Big Red’s powerhouse is back, decked out in new, more aerodynamic bodywork using the multilayer technology first spotted on the VFR 1200. And it’s inherited a new suspension and new engine mapping to boot. The 2012 CBR1000RR doesn’t revolutionize the genre, however, settling instead on improving overall performance with upgraded main components.
The new litre bike has more in-your-face attitude than ever, in response to critics of the previous version, qualified as lacklustre by racing fans.
Honda’s Big Piston tech
|The new litre bike has more in-your-face attitude than ever. (Photo: Honda)
From the very first glance, the new 12-spoke wheels jump out at you, replacing the old-school three-spoke numbers of 2011. The wheels improve handling and feedback, but the new suspension system is what really makes a difference.
The 1000RR has sprung for Showa’s famous 43-mm inverted Big Piston Fork, which can already be found on the GSX-
R and ZX-10R
. The unique technology uses a larger damping volume that limits the hydraulic pressure created when the fork legs compress and extend. Showa claims it reduces the reaction time between the initial stroke and damping, which improves contact between tire and pavement and increases stability under hard braking.
In back, Honda’s Unit Pro-Link system receives an all-new Showa shock featuring Balance-Free Rear Cushion technology. It’s characterized by a double-tube design instead of the conventional single-tube layout. Without going into detail, Honda says it’s easier to adjust and offers better shock absorption, which in turn translates into better traction on smooth or bumpy surfaces.
|In back, Honda’s Unit Pro-Link system receives an all-new Showa shock featuring Balance-Free Rear Cushion technology. (Photo: Honda)