The Honda VTR1000F Superhawk is a V-twin sports bike that has inspired many technological innovations in motorcycling.
This Juventus sportbike was in the Honda production line from 1997 to 2005. While it was known to the world as the Firestorm, in the USA it was marketed as the Superhawk. The specialty of this sports bike is that, unlike other sports bikes, it wasn’t just about speed or style; rather, Honda conducted several experiments and introduced a number of innovations with this bike.
The Honda Superhawk was an all-new two-wheel twin-cylinder sports package that was lightweight, easy to steer, and offered robust low to mid-range power and torque. With this bike, Honda really became a serious contender against the Italian icon, Ducati, while maintaining its Japanese quality and practicality.
The efforts of Honda efforts to develop this bike have paid off and customers have appreciated this bike because of its affordability and user friendliness in the sports bike category. Those appreciations were quickly converted into awards, and in 1997 this bike won the “ Top Ten Bikes ” award by America’s largest motorcycle media brand, Cycle World. The same year, he also won the Open-Class ‘Sweet 16’ sports bike shootout by the same agency.
Motorcycle fanatic from all over the world, let’s find out what this vehicle packed underneath that made it so special and worthy.
Innovation unleashed with design
The extravagant design of the Honda VTR1000F Superhawk has been acclaimed by many, but the real secret to its design lies in the many additions that have made this motorcycle special in Honda motorcycle history.
Honda has experimented with almost every part of this bike. A new double-spar aluminum semi-pivotless frame was used with a more progressive adjustable suspension system which gave the rider better handling. The front suspension was fitted with a 41.0mm HMAS cartridge fork with spring, and the rear-mounted suspension had a single Pro-Link HMAS shock with a spring. For better stopping power, both wheels were fitted with disc brakes. The front wheel had two fully floating 296mm discs with four-piston calipers and a single 220mm disc with a single-piston caliper on the rear wheel. The suspension and brakes worked on 17-inch wheels at both ends.
Several other changes were introduced to facilitate the improved aerodynamics, lightness and improved performance of the bike. This bike was fitted with side radiators when the front was the convention at the time. Instead of focusing on the concept of more miles per gallon, Honda outfitted this bike with a 19-liter (5.02 US gallon) fuel tank, which was arguably the largest in its class.
Further changes were made to the driving position. Unlike many other sports bikes, the Superhawks clip-on bars were angled slightly, giving them a less extreme riding position. The analog gauges on the instrument panel have been replaced with a new smart LCD display that displays fuel level, engine temperature, dual odometer, odometer and clock. The motorcycle was fitted with the Honda Ignition Security System (HISS) immobilizer as standard, providing a safety advantage.
The powerful engine
Even in its engine, Honda had packed an element of surprise. Honda launched this bike with a new liquid-cooled 90-degree V-twin with a four-valve-per-cylinder DOHC 4-stroke engine. As an innovative feature, the rear wheel swingarm was directly bolted to the engine. The powerful V-twin engine had a capacity of 996 cc and was capable of flushing out 110 horsepower at 9,000 rpm and 96 nm of torque at 7,000 rpm.
The accessories on this bike were as good as its engine. Honda applied innovative ideas while accessorizing the bike. First, Honda introduced side radiators with this bike when the usual position of the radiators was in the front. The engine crankcase was one-piece and the internal piston rods were fitted with cap screws instead of nuts. For more air and fuel intake for its powerful V2, Honda introduced 38mm intake valves. This size was the largest Honda had ever used in any of its production engines at this time. In sync Honda also used 48mm carburetors in this bike which was another record.
In terms of innovation, this bike was and still is fantastic. The features of this motorcycle are not expensive. In fact, it is quite reasonably priced compared to other sports bikes on the market today. Honda’s concept of producing a lightweight, easy-to-handle and high-performance bike was pretty updated.
The handling was quite good and precise, as well as the best brakes and suspensions in its class. All in all, this bike can be a nice addition to your garage if you are looking for a performance bike with a not that high price tag.
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