Top 10 Motorcycles for 2020 – the perfect mix.

So what really are the Top 10 motorcycles for 2020? The way I see it, the list will simply not be the same for any two people!

This list includes some motorcycles that may not be classed as the ‘best’ or the ‘fastest’ in their class – but these are the motorcycles that would make me feel good, and that is what motorcycling is all about.

I had to come up with a few guidelines ‘..or this would have turned into a Top 100 motorcycles list for 2020.

  • Only two motorcycles from each broad ‘class’ I wanted to get the perfect MIX not just 10 sports bikes.
  • All motorcycles must available to buy new for 2020
  • All these motorcycles must be standard production models, not customs, or concepts that will never be made.

1. Top 2020 Sports bikes



What can I say – I am a Honda fan. There’s just something about the word FireBlade that screams ‘motorcycling’ to me. Read our first look article on the new 2020 Honda Fireblade here. It is pretty clear I would almost kill to have this machine. I think it looks stunning, it’s fully loaded for 2020, and I want it to tear my tear face off with that power.

The all-new 2020 Honda Fireblade will start from £19,999 with the Fireblade SP estimated to cost £23,499

Ducati Panigale V2

Ducati Panigale V2

If the FireBlade is going to be my primary partner for obliteration of track days , then the Panigale V2 will be my bit on the side. Also a weapon like the Honda, but this is a dagger instead of a machine gun. This dagger has such a beautiful design that I might want to frame it and display it on my wall.

This twin-cylinder Panigale has a completely new look, and, thanks to a comfortable seat and its suspension set-up, it offers sports performance while making road riding more enjoyable and user-friendly. It is powered by a 995 cm³ Superquadro engine with a maximum power of 155 hp at 10,750 rpm and a maximum torque of 104 Nm at 9,000 rpm.

What is not to love here – this machine has the stunning , jaw dropping sexiness of the Panigale heritage, without the insanity of the top line V4 models. I can go to the shops on this, I can go the track, I can have fun in the twists and turns without thinking I’m going to kill myself if I twist that throttle a little more than I should have. Stunning, rid-able, sex on two wheels.

The new Ducati V2 Panigale will retail at £14,995 – which comes in at £5,000 cheaper than the V4.

2. Top 2020 Naked Motorcycles

2020 MV Augusta DRAGSTER 800 RR SCS

DRAGSTER 800 RR SCS. Image MV Augusta

If if I’ve described the V2 as sex on wheels – well this is the definition of ‘bling’. This machine has more bling that Jay Z’s gold chains. I’m not cool enough to ride this, but that’s the point – no-one is.

This machine is 140hp with 87Nm of torque from a 3 cylinder, 798cc engine.

MV August owners love talking about how their bikes ‘are works of art’. There’s reason for this : they are works of art.

£16,600 for these stunning piece of jewelry – and you can be sure I’d rather have this bike, over a fancy watch any day : easily on my top 10 Motorcycles for 2020.



I’ve a got a CCM calendar in my kitchen. These bikes are pure. For me, the definition of naked. This kind of stripped down mechanical grittiness makes me feel like punching something in a manly fit of testosterone. I think I became pregnant thinking about this bike, and I’m a man.

The engine is a thumper – a big single cylinder , 600cc, with Power @ 62 bhp and Torque 66 Nm @ 5,500 RPM. BASE PRICE: £12,495.00

3.Top 2020 Touring / Adventure Motorcycles

Husqvarna Norden 901

Husqvarna Norden 901. Image Husqvarna.

The looks of this new machine is a what we call Marmite. Some love it , some hate it. I love it. I love modern looks of the the VITPILEN and SVARTPILEN 701, and this Norden has also shares that very new and fresh look. Here’s my thinking – if I’m riding a adventure-touring motorcycle – it is not going to look as sexy as a sports bike. What I love about this, is that the machine just screams – “I am capable and built for this”. Estimated cost £13k.

2020 Harley-Davidson Pan America

2020 Harley-Davidson Pan America. Image Harley Davidson

Another marmite choice! Again for exactly the same reasons as for the Norden above – this machine tells me – I have a job to do, and I’ve been built for it. Look at me! I’m a tank jeep motorcycle thing!

Harley describe this as ‘TOURING BECOMES DETOURING’ they say the Pan America equals “parts campfire, wanderlust, and grit. This is our two-wheel multi-tool built to endure, designed to explore, and engineered for full-send. H-D ADV; find your way home.”

Estimate cost £15k.

4. Top 2020 Cruiser & Bobbers (Including Power Cruisers)

Triumph Bonneville Speedmaster

Triumph Bonneville Speedmaster. Image Triumph

This is a different kind of bling versus the MV Augusta Dragster, but it certainly a type of ‘bling’. The Speedmaster is the perfect mix of chrome, combined with an ageless, refined elegance. It straight up, looks and feels like an expensive piece of kit, but delivers a true cruising experience with a punch.

Central to the Bonneville Speedmaster’s premium performance is the critically-acclaimed Bonneville 1200cc HT engine and the ‘Bobber’ tune. Its category-leading torque figure of 106Nm at a low 4,000rpm from a charismatic 270° firing interval provides smooth, linear power delivery from the slick six-speed gearbox.

Starts from £11,650.

New 2020 Ducati Diavel 1260 S

New 2020 Ducati Diavel 1260 S (Image Ducati)

The Diavel always leaves the world wondering – is this really a Cruiser?

The Ducati Diavel changed the face of the motorcycling world, by producing this insane ‘performance cruiser’…that handles.

Ducati own words describes the machine as having “thrilling performance, sporty power, advanced electronics, but with cruiser world features of long, low, forward positioned footpegs, powerful torque even at low speeds, no compromise in terms of materials and finishes.”

Ducati say for 2020 the unconventional, unmistakable Diavel 1260 will be sporting two new color schemes, namely Dark Stealth (a total black look, available for the standard version like in the picture above) and an all-new Ducati Red with white trims and red seat tail (on the S version).

The new Diavel is built around the Testastretta DVT 1262 engine, with a massive 157hp twin cylinder, 1262 cm³. The new Diavel 1260 S comes standard with Ducati Quick Shift up&down (DQS)

From around £18k

5. Top 2020 Duel Sport / Off Road

2020 KTM 500 XCF-W

2020 KTM 500 XCF-W (Image KTM)

This is ‘spicy’ – I can taste this bike – like a Komodo Fire Dragon Chili Pepper. At the time of writing KTM claim this is the most powerful offroad bike on the market.

This new for 2020 model, the KTM 500 XCF-W packs a 4-stroke punch from an awesome 510 cc SOHC single cylinder bombshell, with an incredible power-to-weight ratio and is described as providing nothing less than the most dynamic offroad experiences available.

From around £8500.

2020 Zero FXS

Converseral. Yes.. right now most electric motorcycles are still too expensive, yes.. we do not have the proper infrastructure for recharging yet, yes.. the time taken to recharge all electric vehicles is still just too long.

So why is this on a top 10 list? In my opening paragraphs of this list, I made it clear I would put bikes on here that would make me happy. I love experiencing something different, and there are some really good points too!

“Imagine savage performance delivered without tedious and greasy servicing regimes. Forget oil changes, spark plugs, clutches, filters, chain adjustments or expensive tune-ups. Instead, a carbon fiber belt cleanly connects the rear wheel to an air-cooled Z-Force® motor that uses a single moving part. Swap threadbare tires. Replace used-up brake pads. “ Zero

Zero’s blurb on their machine actually makes sense, and resonates with me! Why? Simply because with fewer things to go wrong out there on a trail and with less mechanical maintenance to do at home (like having to check value clearances at intervals of 10 ‘hours’.. like on some other enduro type machines)…instead, I can get on with actually riding the thing!

When it comes to optional accessory, the Power Tank can be added with travel up to 223 miles in the city or 112 miles on the higher speed motorway (highway) riding.

The Zero FX’s Z-Force® 75-5 motor produces a thumping 78 lb-ft of torque, that is properly powerful.

I love Tech! This Zero, come with Bluetooth enabled connectivity for both iPhone and Android mobile devices. Adjustable motorcycle performance to enable sportier or more economical riding Customizable display reports precise state of charge and real-time power usage while riding Image – Zero Motorcycles


Thank you for reading the list above – I know your personal list will be different – but I really hoped you enjoyed this one! (I enjoyed making it!)

As individual bikers, we all get passionate about the manufactures we love, the class of bikes we love & the specific motorbike models we love..but let us all agree the important thing is that we’re all on two wheels together.

Ride Safe Ride Smart

Smart Motorcycling Guide

New 2020 – APRILIA RS 660!!

Source of the detailed specs and details (including pictures) – Accredited to Aprilia.

Aprilia are selling this machine as ‘a new concept in sport bikes”.

So what is it up against!? When I first saw this, I was thinking it ‘looked’ like competition for the new Ducati V2 , but the V2 will have around 155hp from a 955 engine. From a power perspective, this is closer to the Ducati Supersport S with 110bhp but that machine is around 10- 15kilos heavier and it is aimed more a sports tourer rather than a straight sports bike.

(I thought I would mention the comfortable Ducati Supersport because in contrast to the “sports bike” mantra that Aprilia talk about for the RS660, they also mention that the riding position has been designed with comfort in mind with its generous seat, foot pegs that are not too high and semi-handlebars mounted on top of the upper steering yoke!) Interesting .. so this a true sports bike – but with real world road usability…but can we really have both, I hope so! 🙂

Most of the current crop of new bikes with similar performance and power levels, are naked, which is why I think that Aprilia may hit some gold with this machine. I’d suggest some of the competition will include the 2020 Ninja 650, the 2020 Suzuki GSX-R750 and stunning 2020 Yamaha YZF-R6. I’d love to know what you think would be it’s medium capacity sports bike competitors (ie not naked machines). Visit our Facebook page and join the discussion!

The RS 660 is all about its new engine. We’re talking about an extremely compact latest-generation front-facing 660-HP parallel twin-cylinder, with Euro 5 certification. Derived from the V4 1100-cc, its configuration was chosen for its compactness and efficiency, reduced heat transmission and the freedom it offers for optimising space to create a lightweight, sleek frame.

The structural characteristics of the fairing are unmistakably those of the Aprilia V4, with the front light triple-LED configuration and its DRL lights clearly distinguishing it as the RS 660. The double fairing serves as an integrated aerodynamic appendage,.

Aprilia RS 660 is presented in two graphic versions: the first clearly dominated by colours that represent the history and sports heritage of Aprilia. The second (my favorite!) is a black look on which the numerous bright red details make a real impact. 

2020 is going to a be a fantastic year!

Ride safe, Ride Smart

Smart Motorcycling Guide

The Duke of Hazard returns! New 2020 – KTM 1290 SUPER DUKE R

KTM Press Release Image

The KTM 1290 SUPER DUKE R has been ‘re-Beasted’ for 2020. KTM’s flagship bike has won rave reviews by catering for the preferences and skills of a vast range of motorcyclists and has undergone its most radical re-invention yet for 2020. A completely new chassis, styling, and electronics mean the KTM 1290 SUPER DUKE R has trimmed weight across the board, while a reworked LC8 engine has unleashed even more power.

While the ‘hornet like’ looks of the Super Duke will always divide opinion, it will be undeniably an angry stinger of a machine ride.

Power? (Look at that torque figure!)

So on that ‘reworked LC engine’ – the message from KTM is , “If it ain’t broken, don’t fix it” so the V-Twin from last years model is back, but it is meaner. Boasting 177 hp and 140 Nm, the 1301 cc LC8, V-Twin has undergone a subtle development. Optimized to be lighter but retaining its torquey character.

So we know it’s going to be blisteringly fast but what about stopping power?

FRONT BRAKE – 2 x Brembo Stylema Monobloc four piston, radially mounted caliper (320mm)
REAR BRAKE -Brembo twin-piston fixed calliper (240mm), brake disc
ABS -Bosch 9.1MP 2.0 (with cornering ABS)

On the electronics side of things you get a host of premium features – any top line hyper naked machine being released for 2020 should be expected to come almost ‘as standard’ with a host of riding modes – and the Super Duke is no exception! The Duke comes with , Rain, Street, Sport and Track Mode (which allows the rider to customize a few features to best suit their riding style, like the level of slip allowed by the traction control, plus anti-wheelie can be switched off..). Other goodies include Cruise Control and Tire pressure Monitoring and auto-cancelling turn signals.

KTM Press Release Image

The real question is, if you already own a Super Duke should you upgrade? If you’ve the cash and still love the Duke – I think its certainly worth considering .. because they are hitting this new model where it matters, it not just cosmetics! Slightly more power, a lighter machine , a new chassis for improved handling and new electronics package – that would be enough to pull me to towards the 2020 model. Though if you do not have the cash saved up for an upgrade, all the pre-2020 models are still offer fantastic experiences; the Super Duke’s have always been, and always will be, the definition of a hooligan machine.

At the time of writing prices start a £15,699 in the UK – so a premium price tag as expected – but KTM have thrown everything at this machine.

I hope the enjoyed that quick round up this new machine, Ride Safe, Ride Smart.

Smart Motorcycling Guide

For more news about the KTM 2020 model range please visit or your nearest authorized KTM dealer.

Harley Davidson in the electric chair?

source – Harley Davidson

LiveWire! – the first ‘electric’ Harley Davidson! What makes a great electric motorcycle? The same thing that makes a great petrol powered motorcycle! How about 0 to 60 mph (0 to 100 kph) in 3.0 seconds and 60 to 80 mph (100 to 129 kph) in 1.9 seconds. Read on! 

No thanks, I need petrol. 

Before we continue, we know that there will be some of you thinking that an electric motorcycle is too futuristic and too different from what you are used to, and that it is impossible to really imagine owning or riding one.  What I would suggest is when you strip it back, these things still have a big powerful motor (instead of an engine) and instead of a fuel tank, they will have a battery. We are not looking at some kind of hoverbike powered by nuclear fusion –  they are simply motorcycles, powered by electric. So if you love motorcycles, give these early electric motorcycles some serious consideration as you might be riding one in a few years time! [Don’t get me wrong – I will always love the noise, the rumble (the smell!) of petrol engines but that is not going to stop me giving something new a try!]  

Does it make you feel good and does it put a smile on your face?

Harley Davidson is a premium manufacturer – they simply do not make cheap / affordable machines, they aim for a premium quality look and feel and use that to define what the brand Harley-Davidson product stands for. So yes, I’d say if had one these beauties sitting on my driveway I would have a smile on face for sure. (And from the way theses things move (see performance figures below!) – I’ll have a smile on my face when I’m riding it too!)

Harley have chosen to focus their styling cues around the electric motor. Just as the combustion engine is the most eye-catching element – the crown jewel – of most non-electric motorcycles (especially cruisers), Harley have built a bright case and designed a mechanical, muscular shape is meant to convey power: I think it really works, it looks good! The cast-aluminum case has highly styled cooling fins with similarities to horizontal cooling fins on an air-cooled engines of old.

The tone of this paint finish gives it the look of anodized metal and is available in two exclusive colors: Yellow Fuse, and Orange Fuse, which is clearly been chosen by Harely to reflect the futuristic electrical technology, they wanted something different, eye catching, futuristic and modern. (Though wisely there will also be a model available in ‘Vivid’ Black)

Does it ride well for what you plan to use the machine for..but is this thing fast?

With instant torque (like any electric powertrain) hammering you, the LiveWire delivers acceleration of 0 to 60 mph (0 to 100 kph) in 3.0 seconds and 60 to 80 mph (100 to 129 kph) in 1.9 seconds. So yes, this is a blisteringly fast motorcycle. Because maximum torque is always on tap, roll-on acceleration for passing from any speed is outstanding.

Electric power-trains requires no clutch and no gear shifting, but you have the effect of engine braking by the power regeneration mode kicking you back as it adds charge to the battery, especially in urban traffic that often requires a lot of slow-rolling and stop-and-go riding. When it comes to handling, electric motorcycles are able to have an optimized center of gravity. The Livewire has a rigid aluminum frame and premium adjustable suspension, other reviewers who have test ridden machine are usually relatively impressed with handling, not exceptional, but good. 

Range Anxiety?

This is where all electric motorcycles get the hard time. The Livewire is said to have 146 miles (235 km) of city range or 95 miles (152 km) of combined, so this is really a machine for the urban street-rider. That’s not too bad as some petrol tank range figures would be similar. 

So what about charging time? 

DC Fast Charge (DCFC) technology provides a 0-80 percent of battery charge in 40 minutes or 0-100 percent charge in 60 minutes. This is the current real issue with electric motorcycles – filling your petrol take takes 2 minutes while filling your electric battery takes 40 minutes, and while there is a lot more electric charging points available , at the moment in 2019 / 2020 we simply have a lot more petrol stations. Driving an electric car / riding an electric motorcycle requires some planning!  (Though…on the other hand … there’s no engine oil to change, and no spark plugs, air filter or primary drive system to service!) 

Electrical systems include

  • Cornering Enhanced Anti-lock Braking System (C-ABS), 
  • Cornering Enhanced Traction Control System (C-TCS) 
  • Drag-Torque Slip Control System (DSCS) 
  • A 4.3-inch color TFT touchscreen 
  • Seven selectable Ride Modes electronically control the performance characteristics 

The LiveWire motorcycle will be available in 2019 and 2020  through select authorized Harley-Davidson dealerships in the United States, Canada and most European countries where Harley-Davidson conducts business, with expanding global availability planned for 2020 through 2021. LiveWire MSRP around $29,799 but for full details obviously see the Harley website! 

Hope you enjoyed the above blog article. 

Ride Smart , Ride Safe


BIGGEST motorcycle engine ever!? NEW Triumph Rocket 3

The Triumph Rocket 3 has an all-new 2,500cc triple engine –  the world’s largest production motorcycle powerplant, and produces an “arm ripping” 221Nm of peak torque, which is the highest on any production motorcycle. (Correct at the time of writing!) This is great, but does it ride like a Triumph or turn like an oil tanker? 

The answer is..this is Triumphant magic. What Triumph have engineered can be best described as “a breathtaking contradiction”. 

On one hand, this beast has an immense scale and presence : a glorious mountain of raw machinery with the looks of a bruising custom hot rod. On the other hand, the team at Hinckley England have engineered (relatively!) agile handling, a comfortable ride, a smooth power delivery, all delivered through a new frame and suspension that belies this machine’s gargantuan proportions and prodigious power-plant. This all equals cornering confidence that you should not have on a machine this size, but even more important it gives the rider a ‘smile factor’ that test riders are reporting as incredible. 

One of the best professional reviews I have had the pleasure of watching is from the guys at the 44 Teeth YouTube Channel – those burnouts on tap without even breaking a sweat : literally laughter inducing insane levels of power. 

There is a consistent thought and feeling coming across from the motorcycle press on this machine, “a power cruiser that really handles”. It is a machine that WILL put a smile on your face. Which in my opinion, is what any motorcycle should do. The Ducati Diavel is the only real top line direct competitor in this small sector of ‘power cruisers’ but most reviewers come away suggesting this Triumph beats it, which is jaw dropping.


  • 2,500cc Rocket 3 triple engine 
  • 167PS peak power @ 6,000rpm
  • 221Nm peak torque @ 4,000rpm
  • 18Kg mass savings over the previous generation engine
  • Beautiful hydroformed three-header exhaust run
  • Incredible acceleration (2.79 sec 0-60mph)


  • Optimised cornering ABS & traction control
  • Four riding modes (Road, Rain, Sport and Rider-Configurable modes) 
  • All LED lighting with distinctive DRL 
  • Hill hold control
  • Cruise control

There are two models to choose from the Rocket 3 R and Rocket 3 GT. The R has roadster-style handlebars while the GT’s are more touring-oriented. You’ll have a 750mm seat height on the R, while the GT is 773mm , but the GT has a foot peg position which is more forward. Both machines have adjustable pegs, but with two vertical options on the R and three horizontal positions on the GT.

Prices start at GBP £19.5k for the R. 

Ride Safe. Ride Smart.

Smart Motorcycling Guide.

HARLEY-DAVIDSON in a STREET FIGHT? Can it win this battle?

Harley-Davidson’s® First Adventure Streetfighter Models Debut with All-New Revolution® Max Engines

Does this New Model Beckon a New Era from Harley-Davidson?

The iconic brand is branching out into new market segments! For some of us because this is not covered in awesome chrome and maybe not loud enough to demolish buildings… it is not a true Harley. Instead it is a very ‘challenging’ proposition..simply..this is not the Harley we know and love. For others, including us, we think this is fantastic! More Harely-Davidson’s in the world is a great thing! We love Harley-Davidson, so lets see the brand spread those iconic wings so we can see more of them!

Displayed for the first time publicly at EICMA in Milan late 2019, Harley-Davidson® showcased their 975cc in the Harley-Davidson® Bronx™. Look at it !

The Bronx™

A new power-train is at the heart the new Bronx. This middleweight street-fighter model has a real attitude and hopefully performance to match. It looks, stocky , purposeful, chunky and mean.

But the proof of how good this machine will be, will be in the riding of it : how will it handle, what will the price be & will it weigh as much as other Harley’s normally do!?

Harley plan to power it with on their new new liquid-cooled 975cc, Revolution® Max engines.

Revolution® Max 975 Engine Performance Targets

  • Displacement 975cc
  • More than 115 horsepower
  • More than 70 ft. lbs. peak torque

For braking, Harley-Davidson® collaborated with Brembo® to create a new radial monoblock four-piston caliper – that is fantastic stopping power.

Look out for more exciting news on Harley Davidson soon here at SmartMotorcyclingGuide! – have you heard about the new electric Harley?!

Ride Smart , Ride Safe


*NEW* HONDA SUPERBIKE! 215BHP – The 2020 Honda Fireblade

A brand-new motorcycle from Honda – this is not the old Fireblade with a new paint scheme – this is what we have been waiting for!

Some of the below information is supported from Honda’s press release 04 NOV 2019 .

1. Introduction

I have always loved the Fireblade Brand – it screamed “track hooligan” since its original 1992 , from tracks around the world to the roads of the Isle of Man TT.

The last few Fireblades have been awesome machines..but versus the competition over the last few years, Honda have let the ball drop.

Electronics and raw power moved forward leaving the ‘Fireblade’ behind. Thank goodness, Honda had its eyes on the road and noticed the other manufactures pulling away – and THIS is their answer.


My goodness – they have twisted the throttle – and have given birth to a race bread BEAST. Honda are clear that there has been heavy involvement from Honda Racing Corporation, to carry this legend forward.

So another comfortable Fireblade? 🙂

Honda say it is a ‘street-legal MotoGP machine’, which means this is not going to an upright comfortable naked bike. Instead you will in a ‘race stance’ (low handlebars, pegs are high & back) – and in terms in terms of engine, handling and aerodynamics – for outright track performance.

2. Model Overview

From a clean sheet, Honda and HRC’s development engineers set to work creating a new inline four-cylinder engine for the CBR1000RR-R Fireblade. I

A ram-air duct can be seen the photo above (the big hole in the middle of the front fairing). We expect this bike to sound amazing with the end-can has been developed in conjunction with Akrapovic!

The result? The CBR1000RR-R engine delivers 113Nm @ 12,500rpm and makes peak power of 160Kw @ 14,500rpm.

Throttle By Wire has been enhanced for improved feel and three default riding modes feature options to change Power, Engine Brake, Wheelie Control and the optimised Honda Selectable Torque Control (HSTC). The electronics package also now includes adjustable Start Mode.

A totally new aluminium diamond frame uses the rear of the engine as the upper shock mount; the swingarm is longer and based on the RC213V-S design. The rigidity balance, weight distribution and steering geometry have been carefully adjusted for the increased engine output, in terms of front and rear grip levels, and feel for both.

Showa’s 43mm Big Piston Fork (BPF) is matched to a Showa Balance Free Rear Cushion Light (BFRC-L). The front discs are larger in diameter and worked by new Nissin four-piston calipers while the ABS is adjustable for track riding.

I believe I can fly!

I love the way Honda have built the ‘winglets’ into the fairing, these work to increase downforce and improve braking stability.

2020 HONDA CBR1000RR-R SP (Integrated Winglets)

Engine Headlines

The CBR1000RR-R Fireblade’s 1000cc inline four-cylinder engine is completely new and designed with heavy input from the HRC MotoGP development program. It now generates peak power of 160Kw @ 14,500rpm, with peak torque of 113Nm @ 12,500rpm.

Akrapovic partnered in development of the exhaust end-can. Constructed from titanium, its small physical size and light weight contribute to mass centralisation and right-side lean angle. The exhaust valve was also designed with Akrapovic to deliver both low-rpm torque and high-rpm power; a valve stopper (patent-pending) stops exhaust-gas leak when closed while also reducing noise, allowing total end-can internal volume to reduce by 38% compared to the outgoing design.


There are three default riding modes, with options to change engine output and character (see diagram). Power (P) operates through levels 1-5 with 1 giving ultimate outright power. Engine Brake (EB) manages performance on a closed throttle through levels 1-3, with 1 being the strongest engine braking and Wheelie (W) through levels 1-3 (plus off) with 1 giving the weakest intervention.

Honda Selectable Torque Control (HSTC) adjusts through 9 levels (plus off) with 1 giving weakest intervention. It has been optimised for the RR-R and now adds slip rate control (when the slip change rate based on ratio of front/rear wheel speeds exceeds predetermined values) to moderate rapid wheel spin (see diagram). In conjunction with the existing outright slip control, HSTC is smooth in operation while delivering maximum confidence for the rider.

The CBR1000RR-R is also equipped with Start Mode for race starts. It limits engine rpm at 6,000, 7,000, 8,000 and 9,000rpm set-points, even with a wide-open throttle, letting the rider focus on clutch release (and lights) alone.


Vertical and torsional rigidity are increased by 18% and 9%, with horizontal rigidity decreased by 11% – all aimed at producing maximum levels of feel.

The CBR1000RR-R is also equipped with Showa’s new Honda Electronic Steering Damper (HESD). A lightweight through-rod design that mounts on the bottom of the steering stem and attaches to the bottom yoke, HESD is controlled by input from the wheel speed sensors and IMU; 3 levels of control are available.

The rear shock is a fully adjustable Showa Balance Free Rear Cushion Light (BFRC-Light). Instead of a conventional single-tube layout, BFRC-Light uses a double-tube design: the damper case and an internal cylinder. The damper piston has no valves – instead the damping force is generated as displaced oil passes through a separate damping component.

Don’t Stop me now! (Brakes)

New Nissin four-piston radial mount front brake calipers are fitted, which offer more rigidity with reduced weight, and grip 10mm larger 330mm diameter discs. Braking power is improved for track use; the 5mm disc thickness also dissipates heat more efficiently. The rear brake caliper is the same Brembo unit used by the RC213V-S.

Rear lift control and ABS-managed brake force relative to lean angle were a feature of the previous design. For the CBR1000RR-R the system gains two switchable modes; SPORT mode focuses on road-riding performance, with high brake force and less pitching, while TRACK mode offers performance in braking from much higher circuit speeds.


How Much?

We at estimate a price of $18k to $25k. This will not a cheap machine – but you get what you pay for!