My bike not only looks good – it goes well, too. With 10,000 miles showing, the engine had loosened up completely and was producing a genuine 95bhp at the rear wheel on the dyno of BSD Engineering.
Take a look at the video by clicking the relevant link, right.
Not bad, but the fuelling curve revealed something very interesting which could help explain my only complaint about the bike – its tank range.
On the standard setting, the bike appeared to run quite rich. There was only one thing for it – a race pipe and a Dynojet Power Commander " black box " . Only in the interest of fuel economy, you understand…
Finding the £319 asking price for the Promotive pipe (01827-875888) and £250 for the Power Commander (01753-811060) was tough, but I volunteered to do some overtime on MCN’s new BikeMart fortnightly magazine to raise the funds.
The extra hours slaving over a keyboard have been worth it. The difference to the bike is dramatic. Power is only up 5bhp to bang on 100bhp on the dyno chart, but what that doesn’t show is how the bike feels.
It wasn’t slow to start with, but now it pulls so much better. Crack the throttle open in first and the front wheel lifts on the power alone. Hit a bump in second when you’re accelerating hard and the same thing happens.
The Power Commander has changed the injection mapping to suit the pipe. If you look at the chart you can see it is now running much leaner, giving better economy. I reckon I’ve gained another 10 miles per tank, a saving of about £1 every 100 miles. It also sounds much better – to hear the evidence, log on to: www.motorcyclenews.com
The main expense I have found so far apart from fuel is tyres. Having covered over 12,000 miles I’ve gone through three rears and two fronts, but that’s the price you pay for owning a sports bike.
After changing the original Bridgestone BT010s for Pirelli Supercorsas I was pleased to find the rear lasted 4000 miles, with loads of life left in the front. I opted for another Pirelli rear to keep the tyres matched. That also lasted 4000 miles, after which the front tyre was shot. I did consider changing for a different brand at this point, but with a front lasting nearly 8000 miles and a rear 4000, and both providing more grip than I can use, I didn’t see the point.
While the wheel was out I had a good look at the brakes. The first set of pads wore out after 5000 miles, which I put down to the bike being involved in MCN’s tyre test a few months ago, but the second set were now also badly worn. I suppose that’s the downside of brakes as good as the CBR’s.
My local dealer didn’t have any Honda pads in stock, but it did have a set of Ferodo SinterGrip pads for £32. As I needed to use the bike straight away, I fitted them instead. It was a good choice. The Ferodos are very similar to the original pads – high praise indeed – as well as £15 cheaper. Now I’m using two fingers again – not just to gesticulate at Volvo drivers, either – and the stoppers feel as sharp as when I first bought the bike.
Otherwise, the bike is virtually as I bought it, though I had a Datatool Digital gear indicator (01420-541444) fitted at the 10,000 mile service. It’s a cheap and brilliant idea which saves loads of messing around guessing which gear you’re in.
However, there’s very little else I can think of to do to the CBR – except ride it. It has more than enough power, handles brilliantly and still looks as good as any 2002 model – apart from perhaps Honda’s new V5 four-stroke GP bike…