Click here for an CycleVIN Motorcycle History Report on this 1998 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:
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 in 1998, 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.” Available liveries were solid red, solid yellow, and a black/red inspired by the Erion AMA FX racebike.
The seller acquired it in July of 2019 from a private collector in Ohio – he rode it back home to Phoenix! He put on 3,780 miles of the bike himself, most of which (2,100) were on the trip from Troy, Ohio to Phoenix, Arizona. He is letting it go as he is looking for something less sporty on his daily commute.
Previous owners took care of schedule maintenance, and the seller has receipts to show that he had the following work done:
8/19 – inspection by Honda of Troy when he purchased the bike. Included oil/filter change, front/rear brake fluid flush, battery tender lead installation, and new brake light bulb.
11/19 – new pre-filter and air-filter installed
1/20 – new Interstate AGM battery installed
The one noted cosmetic flaw is a slight tear in the rear of the rider’s seat. The seller also notes that the high beam headlight connector is slightly damaged but functional, he suspects it may have overheated at some point from a newer-style halogen bulb.