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Honda CBR1000RR FIREBLADE Sports Motorbike Review

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MCN overall verdict rating is 4

Since 1992 the name FireBlade has conjured visions of a hard-charging superbike with attitude. While this is true of the very first two models, since then the FireBlade became a model of respectability. The 2006-07 model was arguably the best road-going superbike by being fast and bland in the same wheelbase. The 2008 FireBlade comes with attitude from its rev-happy engine, race-like steering (quick, responsive), stability and supremely balance chassis. For get its blunted looks, this Blade will cut it.

 

Watch the 2008 Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade take on the 2007 version

Watch the Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade take on the Kawasaki, ZX-10R, Suzuki's GSX-R1000 and the Yamaha YZF-R1

Watch the first ride of the 2008 Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade

 

Engine

MCN rating rating is 4
Owners' rating rating is 4

When Honda set out to lose 2.5kgs from the weight of the previous model’s engine, you could almost second-guess how responsive and quick and easy quick it would be for the engine to spin up to its new 13,000rpm redline. Responsive and precise throttle control makes for good wheelies, blinding corner exit speed and neat shot of adrenaline. There’s still a good dose of midrange torque, but top end zing is what the Blade delivers. The new lump also features a slipper clutch – a first since the HRC WSB special RC45 – and it works; get the braking over and snick down three and let the lever out. Perfect.

Ride and Handling

MCN rating rating is 5
Owners' rating rating is 4.5

In stock trim the suspension settings are set on the soft side for road use, but on the track launch at Qatar is soon showed these settings needed upgrading. The suspension damping is only slightly revised for 2008 but any adjustments make a marked difference. What the new Blade has is a chassis so balanced and easy to throw around you could say the Blade is essentially a 600 supersport with the guts of a 1000cc machine. Corner speed is everything here but at the same time the Blade retains its stability mostly due to the revised electronic steering damper.

Equipment

MCN rating rating is 3
Owners' rating rating is 4

This is an area the Blade is lacking in. Ok so it has a slipper clutch, but Honda is the last manufacturer on this particular train. The electronic steering damper isn’t new and although it works it doesn’t have the kudos of Kawasaki’s Ohlins unit. The suspension doesn’t have the latest fad of high and low speed compression damping as per Suzuki’s GSX-R1000 and no fancy motorised inlet manifolds like the Yam’ R1. There will be aftermarket carbon fibre panels and a seat and tank bag, though.

Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade (2008-2009)

Detail Value
New price £9,300
Dealer used prices
£5,890 (2008) - £7,140 (2009)
Private used prices
£5,420 (2008) - £6,650 (2009)
  View full used price info
Engine size 999 cc
Power 175.3 bhp
Top speed 179 mph
Insurance group 17 of 17
  MCN ratings Owners' ratings
Overall rating is 4 rating is 4
Engine rating is 4 rating is 4
Ride & Handling rating is 5 rating is 4.5
Equipment rating is 3 rating is 4
Quality & Reliability rating is 4 rating is 3.5
Value rating is 5 rating is 4

Quality and Reliability

MCN rating rating is 4
Owners' rating rating is 3.5

Marked down a notch here because of the Honda CBR1000RR’s not so attractive fairing, which, to be honest, isn’t so bad in the flesh. Besides if you look past this you’ll see the fasteners and fixtures are all the usual quality stainless or moulded sections that fit with the simplicity of square peg in a very big round hole. Then there’s the exhaust; a shorty item a la MotoGP and under the engine, but it’s finished to mimic the belly pan (shaped and painted) and has an exhaust valve and a muffler flap inside to reduce noise.

 

Value

MCN rating rating is 5
Owners' rating rating is 4

The Suzuki GSX-R1000 has sold well in 2007, despite not being the most sorted bike because of a) its lower price against performance, and b) it was available right from day one. The Honda is dearer, will be available early on but, more importantly it handles much better and has a quality feel to its build and this more than justifies its price, so Suzuki et al should look out in up and coming 2008 sales war. Find a Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade for sale.

Insurance

Insurance group: 17 of 17

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Model History

2008: New model introduced.

Other Versions

None.

Specifications

Top speed 179 mph
1/4-mile acceleration 10.2 secs
Max power 175.3 bhp
Max torque 84 ft-lb
Weight 199 kg
Seat height 820 mm
Fuel capacity 17.7 litres
Average fuel consumption 36 mpg
Tank range 169 miles
Annual road tax
Insurance group 17 of 17
Engine size 999 cc
Engine specification Liquid-cooled,16v dohc, in-line four-cylinder four-stroke, 6 gears, fuel injection, chain final drive
Frame Aluminium dual beam
Front suspension adjustment Rebound and compression damping with pre-load adjustment
Rear suspension adjustment Rebound and compression damping with pre-load adjustment
Front brakes 2 x 320mm front discs with 4-piston calipers
Rear brake 220mm rear disc with 1-piston caliper
Front tyre size 120/70 x 17
Rear tyre size 190/50 x 17

Owners' Overall Rating rating is 4(12 reviews)

  • 22 Month Review/Update.

    Steven Hood

    NORWICH , UK

    Average rating rating is 4.5

    Show Details

    Overall
    Ride and Handling
    Equipment
    Quality and Reliabilty
    Value
    Engine

    Have just done 1000 miles on my Fireblade RR8 with the Bridgestone BT023's fitted and on the whole i would say they suit the bike well. Seems the back tyre is a slightly lower profile to the BT016 and therefore needs more effort to change direction on tight turns at speed. So "B" road blasts are a bit harder work but fast sweepers are as i remember with the BT016's. Grip levels from cold are good and the steering feels slightly heavier by a touch which for me, boosts confidence. This does however show in the fuel consumption which has dropped by 1.5 mpg. Wet weather feel and confidence is very good[up on the BT016]and the bike has retained its plush feel on the road with the standard suspension settings.Hoping to get 6000 miles from the rear and also hoping for the same from the front. It has to be said that they were positively scary for the first 5 miles during scrubbing-in but produced good levels of grip after 70 miles.

    25 July 2011

  • 21 Months Review. RR8.

    Steven Hood

    NORWICH , UK

    Average rating rating is 4.5

    Show Details

    Overall
    Ride and Handling
    Equipment
    Quality and Reliabilty
    Value
    Engine

    Bought the bike used with very squared-off original tyres[bt015's]fitted with 1776 miles on the clock. So can only assume it was run-in very gently and very upright.Anyway, the bike is very comfy for my 6ft frame and with minor adjustments to the levers and gear/brake pedals, i would say not too bad for my back/neck and wrists for a sportsbike. I previously had the RR6 Fireblade for a year and would say that bike was more extreme in comfort levels.Suspension is superb and tracks the road well with very little forced input from the rider other than to think it round fast sweeping curves and changes of direction.I thought it was too low-geared at first but having lived with the bike for a while now i would say its spot-on. On the subject of gearing, the gearbox has got to be the best and slickest gearchange that Honda has produced to date. Good feel from the up-changes[secure and positive]and snicks down the box without tying itself in knots so your not sure what gear your in.[Fantastic] More than happy with the power of the engine from being totally lazy with the gearbox cruising through a village in top gear at 30mph at 2000 revs to revving past maximum torque at 9000 and beyond in any gear from first upwards.Building speed quickly and smoothly has never been so easy on any previous Fireblade and having owned 4 now over 15 years i would say this is the best to date. The brakes are also excellent for scrubbing off speed quickly and combined with the lightness of the bike overall and the stiff front forks the only complaint ive found is our road surfaces at the point of turn-in, whether your heart is in your mouth at the point of powering-on with the bike lent over. The best mpg i've had from the bike was 56 mpg during a memorable long ride in thick mist/fog, mainly keeping to 50mph and 60mph at clearer stages. And the worst being 43mpg using the full rev-range in all gears on very clear roads during early morning weekend runs with not too many pigeons and other wildlife about.Oil usage does vary! Very intermitten use of oil for no good reason, sometimes i can go 1000 miles without having to top the oil up and then it needs a splash after just 400 miles. Pinning this oil use down, i would say it uses less than 250ml's per 1000 miles and none for the first 2000 miles after a fresh oil/filter change.[very strange].Tyres, after the squared-off BT015's i fitted a pair of BT016's which suit this bike well and transformed the handling overnight. The back tyre lasted 4,000 miles and the front looked so un-touched that i fitted just a new back. Big mistake really! The worn front meant that the new back tyre is getting wasted because the feel and sure footed-ness has gone and all confidence in the fine grip and handling has disappeared now.Looking to fit a pair of BT023's next as ive heard good thing about them on the new fireblades.

    23 May 2011

  • Average rating rating is 2

    Show Details

    Overall
    Ride and Handling
    Equipment
    Quality and Reliabilty
    Value
    Engine

    I can sum it up with one word "CRAP". I paid $11kfor mine on release date and paid half cash then financed the balance.I am a die hard rider and really got reamed on this bike. I always loved hondas and started on a 95 f3 that I logged 56k on with zero issues, then went to a 05 600rr i logged 30k with no issues. This is why I had no problem paying full asking price for my 08. Well I am stuck with it till paid for. I have 21k on it and it has always burned oil, I took it in at 10k under what was left of warranty for clutch recall and that went fine. Always thought the oil buning was acceptable since its all over forums and honda said its acceptable.Well I will be honest, it will use every bit of a quart of oil in 300-350mi, my buddy rides with me all the time and says when I am in full lean and twisting throttle , he gets sprayed with oil and smoke "the truth". My problem is that I got screwed the first time with the oil issue,second time with it getting worse as miles go on,and third because honda killedmy resale value when a tennessee dealer offered new 08 models for 7k out the door with liftime engine warranty. Oh and I have never done a track day on it. I can assure you that when this one craps out and i know it will, that honda will not get my buisness again.The bike is great but the motor is junk.I want you all to be warned and if you have one with low milage i would suggest you try to sell asap, these bikes are junk that have been pushed on to the consumer.

    16 April 2010

  • new fireblade

    guyincognito

    Average rating rating is 5

    Show Details

    Overall
    Ride and Handling
    Equipment
    Quality and Reliabilty
    Value
    Engine

    this bike is the best by far. having rode & raced all the other 1000's. yes it does use oil but so what! a superior machine by a million miles.i would not change it for anything else! simples!!

    28 December 2009

  • Oh dear

    BeamishBlade

    Average rating rating is 3

    Show Details

    Overall
    Ride and Handling
    Equipment
    Quality and Reliabilty
    Value
    Engine

    Well although I loved the bike I am not keeping a two stroke Blade.....too much oil used with no support from dealer (Honda claims its ok to use 1000 ml per 1000 miles. Now sold.

    12 October 2009

  • 08 Blade

    andrew o'neill

    BELFAST , UK

    Average rating rating is 4.5

    Show Details

    Overall
    Ride and Handling
    Equipment
    Quality and Reliabilty
    Value
    Engine

    Bought an ex demo blade with 900miles on the clock.Coming from a 600f this thing has completley blown me away.The engine is incredible,right the way through the rev range.It just keeps going and going.Easy to ride fast and comfortable(I had some concerns it might cripple me)very similiar to the 600f only with a firmer seat IMO.Could do with a gear indicator and the paint on the tank scuffs quite easily around the knees,but thats all I can think of at the moment.Big fun.Big smiles.Best decision I ever made!Get one!Its near perfect!

    26 May 2009

  • 09 Blade

    BeamishBlade

    Average rating rating is 4.5

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    Overall
    Ride and Handling
    Equipment
    Quality and Reliabilty
    Value
    Engine

    Afgter lots of test rides on the best of the rest I finally decided on the Blade. I am truly glad I did. Its comfy,agile,powerful, well put together and gives me the biggest grin factor of any bike I have previously ridden. The bike will flatter any rider thats lucky enough to own one. Two words.... Buy One ;-)

    14 March 2009

  • OIL PROBLEMS

    Baiazid

    Average rating rating is 2.5

    Show Details

    Overall
    Ride and Handling
    Equipment
    Quality and Reliabilty
    Value
    Engine

    I have this from august 2008 and it consumes 1000ml/1000km. Check this website for details because I am not the only one: http://baiazid-cbr1000rr.blogspot.com/

    14 February 2009

  • 08 Blade Review

    Pauldc

    Average rating rating is 4.5

    Show Details

    Overall
    Ride and Handling
    Equipment
    Quality and Reliabilty
    Value
    Engine

    Been riding for 18 years and owned some great bikes so the reviews definately attracted me to the 08 blade. Owned an 06 model for two years and absolutely loved it so i was a bit worried about changing to the 08 blade even though the interest free offer made it silly not too. It took me three test rides to finally decide if i liked the new bike (which i do now!)and these are the reasons for the less than instant decision ... The looks are a bit contentious and although they are growing on me, I can't say that they were the strongest attraction of the bike (although the 09 colours look much better) and the engine definately sacrifices some of the 06/07 models usable low down power (for a bit more pointless high rev power) and general big bike feel. With the benefit of good local roads and a few rides however i was able to see enough in the new bike to swing the decision. The general handling of the new bike is definately better, it feels noticably lighter, has more modern clocks / features and is surprisingly more comfortable to ride (i'm 6ft 2). Probably the biggest improvement though is the feel of the bike when riding hard - the noise and feel from the free reving engine and the behaviour of the slipper clutch really make a difference under these conditions. All told, a brilliant bike but definately take one for a decent ride before buying.

    16 November 2008

  • 2008 Fireblade overview

    Des_Fireblade

    Average rating rating is 4.5

    Show Details

    Overall
    Ride and Handling
    Equipment
    Quality and Reliabilty
    Value
    Engine

    Hello, this is a quick overview of the new Fireblade according to a 'non-superhuman' I have put 2000 miles on a new red/black Fireblade in Derbyshire and this is my opinion of the bike. I use the 2007 Fireblade as my bench-mark. Ride & Handling: quick and light, and easy to put the bike into corners quickly. Although, I am most confident with weight shifted forwards and bum hanging off seat. Brakes are excellent, and bike behaves under harsh braking. BT015 tyres are great but wear fast, and crumble quickly. Equipment: everything you need, simple with no distractions, but I would love a gear selection indicator. Mirrors vibrate at most speeds - shoulder checks essential (as expected). Cable clutch is light, but you get used to it!. Quality & Reliability: very good quality. Expect reliability. Although I have noticed that my tank surafces are getting scuffed quickly, and the plates (near the footpegs particularly left) are getting very scuffed. Engine: would like the lower down (sub-6000 rpm) push of the 2007 Fireblade, however the engine is very powerful - I have not found it lacking in any situation. The bike will power wheelie in first - I discovered this recently near Fox House when the bike came up quickly and 'hit me' in the face. There is a slight question mark about oil consumption at the moment. I have gone through approximately 1.5 litres of 10W 30 oil in 1000 miles. My dealership is checking with Honda manufacturing now. Overall a great bike - serious performance, excellent handling, and smooth on most road surfaces. Des_Fireblade

    10 June 2008

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kostask

kostasksays

cbr1000rr 2008 oil problems

The problem with the oil consumption seems to be in the type of oil that is used. I own a 2008 blade since June and I also had this problem. I was using the AGIP 20W-40 type of oil and it burned half litre in 1000km (the bike has now over 9000km). Now I am using a Honda oil with viscocity chacteristics 10W-30. It might be a lot thinner than the 20W-40 but after 500km (about 300miles) of hard use wich includes top speeds more than often and being hard on the throtle the level has not dropped even a bit plus the fact that it does not smell of burnned oil every time I downshift from medium to high revs.Another choice that I have heard from others who have the same but do not have to deal with the same problem is the Castrol racing with viscocity 20W-50 or 40 I think, with that oil the have a consumption of 50ml every 4000km.

22 December 2008 12:33

SARider

SARidersays

08 Fireblade Oil problems

This is a serious problem and Honda just need to admit it! Does anyone actually think that having to put 9 litres of oil in a bike (1 litre every 1,000kms) between and including a service every 6,000kms is acceptable? I don't think so. My previous bike was an 07 GSX-R750 - Not a drop between services! Here in SA we have a number of bikes already attended to under warranty. My Blade is being done as we speak... pistons, rings, barrels and camshaft. All after only 14,000kms. You want to see the inside of my motor - the barrels aren't in good shape... the tops of the pistons, the head and valves are as black as the Ace of Spades. That’s all for now, but I’ll come back to this later after I’ve had my meeting with the local Dealer Principle. And, depending on what he says, I may or may not divulge further info... or ask some very interesting questions.

21 November 2008 10:44

sunnygym

sunnygymsays

oil burner

Sorry to hear about yr blade mine burns 1lt per 900 miles what a liberty have been back to dealer who put thicker oil in still burning have u got the blackness on the exhaust pipe hole? i would never have bought one if i had of known about the oil problem, i would try and back it if you can. Its a great bike but the oil burning lets it down.

 Gym

02 November 2008 17:51

Des_Fireblade

User's Badge

Des_Firebladesays

Oil consumption - official

Ladies & Gents

According to my friends at Honda, the expected oil consumption for the 2008 Fireblade is:

1 litre per 1000 kms (or ~600 miles), therefore you must top up every ~300 miles!

Ciao,

Des_Fireblade

23 September 2008 11:54

Des_Fireblade

User's Badge

Des_Firebladesays

Recall on 08 blades

Ladies & Gents

There is a re-call on all (or some) of these bikes. The problem is a hose clip (coolant system) which may fail due to engine vibration & spray hot 'coolant' on your legs!. Check with your dealer if you have not received a 'sign for' letter from Honda.

Ciao,

Des_Fireblade

17 September 2008 09:39

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