One of the toughest men in motorcycle grand prix racing in his day, 1987 500cc world champ Wayne Gardner says Honda will launch an all-new V4-engined Fireblade very soon...
Most Honda enthusiasts – and that definitely includes us – have been a bit disappointed with Honda’s return to V4 engines. Those with fond memories of machines like the VF1000R, VFR750R (RC30) and RVF750R (RC45) were less than enthused with the current VFR1200F, an ugly, porky, complicated motorcycle that doesn’t seem to be particularly good at anything. Sure, Ron Haslam says it isn’t all that bad, but we’re not convinced. And for whatever little it’s worth, we don’t think much of the V4-engined Crossrunner and Crosstourer either, so there.
However, there might still be hope for those who’ve been dreaming of a modern-day equivalent of the erstwhile RC30 and RC45. If 1987 500cc motorcycle grand prix road racing world champion Wayne Gardner can be believed, Honda are likely to launch an all-new V4-engined Fireblade soon. The bike is likely to be announced towards the end of 2011 and could go on sale in early-2012. ‘While I was in Europe, I got talking to some Honda officials who confirmed to me that they are really looking forward to the new 1,000cc MotoGP category. They also said they’ll be building sportsbikes in the future with V4 engines, so they can compete in MotoGP with a similar V4 1,000,’ says Gardner, on his website.
‘Expect your CBR Fireblade to turn into a V4 very soon. Also expect something very similar to the new V4 CBR powerplant to be utilised in Honda’s MotoGP bikes when the new regulations come into force. Honda are no strangers to building V4 four-strokes and they have been working on experimental V4s since way back in the early-1980s. You can bet whatever they come up with this time around will be something special,’ says Gardner. Well, we’d definitely like to believe that Honda are planning to launch an all-new V4-engined Fireblade in 2012 and coming as it does from a man who won a 500cc GP racing world championship aboard a Honda, it’s quite likely to be true.
If you thought the above was an exciting piece of news, wait, Mr Gardner has more to say. ‘It was also confirmed to me by Honda representatives that Aprilia and BMW will definitely be participating in MotoGP from 2012. It already looks like the regulation changes have brought about the desired effect – more bikes on the MotoGP grip,’ says Gardner. Now, we just hope he isn’t fibbing and that all of what he’s said will come true in 2012, which should then be a firecracker of a season for MotoGP. Bring it on!
Via Wayne Gardner Approved