Motorcycle Review

SR Archive: Erion Racing Superteams Honda CBR900RR Ride Review

This article was originally published in the June 1997 issue of Sport Rider.

Erion Racing Superteams Honda CBR900RR.

Photography by Scott Rathburn

The Erion Racing Superteams Honda CBR900RR is an ungodly fast AMA Champ.

The AMA SuperTeams class is basically an unlimited modification category that runs for the specified time of an hour using a semi-Le Mans–style start (riders must run across the track to their bikes), and a required pit stop to change riders. This means some of the meanest, trickest machinery in AMA racing shredding the asphalt in what amounts to a 60-minute sprint race. And for ’96, it was the Erion Racing team of Andrew Stroud and Doug Toland who came out on top.

Erion Racing Superteams Honda CBR900RR.

Photography by Scott Rathburn

An Öhlins fork grasping a 3.5 x 17-inch Marchesini wheel shod with a Bridgestone slick, capped with GP-spec Brembo brake componentry, graces the Erion Racing SuperTeams CBR900RR’s front end.

Kevin Erion and tuner Dan Kyle have built an extensive wealth of knowledge in tweaking the CBR for absolute maximum performance. Little did we know just how far they’d come when we climbed aboard for our quick test excursion.

The Erion Honda’s seating position is pretty compact, but there’s decent legroom, and the modified gas tank (the rearmost section was flattened and narrowed, so that the rider can tuck in easier) allows you to reach the fairly wide and low-set clip-ons without too much discomfort.

Erion Racing Superteams Honda CBR900RR.

Photography by Scott Rathburn

The Dan Kyle–built CBR motors vary in size from 919cc to 971cc, depending on the track. Erion’s own ram-air system feeds a bank of 39mm Keihin flat-slides; HRC close-ratio gears are inside the tranny.

Firing up with a raspy, mechanically noisy exhaust note, the Erion CBR instantly lets you know this is no garden-variety Honda. There’s loads of torque from the word go. Power literally starts as low as 2000 rpm, then quickly leaps upward. In fact, it’s this instantaneous power that causes the most problems.

The bike is so torquey that it’s a bear to ride in the corners; the explosive power surge caused by hyper-responsive carburetion makes it very difficult to get into the throttle smoothly. You could let the revs drop to 6000 rpm, and still have enough power to spin the tire at the slightest twist of the throttle. If you weren’t careful, the bike would actually lurch forward, then quickly kick the back end out. Apparently Stroud and Toland complained about the same problem.

Erion Racing Superteams Honda CBR900RR.

Photography by Scott Rathburn

The frame is a strengthened ’96 CBR piece. Exhaust gases are expelled through your standard Erion Racing item, with a 6.0 x 17-inch Marchesini spinning on a fat Bridgestone slick out back.

Pull the trigger on the straights, though, and you find yourself looking for the hyper-space button. This bike is ungodly fast, and is pretty overwhelming for the first few laps. We were told to shift around 11,200 rpm, but power never hinted at leveling out. Suspension is on the stiff side, and steering is a little heavier than stock, requiring some muscle through transitions. You must be careful, or the slightest throttle movement has the bike shooting forward. The brakes aren’t quite as strong as Chandler’s Muzzys Kawasaki super bike, offering a lot of initial bite, but not too much feel.

A sure sign of how difficult it is to ride this bike is that lap times are generally one second slower than a super bike, despite its incredible power. The problem lies in getting that power to the ground. A sad case of excess actually being just that.

Erion Racing Superteams Honda CBR900RR.

Photography by Scott Rathburn

A fully adjustable Öhlins shock handles rear suspension duties, working through a lengthened (for stifling wheelie tendencies) ’95 CBR swingarm.

Erion Honda Temp Gauge

High
Low

Killer power
Instant-on power makes it difficult to handle in corners

Monster torque
Hard to steer with the front wheel airborne all the time

Top speed
Voracious appetite for rear tires

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