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Honda CBR 929 RRY

What's All The Fuss About?

If last year's Suzuki Hayabusa was an indication of how hot the sport bike market is, then Honda's new CBR 929RRY is poised for being the hottest sport bike, and possibly the second hardest to get this year.

The first will no doubt be the RC-51,also from Honda, but why waste editorial space on a bike that will be so minimally produced.

What a way to start a century. Honda has this reputation of lagging on hot new trends and updating styles after the underdogs do, but in the sport bike arena this has hardly been the case. From the inception of the F series, along with the hawks, Honda has delivered sport bikes to the market that stand the test of time. While Yamaha has led the way the last few years with their impressive YZ's, Honda's on a quest to not be outdone.

Puget Sound dealers we talked to in January, for the most part, had already accepted pre-orders sucking up more than 50% of what they expected to attain from Honda this year. In a matter of only a few more weeks it's likely they'll be sold out as these already-classics just begin to arrive.

So what makes this bike so special? In Ray Blank's words, head of sales and operations for Honda, he puts it this way, "It's the innovator. It's the machine that flatters us by the copiers. It is the fundamental equation of motorcycling and it's probably more indicative of the sport motorcycle than anything else that I can think of."

The bike is lighter and faster than CBR's previously in it's class, cranking out upwards of 160 horse power with a new 929 cc engine, and tipping the scale at 374 lbs.dry.  Throw a little 21st century engineering ingenuity on top of that and you've got a rival for all other makers. Consider the lightweight, twin-spar extruded aluminum frame featuring a pivotless swing arm design utilizing a cast aluminum bracket attached to the swingarm pivots. In the end, time will tell if indeed this bike is what it's all cracked up to be.

Suggested retail is $9,999, but don't be surprised if you find a dealer offering to sell it at a higher price since the supply and demand lines are out of whack here. Some of you already know this is the case with some of the Yamaha series and many RC-51's have been pre-sold at 25% above list and higher.

From what we've seen thus far, Honda realizes there's not much marketing they need to do on the bike as it seems to be selling well enough through word of mouth. A look at their website reveals nothing more than a photo of it.

In a more general sense, Blank makes a strong point when he says "Motorcycling is on its way to going mainstream, really mainstream in the U.S. and Honda wants to do what it can to help that happen." In this category of bike they seem to be doing this just fine.

Ted Knecht


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