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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
£6,070 (2008) - £7,390 (2009)
Private used prices
£5,360 (2008) - £6,660 (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 mpg
Tank range 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)

  • awesome blade

    vamvany

    Average rating rating is 4.5

    Show Details

    Overall
    Ride and Handling
    Equipment
    Quality and Reliabilty
    Value
    Engine

    Just got the new Fireblade after trading in a Yamaha R6, 2005 model. Took it out on a country ride where the road is very sharp and lots up and down hill tight corners, some up to 180 degrees, signposted at 60Km/h.( no cops out this day as it had just rained ). Due to the bike being a little new kept the Rpm below 7000 meaning around 145km/h tops. I was absolutely blown away with the level of confidence it inspired, for me particularly on right hand corners where the R6 was very twitchy, possibly my poor cornering style on RH corners, ( I started racing on a LH race track many years ago, I test rode the R1 and it too was very easy to ride fast in RH corners, could be due to the steering dampers on both ). The Fireblade was unbelievably stable and felt as if it was on rails. Even when pushed in the corners, some have very bumpy entries, from heavy trucks breaking etc. nothing unsettled it. The road was damp from rain, and the Bridgestone BT015 tyres were outstanding, not a single hint of sliding or stepping out. All in all a very " safe " ride compared to the 600, which I felt I was always on the edge and gear selection was critical for high speed corner performance. On the Fireblade not as critical, as it has mind blowing torque, so even when you enter in too high a gear, it is able to pull very strongly. My reason for buying it was the outstanding design, the neat tucked exhaust and a modern one at that, the Suzuki guy's seemed to be getting it right with the GSX 750 and then screwed up the new GSX1000 with those horrible drain pipes on both sides, ( ditto Kawasaki )and I think Yamaha is about to drop the under seat exhaust (as well as do a full redesign)for the same reason Honda just has, centre of gravity and better handling. The new exhaust "growls" and has a very unique sound, I do not know if an after market unit would make a lot of difference, if it is sound you are after ( The R6 was very quiet by comparison). My bike is Red and Black, the only other color here is Yellow which is nice but the red is stunning. I looked at a lot of videos and pics of the Honda and not a single picture or video did it justice, in the daylight it is a modern, new design, and that was my main reason for buying it, the first of a new generation, I hope. So in closing if you want a great, new fresh designed 1000 you cannot go past the Honda Fireblade, and I am sure it will win many super bike races chris f

    01 June 2008

  • new blade

    splodge42

    Average rating rating is 4.5

    Show Details

    Overall
    Ride and Handling
    Equipment
    Quality and Reliabilty
    Value
    Engine

    The new fireblade is alot better built than it's rivals, with an astonishing engine, the only thing i find hard to get used to is the rapid steering thanks to the steep rake angle of the forks, but i'm sure i'll be used to it by the time it reaches it's first service

    05 May 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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