It was all the way back in 2008 when the CBR1000RR got its last full overhaul, but new photographs from the Grobnik racetrack in Croatia reveal a heavily revised CBR apparently ready to launch at this fall’s motorcycle shows.

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Visually, we can see new bodywork from front to rear, including a headlight design similar to the recently unveiled CBR250RR that includes LED daytime running lights to meet the latest Euro 4 regulations. The paint and colorway borrows from its Africa Twin brother. The current CBR’s under-engine muffler is replaced by an exhaust with a separate canister, part of what’s necessary to meet Euro 4 emissions regs. At the rear is a much tidier tailsection and a new tag hanger.

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From there, it’s difficult to say for certain what’s changed on the CBR’s chassis. The frame itself appears very similar to the existing model, and the swingarm too. In fact, nearly all of the bike’s underpinnings look very similar to the current CBR1000RR. An inverted fork remains up front, presumably a Showa Big-Piston Fork, but it’s not Showa’s Balance Free Fork seen on the latest Kawasaki ZX-10R. Wheels and brakes look similar to the current Fireblade as well – and not the SP model due to its lack of Brembo stoppers and Ohlins suspenders. If these pictures are, in fact, of a new CBR1000RR, then the bike might be merely an evolution, not a revolution, of the current model.

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2016 Kawasaki ZX-10R vs. 2016 Aprilia RSV4 RR

2015 Six-Pack Superbike Shootout Final Answer!

The engine architecture looks very similar to the current CBR, down to the case-cover bolt patterns, although there’s only so many ways to bolt together an inline-Four powerplant with a stacked transmission gearset. We’ll assume it’ll incorporate ride-by-wire technology that’ll easily enable a choice of ride modes and traction-control settings. Whatever the internal changes, an uprated CBR1000RR will need to have somewhere in the neighborhood of 170 rear-wheel horsepowerto be competitive with its rivals. Doing so would match the the latest ZX-10R and top the Yamaha R1 by seven. Ten more horses would put it firmly in contention with the Europeans.

Interestingly, the bike in these photos is equipped with wheel-speed sensors in the brake rotors that are much smaller than the ones typically used for traction-control and ABS systems, the latter a requirement of European streetbikes in 2017; the former because every new literbike must have the latest in electronic rider aids. The new Fireblade, as it’s called in Europe, is sure to have state-of-the-art electronics to match up with the contemporary systems used by Yamaha, Kawasaki, Ducati and others.

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Wheel-speed sensors are becoming less obvious as technology progresses. On the right is the previous CBR.

Drawing firm conclusions from spy photos is always problematic, and it’s even more so when the circumstances surrounding the images seem a bit odd. For example, the pics indicate the CBR was being photographed for photos and video. However, if this was an official product shoot, the bike’s headlights wouldn’t be covered in tape and rearview mirrors would be installed. Perhaps the tape would be removed and mirrors installed while shooting later in the day…?

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Also, photographer Sandro Rubinic says he nabbed the pictures from outside Grobnik’s track fence, however, the images from around the pit-lane area look almost like he was inside the track’s boundaries when he shot them.

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Could this be a case of an old motorcycle getting a pair of new clothes, or is it a whole new motorcycle cribbing heavily from its progenitor? Full details will be revealed at this fall’s European moto shows, either at Germany’s Intermot October 5-9 (or October 4 if you’re a member of the media) or at EICMA in Italy during the first week of November.

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  • http://likespaper.com Ruslan Sadygov

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  • Starmag

    This better not be just BNP-Bold New Plastics, or Nicky is going to be very POed.

    • Fat Owens Fat

      That’s what their plan was. In an article they maintained that they had 3 chances. One being to make a cheaper 213V-S which is impossible. The other being going all out with an all new Fireblade which now looks unlikely and the third option was an updated Blade focussed for the streets and a more expensive see $25-30k worth of V4 track bike.

      I think they will ditch the Fireblade after 2018 and replace it with the RVF. w

  • novemberjulius

    Hondas are my fav… I might be able to buy the matchbox version.

  • john phyyt

    Not a V4 or V5. Sigh ! .. Honda you used to be the innovator brand. Please . please re-invigorate the spirit of the legendary “Soichiro San “

    • Fat Owens Fat

      You lot keep asking for a v4 when they clearly stated that a v4 bike is in the pipeline for 2018. 2017 will be the 25th anniversary of the Fireblade. Also, they mentioned that the v4 bike will roughly cost you $25-30k. So you better have the money where your mouth is. Don’t whine about things being expensive because well a reliable v4 litre class engine is expensive to manufacture.

      • Kevin Duke

        Aprilia will sell you one for about $15k…

        • Fat Owens Fat

          And yet it isn’t really selling in good numbers why?

          • Joe Smith

            Because the are unreliable and expensive to maintain and repair. My friend says his is an ape, when it works.

          • Kevin Duke

            I’d pin blame on two factors: Sparse dealer network and minimal brand recognition in America. Reliability appears to be decent.

  • Billy Jack

    “Old motorcycle getting a new pair of clothes” – plus RBW – would be my vote. It was rumored last month that learning the “new bike” wasn’t really a new bike is what lead Michael Vd Mark to finally leave Honda.

    • Fat Owens Fat

      That’s what their plan was. In an article they maintained that they had 3 chances. One being to make a cheaper 213V-S which is impossible. The other being going all out with an all new Fireblade which now looks unlikely and the third option was an updated Blade focussed for the streets and a more expensive see $25-30k worth of V4 track bike.

      VdM made a stupid decision regardless. He probably went to Yamaha because Lowes was given a GP race shot to ride an M1 while VdM didn’t get one.
      The new R1s are barely cracking the top 10 this year so idk what the heck he was smoking when he decided to hop aboard something not on pace with his present Fireblade. A factory Ducati or Kawa ride I can understand.

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  • Wurnman

    Makes absolutely no sense. Honda gives some dude a soon to be released bike to have people take photos and him posting it on his Twitter page. On a racetrack in Croatia of all places. Does not even look like the one discussed on MCN site.

    • Fat Owens Fat

      That’s what their plan was. In an article they maintained that they had 3 chances. One being to make a cheaper 213V-S which is impossible. The other being going all out with an all new Fireblade which now looks unlikely and the third option was an updated Blade focussed for the streets and a more expensive see $25-30k worth of V4 track bike.

      The MCN site photos was just artistic renders of the new Blade. Look at the 2016 CBR 500R. I said the new Blade would literally look very close to what it looked like and now it does. Also the new 2017 CBR 250RR also carries this design language to some extent if you haven’t seen it yet.

  • Auphliam

    Certainly gives the sense of a photo shoot set up to lend credence to not-so-secret “spy shots”…odd indeed. By the way, where does one sign up for the “hold my belt loops” job?

  • DickRuble

    “will need to have somewhere in the neighborhood of 170 rear-wheel horsepowerto be competitive with its rivals.”

    It won’t happen. If the latest releases are any indication, Honda has made a conscious decision to step out of the horsepower race and focus on handling, ease of operation and reliability and, to a certain extent, their peculiar brand of design.

  • JMDonald

    This is an offering I very much want to read about after a long shakedown cruise of discovery has been done.

  • Jacob Glen

    In my opinion, Honda is preparing something bigger than this.. for me this new CBR was only to prolong the existence of the CBR clan, which Honda deemed as a street oriented bike.. I think Honda is preparing the track oriented bike in the rumored RVF clan or the watered down version of RC213V-S.. for me that’s enough reason of not to release a highly sophisticated and high spec machine in the long waited new RR…
    But the rumor is they put some electronic and weight improvements

    • Fat Owens Fat

      That’s what their plan was. In an article they maintained that they had 3 chances. One being to make a cheaper 213V-S which is impossible. The other being going all out with an all new Fireblade which now looks unlikely and the third option was an updated Blade focussed for the streets and a more expensive see $25-30k worth of V4 track bike

  • Scott Campbell

    Could this perhaps be the new street bike with the much desired RVF1000R being kept an even better secret?? Please!

    • Fat Owens Fat

      That’s what their plan was. In an article they maintained that they had 3 chances. One being to make a cheaper 213V-S which is impossible. The other being going all out with an all new Fireblade which now looks unlikely and the third option was an updated Blade focussed for the streets and a more expensive see $25-30k worth of V4 track bike.

  • mavricxx

    I’m just excited Honda is FINALLY making a whole redesign. Personally I don’t care if this bike makes less hp than the other supersports, it’s still gonna be fast regardless; although it would be nice if it made 200hp to match the ZX-10R. All I care about is that they refine it, make it look sexy, reliable and add all the gadgetry of BMW and the likes including Cruise Control and heated grips. I really hope it has power in the mid range unlike the ZX-10R where all the power is atop and add an incredible sounding muffler like the Aprilia RSV.

  • Mahatma

    I just hope for the buyers sake it’s not hondas usual pony power where they state an impressive figure,and when run on a dyno it states somewhere about 20% or more below that.

  • Kevin Duke