When you're leaning the bike so far over that you're almost parallel to the ground, suspension doesn't do much; the frame itself has to soak up some of the bumps to keep the rider from losing control. Honda alternated the frame-wall thickness on the RC211V and CBR so that key areas can flex.
The MotoGP league mandates that every bike have a 990cc engine, but that´s about it. Honda chose five cylinders versus three or four because five smaller pistons can get up to their 15,000rpm redline faster. The CBR sports a four-cylinder with a marginally sane 11,650rpm redline.
Instead of attaching the rear shock to the frame, as is conventional, Honda hid the suspension on both bikes inside the arm that connects the wheel to the frame. This freed up space for engineers to move the engine and fuel tank to tweak weight distribution.
- Fuel Injection
MotoGP bikes need to accelerate fast and still have power at high rpms. To achieve this balance, Honda inserted a second bank of fuel injectors that kick in north of 5,500 rpm, doubling the amount of fuel in the cylinders. The CBR has a dual-stage system as well, but it's tuned for lower top speeds (only 176 mph).
The middle section of a MotoGP slick is smooth, hard rubber that can handle speeds up to 215 mph. The edges are more porous and soft for grip on sharp corners. The stock bike gets treaded Bridgestones or Pirellis rated to withstand a measly 149 mph.
- Radial-mounted Brakes
To fit the massive 320-millimeter front-wheel rotors necessary to stop the RC211V, Honda had to offset the calipers from the forks. The CBR has the same size discs, but they´re made of steel, whereas the RC211V´s are made from lightweight carbon fiber.