The History of the Honda CBR

Written by chris gilliland Google
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Honda's CBR series of motorcycles has become an icon among sport riders around the world. Originally introduced as the 600cc and 1000cc "Hurricane" in 1987, several models have been added to the CBR line-up to accommodate experienced riders, as well as professional road racers. As of 2011, Honda's CBR series is represented by the CBR600RR and the CBR1000RR.

The CBR600F Series

In 1987, Honda launched the CBR600F "Hurricane," a sport-focused motorcycle wrapped in a fully-enclosed aerodynamic fairing. Powered by a liquid-cooled, 598cc, in-line four-cylinder motor, the Hurricane produced generous mid-range power and top speed, while maintaining a well-rounded foundation for both the street and the racetrack. By 1991, Honda revised the Hurricane's engine and frame to reduce weight and increase power, resulting in the CBR600F2. By 1995, the CBR600F3 was released with a host of revisions to the engine, fuel system and brakes. The CBR600F4, the final model within the CBR F-series, was released in 1998, followed by the addition of fuel-injection in 2001.

CBR1000F and the CBR1100XX

The CBR1000F Hurricane was released in conjunction with its smaller counterpart in 1987 as a replacement for Honda's ageing superbike-class CB1100F. Like the 600cc Hurricane, the CBR1000F featured a liquid-cooled, in-line four-cylinder engine with a displacement of 998cc, capable of producing 100 horsepower. However, the CBR1000F was originally intended as a sport-touring motorcycle with less emphasis placed on racing. The CBR1000F was produced until 1997 before being replaced by the new CBR1100XX Super Blackbird. At its introduction, the Black Bird was titled the "World's Fastest Production Motorcycle" as it could reach speeds of 178mph. The CBR1100XX received only a few cosmetic revisions during its 10 year production, which ended in 2007, although fuel-injection was added in 2001.


The new-for-2003 CBR600RR was designed primarily from Honda's innovations made for its Gran Prix racing motorcycle, the RC211V. The CBR600R utilised Honda's proprietary Unit-Prolink rear suspension system, allowing the rider to reopen the throttle sooner during a turn. Additionally, a dual-stage fuel injection system provided crisp throttle response at all rpm ranges, creating power in a predictable manner continuously to the engine's 15,000rpm redline. The CBR600RR featured sharp lines along its fairings and was equipped with an under seat-mounted exhaust system to lower wind resistance. The first major revision of the CBR600RR occurred in 2005, mostly aimed at reducing weight and increasing power output. A total redesign of the CBR600RR followed in 2007, which extended from the frame to the engine to further reduce weight. Anti-lock brakes became available as an added feature in 2010.

Fireblade Models

In 1994, Honda introduced the CBR900RR FireBlade to compete in the 900cc or larger open class racing division. The FireBlade was designed with an emphasis on lightness, coupled with an extremely potent liquid-cooled, 893cc, in-line four-cylinder engine. Weighing a total of 182 Kilogram without fuel, the FireBlade was lighter than any of its rivals on the racetrack. The CBR900RR was replaced in 2000 by the CBR929RR, which featured a fuel-injected 929cc engine with computer-controlled variable intake and exhaust systems. Capable of generating 152 horsepower, the CBR929RR was replaced in 2002 by the CBR954RR. In 2004, the CBR1000RR was introduced, utilising the same innovations found on the CBR600RR. A major revision of the CBR1000RR occurred in 2008 to reduce total weight including fuel to 199 Kilogram. As of 2011, the CBR1000RR remains unchanged with the exception of anti-lock brakes as an added feature.

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