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2014 Honda CBR1000RR SP Preview


by Pascal Bastien ,

Honda is about to write another chapter in the 22-year history of its renowned sport bike. Unchanged since 2008, the Honda CBR1000RR boasts a number of upgrades for 2014 (engine, maps, exhaust) to not only keep pace on the WSBK tracks, but also make road riding more pleasant.

Revised powerplant
First , the 2014 Honda CBR1000RR -- in both standard and SP trim -- gets a new cylinder head with reshaped and polished inlet and exhaust ports that improve efficiency and top-end power. Naturally, the engine was remapped to match the revised cylinder head and increased output. What's more, the exhaust pipe diameters are smaller to boost mid-range torque, while a new-for-2014 vertical connecting pipe balances pressure between cylinders two and three.

Overall, the 2014 Honda CBR1000RR is more powerful by 4 horses, with an extra 2.4 lb-ft of torque.

The SP model benefits from handpicked pistons and connecting rods, along with a lighter oil pump shaft for steadier performance at higher revs and greater durability. There's also a MotoGP-derived slipper clutch.

Focused on the track
The real surprise comes from the chassis of the 2014 Honda CBR1000RR SP: Öhlins suspension, single seat, Brembo monoblock callipers, and a special Blue/White/Red livery with gold-painted aluminum wheels. Of course, Honda's acclaimed Combined ABS technology is included.

Similar to European competitors, the 2014 Honda CBR1000RR SP opts for a premium fork and shock combo. The Öhlins setup is pre-set at the factory for track use, which means it's stiffer than the standard Showa unit. The frame incorporates a lighter rear sub-frame and revised fork clamps, while the instrument panel features a newly shaped ignition key. The fork's geometry was altered for greater agility, as well. At an even 200 kg, the SP is 15-kg lighter than the base model.

Wait, there's more: The Bridgestone S20 tires make way for Pirelli Supercorsa SP tires designed for both road and track riding. The rear foot pegs are gone, and a removable plastic cowl replaces the passenger seat. The riding position on the 2014 Honda CBR1000RR SP is more aggressive thanks to wider handlebars and foot pegs set 10 mm farther back. Finally, the seat offers a firmer, non-slip surface, and the front fairing integrates a more aerodynamic windscreen.

Bottom line
The 2014 Honda CBR1000RR SP is the raciest and best-equipped Honda sport bike ever designed for track days -- a sophisticated and premium descendant of the Fireblade family.