Honda’s stable at the 2016 Intermot motorcycle show was all pomp and fanfare as they showcased their 2017 Honda CBR1000RR SP. This is an all new redesigned package from Honda which showcased major updates from since nearly a decade to give them a fighting chance in the already competitive high-tech superbike arena.
Honda made everyone sweat when they launched the CBR900RR in 1992 having huge power numbers and weighing lesser than the closest competitor. For the Fireblade’s 25th anniversary, Honda has gone big with the updated engine, chassis, electronic suspension and a whole bunch of rider aids package all combined with the hefty weight loss giving the rivals a run for their money.
This updated model from Honda is said to be an evolution rather than a revolution because close to 70 percent of the parts that make up this bike is completely new as opposed to the previous models.
Although the overall geometry of the new blade remains similar to the previous model, the fairings have been thinned down by reducing the material around few areas while exposing the motor surfaces. The upper and mid fairing have been also narrowed reducing the width of the bike to 18-24 mm. This gives in for better aerodynamics and light weight structure.
As showcased in the new CBR250RR, this blade makes use of similar LED cluster set back inside the fairing gives it a meaner looking face. The instrument panel is also refreshed with the full-colour TFT liquid crystal dash borrowed from the RC213V-S.
There has been a total redesign in the frame and chassis that loses 600 grams by thinning sidewalls which optimise material mass allocation.
Honda has continued its weight loss program with the engine as well by overhauling the motor for the 2017 CBR. The in-line four pot uses, for the first time, a throttle by wire control helping the power gain to 185-190bhp (11bhp more) while the red line now goes all the way up to 13000rpm from the previous 12250rpmwith peak torque of 81.79ftlb @ 10,500rpm. The compression ratio is up to 13.0:0 from 12.3:1. The power to weight ratio has increased by 14 percent.
There is a new headstock air intake and a revised fuel injection system along with a larger throttle body bore keeping both road and track improvements in mind.
The fuel tank is now titanium (first in class) along with the exhaust system and muffler.
The new slip-assist clutch system makes use of the quick shifter for those clutchless upshifts and electronically assisted downshifts with auto-blipper.
While these figures may not outperform the likes of the BMW S1000RR or the Kawasaki ZX-10R, it is a huge step forward from the previous model and will definitely be much appreciated by the fans of the CBR brand.
|Output kW/bhp @ RPM||141/189 at 13 000|
|Torque||116 Nm at 11000 rpm|
|Type||Liquid-cooled 4-stroke 16-valve DOHC Inline-4|
|Valves per cylinder||4|
|Clutch type||Wet, multi-plate|
|Fuel tank capacity||16|
The CBR1000RR is one of the few bikes that don’t go wrong in the handling department. They have always been touted as the best handling bike by enthusiasts. This updated model however ups the game by introducing a wide range of electronics aiding the rider into a more aggressive rideability and at the same time keeping him/her safer than ever.
The brand new five-axis Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU) works tirelessly to keep the bike under control in all situations the rider is capable of manoeuvring. Other riding aids include traction control, ABS, slide control, engine brake control, rear lift control and wheelie control.
The Ohlins suspension setup on this bike is the most advanced format of the S-EC, used in the Ducati 1299 Panigale, uses a 43mmNIX30 fork and TTX36 shock which can be adjusted using the five riding mode setup on the TFT instrument cluster.
The Honda CBR1000RR SP wears 120/70 R17 front and 190/50 R17 rear Bridgestone RS10s.The Brembo four-piston monobloc radial-mount brake callipers make use of better brake pads for greater performance at higher operating temperatures.
If you thought that the CBR1000RR SP is the best equipped Fireblade ever, have a look at Honda’s SP2 version.
The major attributes to this version of the bike are the engine and the tyres. This motor has 1mm larger intake valves and 1.5mm larger exhaust valves. The wheels are forged aluminium units that trump for the mass and balance. With race prep and ECU mapping, the SP2 will be one fine machine to run on tracks and races.
Honda has not officially released the pricing for these models nor have they announced its release dates in the Indian sub-continent. But a couple of sources do make us believe that at a price point pitted at around ₹ 16 lakhs - 18.5 lakhs it sure makes other players have a grim on their sales (₹ 23.5 lakh for the SP2 version). Hooning with a sharply angled new logo, the CBR will be available in a Tri-Color paint option that uses red as its base (rather than white) and pays homage to Honda’s racing tradition and history. Wing-motif patterns underpin the machine’s exclusivity.
The year from 2015 saw a lot many players entering the Indian market with their performance bikes to give a breather to the enthusiasts alike. Although Yamaha R1 retains top position in the performance sector and the BMW S1000RR being the most technically sound superbike, the Honda CBR1000RR SP, if released, will locks horns with these two juggernauts.
The BMW S1000RR showcased at the Intermot 2016 will have at least 5 more horses at 193bhp but lacks in torque figures with 112Nm against the Honda’s 116Nm with the price tag of a whopping INR. 27 lakhs.
The Yamaha R1 is the bigger brother here with power figures at 198bhp redlining at a maddening 13500 rpm and priced at INR. 25 lakhs, the Honda will be a more likeable bike to own.
In a world where outright horsepower and straight-line speed hold centre stage, Honda’s attempt is to set what an open class sports bike should be. With all that hype about the increase in power and weight reduction, we can at least tell that Honda has taken the step in the right direction with the right formula. With all the available driver aids, owning and riding one of these machines is going to be a blissful experience no doubt.
But with the chart toppers like the Yamaha R1 and the new GSX-R1000, don’t forget the S1000RR, this CBR has a lot of catching up to do and we are for sure optimistic that Honda has checked all the right boxes for this.