Citizen Reporter
2 minute read
7 May 2014
2:00 pm

Honda’s new bike is red hot

Citizen Reporter

For 21 years Honda has pursued a concept of "total control" with the Fireblade, after rewriting the rulebook in 1992 with the original CBR900RR.

Over the past decade the CBR1000RR has developed into perhaps the most balanced supersport machine available, combining exceptional performance and handling with a satisfying ability to extract the very best from every rider. 

Victories in the World Super Bike (WSBK) championship and all-conquering success at the Isle of Man TT, with average lap speeds of 209km/h over the 60.72km mountain course, is testament to the CBR1000RR’s innate capacity.

The open-class CBR has built a loyal army of fans around the world over two decades, especially with over 200 000 machines sold throughout Europe. And in response to demand from hard-core performance enthusiasts, Honda is producing the CBR1000RR Fireblade SP for the first time in 2014. A track-focused, yet fully road legal, limited edition sport production version of the standard bike that not only looks special – it is special.

In Japanese, to give something “edge” is to add polish, and for the dedicated track day goer that is exactly what the CBR1000RR Fireblade SP has been given. 

The chassis wears circuit-ready front and rear Öhlins suspension, plus Brembo four-piston mono block calipers, with frame revisions and new top and bottom yokes to suit.

Pirelli Diablo Supercorsa SP tyres are the finishing touch.

The 999cc inline four-cylinder engine gets the same updated cylinder head as the standard 2014 CBR1000RR Fireblade, with improved inlet/exhaust gas flow and combustion efficiency, and an extra 2kW peak power boost. However, the SP features factory-matched pistons and con-rods to ensure optimum internal balance.

As a track-focused machine, there’s no provision for a pillion and a sleek single seat unit saves weight. Further marking the SP version out from standard is its own unique Tricolour paint, with a central red stripe and trademark Honda gold wheels.

The SP version has the same aggressive riding position as the standard machine, offering outstanding control, leverage and acceleration. Compared to the 2013 model CBR1000RR, the footpegs are set 10mm back and the handlebars are wider, lower and further forward. A new rear subframe designed as a single seater is lighter and the revised seat material firmer. 

The MotoGP-derived slipper clutch ensures full power transmission together with ultra-smooth gear shifting. In the critical hard braking phase it decreases the torque passed from engine to the rear wheel, reducing the chance of traction loss and increasing stability. 

Instrumentation includes a multi-function LCD with cockpit display, with a digital bar-type linear tachometer that scrolls left to right as engine speed increases. 

Beneath this are the main numerical readouts: gear position, coolant temperature, speedometer, clock/lap time, trip/fuel efficiency/fuel consumption and odometer/numerical tachometer. At the bottom of the display are lights for headlight high beam, neutral and indicators.

To ensure gear shifting at the optimum engine RPM, the shift indicator display uses visible white LEDs which are adjustable for brightness.