HONDA CBR1000RR FIREBLADE (2008-2009) Review

Published: 07 February 2008

"Forget its blunted looks, this Blade will cut it"

honda cbr1000rr fireblade review action

"Forget its blunted looks, this Blade will cut it"

  • At a glance
  • 999cc  -  175.3 bhp
  • 36 mpg  -  169 miles range
  • Medium seat height (820mm)

Overall Rating 4 out of 5

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

 

Ride Quality & Brakes 5 out of 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.

Engine 4 out of 5

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.

Build Quality & Reliability 4 out of 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 & Running Costs 5 out of 5

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 group: 17 of 17 – compare motorcycle insurance quotes now.

Equipment 3 out of 5

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.

Owners' Reviews

12 owners have reviewed their HONDA CBR1000RR FIREBLADE (2008-2009) and rated it in a number of areas. Read what they have to say and what they like and dislike about the bike below.

We’re currently improving the way this section works, which means we’ve had to suspend the submission of new owners’ reviews for a short period. Please check back soon.

Summary of Owners' Reviews
Overall Rating 4.3 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 4.8 out of 5
Engine 4.2 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 3.9 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 4.3 out of 5
Equipment 4.1 out of 5
5 out of 5

22 Month Review/Update.

25 July 2011 by steven.hood7

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... Read more 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.

Overall Rating 5 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 4 out of 5
Engine 5 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 5 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 5 out of 5
Equipment 4 out of 5
5 out of 5

21 Months Review. RR8.

23 May 2011 by steven.hood7

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... Read more 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.

Overall Rating 5 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 5 out of 5
Engine 5 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 5 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 5 out of 5
Equipment 4 out of 5
1 out of 5

08blade

16 April 2010 by riggsandellsworth

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... Read more 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.

Overall Rating 1 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 5 out of 5
Engine 1 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 1 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 1 out of 5
Equipment 5 out of 5
5 out of 5

new fireblade

28 December 2009 by guyincognito

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!! Read more

Overall Rating 5 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 5 out of 5
Engine 5 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 5 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 5 out of 5
Equipment 5 out of 5
3 out of 5

Oh dear

12 October 2009 by BeamishBlade

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. Read more

Overall Rating 3 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 5 out of 5
Engine 4 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 1 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 3 out of 5
Equipment 4 out of 5
5 out of 5

08 Blade

26 May 2009 by andemcfc

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... Read more 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!

Overall Rating 5 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 5 out of 5
Engine 5 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 4 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 5 out of 5
Equipment 4 out of 5
5 out of 5

09 Blade

14 March 2009 by BeamishBlade

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... Read more rider thats lucky enough to own one. Two words.... Buy One ;-)

Overall Rating 5 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 5 out of 5
Engine 5 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 5 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 5 out of 5
Equipment 4 out of 5
3 out of 5

OIL PROBLEMS

14 February 2009 by Baiazid

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/ Read more

Overall Rating 3 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 5 out of 5
Engine 1 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 1 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 3 out of 5
Equipment 3 out of 5
4 out of 5

08 Blade Review

16 November 2008 by Pauldc

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... Read more 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.

Overall Rating 4 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 5 out of 5
Engine 4 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 5 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 5 out of 5
Equipment 4 out of 5
5 out of 5

2008 Fireblade overview

10 June 2008 by Des_Fireblade

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 &... Read more 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

Overall Rating 5 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 5 out of 5
Engine 5 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 5 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 4 out of 5
Equipment 4 out of 5
Read all 12 owners' reviews in full

Facts & Figures

Model info
Year introduced 2008
Year discontinued 2009
Original price £9,300
Warranty term (when new) Two year unlimited mileage
Running costs
Insurance group 17 of 17
Annual road tax £80
Annual service cost -
Performance
Max power 175.3 bhp
Max torque 84 ft-lb
Top speed 179 mph
1/4-mile acceleration 10.2 secs
Average fuel consumption 36 mpg
Tank range 169 miles
Specification
Engine size 999cc
Engine type Liquid-cooled,16v dohc, in-line four-cylinder four-stroke, 6 gears, fuel injection, chain final drive
Frame type Aluminium dual beam
Fuel capacity 17.7 litres
Seat height 820mm
Bike weight 199kg
Front suspension Rebound and compression damping with pre-load adjustment
Rear suspension Rebound and compression damping with pre-load adjustment
Front brake 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

History & Versions

Model history

2008: New model introduced.

Other versions

None.

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