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2008 Honda CBR1000RR Preview



Lighter and more powerful than ever, the all-new Honda CBR1000RR takes on one of the most competitive segments in the industry: high-performance sportbikes. Far less aggressive than in previous years, the styling looks more mature. Yet, the spec sheet of this new thoroughbred says otherwise.

Unlike its rivals, which are becoming more and more radical and a load to handle, the CBR1000RR is more user-friendly than ever, according to Honda engineers. In fact, easy riding dynamics and predictable handling are always part of the equation with a Honda bike. Weight reduction and mass centralization were also among the team's priorities to improve precision during corner entry. Many key components have been revised in order to shave additional pounds; the all-aluminum side stand is one example.

Born from a rich MotoGP tradition, the new CBR1000RR comes back with a more compact frame and phenomenally light components. It features a host of surprising innovations, such as a centrally located fuel tank, a Uni Pro-Link rear suspension, a European-style, ultra-low exhaust and a radically new clutch design which not only provides slip in throttle off conditions but positive lock under power.

Ideal powerband
The CBR1000RR is motivated by an inline four-cylinder engine delivering ultra-high performance. Despite being 2.5-kg heavier than last year's unit, it offers a perfect power delivery, even at very low revs. Meanwhile, the redline was bumped to 13,000 rpm and as a result output was increased to 179 horsepower at 12,000 rpm. Part of this power is attributable to new optimized air intakes that help the engine breathe more easily. A number of high-tech parts were also added like titanium intake valves, thinner high-strength pistons featuring molybdenum coating and Nikasil-coated cylinders.

As for the brakes, the front system features radial-mounted four-piston callipers and dual 320-mm floating discs, while the rear brake system uses a 220-mm disc with a single-piston calliper. The front discs include 72 holes of four different diameters and are made of a special alloy for lighter weight and improved heat dissipation -- a must for a high-caliber sportbike.

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