Honda have let loose with the new CBR1000RR Fireblade SP, which is now being displayed at the EICMA motorcycle show in Milan, Italy. ‘A track-focused Fireblade featuring Öhlins front and rear suspension, Brembo monobloc front brake calipers, gold-painted 12-spoke cast aluminium wheels shod with Pirelli Diablo Supercorsa SP tyres, single seat unit, optional C-ABS (with revised software), MotoGP-derived slipper clutch, special tricolour paint, and sharing the CBR1000RR’s uprated cylinder head and power boost, plus factory-matched engine internals,’ says a press release from Honda, describing the Fireblade SP.
While it lacks most of the advanced electronics which its European rivals now boast of, the Honda Fireblade remains one of the best superbikes in terms of handling, engine performance, riding dynamics and sheer engineering. With the Fireblade SP, Honda have added “polish” to the CBR1000RR, with improved inlet/exhaust gas flow and combustion efficiency, factory-matched pistons and con-rods, modified die-cast aluminium twin-spar chassis (tuned to provide more flex, more enhanced ‘feel’…), gas-charged Öhlins TTX36 monoshock, 43mm Öhlins USD fork, CNC-machined top yoke, and a steering stem made of steel rather than aluminium. As on the regular CBR1000RR, the Fireblade SP’s aluminium gullwing swingarm operates through MotoGP-derived Unit Pro-Link rear suspension. Rake is set at 23° 30’ with trail of 96mm and wheelbase of 1410mm. Kerb weight is 199kg with front/rear weight distribution of 52.7%/47.3%
The Honda Fireblade SP also gets a 2nd generation HESD (Honda Electronic Steering Damper), which monitors speed and tailors damping force accordingly. It enhances stability at high speed by minimising sudden steering angle changes, while leaving the steering untouched – and light – at low speed. Compared to the 2013 year model, the new CBR1000RR’s footpegs are set 10mm back and the handlebars are wider, lower (by 1°) and further forward (by 5°). A new rear subframe – with no need to support a pillion – is lighter, and the revised seat material is firmer. A new screen delivers improved high-speed aerodynamics rather than wind protection. Super-sticky Pirelli Diablo Supercorsa SP tyres – 120/70 at the front and 190/50 at the back – offer unmatched grip in very high-speed corners.
With nickel-silicon carbide (Ni-SiC) surface treatment on its cylinder walls for reduced friction, and reworked cylinder heads for better gas flow, the Fireblade SP’s 1,000cc inline-four now produces 178 horsepower at 12,250rpm and 114Nm of torque at 10,500 revs. These aren’t class-leading figures, but with Honda’s ‘Programmed Dual Sequential Fuel Injection system’ (PGM-DSFI) remapped to match the Fireblade SP’s revised cylinder head and exhaust system, fueling has been made super-precise and power delivery has been made perfect for driving as hard as possible out of corners.
The new Honda Fireblade SP is available with a range of factory accessories, which include a painted carbonfibre hugger for protecting the rear shock, carbonfibre front mudguard, carbonfibre crankcase covers, black-tinted high windscreen (27mm higher than stock), maintenance stand, tank bag, wheel sticker set, battery optimizer and a fairing scuff guard set.
Note: The regular Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade will still be available alongside the Fireblade SP. The regular CBR1000RR gets an uprated cylinder head and exhaust, plus revised PGM-DSFI settings for improved top-end power and mid-range torque.