Spoilers, speed holes and the 2012 Castrol Honda CBR1000RR

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The 2012 Honda CBR1000RR gains fancy new suspension and revised aerodynamics. The former won’t carry over to the already incredibly high-spec world of SBK racing, but the aerodynamics should. Peak under the chin of this new Castrol Honda and you’ll see the same tiny spoiler, designed to reduced lift, as the production bike, as well as the new-for-2012 layered fairings and their use of a low pressure area to draw cooling air through the radiator and smooth airflow over the rider.

The CBR’s new chin spoiler is claimed to reduce front-end lift at speed. This diagram shows the production model, but the race bike below is seen to be wearing a similar item under its chin.

The SBK season kicks off in Phillip Island, Australia this weekend and the teams are there testing this week. This is the first time we’ve seen the ’12 CBR in SBK livery. Its colors are drawn from the tricolor production bike.

Fancy race parts include the Ohlins SBK remote reservoir forks as well as the SBK-spec twin-tube shock. That twin-tube technology is now shared by the production bike, albeit in Showa form. The result should be similar, the more linear damping response enables the bike to sniff out every last iota of grip available. Something you can really feel while riding it and something that you’ll quickly find lacking from lower-spec rivals like the 2012 Suzuki GSX-R1000 afterwards.

There’s also forged PVM wheels of a strikingly similar design to the Triumph Speed Triple R and a terribly sexy Arrow GP pipe with oval exit.

Jonathan Rea, pictured in a racing start up top, was 4th fastest at Phillip Island testing yesterday. An impressive showing that put him one place ahead of former Champion Max Biaggi. His teammate, Hiroshi Aoyama, was 13th, lapping just under a second slower.

  • Chris

    Cool bike.

    I wonder why Honda doesn’t design themselves a race pipe – why use an aftermarket manufacturer like Arrow when they have the means & cash to design one themselves that matches their setup & can be tuned easily using their equipment?

    • http://www.amarokconsultants.com michael uhlarik

      All global OEMs subcontract component systems to specialized outside companies. Every. Single. One.

      Back in the olden days of post war industrialism, it was true that big manufacturers had in-house facilities for making their own rims, exhausts, plastic parts, etc. Then it became clear in the 70′s that letting the supply chain carry a larger part of the burden in R&D, to the point that recently the business model is almost a reversal of that. Witness Mercedes buying AMG, or Suzuki integrating Yoshimura into their R&D process.

      Let Akrapovic, Arrow, Showa and the rest of the tier one suppliers do what they do best. The added value of wearing those recognized brands also makes good marketing sense.


      • tpnewsk


    • vic06

      uh, that doesn’t make sense at all. Every single team out there has outsourced exhaust systems, as well as suspension, wheels, bodywork, brakes, tires… Like Michael said, use the best provider in every component and work with them to make the fastest bike.

  • http://www.damiengaudet.blogspot.com damien

    Can’t wait for moto racing, finally!!! It’s a shame I have to watch it on SPEED.

    Any options for watching SBK online in America? WorldSBK.com blocks the feed to America because of SPEED, but they only show the race flag to flag… not one bit of pre-race and they usually cut off the post race interviews too. Bastards.

    • Roman

      Best way to watch the full race is to download the torrent from http://www.racingfor.me

      I guess you still need an invite, but I’m not 100% sure.

      • smoke4ndmears

        about that invite…

        • Roman

          Shoot me an e-mail. roma258 @ yahoo . com

          • Campisi

            … Could I get one too?

            • jp182

              me too!!

      • Max Headroom

        Is this a private party or can I come too?

      • CCarey

        Wouldn’t mind one of those invites either

  • Adrian

    Wish Honda would re-enter AMA Superbike racing.

    • Gene

      Heh. HFL has a *ton* more info on this than either Roadracing World or Superbike Planet, who can barely bother with a paragraph. Good on ya, guys.

      Edit: and why did this show up as a reply to someone? That’s been happening a lot lately.

      • http://hellforleathermagazine.com Wes Siler

        Thanks. We’re not always perfect and we’ve been massively busy lately, but we’re the only people out there actually trying to bring you good motorcycle content.

        Because you hit reply?

  • http://www.muthalovin.com the_doctor

    It is silly, but I got a kick out of the lead photo.