With the release of the 2015 Yamaha R1 and 2016 Kawasaki ZX-10R superbikes, it’s no surprise that Suzuki and Honda aren’t far behind. Only weeks on the heels of the 2016 models being released, we have some very interesting news about Honda’s 2017 1000 cc superbike offering(s).
Rumor has it that Honda has not one, but two literbikes on the way for next year - with one keeping more in line with the current CBR1000RR’s on-road bias while the other would be the V4 track weapon we’ve all been wanting for so long.
That isn’t to say that the new Fireblade would be boring or not worth it. You can fully expect it to get a full electronics suite to bring it up to par with the Yamaha and Kawasaki, as well as a horsepower bump. But it will still be based on the inline-four configuration used in the current bike and still be built to be an affordable, comfortable, and public-road biased.
For those of you not in the know, we’ve long heard rumors of Honda building a V4 road-legal superbike as a derivative of the GP bike/RC213V-S, which is being called the RVF1000 V4. This would target the Aprilia RSV4 RF and Ducati Panigale R.
Finally, there is also talk of a possible “cheap” version of the RC213V-S. With rumors of the RVF being in the £25,000 range, it’s hard to think they’ll find room between it and the actual RC213V-S for a mid version in the range of £50,000 that will sell - but they may have something up their sleeve we haven’t yet considered. Like a jet packs.
Normally, I wouldn’t give rumors that seem this shaky any shine, but UK site Motorcyclenews.com is one of the best, biggest, and most reliable out there. For some reason I have a feeling the flimsiness of their claims comes from them not wanting to out their source rather than them just throwing guesses out there.
MCN tossed in qualifiers like “if they get the green light,” or “Honda could take years to decide what specification and price to pitch the RVF at,” but I highly doubt they run this on pure speculation. Especially when it ends with this quote from Honda Research and Design head, Tetsuo Suzuki:
“There are three projects which Honda has raised and all of these are under serious consideration at the moment. The superbike market has changed a lot over the past few years and we need to make sure we take this into account in our decisions.
“The three options open to us include a new replacement for the Fireblade, the RVF1000 you have mentioned and also a cheaper version of the RC213V-S. We will be studying all three in parallel and all are under serious consideration, but it is likely there will be one or perhaps two of the three options made for production.
“In terms of the future of the Fireblade we do not want to make something that is as extreme as some bikes, like the Yamaha R1M for example. The performance and concept [for the Fireblade] is not aimed at track riders; that’s not the purpose of the bike. The concept is to have a usable road bike.
“As far as the possibility of an RVF1000 that will be derived from a cheaper version of the RC213V-S platform and engine, then that is one possible path.”