55 years old so go figure.WR
Wayne arless rhodes -2009 cbr1000rr  August 11, 2009 06:02 AM
right now you can go down to your local Honda dealer, and buy a brand new 2008 cbr1000rr for $8,194.00 plus $95.00. everything else is included and that's out the door prices. I also considered the FZ1 Yamaha for roughly the same money for a 2009 and for $7,199.00 the left over 2008 FZ1 Yamaha models.at my age 55 I wont something that's fast and comfortable. something I can take a long trip on and not fill like my back is broken after the long trip. If I was twenty years younger I would not even consider the Yamaha I would go straight for the Honda. and after i sit on a new cbr1000rr and if it fill's right then I'm getting the Honda.WR
Ghost Rider -Sick of high prices and still incomplete packages  August 10, 2009 09:27 PM
The honda cbr1000 is on top of every shootout. I don't get it. Why did honda put a integrated turn signals up front but not on the back. And the round pudgy front could easily be changed. Why don't they do it. It looks like a smaller version of whats on the goldwings. Really look at the two. Honda may ride the best but you guys said they are all really close of one another. How bet a rating for conviences. Suzuki has it all. Honda can't seem to put a gear indicator on their bikes and none of them offer a fuel guage. Did they fortget that oh 99% of people who buy these bikes buy them to ride on the street with maybe some occasionally going to the track. Need more features. If you don't think you need a gear position indicator than you are not focusing enough on the road. It's a convience and a necessity for the street. Flash to pass, hazards all stuff that aids in overall convience for the ROAD. Quit acting like you are a track star. You're not. And all these bikes are becoming seriously overpriced. 1k bikes should not cost more than $10k. That is just rediculous the prices on all bikes. 600's now cost $10k and that's just the msrp. Then you have to deal with the dealerships BS add on prices which is a joke in itself. $700 for freight, cars don't cost that much to ship. HONDA - lower the price substantially and redesign the front and tail and you will have a hot seller. Add a stinkin fuel guage like on your 600s and get a gear indicator and someone out there please get both lights to stay on and have a highbeam like on cars. I'm sick of the pop eye look.
crazy face -hondacbr100rr  July 13, 2009 07:04 PM
faith fun
KG -why are you on a liter bike....  July 7, 2009 06:02 PM
if you haven't learned when to shift yet? For all you visual people that need shift lights and indicators, put up, shut up.. or...here's a crazy idea.. use the TACHOMETER and your brain! squids with too much money and not enough ability is what it sounds like to me. In all honesty, if you need to constantly be looking at your dash to see what your bikes doing, you've no business on a 150hp bike even if the dash is lit up like satans christmas tree. If you don't trust your skill enough or have the ability to match revs or modulate the clutch your nothing more than a casket with handlebars on ANY liter bike, don't knock Honda for that.
Paul -Gear Indicator  June 10, 2009 10:02 PM
To accelerate shift up and to decelerate shift down. Too busy looking around curve to see what gear i'm in. I wanted one so bad on my 600,to stop shifting into 7th,but have found out it would've been a waste in practice,for me.My accessories manager,"to accelerate shift up and to decelerate shift down".
Paul -CBR1000RR:REPSOL  June 10, 2009 09:49 PM
Rode mine across Glendora Mountain Ridge Road 4 days after purchasing it and rode way above my skill level. Everything works predictably,smoothly,quietly and very powerfully! Traded in a 2007 CBR600RR(white),which could be rolled on to the stop in 6th and just let it fly. Not so with this one:3/4 of a turn will bring you to the threshold of WARP 9 and you can,in a very well composed state,choose to continue or decline. Oh,and the Repsol colors camouaflage the flattened nose. I've heard a stock model beat a race prepped model from the competition,had it confirmed by an Honda r&d rep. and now see it top the shootout again! The 2008 was growing on me in yellow and when my store had a Repsol at an unbelieveable price,it was a done deal. I know I don' have the most fashionable,biggest,heaviest!,latest or baddest technology.I do have a bike that will perform way beyond my skill level and have plenty of room to grow in personal competence.
Vanny -GSI  June 1, 2009 12:46 AM
WOW!!! didn't think that asking for a gear shift indicator on a 150hp sport bike was to mush to ask for. I am a visual person and like that red number for clairification of what gear i'm in. I have a GI-PRO ATRE on my suzuki and consider it one of the best mods I did. YES hands down the Honda has always been the ugliest, boring machines going. Owning a Superbike should be like owning a pet tiger, it is all fun and games until they remember they are a tiger and can rip your face off (just as Sigfred and Roy) Just put a GSI in place for the extra grand or is the name Honda simply worth the extra Benjamins...
Scott -This Comparo  May 29, 2009 09:04 PM
Wait...Let me check...Yep; Still prefer the 2004-2005 ZX-10R. The first hardcore literbike. PS - Does ANYONE think the Honda is not the ugliest bike period???
RepsolRobin -What?  May 28, 2009 11:38 AM
You guys want gear shift lights, and the bike to tell you what gear its in. I suppose you'd like the ABS brakes, slipper clutches and maybe an air bag. How about we just make the bike drive itself so you you can just sit there and not think at all. Riding is about the human being and the bike becoming one. You feel the road with the front end, you brake, accelerate, down shift, corner, listen to the engine for shifting and actually remember what gear your in. That's what riding is all about. Take all that away and you may as well be riding in a self propelled wheel chair. Keep my bike under my complete control I say.
Miffy -...  May 21, 2009 11:09 AM
I don't get it why do you need a Gear shift indicator? I don't get it you should know what gear you're in and when to shift.........
Vanny -FUGLY!!  May 21, 2009 03:11 AM
I love the read and was suprised by the results, I wouldn't get the Honda just because it is really unfortunate looking, looks like it was hit in the nose with a shovel. Second, the nerve of Honda raising the price by a grand for an unchanged bike...it doesn't make any sense!! I also agree that a gear shift indicator is important.
Miffy -...  May 19, 2009 09:42 AM
I just hate the indicator on the Mirrors trend because I always take my mirrors off as I prefer to look over my shoulder and they look ugly. Wish they built the mirrors into the fairing like Kawasaki did with the 600.
Miffy -...  May 19, 2009 09:39 AM
Why do you need a Gear Position indicator? You should know what gear it's in.........
EP -Gears! Gears! Gears!  May 14, 2009 01:48 AM
I demand a gear-position indicator, Big Red.
Matt -Honda CBR1000RR  May 13, 2009 02:32 AM
Well done Honda. This bike is awesome. If only the front end was a bit more attractive you would haveone of the best bikes in looks as well as performance. Price is a bit of a worry though.