Honda is all set to release the latest CBR1000RR Fireblade in 2017. Looking at the spy shots taken of the bike (which looks ready for production) on the race tracks in Croatia, more information on the ride can be deduced. The mechanical and superficial changes in the latest of the legacy that has crossed its 25 years will underpin the race to win the superbike crown.
The 2016 Fireblade could not continue in 2017 because of its Euro4 compliance lack but nevertheless remains the best performer even though it was the last in the lineage of technology-free superbikes. In the looks department, the Blade looks pallid against its peers.
Only two models will be launched, standard and the one with higher specs. Additionally, the customers are in for a treat, a limited edition race-spec version will be on the offer. The tentative names of the variants, going by comments on the official website, are SP1 and SP2.
All the tireless research by MCN points at Honda’s shift from reluctance to pump their bikes with electronics to staying relevant. It can be said with certainty that CBR1000RR will have an extensive package of electronics, also, there is evidence which suggests that third party applications will replace their own technology. One of the technology unceremoniously dropped, for good reason, was C-ABS, which although was exemplary in performance, was bulky. The braking system is now outsourced to Bosch. The Bosch 9ME Plus system provides a combination of traction control with an ABS system, MSC (motorcycle stability control) and anti-wheelie. Electronic controls from MotoGP rep RC213V-S like engine braking control, torque control and power modes will also be implemented into the latest Fireblade.
Replacement of the Honda C-ABS system will substantially reduce the weight of the bike by as much as 10kg, thereby slashing the kerb mass to approximately 200kg.
The suspension on the basic model seems to retain the old Showa Big Piston Fork while the new additions will be included in the premium model. The top-spec version is rumoured to have semi-active Öhlins suspension. What seems to be interesting here is that Honda, unlike its competitors, hasn’t gone with Balance Free Fork which is evident in Kawasaki ZX-10R.
While the bike still resembles the Fireblade family in terms of trademark design element, there is subtle new inclusions of a ram-air system for air inlet, air box, engine re-engineering to bring down initial friction and fuel injection system.
Performance is substantially boosted, thanks to the modified airbox. The main frame of the bike looks race-ready and identical to the predecessors, the latest model will offer more control and rigidity. The motor has been untouched but has been worked on to make it compliant with the Euro 4 standards. The bike, as a result, has improved efficiency, power and cleaner. In terms of performance, will it match the 200bhp output? The answer for which only a final testing can tell.
Both the road versions are set for an October release at the Intermot Show in Cologne, Germany.