Click here for an CycleVIN Motorcycle History Report on this 1997 Honda CBR900RR. Additional photos are available here for your perusal.
Thanks to the introduction of machines like the Ducati 916 and the Yamaha R1, the 90s were a glorious decade for sportbikes. But the start of what we consider modern sportbikes came out of Honda when they introduced the CBR900RR in 1993, and it’s primarily due to Tadao Baba. Baba started at Honda in 1962 out of high school, and he steadily worked his way up through R&D. The CBR900RR was his first solo project with Big Red, and the goal was to create a sportbike that was easy to ride. In an interview with Cycle World, Tadao noted, “I told people at the time this new bike would change the thinking for sportbike design, that it would be fun both in corners and a straight line. Originally we started with a CBR750RR but we already had the VFR, so perhaps make it a 1000? No. We also had CBR1000F. Instead we saw that if we took the dimensions of a 750, use the base motor but keep same bore and increase stroke it came to 893cc, so a new class was born, the 900 class.”
His outlook on current sportbikes was quite negative: “How can these be called sports bikes when they are so very big and heavy? They didn’t deserve the name.” You can probably guessed what Baba focused on, and the results were staggering. The CBR900RR was just 4 pounds heavier more than the CBR600F2, and it was a whopping 76 pounds lighter than its lightest literbike competition! Simply put, it was a revelation.
It was also a little twitchy, so when Honda revised the bike they wisely added more predictable handling to the list of priorities. Motorcycle.com summed up the changes with: “Although we were hesitant to believe it, the truth of the matter is the new CBR900RR rocks! A few seemingly inconsequential tweaks to engine and chassis have combined to make an animal of an entirely different stripe.” In addition to solid red or yellow liveries, Honda offered a black/red paint job inspired by their Erion Racing-supported AMA Formula Extreme racebike.
The previous owner purchased it to specifically give it a “significant and complete refresh”. With the exception of the #520 chain, Renthal sprockets (stock size front, +2 in rear) and Coremoto stainless steel brake lines, it’s completely OEM as it has avoided common modifications from the era – you’ll still see the OEM turn signals, windscreen, exhaust, mudguard, and all the reflectors.
Included in the refresh was a NOS gas tank, coolant flush, oil change with OEM Honda oil and filter, fork service with new seals and Honda SS-8 10W fluid, new Bridgestone Battlax S21 tires, new OEM Yuasa battery, new OEM iridium spark plugs, new OEM air filter and sub-air cleaner, and new OEM owner’s manual and clear service bag. The sale also includes a battery tender.
The braking system was gone through as the calipers were disassembled, cleaned, and put back together with new seals. In addition to the Coremoto stainless steel lines, the bike got new OEM brake pads front and rear and new OEM fluid reservoirs with new fluid.
The seller is letting it go as he is moving out of the country – he is also the seller of the 263-mile CBR929RR that’s currently on Iconic as well.
There are a couple of cosmetic marks that reflect much less than the 20,600 miles of use, such as a small mark on the right edge of the upper fairing near the “speed holes” and some marks on the wheels from prior tire changes, but this is an impressive specimen of a 1997 CBR900RR with the best livery. All the bodywork is OEM and it is free from cracks or broken tabs.
When the seller acquired it, he had us clean the carbs. Currently located at our facility in Santa Monica, California (please make an appointment for an inspection), this Honda is offered on a clean Michigan title. Have any CBR900RR stories or questions about this listing? Let us know in the comments below!