One of the most revered names in the litre-class category, for 2020, the Honda Fireblade has taken heavy inspiration from their championship-winning MotoGP machine. The Honda CBR1000RR-R Fireblade and the Fireblade SP will take the stage at EICMA 2019, flaunting aggressive styling, their winglets and lots more that is brand new.
The new Fireblade has been designed from the ground up to scratch – in terms of engine, handling and aerodynamics – for outright track performance. The bike leans heavily on the engine and chassis technology of the RC213V-S ‘street-legal MotoGP machine’, with aerodynamics drawn from the RC213V MotoGP bike. Powering the bike is a new inline four-cylinder engine. It has a compact, short-stroke layout – sharing the bore and stroke of the RC213V – and features a semi-cam gear train, finger-follower rocker arms, titanium con-rods, RC213V-S internal friction reduction technologies, piston jets with check ball system and a built-in bottom bypass passage for the cylinder water jacket.
A ram-air duct in the front fairing feeds through the headstock directly into the airbox. The 4-2-1 exhaust downpipes are ovalized and the end-can has been developed in conjunction with Akrapovic. All of the above results in the engine delivering 113Nm @ 12,500rpm and peak power of 215 hp @ 14,500rpm. The motor is controlled via a Throttle-By-Wire system which has been enhanced for improved feel.
It gets three default riding modes to feature options to change Power, Engine Brake, Wheelie Control and the optimised Honda Selectable Torque Control (HSTC). The electronics package also now includes adjustable Start Mode. A six-axis Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU) provides an accurate 3D estimation of riding dynamics and provides input to manage all of the electronic systems. It also controls the new rod-type 3-level Honda Electronic Steering Damper (HESD).
The bike is based on a totally new aluminium diamond frame which uses the rear of the engine as the upper shock mount; the swingarm is longer and based on the RC213V-S design. The rigidity balance, weight distribution and steering geometry have been carefully adjusted for the increased engine output, in terms of front and rear grip levels, and feel for both. Suspension duties are handled by Showa’s 43mm Big Piston Fork (BPF) up front and a Showa Balance Free Rear Cushion Light (BFRC-L) at the back. The front discs are larger in diameter and worked by new Nissin four-piston callipers while the ABS is adjustable for track riding. The rear tyre is now sized 200/55-ZR17.
The bike features a fully customisable 5-inch TFT display offers intuitive control operated via a simplified four-way switch on the left handlebar. The bike’s wheelbase is now 1,455mm, with rake and trail of 24°/102mm (from 1405mm, 23°/96mm) for stability. Wet weight is 201 kg and changes have been made to balance and centre of gravity; the crankshaft is 33mm further from the front wheel spindle and raised 16mm. This evens out weight distribution, while the higher c-of-g improves side-to-side agility.
On the other hand, the SP variant gets 43mm Öhlins NPX front forks paired with the second-generation Öhlins Object-Based Tuning interface (OBTi). The front discs are larger in diameter and worked by new Brembo Stylema four-piston callipers while the ABS is adjustable for track riding. Like the RR-R, the SP also gets winglets to increase downforce and improve braking stability. The riding position is also much more compact and at the back, the SP gets Öhlins’ TTX36 Smart-EC rear shock and a standard quickshifter. Both bikes are available in two colour schemes: an HRC-inspired Grand Prix Red and a Matte Pearl Black.