The 2012 Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade, spy shots of which appeared last month, may not look dramatically different from the current model, but it almost certainly will perform better. In addition to improvements made to the bike’s chassis and suspension, Honda seem to be moving things ahead in the engine department in a big way. The 2012 Fireblade will get an all-new fly-by-wire throttle management system, which is likely to work in tandem with Honda’s next-generation C-ABS and some kind of traction control system.
Castrol Honda riders – Jonathan Rea, Ruben Xaus and Makoto Tamada – are scheduled to start testing the new fly-by-wire system very soon, in Misano. The team has also confirmed that this new technology will be homologated for street use with the introduction of the 2012 CBR1000RR.
The Yamaha R6 was the first to introduce fly-by-wire tech to streetbikes, a few years ago. What the technology does, essentially, is that it eliminates the physical link between the throttle and the bike’s fuel-injectors. Instead, when the rider twists the throttle, the bike’s on-board computer analyses various factors – including throttle position, engine revs, the gear in which the bike is being ridden, atmospheric temperature and pressure, engine air intake pressure, crankshaft position and many others – and decides how much fuel to deliver to the engine.
In the worlds of aviation and automobiles, fly-by-wire (also called drive-by-wire, x-by-wire or even just by-wire) has, over the last few years, replaced physical/mechanical linkages with advanced electronics, for controlling functions like acceleration, braking and steering. Bikes, which are now getting advanced electronics in the form of anti-lock brakes and traction control, are bound to follow suit and fly-by-wire tech is likely to become standard on all sportsbikes in the near future.
‘We've been testing some different electronics and the bike is much easier to control. The feeling is much better and the bike definitely feels stronger and faster,’ says Team Castrol Honda, who are now testing technologies that they will use on their 2012 World Superbikes Honda Fireblade, and which we will also be able to experience on the 2012 Fireblade streetbike.
For official high-res pics and other details of the 2012 Honda Fireblade, go here