Here at trendy MO, we most likely would not publish a street check of a brand new Honda with out a few images of the factor in motion. Twenty years in the past, although, there was most likely a wonderfully reasonable-sounding excuse: My canine ate the movie, a bear ate the photographer… Most most likely, someone slud the shiny new Honda 919 down the street on the best way to the shoot, and the present needed to go on. Who is aware of? They shouldn’t have referred to as the color “Asphalt.” In any case, this bare CBR900RR has turned out to be one thing of a traditional cult, effectively liked by individuals who love Hondas. Enjoy the tiny studio images and full spec chart.
Torrance, California, – We, as a folks, should be getting smooth. Maybe its the years of feel-good politics which have performed it to us, or perhaps its the antibiotics in our milk. Whatever the case, there are extra folks than ever who simply can’t bear the considered using a narrow-focus sportbike. “Too uncomfortable,” they’ll say. “Too peaky,” said others. “Too complicated,” say yet one more group of malcontents, fed up with the present crop of superbike replicas. Still, Honda insists, these of us are a far cry from buying and selling of their each day adrenaline repair for a bottle of Geritol. For these folks, it’s Honda’s 919 that appears to be tailor made. In reality, the bike might even attract to some crossovers who desire a bike that needs to be virtually as fast as any pure sportbike on a again street, finishing up mentioned responsibility with the kind of street-fighter flare and old-school allure solely a motorcycle just like the 919 can possess.After all, its motor relies on the identical powerplant that after made the CBR900RR such a well-liked monitor machine in 1993.
Back then, 893 cubic centimeters were all Honda wanted to show the sportbike world on its ear with a class-leading power-to-weight ratio. Today, for this new-old crowd, the mill has grown to 919 cubes and pumps out much more torque, although the height energy numbers are, not surprisingly, lopped off in favor of extra around-town drivability. But then once more, that’s the main focus of this bike whereas its predecessor’s objective was rather more narrow-focus.
But simply because the brand new 919 isn’t a race bike doesn’t imply it has to have as a lot of torque or weigh as a lot as a milk truck. Its claimed dry weight makes it the lightest bare bike within the open class. And though the engine doesn’t have class main peak energy, Honda is very happy with the output, insisting that the gobs of torque and lithe really feel will entice extra patrons than peaky dyno charts.
Under the Hood
Starting up prime, the engine is a twin overhead cam design with shims residing beneath buckets. The valves are splayed at a 32 degree included angle and, ensuring the machine is simple to reside with, the valve upkeep interval is a prolonged 16,000 miles. The cylinders have a 71 mm bore and 58 mm stroke and have a ten: 1 compression ratio.
Of course, Honda’s newest programmed gasoline injection system is what delivers the gasoline which flows at 50 psi by means of 4 injectors in every 36 mm throttle physique. Each injector nozzle has 4 laser-drilled holes for a “highly atomized air / fuel charge for maximum combustion, efficiency and power,” says Honda.
“Keeping things cool in the engine is a liquid-cooled oil cooler and a lightweight aluminum radiator.”
The exhaust system is of the four-into-two-into-one-into-two sort and options “expanding-diameter” tubing heading up into the 2 “center-up” mufflers. Keeping the riders legs secure and funky are stainless-steel muffler covers. Keeping issues cool within the engine are a liquid-cooled oil cooler and a light-weight aluminum radiator. There can be a light-weight one-piece alternator that places out extra juice than the unit discovered on the previous 893 cc engine, and it helps to energy the multi-reflector, twin filament headlight.
As with the engine, the 919’s body is designed primarily for avenue use, taking a route that’s decidedly much less aggressive than the unique CBR900RR, and even employs a few of Honda’s “tuned flex” theories. The body is a sq. tube, mono-backbone metal unit that makes use of the engine as a careworn member. A single box-section downtube extends to the entrance engine mounts that incorporate a cross-member to hyperlink the body to the engine’s stable entrance mounts. At the back of the bike, an aluminum swingarm options a big one-piece forged pivot block and extruded triple-box-section spars.
Suspension on the 919 options 43 mm forks that work by means of 4.7 inches of journey. At the rear of the bike, a single shock offers 5.0 inches of journey and encompasses a distant reservoir. Unfortunately neither finish possesses adjustment functionality for both compression or rebound damping. The solely adjustments a rider could make with out tearing issues aside is a rise or lower within the shock’s preload. Seven positions can be found to go well with every rider’s urge for food for destruction.
Braking duties are dealt with by a pair of 296 mm discs up entrance whereas a single 240 mm rotor resides out again. Four piston calipers clamp down on the entrance rotors whereas a single piston caliper pinches the spinning disc out again. These discs are mounted to hole aluminum alloy three-spoke wheels.
Since the bike’s audience is decidedly extra inclined to spend his time in city areas as an alternative of rural outcroppings, trying to find that excellent line by means of that excellent nook, the 919’s devices additionally put the emphasis on rider consolation and related info. The cluster encompasses a black-face analog speedometer, tachometer and water temperature indicators with white numerals. There can be a digital odometer and tripmeter in addition to indicator lights for flip indicators, impartial, excessive beam and the same old low gasoline and oil stress lights. Strangely for a motorcycle designed to be so “urban” in its design, a clock is conspicuously absent.
Under the Helmet
Poring over the specs handed out by Honda on the technical briefing on the 919, we have been ready to be lower than impressed when their newest bike hit the street. For starters, the dyno chart they confirmed us looked just like the previous CBR900’s graph with the highest two thousand rpm lopped off. “There’s your ‘re-tuned for mid-range,'” we thought. Then there was the overwhelming lack of suspension adjustments and a steel frame that had us thinking “flexi-flyer.”
Its a good thing, then, that we know when our first instincts are wrong, and that we’re not afraid to alter our opinion when confronted with new info that runs strongly counter to our mis-guided preconceptions. The first of which, weight, needed to be discarded instantly. Just sitting on the bike at a standstill, it’s wonderful how bodily small the bike feels. Photos counsel one thing alongside the strains of the previous CB1000’s stature, although that bike feels a very good 20-something% bigger compared.
The ergos on the machine are – not to be redundant – traditional commonplace. The seat is all that you must maintain your smooth butt from the arduous plastic pan under, however little extra. Look elsewhere for Gold Wing consolation, although the 919’s seat is significantly better appointed than most sportbikes.
The bars are fairly commonplace as effectively, manufactured from metal and swept again in a manner that locations your arms in a pure if barely dorky place, elbows simply all the way down to the facet and barely in entrance of you. Of course, you’ll discover your toes comfortably under you and never too far again or at the entrance of your knees.
This places you in a barely forward-canted place that’s comfy for around-town tiddling or the little bit of backroad frolicking.
“Even as low as 2,000 rpm, the engine never complained when the throttle was whacked open.”
Because the using place is so upright, its straightforward to chalk up the 919’s mild really feel to ergonomic appointments – at least at first. But when rolling by means of the twisties, initiating turn-in after which tightening a line with little greater than a thought and a light-weight push on the bar within the course that you must go, the bike follows your command, you instantly suppose again to the spec charts and Honda’s “lightest in class” claims. No doubt the bike’s 25 levels of rake and 57.5 inch wheelbase play an element right here, as does the low middle of gravity.
Mid-corner, nonetheless, is the place issues begin to go a bit awry. If there’s a bump or a collection of bumps on a nook’s entrance, the inventory suspension settings allow the bike’s again finish to maneuver up and down at will. This makes holding a line troublesome at finest because the bouncing again finish tends to do awkward issues to the entrance’s really feel. To rectify the state of affairs, we tried rising the rear shock’s preload (the one choice accessible) by notching the ramped regulate up from its second to fourth place of seven accessible.
Immediately the again finish was stiffer, however it was not any extra managed over the bumps. In reality, the stiffer setting solely heightened our consciousness of the bike’s want for a rise in rebound damping. The trip turned uneven and there was solely a little bit of improvement in management. We ended up backing the adjuster down a notch (to the third of seven) and simply studying to reside with issues, focusing our consideration on different, extra optimistic areas of the 919’s efficiency.
The motor, as an example, is a superb unit that had us creating a critical case of the scrunchies, whereby we have been continuously straining our face muscle tissue on nook exits. Any gear, any pace, and the 919 cc engine pulls with out a hiccup. Even as little as 2,000 rpm, the engine by no means complained when the throttle was whacked open. The identical compliments might be paid to the motor’s efficiency within the higher revs, although you’ll seldom have to enterprise there. We discovered ourselves taking part in between the 5,000 and 9,000 rev-range more often than not, by no means needing something extra, or much less.
We did shift by means of the gearbox every now and then although, if solely to pattern the wonderful six-speed transmission’s clean gear adjustments and well-chosen ratios. This additionally allowed us to listen to the burbles emanating from the twin under-seat mufflers exiting simply aft of our personal aft part. Neither loud nor completely quiet, however completely satisfying. Running by means of the gears generated yet one more excuse to benefit from the software of the 919’s wonderful Nissin entrance binders. Excellent preliminary chunk that was adopted up by equally great modulation and really feel encouraging confidence heading into each bend.
On the open freeway, the motor’s clean nature shines by means of as soon as once more, all however eliminating any in-line buzz you have been anticipating. The solely factor that holds this bike again from being a critical all-round mileage eater is a fairing within the type of Yamaha’s FZ-1 that produces simply enough of blast deflection to keep you from doing all your finest impersonation of a human parachute.
In all, Honda’s performed fairly a job with this new 919 of theirs. It’s already on the quick monitor to change into a favorite employee. So a lot of love has already flowed its manner that we’ve requested Honda for the bike as a long-term tester as we surmise this nice machine is barely a set of clip-ons and an honest shock away from being a wonderful bike.
Suggested Retail Price: $ 7,999 Engine Type: 919cc liquid-cooled DOHC inline four-cylinder Bore and Stroke: 71.0mm x 58.0mm Compression Ratio: 10.8: 1 Valve Train: DOHC; 4 valves per cylinder Carburetion: PGM-FI with handbook enricher circuit Ignition: Computer-controlled digital with three-dimensional mapping Transmission: Six-speed Final Drive: # 530 O-ring-sealed chain Front Suspension: 43mm cartridge fork; 4.7-inch journey Rear Suspension: Single shock with seven-position spring-preload adjustability; 5.0-inch journey Front Brakes: Dual full-floating 296mm discs with four-piston calipers Rear Brake: Single 240mm disc with single-piston caliper Front Tire: 120 / 70ZR-17 radial Rear Tire: 180 / 55ZR-17 radial Wheelbase: 57.5 inches Rake (Caster Angle): 25.0 levels Trail: 98.0mm (3.9 inches) Seat Height: 31.5 inches Dry Weight: 427.0 kilos Fuel Capacity: 5.0 gallons Color: Asphalt