We all knew that Honda would not keep sleeping on their CBR1000 Fireblade laurels for much longer and now Nicky Hayden has all the good reasons to smile in view of his next year chances to win SBK Series.

Honda unveiled the radically new CBR1000RR SP and SP2 at INTERMOT 2016 to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the bike that in 1992 set the superbike world on fire, the CBR900RR.

The new CBR1000RR follows the same highly innovative technical approach to deliver higher performance and riding pleasure in a rationally functional package ready for high quality mass production. Compared to the previous version, the 2017 Fireblade retains the same engine bore and stroke measurements (76mm x 55.1mm) but that is where the commonality stops.

The engine is lighter (2 kilos) and 11Hp stronger: 192Hp at 13,000RPM, with peak torque now soaring to 116 Nm at 11,000RPM. Induction system is more generous with throttle bodies up from 46mm to 48mm, while compression ratio is now 13.1 (from 12.3:1) and new are cam timing and lift.

Valves are in 30.5mm inlet and 24mm exhaust sizes and are set at a 22 degrees include angle (11° + 11°). Pistons and related rings have been optimized for maximum weight and friction reduction and the cooling system has been further improved and now uses a concave shape radiator that reduces its frontal area by 30 mm and cuts its weight by 1.75 kilos.

The 4-into-2-into-1 exhaust system features a massive silencer, but made from titanium to contain its weight. Weight reduction was an issue as big as power increase. The complete bike, with tank full, now weighs 195 kilos, 15 less than the previous edition, and that alone is a huge improvement.

The pressure die cast twin spar frame looks more massive, but it is lighter thanks to the reduced thickness of the castings though it retains the previous flexional rigidity while increasing the torsional rigidity by 10%. The new fuel tank in titanium is 1.5 kilos lighter and its shape contributes to concentrate the masses near the center of the bike, thus improving the agility and the precision of the steering response of the bike.

The wheelbase now spans 1404mm. 6mm less than the previous one. Steering geometry remain set at the previous numbers: 23.3 degrees steering axis rake and 96 mm trail. The seat is set at 820mm above the ground. The new Fireblade sports a reduced frontal area for an improved top speed potential.

Big improvements come in the chassis components department, now featuring Öhlins 43mm NIX30 front forks and Öhlins TTX36 rear shock absorber, both units feature Semi-Active Electronic Control. An equally meaningful novelty for Honda is represented by the adoption of a Brembo braking system, with twin 320mm front rotors and monoblock radial mount calipers.

This is the first Honda model to adopt the Italian braking system, after the very precious and exclusive RC213V-S, a huge recognition of the Brembo quality. Honda never takes anything for granted.  Electronics play a major role in assisting the rider to exploit the Fireblade very strong potential in security, and in this the new CBR1000RR sets the mark.

The rider has everything to chose from: throttle by wire with position sensor, power delivery mode, Inertial Measurement Unit, nine levels traction control, wheelie control, speedshift up and down, ride mode selector. And full LED headlight. The ready to race, but still street legal, CBR1000RR SP2 boasts a much higher potential, though not all the numbers are available at this time.

A power and torque curves comparison shows that the SP2 soars well above its more accessible brother, but not only, the bike is also lighter, just to start from the forged magnesium wheels that also reduce the flywheel inertia by a substantial 18% at the front and 9% at the rear.

The engine uses racing inner components and even a head of specific configuration, featuring larger valves (31.5mm inlet and 25.5mm exhaust) set at a subtly different included angle: 22 degrees, but by 10° inlet and 12° exhaust.

Even on paper, the new Honda CBR1000RR SP/SP2 appears to be the new king of superbike, a super refined bike that sets the new standard for the class and, most important, marks the coming of a generation of mass produced superbikes that will compete with the most refined specialty bikes, but at a much more competitive price.

I personally expect that the new CBR1000RR SP2 will dominate the 2017 SBK Series. So, Go Nicky, grab that title! 


courtesy of