“All 1000cc sports bikes are extraordinary examples of high-performance engineering. But for us, for our new Fireblade we want extraordinary to be the pleasure of handling and controlling such a machine. Its true purpose, wherever it’s ridden, is to enjoy something that is not normally experienced in everyday life; something that cannot be surpassed. The very first CBR900RR remains a milestone in our history and an inspiration we have drawn on to radically reduce weight and increase power. And, to go to Next Stage Total Control, we have added an electronic control system that is there to support the rider, totally. What then can our new Fireblade promise our customers? That is simple – the pure joy of riding.” – Mr M. Sato, Large Project Leader (LPL) 17YM CBR1000RR Fireblade
Three factors are key to the essence of the new CBR1000RR Fireblade: less weight, more power, and electronics to help riders wherever and however they’re riding. The new electronic control system provides constant, selectable and fine-tuneable rider support. Central to the system is the 5-axis Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU), which measures exactly what the machine is doing, in every plane.
The power selector
Like the RC213VS, the Fireblade uses a full-colour TFT liquid crystal dash to clearly communicate information to the rider. It automatically adjusts to ambient light, with a backlight of up to 1 000cd/m2 luminescence and features three modes: Street, Circuit and Mechanic, each with the information most relevant to that particular usage.
The new front Tokico four-piston opposed radial-mounted brake callipers are highly rigid, 150g lighter, and do without hanger pins. Newly developed high-mu (coefficient of friction) brake pads are fitted – these have a greater performance parameter at higher temperatures than standard pads. The aluminium wheels features a new five-Y-shape design, shaving about 100g of weight. Tyre sizes are 120/70 R17 front and 190/50 R17 rear.
Throttle by wire
The new Fireblade is the first inline four-cylinder engine from Honda to use Throttle by Wire (TBW) control. Derived and developed from the system used by the RC213VS, its job is to put precise throttle control – and a very natural feel – in the rider’s right hand.
The Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade SP goes to the next stage of Total Control. The power-to-weight ratio has been improved by 14% – reaching the best level ever for the Fireblade – thanks to a 15kg weight reduction and an 8kW boost in power. It’s also equipped with semi-active Öhlins Electronic Control suspension, plus Honda Selectable Torque Control, Selectable Engine Brake, new ABS, Quickshifter, Downshift Assist, Riding Mode Select System and Power Selector. The MotoGP-derived RC213V-S technology elevates the riding experience even further.
The machine is now a full 15kg lighter, with a wet weight of 195kg. And with an 8kW boost in power, the Fireblade’s physical handling has also been transformed. Rake and trail remain 23.3°/96mm, but the hollow die-cast twin-spar aluminium frame’s rigidity balance has been significantly adjusted to allow even sweeter handling with outstanding steering response, feel and stability.
Suspension and brakes
The Brembo four-piston monobloc radial-mount brake callipers use newly developed high-mu (coefficient of friction) brake pads – these have a greater performance parameter at higher temperatures than standard pads, and suit aggressive riding. The aluminium wheels feature a new five-Y-shape design, shaving about 100g of weight.
The Fireblade SP is the first Honda motorcycle to be equipped with Öhlins S-EC suspension front and rear: a 43mm NIX30 fork and TTX36 shock.
The Suspension Control Unit (SCU) receives roll rate, yaw rate and lean angle information from a 40g 5-axis (3-axis acceleration and 2-axis angular velocity) Bosch MM5.10 IMU gyro, located close to the machine’s centre of gravity. It also gathers wheel speed, engine rpm, brake input and throttle angle from the FI-ECU and, depending on the suspension mode selected by the rider, delivers optimal compression and damping force (adjusted via each step motor) during normal riding, plus hard acceleration, braking and cornering.