Poll: Honda CBR1000RR Or Suzuki GSX-R1000R?

Troy Siahaan
by Troy Siahaan

The big news in the sportbike world for 2017 was the introduction of not one, but two heavily revised iconic literbikes – the Honda CBR1000RR (and CBR1000RR SP) and Suzuki GSX-R1000R (and GSX-R1000). The previous versions of both models had languished for a number of years without any major updates, most notably in the electronics department, but also in the engine bay. Meanwhile, their competitors, both in Japan and abroad, had made significant gains with their flagship liter-class sportbikes, producing some of the fastest, most powerful, and advanced motorcycles we’ve ever piloted.

For 2017 however, both Honda and Suzuki have finally joined the rest of the sportbike pack, introducing models with sophisticated electronics and powerful engines. In the case of the Honda, engineers opted to focus on handling, nimbleness, and weight while the rest of the competition focused on big horsepower numbers. The resulting 2017 CBR1000RR is a motorcycle that feels narrow between the knees, while also being agile and sure-footed. Of course engine power gets a slight bump thanks to increased compression ratio, revised cams, and a host of other changes mainly within the cylinder head. On track, there’s no question the new ‘Blade is faster and more powerful than its predecessor.

On the electronics front, the CBR receives a full suite of rider aids anchored by a five-axis IMU. Unfortunately, as mentioned in the First Ride Review above, there are aspects of the suite that don’t function as well as they do on some of the competition.

In the case of the Suzuki, it too receives a full electronics suite, anchored by a six-axis IMU. Other goodies include ride-by-wire throttle, a finger-follower valvetrain, Brembo monoblock brakes, and variable valve timing. Spring for an additional R and you get Showa Balance Free suspension, quickshifter with auto-blipping downshifts, cornering ABS and launch control.

In his First Ride Review, E-i-C Duke praised Suzuki for the power the new GSX-R1000R delivers, noting how simple yet effective the variable valve system works. Handling seemed on par with the rest of the (stiff) competition, while, just like the Honda, there were some oddities with the electronics. Though overall, both bikes have more performance (and performance potential) than most mere mortals will ever get the chance to exploit.

Prices are nearly identical too, between the standard CBR ($16,499, add $300 for ABS) and (up-spec) GSX-RR, which drains the wallet of $16,999 ($14,599 for the single R, add $400 for ABS). Which raises the question: which of the two would YOU rather own? Let us know in the poll below.

Troy Siahaan
Troy Siahaan

Troy's been riding motorcycles and writing about them since 2006, getting his start at Rider Magazine. From there, he moved to Sport Rider Magazine before finally landing at Motorcycle.com in 2011. A lifelong gearhead who didn't fully immerse himself in motorcycles until his teenage years, Troy's interests have always been in technology, performance, and going fast. Naturally, racing was the perfect avenue to combine all three. Troy has been racing nearly as long as he's been riding and has competed at the AMA national level. He's also won multiple club races throughout the country, culminating in a Utah Sport Bike Association championship in 2011. He has been invited as a guest instructor for the Yamaha Champions Riding School, and when he's not out riding, he's either wrenching on bikes or watching MotoGP.

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3 of 12 comments
  • Beju Beju on Mar 12, 2017

    Suzuki, because the GSX-Rs felt better ergonomics wise when I sat on them at the IMS show, and I have a soft spot for Suzuki since my first bike was a 1978 Suzuki GS550.

    Realistically, both are far more bike than I'll ever fully exploit.

  • Roy Bez Roy Bez on Mar 14, 2017

    the gsxr because of revolutionary engine design.
    gsxr is going to beat even the s1000rr on the dyno. its already making +10-15 more bhp than the new zx10r and r1. making a ton more bhp everywhere on the rev range.


    • Kevin Duke Kevin Duke on Mar 14, 2017

      Impressive! However, Euro tuning is different than what we get here in America. The R1 supposedly made 184 hp there in the UK. Ours was about 20 horses less.