Sportbike Books
Click on the calendar, Book and CD Music covers to visit the Store

Books, Videos, Music...



165 horsepower and 178 kilos are astounding figures, but not as outstanding as the competition. The new CBR1000RR will have a tough row to hoe against the other new Japanese 1000cc superbikes.

2004 Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade Superbike

Honda was finally pushed into building a purpose built, full 1000cc in-line four cylinder superbike.
They flogged the previous 1992-based design with two capacity changes and the introduction of fuel injection that was good enough to dominate the Open class until Suzuki's brilliant GSXR1000 let them know they needed to start with a new piece of paper. The previous Honda CBR 919 / 929 / 954cc engined bike was origionally created to be a 750cc inline-4 cylinder superbike until Honda managaement realized it might beat their hi-tech flagship V-4 RC45. So they overbored it and made it a lightweight AMA Formula Extreame class bike where it didn't have to race against the full capacity 1000cc winning superbikes from Ducati and Suzuki until the 2004 season. The current SP2 / RC51 V-twin factory superbike is now being retired by American Honda in AMA Superbike for 2004, to be replaced by the new CBR1000RR. The 2004 season will likely be the final year of production for the RC51.

Still, American Honda's support team, Erion Racing will probably race the new CBR1000RR in the AMA's unquestionably stupid and repetitive 1000cc Superstock or Formula Extreame class where it can be competitive against its equally undeveloped or non factory supported Japanese brethern. While in SBK World Superbike, the reigning 600 Supersport Champs the Ken Tate Honda team will race the new CBR1000RR in World Superbike with support from Honda of Europe. The team will probably have back door development help and race parts from Honda of Japan, a previlage not offered to American Honda for political reasons.

The new CBR1000cc, called Fireblade in Europe, has had a ground up engine redesign. The basics are a conventional 16 valve in-line four, but now designed with a full 998cc capacity. PGM-DSFI duel -injector fuel injection from the CBR600RR and a balance shaft to reduce vibration. We question the need for a balance shaft, a non essential roadbike concession (added weight, horsepower drag and reduced engine response) in what is susposed to be a purpose built superbike in an easy-to-balance in-line four. But the shaft and its drive gears can certainly be left out of a race prepared engine. The new engine also has a longer stroke and narrower bore than the new Yamaha or Kawasai 1000cc fours, reducing potential maximum rpm and horsepower. Could this all mean there's an RC211 V-5 in Honda's future production plans?

The new motor is housed in a new chassis which is built around a cast / extruded aluminum twin spar frame using cast engine mounts, swingarm pivot and steering head sections. The Showa front fork is revised in the current radical brake mount style to mount a pair of Tokico four-piston calibers chomping on 310mm floating discs. The rear suspension is a Unit Pro-Link setup similar to the RC211V and CBR600RR. A central fuel tank design is also copied from the 600.

On the specification sheet the new CBR1000RR at 165bhp and 392lbs is heavier and less powerful than Yamah's new R1. Honda will say this is to keep costs down -the stainless steel exhaust for example on the Honda must add a few more pounds than the titanium mufflers on the Yamaha and Kawasaki. But if they had left the balance shaft out of the engine they could have given us more power and less weight.

In America the new bike comes in 3 color choices - Black and Black / Silver whichpaint is similar to Yamaha's R1, and a nice Red and Black with somewhat busy Honda logo wing graphics on the upper fairing and tank. The European marke also gets an American flag colored Red / White / Blue version which we won't see here, possibly becase similarcolors have not sold well here in the USA in the past.

Return to Honda New Bike Index

CBR1000RR Details
click for the Big Picture

All new in-line four cylinder, DOHC 16-valve 998cc engine is somewhat conventional with an internal balance shaft to reduce vibration. Transmission shafts are stacked at the back to reduce engine length, allowing more latitude for positioning the engine in the chassis to optimize weight balance, front to rear.

Ram air induction from the front of the bike feeds the pressurized airbox (removed here, but shown at left) through the dual air filters.

Honda's Pro-Link rear suspension setup is similar to the RC211V motoGP bike.

2004 CBR1000RR

Engine Type 998cc liquid-cooled inline four-cylinder
Bore and Stroke 75.0mm x 56.5mm
Compression Ratio 11.9:1
Horsepower: 165bhp
Valve Train DOHC; four valves per cylinder
Carburetion Dual Stage Fuel Injection (DSFI)
Ignition Computer-controlled digital transistorized with three-dimensional mapping

Transmission Cassette-type, close-ratio six-speed
Final Drive #530 O-ring-sealed chain


Front Suspension 43.0mm inverted HMAS cartridge fork with spring-preload,
rebound- and compression-damping adjustability; 4.7-inch travel
Rear Suspension HMAS Pro-Link single shock with spring-preload,
rebound- and compression-damping adjustability; 5.3-inch travel
Front Brakes Dual full-floating 310.0mm discs with four-piston radial-mounted calipers
Rear Brake Single 220.0mm disc with single-piston caliper
Front Tire 120/70ZR-17 radial
Rear Tire 190/50ZR-17 radial


Rake 23.75 degrees
Trail 102.0mm (4.0 inches)
Wheelbase 55.6 inches
Seat Height 32.5 inches
Weight: 188kg / 392lbs. dry
Fuel Capacity 4.8 gallons, including 1.06-gallon reserve


Emissions California version meets CARB 2004 emissions standards.
Available Colors: Black, Metallic Silver/Black, Red/Black.