Top-shelf Ohlins suspension, powerful Brembo brakes, a hand-massaged engine and a lighter, single-seat subframe. The 2014 Honda CBR1000RR SP may not be the all-new superbike you were hoping for, but it should be a serious track performer.
"If you add up the cost of the suspension and brakes alone, you'll see the customer is getting a great deal with this bike," Honda explained to us last week. Those components alone would add up to around $5,000 if purchased separately, but the SP will only add around $3,000 to the standard Honda CBR1000RR's $13,800 MSRP.
You also get much more than just those upgrade components. Honda has carried out significant engine work, fitting new heads, intake tracts and an exhaust system in pursuit of an as-yet unspecified increase to the standard bike's 176 bhp and 83 lb.-ft. of torque. Pistons and connecting rods have also been hand selected for each SP motor to match, ensuring lower internal friction.
Out back, the passenger seat has been lost and a lighter subframe fitted. Honda claims the same 440.9 lbs curb weight to the standard bike, so any weight loss from the subframe will be minor, but it will help reduce polar inertia and boost mass centralization.
Honda has also fitted the SP with track-oriented Pirelli Diablo SC tires, a double bubble screen and modified the riding position with wider clip-ons and more rearward foot pegs.
The CBR1000RR already comes equipped with superior suspension and brakes than that of any other Japanese superbike, but these new components elevate it to European levels of component quality. You'll reap more speed, safety and control from this suspension and brake package than you will from rider aid electronics like Traction Control, but those electronics do continue to remain conspicuously absent.
US models will not be available with ABS brakes.