2012 Honda CBR1000RR Revealed

August 25, 2011
Ken Hutchison
Ken Hutchison
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The ulcers keep piling on for the warden of the MotoUSA asylum. With the inmates running rampant around the globe, Hutch has opted to get in on the madness more these days than in years past and is back in the saddle again.

2012 Honda CBR1000RR - Fireblade
The 2012 Honda CBR1000RR broke cover earlier this week when Honda posted these images on its Hong Kong Facebook site. The images reveal a meaner CBR1000RR.

Although details are scarce at this time there is a new 2012 Honda CBR1000RR and these are some of the first images and video of that motorcycle. 2012 is the 20th aniversary of the CBR so the timing will be perfect for Honda to unleash its new and improved flagship sportbike.

Even though official specifications have not been released at this time we can tell quite a bit from the images here. First of all, the bike is not a ground up redesign, instead this is the evolution of the popular CBR1000RR platform. Obvious changes are as follows:

Bodywork: The new Fireblade bodywork as its seen here is much more aggressive in appearance with the dual reflector beam head lamps similar in shape but more sinister than the last generation. The cowling is also more wild with its lightning-bolt shaped air intakes the most conspicuous change. It seems Honda has made an effort to make the CBR frontal area less-stubby and more angular (Something that has worked well for Suzuki and now BMW) in recent years. After that the body kit appears to have received only slight modifications, including poweder coated black frame and swing-arm.

Dash: A new information system features a large, LCD-style dashboard with digital tach running horizontally across the top, large speedo in the center, lap-timer, gear position indicator, engine temp, clock, trip meters and a series of shift-indicator lights across the upper edge of the dash frame.

2012 Honda CBR1000RR - Fireblade
Image is everything: Honda has taken the edgy approach to the styling of the 2012 CBR1000RR Fireblade.

Suspension/Brakes: The huge fork caps visible at the top of the triple-clamp appear to be Showa Big Piston Fork technology. This makes sense as Kawasaki and Suzuki have gone this route on their sportbikes the last two years. Honda has used the Unit Pro-Link layout for the rear suspension and this appears to be a variation on that same design. Radial-mount 4-piston Tokico calipers and maybe larger rotors round out this area.

Wheels: Twelve-spoke GP-style wheels replace the old three-spoke hoops found on the 2011 CBR1000RR. Honda has made it a point to offer ultra-light wheels on the CBR line-up the past few years so we expect the new wheels to possibly be even lighter.

Not so obvious changes: We expect Honda to maintain its mid-pack position in terms of outright power. It’s unlikely that we will see the 2012 CBR1000RR challenge the class horsepower leading S1000RR and ZX-10R. The Honda way seems to be to build bikes with gobs of usable low-end and mid-range power surrounded by an excellent chassis. Odds are that’s what we will get here too.

Electronics: Rumor has it that there will be a fully-loaded 2012 CBR1000RR with ABS and an engine management system that would surely include traction control and variable mapping. But we cannot confirm this info at this time.

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