The all-new Honda CBR1000RR-R SP Fide blade was unveiled on the MotoGP track in Doha by Visor down. The Fire blade has been a constant figurehead of the Honda sports motorcycle range for nearly 30 years. It was a favorite among sports riders who didn’t spend much of their time on the track because of its combination of superior road manners at low speeds and scalpel-sharp handling at high speeds.
Pricing and colors
The latest Fire blade comes in two flavors: the SP, which we rode on the track, and the regular CBR1000RR-R. The SP costs £23,499 and comes equipped with hlins NPX Smart EC 2.0 forks and a TTX36 Smart EC Unit in the rear. Each has multiple levels of adjustment and pre-set suspension modes, all of which are operated through the dash and the left-hand turn cube. Brembo Stylema callipers and a new six-axis IMU are also new for this year on the SP. Showa Separate Function Big Piston Forks, a Showa Balance Free shock, and four-pot Nissin callipers are normal on the Fire blade.
Honda CBR1000RR-R SP engine
The bike’s core is a brand-new 1000cc inline four-cylinder engine that was designed from the ground up with the aim of producing more power than any previous Fireblade machine. Honda enlisted the help of key figures from the HRC MotoGP teams as well as the RC123V project to accomplish this. The result is a 4-cylinder engine that produces 214 horsepower at 14,500 rpm, more than any other naturally aspirated engine.
Suspension and handling
Despite looking the same on the outside, the new EC forks, rear shock, and steering damper are heavily revamped for 2020, thanks to hlins and Honda’s collaboration from the start. The number of parameters that the rider can modify has been increased, implying that changes to the settings have a greater impact on the overall feel of the bike.
The bike’s dimensions and geometry are also brand new, with a 30.5mm longer swingarm than before. The front-end rake has increased by 1mm, while the trail has increased by 6mm. All of this, combined with some frame modifications, results in a 50mm improvement in wheelbase, which aids in stability.
Does the new CBR1000RR-R SP still feel like a Fire blade?
The new machine’s rider ergonomics are almost identical to the RC213V-S, but it’s a little more physical in terms of riding position. If you’re hoping the new ‘Blade will be as comfortable as your ’08 Blade, think again; it’s a far more focused and offensive unit. The distance between the peg and the seat is shorter than before, and the fuel tank is lower. From the cockpit, it feels like you’re in the cockpit of a supers port car. The surface area of the front fairing is limited, and the total height is low, pushing the rider into a racing tuck.
The hardware upgrade from Brembo M4 to higher-spec Brembo Stylema callipers is a big change for this year. A new six-axis IMU system is also working behind the scenes, replacing the old five-axis unit, which used a calculation to figure out what the sixth axis could be. The brakes seem to have endless quantities of strength under ideal climatic conditions, with a reasonable amount of initial bite when you pull on the lever. The only thing restricting your ability to stop any faster is how tightly you can grasp the tank’s sides and keep from falling over the edge – tank grips are recommended!