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2001 Honda CBR 929RR

Friday, November 22, 2002
2001 Honda CBR 929RR
2001 Honda CBR 929RR
The RR Evolves

The Honda CBR 929RR is already something of a legend in motorcycling terms. First introduced back in February 1992 it set a new benchmark in the sports bike market. It took the evolution of the sports motorcycle, started by Kawasaki on the GPZ900R and continued by Suzuki with the GSX-R series and Yamaha with the FZR1000. But this bike went to a whole new dimension. Both those bikes had to some extent redefined sports motorcycling, with more power and less weight. But the 929 leaped ahead of them, it wasn't just evolution, it was revolution.

I remember riding the first RR, the thing was a little rocket. It was small, light and very fast. It was also very exciting to ride with its slightly unruly manners. It didn't handle badly, and it wasn't an effort to ride in the way that the old style universal Japanese motorcycles (UJM) had been, but it sure took some commitment to handle the fierce power and the rather flappy feel of the front end. To be fair on the original Fireblade, much of its front-end problems stemmed from the fact that the front tire spent so little time in full contact with the pavement that it was just bound to shake its head a bit. And many owners found that a little expert twiddling with suspension setup, or failing that a steering damper, cured the wildness completely. As Honda evolved the model things calmed down significantly, maybe too much for some owners who actually liked the wild 'just-released-from-the-lunatic-ward' manners.

Released for the 2000 season, the latest incarnation of this revered machine, the 929 Fireblade, is supposed to take the old gun on a few more steps. Enough hoped Honda, to regain the ground that they lost to Yamaha and the superb R1. But did the package of suspension tweaks, frame alterations and fuel injection, which essentially made the 929 an all-new version of the CBR, do enough? There's only one way to find out, ride it.

The 929RR taken in isolation would be a very satisfying sport bike. It has loads of power, more than ever before, and top notch handling. I noticed a little tendency to shake its head when exiting fast corners (on the road where the surface tends to be poorer) and at times this got bad enough to force me to back off the throttle just a little to avoid disaster. You wouldn't notice this behavior unless you were demanding the 929's all, but then why buy a sport bike if you don't intend to explore the limits of its performance? I'd have liked to have tried the bike on different tires, as I'm not a huge fan of the stock Bridgstones, they have plenty of grip, as do most tires nowadays, but they're not, in my opinion, as stable at the ragged edge as the Michelins or Dunlops of the same class.

The 929RR taken in isolation would be a very satisfying sports bike. It has loads of power  more than ever before  and top notch handling.
The 929RR taken in isolation would be a very satisfying sports bike. It has loads of power, more than ever before, and top notch handling.
The brakes on the 929RR are brilliant, and the front forks cope with them well, never bottoming out even when used really hard. Whatever speed you're braking down from the front end stays planted and continues to soak up road irregularities. This is the reason why bikes don't have 'funny' or alternative front ends nowadays the technicians have made telescopics work so well there's no need to replace them anymore. The Honda's front forks are great for the street, although my recent ride on the new Suzuki GSX-R1000K has shown me that there's better still available. No doubt Honda noted this and we'll see similar trick coated tubes on the much-rumored next-generation CBR that might just make an appearance at Milan's big show in Fall. At the rear there's an equally good brake and a pretty good shock too – these modern sportbikes really do have plenty enough in the handling and stopping department for the average rider.

The Honda does lose out on power to its competition, even the GSX-R750 that I rode the week after I had the 929 felt more powerful, with only a little less torque, which surprised me for a bike that gave away nearly 200cc's. The Suzuki also seemed to have the edge on top speed, although I didn't have a chance to speed trap the Honda and Suzuki to compare them scientifically.

Hop off the Blade and onto the R1 and you'll see that the Yam has the edge on all-round power, it has more throttle response lower down, needing fewer revs to get it going. The Honda needs more use of the gearbox to keep it boiling, the Suzuki GSX-R 750 a bit more again, but the new game GSX-R1000 sets a whole new standard in the 'power-anywhere-anytime'. So Honda will have to do their homework if they want to keep up with Suzuki.

One area where Honda have always been ahead is in quality of finish. The Honda's a very well put together motorcycle and there's no history of problems with the 929, although the early ones, the CBR900 RR-N did get a bit of a reputation in the UK for flaky finishing. The RR-P version, launched in November 92 (in the UK) seemed to have addressed that problem. The latest RR is well thought out, it's comfortable for a sport bike, almost verging on being a useful touring motorcycle. The bars are low enough for sports riding at your local racetrack and yet high enough to make road riding a reasonable proposition even for long distances. I rode the 929RR for 250 miles, which included 15 miles in heavy London traffic, without cursing its ergonomics too much. That's no mean feat for a bike that can scratch with the best.

The CBR929RR s twin-spar extruded aluminum frame features a pivotless swingarm  providing an exceptionally light design at 380lbs.
The CBR929RR's twin-spar extruded aluminum frame features a pivotless swingarm, providing an exceptionally light design at 380lbs.
Faults? This is a difficult subject. Bikes are just so good nowadays that finding fault always verges on nit-picking. And often you can only fault one bike by comparing it with a rival bike that's just that little bit better. I have to sound off about the reserve capacity though. On one ride out on the 929 I noticed the fuel warning light while pretty deep in the countryside, and some way from the nearest filling station. But I'm used to being able to get up to 40 miles out of the reserve tank on my own Yamaha Thunderace, so I expected more than the 10 miles it took the 929 to dump me, absolutely out of gas, on a country road late one evening. And can someone tell me why four bikers rode past without stopping, while two car drivers pulled up, one with a can full of gas to rescue me? What happened to the old days when stopping at the side of the road on a motorcycle was as good a way as any to make new biker buddies?

The CBR isn't without warts, worst of which is the nervous feel of the front end, which isn't absolutely right. Exiting fast bends on the throttle the bars would flap, much like on the early 900RR. I had to constantly roll off the throttle to stop the thing heading for the bushes. As long as you metered the throttle, and kept your weight well over the front end, it wasn't a problem, but it could catch the unwary, or inexperienced, rider out. It needs a steering damper at the very least, and reworked forks wouldn't go amiss.

So why should you buy a 929RR when the magazines are all saying that the Suzuki is top of the sport bike tree, and the R1 is probably in second spot?

Well, first reason would be you like your bikes with Honda on the tank, because you like the security that gives you. They make them well at Honda and they always look after you if you should have a problem. Or maybe you want to be different? Who'd have thought you'd be able to say that about a 929? From 1992 to the late Nineties when the R1 started to dominate the sports bike sales, the CBR was a bike you'd be sure to see whenever you took a ride out to any biker hang out, and in numbers. Nowadays the 929 version is actually somewhat scarce compared to the hordes of R1s and the ever increasing bands of GSX-R1Ks roaming the roads.

Honda knows they have been aced by the R1 and the GSX-R. And that's a situation you can be sure they won't allow to continue for too long. There's sure to be a host of designers and engineers working away on their Cad-Cam machines as I write this, developing the next version of the legendary CBR to come and grind the upstarts into the racetrack curbing. Until then, the 929 remains the Japanese open class bike to have if you really don't want a Yamaha or Suzuki.
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Troy Prentice -Honda CBR 929rr  January 15, 2011 12:46 PM
Dont worry about anything going wrong with your ride, enjoy it! just make sure to keep your fluids up to par and you should not have an issue, besides you only spent 2g, so not much to loose anyways. If you do have any problems, go to www.bikebandit.com and look under there OEM section of there products and you could purchase every single item if you wanted to build a brand new CBR 929.
ST. NICK -929  January 14, 2011 11:32 AM
Sick RR -cbr929rr info  December 30, 2010 02:34 PM
Type in Hard Racing CBR929rr pretty amazing what you can do with these bikes with the right parts and info. also check out Dan Kyle
Sick RR -Spockets  December 29, 2010 09:07 AM
If you want the full benifit of a gear ratio change go with a 520 set up. I noticed more with this than with any other single performance upgrade. You will need a speedometer healer or a gps to know your true mph though. Top speed will be down about 20mph. There is so much potential in the 929, check out Hard Racings site. and yes youll be rockin the weelies with ease.

Troy Prentice -CBR 929rr sprockets  December 28, 2010 06:00 AM
I am thinking of going down one tooth in the front and up two in the back (15/45) sprockets... any take on this??? does it seriously help on wheelies or is it a suttle difference???
Jon - 2001 Erion CBR 929RR -@michael  November 18, 2010 06:23 PM
CBR 929 not that great????? Dude...youre trying to compare a TL1000 with a 929RR? NICE TRY. The TL1000 was Suzuki's EPIC FAIL. Talk about a hunk of crap. Worst fuel injection problems ever in the history of Suzuki, and the wheelbase is so short the handling BLOWS. I've owned MANY sportbikes, and the 929RR is one of the most comfortable, reliable, and all around FUN bikes to ride HANDS DOWN. And yes...I have owned a TL1000R, so I know what I'm saying. I am also a certified Honda, and Suzuki Technician. The TL1000R was just about the WORST sportbike Suzuki has made in the 1000cc class.
antonio r -cbr 929 rr  October 19, 2010 12:08 AM
tengo una 929 fantastica,pero alle le a salido en el marcado un testigo rojo parpadeando y unas letras F1. QUE SERA
brian daiy -929rr  October 12, 2010 08:06 AM
interesting comments gang.I bought my second 929rr in january this year after a year off the road from an accident.i test rode a 03 r1.A 03 gxsr 1000. a 954rr. the gsxr had more power but its hard to get a high speed flow on.heavy too. my best friend has a k5 from new and he was ssurprised with the 929. he was scraping the toe at the first roundabout he came to. i drove his k5 alot and you cant justify e extra 12000 euro.my other buddy has a 04 blade with 5000 miles. it has around the same top end give or take 1 or 2 hp. the 9929 has tones more bottom and midrange. the best friend sold the k5 and bought a new s1000r. that thing rocks but if you are looking for a bike for handy money the 92rr is the one. good breaks and standard suspension. ps. just back from the nurbergring. she didnt miss a beat.
Carl -2000 CBR929RR  October 9, 2010 09:01 AM
I've been riding with newer GSXR1000's 2007 and Kaw ZX10's 20006, and these guys can't catch up to me in the twisties. Also even on the straightaways they don't seem to have the upper hand. Looking at the specs I see their advantage however marginal it might be in certain categories, but somehow my bike seems faster all around.I rode their bikes and yes, they are fast and seemingly smoother, but again the 929 really rocks!
Stuart Macay -Twist  August 19, 2010 04:16 PM
I think it was Kurtis Roberts who won the FX Championship on a 929
Suzi M -B dragn  August 18, 2010 09:55 AM
Miguel Duhamel. Two time Formula extreme champion on a 929. 200hp, 200mph. Totaly dominated.
Stuart Macay -Twist  August 17, 2010 08:05 PM
I used to have a 929, it was my trackday bike back in 03 to 06. It was moderatly modified engine wise but the suspnsion was ohlins front and rear.Ihad no problems with frame flex at all, however tire selection made a huge diffrence in handling. It was a good bike in its day.Iv never seen any TLR 1000s on the track.
michael -CBR 929 not that great  August 15, 2010 05:45 PM
I have a 2000 cbr 929 and I don't care for it, infact its my least favorite bike i've owned and i've owned 6 bikes in my life. Don't get me wrong it is fast and light but if you take away the responsiveness of the fuel injection its pretty much the same as my buddy's 97 cbr900 in terms of speed. It's comfortable and small but too light for my tastes. I'm accustomed to bigger bikes like my TL1000r so it's unpredictable wheely happy nature due to its light weight is a negative for me. Also, if you ride this bike and an older cbr900 back to back you can feel the flexible frame's impact on handling. The older bikes have better feedback i.e. you feel every bump and ripple on the road. For amateurs the 929 frame might be comforting but for me its not. I like to know when i'm on the edge and its harder with the flexy frame of the 929 and you feel more disconnected to the road.
Ian Brown -SICK RR  July 30, 2010 12:26 PM
I bought my 929 brand new, 01 red and black Jardine cabon fiber exaust, Hyper pro damper, asv levers, braded brake lines, wave rotors,
vortex rear sets, vortex fuel cap, 520 chain convertion, 1 tooth down front 3 teeth up rear, pro tech racing triple clamp,
gillis racing chain adjusters and lift hooks,targa seat cowl, undertail with intagated signals,
carbon hugger, carbon front cowls,
powder coated rims and sub frame, corbon engine covers,
mini flush mounts and mirrors. ulumaglow speedo cover corbon frame sliders, rizla grips, front preload adjusters, ecb pads power comander,
barnet clutch, ect, ect, ect, I LOVE THIS BIKE and iv had many.
Tony Taylor -CBR 929RR  July 29, 2010 04:45 PM
ten years old and my girl still steps up to the plate. shes not the playground bully but shes no bitch either
scandals -2001 929rr  July 27, 2010 11:09 PM
great bike just rode from middle tn to ft.worth tx. 100mph to 175mph the whole way.spanked everything on the way.
Brian Jones -2001 cbr 929rr  June 15, 2010 01:27 PM
i just picked one up with 2800 miles on it for 3750 full exhaust tune and gear kit a couple other goodies, i will post another reply after i put a couple hundred miles on it. it sounds sick!!!!!
Digy from CT, USA -Cant Wait  May 11, 2010 02:00 PM
Picking up an Erion racing version of this bike on Thursday, cant wait. And Gixxers are so gay, I cant even stand to read the word... I see them everywhere I go seriously why do people like gixxers??
Creep-Ahh -custom built 2001 cbr 929.  May 2, 2010 11:00 PM
my first one was stolen..i used to race it overseas....since that one ive had the gixxer 750, TL1000, and the R1....got tired of searching for that feel of the 929...so i built this one...sorry R1 and ZX10...eat them for lunch...yea i may have a lil work done...k&n, nice exhaust, quick accel kit..thats all...cant win against the gixxer 1k....except for the corners...pass em on each and every one of em....one day i will own a gixxer 1k victory!!!
mike -2001 cbr929rr  April 8, 2010 09:32 PM
yeah my first bike and its fast and scary . so how many gears should it have
gfp -929  April 5, 2010 02:47 PM
Michael Longtoes -Honda elite (50cc)  March 8, 2010 10:21 PM
My Honda Elite is wicked, I have a 70cc bore kit on it, no roller wieghts, highflow exhuast from china... Extending tail, and more..... My Elite does 0 to 60 in little under 5 seconds, Now tell me? You see any other brand then honda runnin mopeds like this? :D
Comment Nazi -Learn to spell, you backwards hicks.  March 6, 2010 09:51 AM
Jesus, it's very off-puting to read your well crafted article then have to bear reading these idiot's comments.

Hey idiotic comment writers: If you can read this, learn to spell.

Nice article though. Very informative.
Manuel Forty -CBR929RR ERIONRACING  February 22, 2010 06:49 PM
Hello to all motorcycle ryders, i have had suzuki and kawasaki,and i was a suzuki fan till i got my first honda. It was my birthday gift in 2008, of course i had to buy it myself because my family didn´t like the idea of me getting another bike because all the accidents i have had in the past, they where right 3 months later on a tight curb i hit a fence braking both femurs.took me 1 month to walk again and 2 to get back on my bike.My bike is fast and it has no tricks to it, my friends have suzuki and belive me not even one of the guys that has a bus a could pass me.4 friends that i hang out with know they cant jock with the 929. The bike sticks out for you when your riding
gfp -2000 929  January 24, 2010 07:42 AM
never rode gsrx 1000 or r1 does it really compare to these? have 200o ed and white color scheme bike havent rode it yet at dealer picking up on april 1. cant wait to see differnce than my 1995 cbr 900.
mark jones -01 cbr 929rr custom  January 19, 2010 05:13 PM
just bought the bike a few months ago striped it down and customed the hole bike its my favoirit bike so far and i have had them all r1 gsxr 1000 and a busa the 929rr in my oppion hands down is the sickest all round ride power and handleing i love it
wyotecher philip -2001 cbr 929rr  December 11, 2009 09:39 AM
i love my 929rr rossi edition its wicked fast with loads of torque!
gfpdad -cbr929  October 18, 2009 08:54 AM
i had a 1995 cbr 900rr for two years and was happy with the performance.the motor supposedly had ten when thosand when i got it. when i traded it 18000 when i traded it bike had 61 and ran like new acelsprocket and chain and kn filter.was exstemely fast.much happier with 2000 929
gfpdad -cbr929  October 12, 2009 07:17 AM
I just bought a 2000 cbr 929 and cant wait till sring to find out for m€yself.IT has a pc3 full micron exhaust dynoed at 135 back wheel.
DEZZ -CBR929  October 4, 2009 11:57 AM
I have to agree with bill its all the rider my 929 has a proven top speed of 280 km per hour but you dont buy a sports bike to drag i have mates with both r1 and gsxr,s and when compaired in corner speed my 929 is leaps ahead was riding with my mate the yammy fan on his r1 and we found a nice sweeper i got behind him to see what he had we entered the corner at 220 mid corner powered on and left him behind with ease the same on tight turns the 929 just screams at you to give it more!!!! STAY UPRIGHT..
alexandre aguiar -cbr 929 rr  September 27, 2009 06:40 AM
Qual o defeito desta moto lendaria que nao houve mais continuaçao
Tim Ratterree -cbr 929  September 26, 2009 05:13 AM
My previous comment I ment to say 2005 hayabusa not 1995.I have a 1995 katana 600 with believe it or not 86000 miles original engine. Still runs great.
Tim Ratterree -cbr 929  September 26, 2009 05:00 AM
Just bought a 2000 929 $3400 I love this bike. I also have a 1995 hayabusa which i hardly ride anymore since i got the Honda. The fun factor of the Honda just blows away any bike I have ever ridden. I know the busa is faster on paper but i cant tell the differance.I chicken out on both of them at 160mph so to me they feel equally fast. The Honda is just so light and nimble I have never had any problems with front end shake.Maybee i am not taking turns fast enough to notice.
marxxtreme -Good article  August 14, 2009 06:48 PM
I just bought a 01 929 21k for 3k very well taken care of and im stoked about it...it already has the scotts dampner on it and d&d pipe. I love it
929rr king -the best  July 22, 2009 01:28 PM
Simply the best well rounded most comfortable available in 2000
MOMO -CBR 929 RR  June 29, 2009 07:27 AM
Nicely done, my take is this you ride what you love, not what is pop on the street, to many "gixers" (ha GSX-R) out there with nube riders on them because their friends all have-em. My 929 has the look, the power, the weight. yeah its got a nasty habit of geting a head shake exitin the twistys, but when you go in you got bikes with ya, comming out, specks in the mirror. And since its a HONDA, after 25K on the ticker it'll still hang with the R1, zx10, and the GSX-R's of new. (AS LONG AS I LET THEM).
bill edwards -Nice article  April 18, 2009 11:09 AM
Very informing and nicely worded. However you are comparing the Honda of the ninties to Suzuki and yamaha best of the late 2000's. It's all in the rider anyways good luck staying with my 929 in my mountains on your gsxr or r1 LOL.
CARLOS -CBR929  January 7, 2009 01:00 PM