Fork flutter on the Honda CBR 1000 RR

Fork flutter on the Honda CBR 1000 RR

Trembling game

Excitement in the test and technology department of MOTORRAD. Honda’s super sports bike CBR 1000 RR struggled towards the end of the large group test with an unacceptable fork flutter when braking hard and abruptly. Initially without any abnormality, the test drivers noticed slight vibrations in the front area from a mileage of 1300 while chasing the race track.

The first assumption: slightly warped brake discs. But the vibrations mutated into a brake rattle, in which the fork legs set the entire front section vibrating with high frequency and amplitude in a horizontal plane. Immediate contact with Honda did not bring any clarification. It could be ruled out that the cause was the Michelin Power Race racing tires used, because even the standard Pirelli Diablo Corsa “H” did not bring any improvement.

During a follow-up test with technicians from the Honda headquarters in Offenbach, the test motorcycle behaved unchanged. The fork shudder started as soon as the front brake was suddenly pulled. The whole thing benefited if the fork had been fully extended immediately beforehand, for example when accelerating. On the other hand, the F.ireblade, when braking smoothly on level asphalt, brake powerfully to a standstill with the rear wheel lifted and without any vibrations.

A second CBR 1000 RR, which had been retrofitted with new and not yet homologated brake pads, reacted less sensitively and was spared violent fork flutter even during hard and seamless braking maneuvers. After changing to the old pads, however, this test copy was also affected by the vibrations, albeit in a weakened form. In the test machine complained about by MOTORRAD, the brake flutter was reduced with the test pads to an acceptable minimum with decent braking effect.

Compared to MOTORRAD, Honda attributes the cause of the phenomenon to the superposition of vibrations with the natural frequency of the fork, which only occurs in very special braking situations. And the German importer should now have 22 customer complaints; in other European countries there were no complaints. The new brake pads are expected to be available from Honda dealers in the course of April and will be installed on customer machines affected by fork wobble. As soon as possible, MOTORRAD will thoroughly review the equipment and its effects on driving behavior.

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