In the mid 1990s, Honda was determined to produce the world's fastest production motorcycle and to take over the associated bragging rights and marketing impact, at the time held by Kawasaki's Ninja ZX11. This led to the creation of the CBR1100XX Super Blackbird. The Blackbird name is a nod to the Lockheed SR-71 aircraft, the world's fastest aircraft.
In the February 1997 issue of Sport Rider magazine, the CBR1100XX was tested at a top speed of 178.5 mph (287.3 km/h), compared with 175 mph (281.6 km/h) for the ZX-11. Its supremacy over the ZX-11 was confirmed in April 2007 by Motorcycle Consumer News, although the speeds achieved were slightly lower and the margin was narrower.
In 1999 the Suzuki Hayabusa GSX1300R overtook the CBR1100XX. It was listed in the 2000 Millennium Edition of Guinness World Records as the world's fastest production bike with a top speed of 194 mph (312 km/h).