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Honda CBR900RR: What’s the Market Like For These?

Honda CBR900RR

I recently posted over at GermanCarsForSaleBlog a 1976 Volkswagen GTi Period Modified car that took me down memory lane. As I thought about machines I lusted after in my youth, I recalled the Honda CBR900RR. This is a ridiculous machine with a monster motor stuffed into a lightweight superbike configuration. I remember sitting on a factory display ride at Sonomafest years ago. It felt incredibly wide compared to my FZR600, but with far more serious components and weight savings features like drilled heel chain plates. But one thing was for certain: Just being in the presence of this motorcycle, you could feel the power. It simply conjured immediate images of explosive and unrelenting acceleration, and it wasn’t even turned on yet.

I hit YouTube looking for a video and found this great video of a 900RR in action at the Isle of Man in regular traffic. This is not the type of behavior I would condone on public roadways, but oh my God, this thing is amazing! The sheer power available in any gear is totally awesome, and so is the sound!

I’ll be adding this bike to my list of prospects to investigate. Please leave a comment if you have ridden this model or have an example for sale. I’d love to have your comments below!

dc

13 Comments

  • […] Honda CBR900RR: What’s the Market Like For These? – When was the last time you saw one of these in good condition? Me neither. […]

  • I’ve owned ’96 and ’98 models. Great bikes. They Fit me like a glove.

    I periodically check Craigslist in my southwestern US major metro area city. Many are not especially clean, as TjRubley mentioned. ESPECIALLY the earlier years, it seems. I have not seen a 93/94 model I would consider purchasing in some time. Maybe I’ve just missed em’ though [shrug].

    Both years I had were incredibly competent bikes but my ’96 was a bit edgier, I think. I did not own the ’96 for long, I was new to open-class bikes at the time (no I didn’t crash it!), and I’ve never had the opportunity to ride any different years back-to-back. However, my memory says everything seemed a bit more raw on the ’96….less of that *sometimes subtle but still valuable* refinement Honda is so good at.

    I consider the 16″ front wheel an inconvenience and an undesirable attribute. I put Dymags on my ’98 (17″ front of course) and they improved the handling noticeably. I don’t think it was the front wheel size as much as the rotating weight reduction that made the difference though. A clean OEM 17″ from an F3 (or whatever) would be a plus for me on the 900RR. I never realized the purpose of the 16incher.

    I also added a Ohlins shock. It was very nice but the stocker was not a bad unit. I ran into a great deal on the Ohlins so I did it. The ride height adjustment was nice. Added a Toby steering damper also.

    With a Moriwaki full system (purchased from a shop in England, no US importer at that time) it pulled 117hp on a Dynojet dyno. I did rejet the carbs although no a/f data was available for the runs. It may not have been perfect but I do believe it was close. Airbox(lid) was stock. I can’t recall if I used the stock filter or something else.

    I also tried a set of TBR cams. Lost power everywhere, ~10 at peak if memory serves. If there was power in them, they were not drop-ins on an otherwise internally stock engine. Degreeing the cams to something other than what the stock cam sprockets provides may have helped. But I suspect this particular grind just wasn’t compatible with stock compression pistons. I sold them back to were I bought them from and put the stock cams back in.

    I would buy another as an everyday bike. A clean, almost stock ’93 is desirable to me. The red/white/blue color is gorgeous. I consider it a classic that can still handle it’s own among newer machines. And the tail trunk feature all 900RR’s are blessed with is wonderful.

    However, I don’t think I would buy a 93 or 94 unless it was particularly clean for it’s age. I like the first iteration of the 900RR because it was the first–not because I think it’s a superior bike to later years. Unless I found a ’93 just like I wanted, I’d prefer a 98/99 and then a 96/97.

    $0.02

  • GPRacer2500 – Thanks for that great reply! I learned alot from your first hand account!

    dc

  • […] my last post I wondered aloud what the market was like for the CBR900RR, an iconic open class sportbike. After […]

  • i bought myself one last summer for my 25th b-day … i had never ridden before,,, not even a mini bike,,, when i bought it the headset was tight so slow turn were trick especially for a new riders thats 5’6″,,, the bike was kinda big for me,,, i could have had it dropped but i wanted it stock since it was mint,,,,i paid 4200 for the bike helmet and leather jacket,,, best summer of my life,,, i rode 5500 miles in three months,,,,i started riding every where even to work and a guy made a left infront of me and i crashed into him and he took off,,, i sold the bike for 1000 for parts,,, i should have taken off the plastic when i decied to ride it all the time it was a real collectors item,,,people would never believe me that it was a 95 or the people who knew what it was and always stop and chat

  • Willie,

    I’m so sorry to hear about the crash. I hope you’re alright!

    Are you planning to get another bike?

    dc

  • yes as soon as i find another virgin 95 CBR 900rr

  • Watching that video…I think I just crapped my pants. I’d be dead by turn 4 at that speed……

  • Without a doubt, that dude is out of his mind!

    dc

  • I also remember when this bike came out. At the time I had an ’85 FZ750 but longed for one of the newer supersports, like the soon to be released watercooled GSX-R750, or the hot looking ZX-7 or even an FZR1000 EXUP. When this came out it changed the landscape completely, and it really stood alone compared to the others. I was never a fan of many Honda models before (RC30 obviously, and any of the 250/400cc RRs), but this was absolutely a bike I would have purchased.

    I was younger at the time and did not have the cash to afford one, but it was at the top of the list of bikes I would have bought in the early/mid 90’s if I upgraded. All the emotions you mention above brings back memories.

    Surprisingly they appear to be rather common in Canada. I believe at the time we were considered part of the European market (still are?), so maybe this was a factor. I’m not sure if the number of these shipped to the U.S. was rather low, but there is always some available around me for $3,000-$4,000. I’m sure a few really nice ones appear periodically as well for a bit more.

    I’m looking to get back into bikes again after a forced sabatical ($$$) and this model is definately on my short list.

  • Talk about ice in the veins!!!!, that was if I was on that bike
    myself, great example of power and rider capabilitiy!!! Thanks

  • I have a ’96 900rr … and picked it up for a really nice deal. Few bits and pieces missing but it’s all back to stock, and would look nice enough to show on this website. She pulls well, and I have to wonder what a 17″ front wheel would feel like… handling different? Super bike, and enjoying every mile onboard!!

  • I was fortunate enough to have a 93 Black/Red/Silver 900rr. Looking back now I would most certainly say that I was, what we call in Indiana, a Squid. But, I do recall reading as much information about the 900rr before I bought it. And of course the biggest topics where weigh/power ratio and the 16″ front wheel. From what I remember Honda went with the 16″ wheel because it greatly improved corner turn in and if I recall they chose to use Bridgestones as well. If you’ve never looked at a Bridgestone the front tires are usually more of a pyramid shape v. Dunlop or Pirelli’s that are very round. So if you can imagine having a pyramid shaped front tire as you start to make your turn the front end literally falls in for you and makes the turn happen quicker. The biggest problem with this combination was it made the bike very “twitchy” under hard acceleration out of corners and there were the vicious “head shake” rumors. The other major problem at that time was no other tire manufacturer had the proper size 16″ tire. But, as time passed others jumped on board and starting making the 16″ tire. As for changing to a F3 rim I never attempted it, but heard many good things about the change. I did put a F2 rim on the 400 back in the day and it wasn’t too bad. So if your the handy type pick up a rim and give it a go. I’m sure there is plenty of documentation on the web in someone’s archives. If you don’t want to go that route just change the tire brand and see what you think.

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