Honda CBR 1000RR-R Fireblade SP
10 things to know
Honda's new supersport grows with many small improvements. Here it is summarized in 10 points
There wasn't much wrong with the Honda CBR 1000RR-R Fireblade (with its sister SP) that debuted at EICMA 2019; during our test we had highlighted only a certain laziness in the mid-range underlined by a rapport that was really too long. Evidently we were not the only ones, because two years later debuts a new CBR 1000RR-R Fireblade slightly revised and corrected in many small details to perfect a supersport bike already stratospheric level.
Here it is summarized in 10 key points!
1) The first CBR was called FireBlade, with a capital B in honor of the surname of Tadao Baba who designed it, the first theoretician of the Total Control concept. The CBR was supposed to be a 750, but Honda chose to rely on the V4 scheme for competitions, so Baba, free from regulatory constraints, managed to convince Honda's top management to transform it into a 900, increasing the stroke and changing the rules of the segment forever. The first to "lose" the capital B was the 1000 of 2004.
2) Aerodynamics: the CBR 900RR had holes in the fairing like on the 250 GP bikes to improve agility at high speeds. Almost thirty years later, the 2020 1000RR-R is the first Honda with aerodynamic fins integrated into the fairing.
3) The previous version's gearing was insanely long: 299 in fourth gear. The new model has been strengthened in the mid-range and gains three teeth in the sprocket, resulting in quicker acceleration and recovery.
4) The celebratory livery with white/red/blue colors is the same as the 1992 model. The designer is the same. The anniversary version will be in numbered series but not limited, the number on the steering plate will serve as a guarantee and will increase the value of the bike.
5) The CBR 1000RR-R is assembled, at least in part, at HRC. The engine mounts are bolted to the powerplant and only then welded to the frame, in order to ensure a perfect fit as it happens on racing bikes. Despite everything, it does not have an RC code, which distinguishes the models developed by HRC, but SC like all Fireblades: SC 82.
6) The 81 mm bore is the regulatory limit for MotoGP, and not coincidentally the same obviously adopted by the RC213V-S. There is a lot of experience gained on the 213 in the new Fireblade: the swingarm, for example, is derived very closely, and the pistons are made of the same material.
7) The maximum power of 217 horsepower at the stratospheric speed of 14,500 rpm has been kept unchanged despite the various interventions to strengthen the delivery in the mid-range. Only the Ducati revs higher, at 15,250 rpm, the BMW M1000 revs the same...
8) The camshaft is subject to DLC treatment, a first for a road bike, and several other engine components such as connecting rods, bolts, bushings, are made of alloys developed by Honda and covered by patent.
9) The smart key for ignition was essential to define the airbox intake duct that passes inside the steering head.
10) The exhaust of the CBR 1000RR SP is developed in very close collaboration with Akrapovic, even though Honda - a somewhat paradoxical curiosity - is the only manufacturer that no longer makes use of the Slovenian company's experience in MotoGP.