Since its original 1992 introduction Honda’s iconic Fireblade has evolved into an incredible 1,000cc sports motorcycle. And it’s also been the base of a competitive race machine, on short circuits around the world and the roads of the Isle of Man TT.
But time – and competition – always races on and in 20YM Honda drew the line under where the CBR1000RR Fireblade had been and looked forward to where it was going. And, as a result, two brand-new motorcycles – the CBR1000RR-R Fireblade and CBR1000RR-R Fireblade SP* – were created with heavy involvement from Honda Racing Corporation to carry the legend forward.
Leaning heavily on the engine and chassis technology of the RC213V-S ‘street-legal MotoGP machine’, with aerodynamics drawn from the RC213V MotoGP bike, the new Fireblade was designed from the ground up – in terms of engine, handling and aerodynamics – for pure, outright track performance.
22YM marked 30 years of the Fireblade which saw the introduction of a variety of detail upgrades to the engine to boost acceleration: the intake ports, airbox, airbox funnels and exhaust mid-section were all revised to deliver extra mid-range thrust. The final drive sprocket also went up 3 teeth, to 43, with quickshifter performance upgraded. Honda Selectable Torque Control (HSTC) was also optimised for refined rear tyre traction management, and throttle feel improved.
24YM sees the Fireblade drive further up its development curve once again. A host of engine and gearbox updates deliver a substantial mid-range performance boost, alongside improved throttle response and detailed riding position changes with the aim of producing the bike you need to win out-of-the-box and, at the same time, elevating the riding experience out on the open road.
The Fireblade’s inline four-cylinder semi-cam gear engine delivers 113Nm torque and makes peak power of 160Kw. And while the headline figures are familiar, the delivery through the rev-range has been completely changed – the product of a huge amount of HRC development and knowhow– to generate corner exit acceleration topped by massive top-end power.
The addition of 2-Motor Throttle By Wire (TBW) increases part-throttle control and allows amplified engine braking if required. Compression ratio has been raised, intake ports adjusted, and valve timing altered in conjunction with new valve springs, a lighter crankshaft and optimised, lighter titanium conrods. All gear ratios have been made shorter to increase drive force to the rear wheel.
The 4-2-1 exhaust downpipes are ovalized and feed a titanium Akrapovič muffler now slightly larger in volume but 5dB quieter in operation.
Three default riding modes cover a wide range of conditions with options to fully adjust Power, Engine Brake, Wheelie Control and HSTC. All settings have been revised to match the new power output character. The electronics package also includes adjustable Start Mode.
As before, the aluminium diamond frame uses the rear of the engine as upper shock mount while the swingarm is based on the RC213V-S design. The rigidity balance has been carefully optimised – and made more pliant – to exploit the engine’s performance in terms of feel for front and rear grip levels, and steering accuracy.
A six-axis Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU) provides accurate 3D estimation of riding dynamics and provides input to manage all of the electronic systems. It also controls the rod-type 3-level Honda Electronic Steering Damper (HESD).
Showa’s 43mm Big Piston Fork (BPF) is matched to a Showa Balance Free Rear Cushion Lite (BFRC-L); The front discs are worked by Nissin four-piston calipers, while Cornering ABS now features RACE mode which allows the rear ABS to be turned off.
A redesigned fairing mid-section houses new winglets that generate downforce to improve braking stability and consistent front-end grip but with 10% less effort through high-speed corners. The riding position has also been adjusted to elevate control, with handlebars higher and footpegs lower.
The fully customisable 5-inch TFT display offers intuitive control via a four-way switch on the left handlebar. Now, on cold start, the redline moves up the rpm scale as operating temperature is reached.
Honda’s Smart Key system adds convenience and the Emergency Stop Signal (ESS) increases visibility to road users behind.
For more information on the CBR1000RR-RSP click here