The 2017 Honda CBR1000RR SP Adds Power and Drops Weight, Is It Enough?

  • 05/10/2016

The most technologically advanced CBR is finally here

The wait for Honda’s newest CBR1000RR is officially over. Well, kind of. Today, the manufacturer introduced its heavily updated 2017 CBR1000RR SP, a bike it touts as being lighter, faster, and more technologically advanced than any CBR to came before it. It’s a pretty thing, too.

Note that we said SP, and that while this is not the standard CBR1000RR we thought we might see this week, it’s a good indication of the direction Honda has gone with the platform and what we can expect from the CBR family this year and in the future.

According to Honda, it’s towards an overall lighter platform, with better mass concentration, more power, and improved rideability through a fully modern electronics package.


Big changes include an updated frame with thinner walls, for reduced weight and altered rigidity. The swingarm is redesigned for like benefits, while lighter weight wheels and a new swingarm save weight, too.

For the 2017 CBR1000RR SP, that means a nipped and tucked chassis, updated engine, and rider-aid kit that includes everything from traction control to adjustable engine brake control and quick shifter with an auto-blip function.

Geometry is the same as the outgoing CBR, but portions of the frame walls have been thinned down. This saves a total of 300 grams, but also (and perhaps more importantly) changes the chassis’ rigidity, for what we imagine will be improved feel with the CBR is banked over. For like benefits, the swingarm section thickness has been “adjusted,” which saves another 300 grams. A redesigned subframe saves an additional 600 grams.

The fairings are narrowed up, for better aerodynamics and lighter weight, plus hide a radiator that’s 30mm narrower, for an additional 100 grams saved. The SP also features a titanium fuel tank (the first for a mass production bike) that saves 2.87 pounds and narrows up the seat/tank junction by 30mm. I had the chance to sit on the SP during the U.S. unveil, and can attest to the fact that this CBR really does feel more compact and narrow, especially at the tank junction. It all seems like small savings, but it adds up, Honda suggests.


The engine is updated with new pistons that bump compression ratio from 12.3:1 to 13.0:1, as well as piston rings with Diamond Like Carbon (DLC) coating. This change, combined with a higher 13,000 rpm rev limiter (up from 12,500 rpm), pushes the peak output needle forward by a claimed 10 hp. So, if the Euro-spec 2016 CBR1000RR SP made a claimed 178 hp at the crank, then we can assume the 2017 SP should make just under 190 hp. The CBR has always been a nicely balanced bike, but definitely felt down on power when compared to the S1000RR, RSV4, and others, so this added power will be much appreciated.

For weight savings, the SP’s engine uses a magnesium oil pan an ignition cover, plus lighter components in the slipper clutch, which combine to cut a total of 4.4 pounds from the engine alone. Even better is a new titanium muffler that saves an additional 6.17 pounds, and lithium-ion battery that’s claimed to weigh half as much as the lead-acid battery it replaces.



That added power and saved weight is nothing if you don’t have the electronics to get it all around a racetrack fast, and that’s where Honda’s new ride-by-wire-based electronics package steps in. At the forefront of this package is Honda’s nine-level traction control system, dubbed Honda Selectable Torque Control (HSTC), which is claimed to have been derived from the RC213V-S and to use attitude-detection technology developed for ASIMO, Honda’s humanoid robot.



There are five riding modes—Mode 1, 2, and 3, plus User 1, and User 2—the latter two being programmable for Power Selector (five levels), traction control, engine brake, and Ohlins Electronic Controlled Suspension, which also comes standard on the SP and works on a 43mm NIX 30 fork and TTX36 shock.

At its presentation, Honda stressed that focus on sportbike development, for them, has never been to chase a number but what it calls, “total control.” Still, this new SP looks to be an impressive motorcycle with some strong numbers attached to it. It’s a claimed 33 pounds lighter than the outgoing, Euro-spec SP (though it’s important to remember that Honda’s outgoing C-ABS system, which came standard on the Euro-model SP was all-too heavy) and has a 14% better power-to-weight-ratio, with what will likely be a 430-ish pound wet weight.


Image: Honda
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