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Sportbike / October 4, 2017

In a time when more performance meant simply adding more power even at the expense of weight, the Honda CBR954RR bucked conformity with its "less is more" attitude. Released as a 2002 model, it was the replacement for the short-lived CBR929RR.

To up the power of the latest Fireblade, Honda bumped displacement another 30ccs via a 1mm overbore, added larger throttle bodies, bigger injectors and a larger exhaust system in search of deeper breathing. Power rose to nearly 140 hp at the wheel (a claimed 155 at the crank), quarter mile times dropped to the low 10s at almost 140 mph and top speeds were cracking 170 mph.

Honda added sleeker bodywork, lighter wheels, a revised gauge cluster and a crazy (for its time) swingarm. The total package weighed a scant 370 pounds dry, and paired with its short 55.1-inch wheelbase made for a wild ride.

The 954's light weight and ultraquick handling made up for some of its shortcomings in the brute power department, and with a proper rider not a whole lot could touch one in its day.

Truth be told though, the GSX-R1000 reigned supreme during the 954s years and subsequently not many were sold. While theBlade was hailed for its 600-like agility with near liter-bike punch, it was also coined nervous and twichy at speed. At the expense of its quick handling characteristics, the 954 was notorious for shaking and shimmering on the power-oftentimes wagging its way into serious tank slappers. Enough so, in fact, to prompt a recall for a lower triple tree bearing swap.

In typical Honda fashion most owners have nothing but great things to say about the 954. Whether it be knee-down track time, two-up touring or spirited street rides, most 954 owners only complain about the bar-wiggling tendancies of a stock bike but quickly follow their criticism with praise for its quick nature and lively motor.

If you're in search of a great bike with timeless looks, the 954 is a unique mount for senseless speed-just save a few bucks to buy a steering damper!

2002-2003 Honda CBR954RR

Produced for only two short years, the CBR954RR was the ultimate featherweight in its day. As the cards would have it, the 954 was the only bike under 1000cc to compete against the true liter-bikes. Yet, despite being a little short on steam, the CBR held its own with its lack of heft and exceptionally quick handling. In fact, many coined it a 600 with the heart of a 1000-it weighed a mere 370 pounds dry, belted out nearly 140 hp and was good for over 170 mph.

Source: www.superstreetbike.com