The CBR900RR was introduced in 1992 and was fitted with an 893 cc (54.5 cu in) inline-four engine. When introduced, it set a precedent for light weight in the super bike class. At 453 lb (205 kg) with a full tank of gas, the CBR900RR was just 4 lb (2 kg) heavier than Honda’s own CBR600F2, and 76 lb (34 kg) lighter than the next-lightest open-class machine at the time, the Yamaha FZR1000. Minor changes to the 1994 model included an improved shift drum to cure notchy shifting, and steadier a move to refine the CBR900RR’s handling traits on bumpy roads, the 1995 model’s suspension was upgraded with revised spring and damping rates, and a compression adjuster was added to the front fork. A new instrument panel included an electronic speedometer that measured speed from the countershaft sprocket. The only engine change in 1995 was the replacement of the aluminum valve cover with a magnesium piece.
1996 brought the first major changes to the CBR900RR. In order to achieve a more optimized balance of rigidity, Honda significantly altered the 1996 CBR’s chassis and suspension. The frame and swingarm were fabricated from larger, thinner-walled extrusions for reduced torsional rigidity. The fork and shock internals were re-designed, and the swingarm pivot raised by 5 mm (0.2 in).The 1996 model carried over to 1997 unchanged except for the updates to color/graphics 1998, Honda continued subtle refinements in the CBR900RR’s chassis. It saw frame stiffness closer to the original model’s, revised suspension internals, and 5 mm (0.2 in) less triple clamp offset (an almost universal aftermarket upgrade to previous models). New brake calipers acted on larger front discs, the fairing was re-shaped and raised footpegs subtly changed ergonomics again. Eighty percent of the engine’s internals were all-new to reduce weight and minimize friction; other updates included redesigned combustion chambers and porting, aluminum composite cylinders, new pistons, a smaller and lighter clutch pack, revised gearbox ratios, larger radiator, and a new stainless steel exhaust header.
The CBR900RR had a completely new 929 cc (56.7 cu in) engine incorporating fuel injection, more oversquare cylinder dimensions, larger valves set at a narrower included angle, lighter internals, and an all-titanium, HTEV-equipped exhaust system. The “pivotless” chassis had the swingarm mounted to the engine cases but incorporated a brace underneath the engine. Updated suspension and brakes included an inverted front fork and 330 mm (13 in) front discs; and the 16 in front wheel was replaced with a more common 17 in 2002, cylinder bore was increased from 74mm to 75mm, increasing capacity to 954 cc (58.2 cu in). Larger fuel injectors and radiator, re-mapped electronic fuel injection, and a more powerful ECU were also added. The bodywork and fairings were reworked for a sleeker, more aerodynamic feel. The frame was strengthened and a more rigid swingarm added and the footpegs were raised to allow for greater lean angles. Dry weight was reduced to 168 kg (370 lb).The CBR900RR was replaced by an all new CBR1000RR in 2004.
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