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.

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