NEW HONDA CBR1000RR FIREBLADE DEBUTS AT INTERMOT
Behold, the new Honda Fireblade is here and there’s two versions – the Fireblade SP and SP2
HERE HAS been lots of rumour and speculation about what to expect from the next-generation Honda Fireblade but in a press conference at the Intermot show in Germany, Honda today unveiled its new CBR1000RR Fireblade SP and the homologation special SP2.
Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade SP
- 189hp and 196kg wet
- Ohlins semi-active suspension
- Inertial measurement unit and a full suite of electronics
- Cornering ABS
- Quickshifter and downshift assist
- RC213V-S derived traction control
- Inertial measurement unit
- Riding and power modes
Since the ‘Blade was last updated, superbikes have become increasingly powerful and technologically advanced, so it’s not surprising that the latest incarnation of Honda’s flagship sports bike sees the Fireblade gaining a comprehensive suite of electronics and a hike in power.
Honda says its main focus when developing the 2017 Fireblade was power-to-weight, which were principles of the original ‘Blade, released 25 years ago. It says the focus on this machine has been cornering, acceleration and braking. Here it is in more detail:
The Fireblade is still powered by a 999.8cc inline four-cylinder engine with a bore and stroke of 76 x 55.1mm.
Honda says the CBR’s low-end torque and power are improved, along with a significant increase in top end power. The new ‘Blade makes a claimed 189hp at 12,500rpm – an 11hp increase over the outgoing model.
The engine revs harder and higher than before (up to 13,000rpm), and uses a higher compression ratio (up from 12.3:1 to 13:1) along with revised valve lift and cam timing.
According to Honda, the pistons have an optimised wall thickness and a new crown design, and the surface finishing of the piston ring grooves has been modified to improve performance and efficiency.
Throttle bore has increased by 2mm to 48mm, with the intake funnels shaped to provide a linear throttle response.
The engine weighs a claimed 2kg less than the previous motor, thanks to use of magnesium covers and ‘detail redesign’ – shorter bolts, water hose and water hose bands.
The radiator is 30mm narrower, 30cc smaller and a claimed 100g lighter, and Honda says it provides identical heat dissipation to the previous rad.
The exhaust silencer is made from titanium, as is the 16 litre fuel tank. Both are intended to cut weight and aid mass centralisation.
The slipper clutch has been redesigned to offer less load and more feel at the lever.
Chassis, suspension and brakes
We saw in recent spy photos that the new Fireblade looks very similar to the previous model and appears to have the same frame, although now we know that it’s not gone unchanged.
Honda says its adjusted the frame’s rigidity balance, so it’s now 10% more flexible in the torsional plane – a change designed to make the chassis feel more reactive. It’s also got thinner walls to save a claimed 500g. Honda also says the aluminium subframe is also 800g lighter.
The swingarm is claimed to be stiffer and lighter thanks to adjustments made to its thickness at various points.
At 1,404mm, the 2017 Fireblade’s wheelbase has been shortened by 6mm the seat height has increased by 11mm to 831mm.
The bike has gained an electronic steering damper.
Stopping power at the front wheel is taken care of by a set of four-piston radially mounted Brembo monoblocs with newly developed hight coefficient of friction pads, which Honda says are suited to aggressive riding.
The wheels are new too, with a Y-shape design, that saves approximately 100g. The front wears a 120/70 tyres and the rear is shod with a 190/50 R17.
The CBR1000RR also gains a full colour TFT liquid crystal dash, which adjusts to the ambient light. The dash information displayed on the dash depends on which one of its three modes its in – Street, Circuit or Mechanic.
All the lights are LED, and the twin front headlights have high/low beam on both sides.
Honda says the two best words best used to describe the styling of the new CBR1000RR are ‘minimal’ and ‘dynamic’. Honda says its concentrated on reducing the surface area of the upper and middle fairings, and has shaved 24mm off the width of the upper fairing and 18mm from the side fairing.
Syling-wise, we think it looks evolutionary, not revolutionary but it has been sharpened up and feels like a logical next step in the Fireblade’s design. From the side it has echoes of the CBR600RR.
Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade SP2
Read more on the SP2 here: New Honda Fireblade | Visordown