Honda made some pretty memorable V4-engine superbikes in the 1980s and 1990s and the 2012 RVF1000R could well continue that great tradition!
Back in November last year, we carried a report where Wayne Gardner said that Honda would soon be launching an all-new V4-engined Fireblade. ‘While I was in Europe, I got talking to some Honda officials who confirmed to me that they are really looking forward to the new 1000cc MotoGP category. They also said they’ll be building sportsbikes in the future with V4 engines, so they can compete in MotoGP with a similar V4 1000,’ said Wayne back then. ‘Expect your CBR Fireblade to turn into a V4 very soon. Also expect something very similar to the new V4 CBR powerplant to be utilised in Honda’s MotoGP bikes when the new regulations come into force. You can bet whatever they come up with this time around will be something special,’ he added.
Now, according to a recent report in Motorcyclist magazine, that V4-engined 1000cc superbike that Gardner spoke of – which might actually be called the RVF1000R – could be launched by the end of this year. Only, the bike isn’t likely to replace the existing inline-four CBR1000RR Fireblade. Instead, the more expensive RVF1000R could be positioned in a slot above the ’Blade, offering vastly superior engine and chassis/suspension performance compared to the CBR-RR. Here, Motorcyclist magazine also adds that Honda followed a similar strategy in the mid-1990s, when Honda had the CBR900RR in their lineup for the ‘average’ sportsbike rider, and the vastly more exotic RVF750R RC45 for those with much deeper pockets.
With MotoGP moving to 1000cc engines in 2012 and with privateer teams being allowed to use production-based engines in bespoke chassis, it does indeed make sense for Honda to build a low-volume high-performance V4-engined superbike that would slot in above the Fireblade. With such a bike, Honda would be able to cover all bases – MotoGP, World Superbikes and also, finally, something that can take on the BMW S1000RR and Aprilia RSV4 Factory on the street.
We must admit here that we’re big fans of Honda V4s like the VF1000R, VFR750R RC30 and RVF750R RC45. So, of course, we’re completely smitten with the very idea of something like an RVF1000R. We hope they build it, complete with a 200bhp V4 engine, kick-ass styling, single-sided swingarm and that red-white-and-blue paintjob…