HONDA CBR1000RR FIREBLADE (2009-2012) Review

Published: 17 December 2008

"The world's first ever ABS-equipped superbike"

Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade - in action

"The world's first ever ABS-equipped superbike"

  • At a glance
  • 999cc  -  178 bhp
  • 32 mpg  -  125 miles range
  • Medium seat height (820mm)

Overall Rating 5 out of 5

The big news for the 2009 Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade isn’t its new, oval-shaped indicators, but its revolutionary electronically-controlled Combined ABS system. This makes the Honda Fireblade the world’s first ever ABS-equipped superbike. This system takes none of the enjoyment out of riding this incredible superbike and it feels just the same to ride as a normal Blade, even on the track. The system stays in the background until the moment you get into a difficult braking situation, then the ‘brake-by-wire’ kicks in. This is a landmark motorcycle and surely the shape of things to come. Why would you ever want a bike without it?

Ride Quality & Brakes 4 out of 5

On track, the nimble, but stable Blade handles a lot like the RC212V MotoGP machine it’s styled to look like. The suspension is plush and soaks up bumps on the road nicely, while giving lots of support and control on the circuit. On the standard model the brakes have lots of feel and power, but the C-ABS model takes the braking to a whole new level. The ABS system stops the wheels locking in an emergency, but unlike more crude mechanical systems, there’s no pulsing at the lever, just smooth constant braking pressure. In normal conditions, if you only use the front brake, the system will apply a small amount of rear brake to keep the machine flatter, which increases stability on the way into a corner.

Engine 5 out of 5

It might not make the ultimate power of its 1000cc rivals, but the magic of the Honda Fireblade is its grunt and searing acceleration. The Honda’s gem-like 163bhp in-line-four-cylinder 999.8cc motor is capable of powering the Blade to the naughty side of 180mph, but more impressively it can do 150mph in a quarter of a mile. The power is easy to use, all the way through the rev-range and the throttle response perfect. This is one of the all-time great engines.

Build Quality & Reliability 5 out of 5

Honda invented the words ‘quality’ and ‘reliable’. The Honda Fireblade is the machine against which the competition is judged when it comes to build-quality. The paint is swimming pool-deep and all the controls are solid and operate with an oily perfection.

Value & Running Costs 5 out of 5

Spending just over £9000 isn’t a lot to pay for a class-leading machine. The Blade has cost around nine grand since time began but that hasn’t stopped it getting better and better over the years. Shelling out £1000 for the C-ABS is a lot, but it’s a superb system that doesn’t detract from the riding pleasure and might one day save your skin. Find a Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade for sale.

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

Equipment 4 out of 5

The Blade comes with every bell and whistle you need for fast riding. As well as the amazing C-ABS system; it has fully-adjustable suspension, radial brakes, a slipper clutch and an exhaust valve. The only thing missing from its armoury is traction control like you’ll find on the Ducati Streetfighter, Ducati 1198S and 1098R. Compare and buy products for the Honda Fireblade in the MCN Shop.

Owners' Reviews

20 owners have reviewed their HONDA CBR1000RR FIREBLADE (2009-2012) 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 4.7 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 4.9 out of 5
Engine 4.8 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 4.6 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 4.5 out of 5
Equipment 4.4 out of 5
5 out of 5

Amazing Superbike

19 January 2014 by swaytan

I curse the day I sold my Fireblade! Purchased a 2012 blade last year & had not a single issue with it. Absolutely brilliant to ride around town in traffic, plenty of USABLE power. The suspension is an absolute dream. Currently riding a 2013 R1... Read more which is a very good bike, sounds amazing, but really doesn't compare to the blade in terms of everyday usability. Thinking of buying another blade this year!

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
4 out of 5

drop in quality ?

03 June 2013 by urban-ryder

so I came from a 2009 848 ducati to the 2009 blade due to the fact that I can service the bike myself.I had a 05 fireblade before so I knew what to expect but I have to say I was a little disappointed with the poor quality of the fairings.Firstly the... Read more way it is all mounted and clipped together is a complete nightmare, the RR5 would take five minutes to remove a side fairing where as the RR9 takes about an hour as some genius mounted so many odds and ends to the inside of the fairing not to mention all the flaffing about with air intakes.The plastic is that thin it makes the Chinese ebay fairings look superior.my fairing snapped in two at the mirror when fitting a screen so I went to the dealer to get a new nose cone, it was then the dealer told me this happens all the time and that they have had them break on them too! now that shows how flimsy the plastic is, nowhere near the quality of the RR5.so another hour of messing around to get the nose cone changed and I hope to god I never have to remove the fairings again.Apart from that the bike isnt too bad but it is a bit sore on the wrists (worse than the 848), must add mods are a taller screen and IMHO a power commander as the standard map is so underpowered but I suppose this is aimed at being more user friendly.I am just use to riding thousands that if opened to the stop they will flip rather than gradually accelerate away.The power commander fixes this to the point it will power the wheel skyward in fourth gear.I think I might try the 2012 model next as the fairing quality is meant to be better and the stress on the old wrists a bit less.

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

2012 Blade

16 March 2013 by daj39

Ad i am in my mid forties i thought it was time to move away from super bikes(not to far though ) . So I took out a Kawasaki Z1000SX a nice bike and a very good ride.But I felt it wasn't quite quick enough. Having a few beers with some mates they... Read more suggested I take a new Blade out which I did. What a fantastic decision that was , after an hour i was back in the showroom ( Blade Honda Swindon ) putting a deposit down. The riding position was perfect, you can flick it around with ease or just sit and plod along. In my opinion this is the all round bike i craved. Still smiling....

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
5 out of 5

want a new or secondhand Honda see below

19 August 2012 by sportsboyuk

If you want the best in service and a great deal then call Stephen weller Lethcworth Honda Norton way he will sort you a deal say Jamie sent you x ride safe 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

not so good experience

29 September 2011 by MartinZ

When things are fine then this is a good bike but often it is not so. I had 2008 one, oil consumption reaching 1 litre per thousand miles. Now I have 2010 model with the same oil consumption. I could live with it, except one small thing: top end... Read more rebuild every 40 thousand miles. Yes, I ride a lot and my bike reached 40000 miles in about 20 months. Sadly, lost compression because all valves started to leak, badly. Honda UK think that it is normal wear and tear hence you can read it this way: Fireblade engine is designed to last 40 thousand miles only and then it needs to be rebuild at cost close to £2000. Will I buy Honda bike again? No, never.

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 1 out of 5
Equipment 3 out of 5
5 out of 5

awsome understated perfection

26 August 2011 by sportsboyuk

Get to Padgetts in Batley ask for PAUL say Jamie sent you buy a bargin get a fantastic service and the very best deal bset time to buy is NOW what a bike this is get on ride and the abs is amazing hey get to PADGETTS NOW DONT WASTE TIME ........ 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
4 out of 5

Look after your radiator

29 July 2011 by davidharmon1973

A very common problem with the fireblade acording to dealers is that the radiator is very prone to dammage from any stone or chipping you may run over. Buy a radiator guard, just try and find out how much a replacement radiator is, it will make you... Read more cry, even the dealers say are you sitting down!!

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

CBR1000RR (2010)

14 July 2011 by Z1000MAN

New Fireblade is very easy to Ride. it handles so smooth,very agile, light, takes corners with ease. I reckon; it's the best 1000cc sports bike in the world. I can recommened it for any rider. 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
4 out of 5

Toss UP

15 June 2011 by Anonymous

So your looking at a blade .... i have had mine a while now after parting with my 130BHP GSXR600 and have never looked back. i have to so many bikes out now and many of them just deem the same to the next, suzuki's heavy and slow to rev up but... Read more amazing when you get there kawasaki where you spend your life chasing the power just to find out you run out of road, or the BM,R1 and RSV where you pay a arm and a leg. The CBR is smooth comfy and fast the midrange is amazing you don’t have to rev it at all to find the power, If you don’t have the money to upgrade it its perfect as it is. The handling is sublime and it is hassle free riding the brakes are sharp and there if you need them and yet the bike suits new and old bikers alike, for a new biker its fast but yet poised and helps you build confidence and in a long term fast bike rider it is a speed and race weapon, the amount of awards and placing’s in bike of the year it has 3 years in a row speaks for itself. you don’t have to mess around with it, the only real things i would say is bad is that there are lots on the market so keep an eye out for a deal unless you want a new one on 0% which can’t be bad! Finally I’m not a big fan of the headlight (not the shape!) but the fact it’s not a projector headlight, every bike is now projector and Honda is lagging by not updating this. all in all the Honda is a amazing bike fast comfy good looking and can go unchanged if you are on a budget. i think that Honda will have a big job on their hands topping this amazing bike! I hope this helps but keep in mind that the best bike is the one YOU feel happy with.

Overall Rating 4 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 5 out of 5
4 out of 5

A year's ownership

06 May 2011 by Retiredbiker

I am about to change my Fireblade after a year and 3000 miles. What's good about it? Find an A-road with sweeping bends and a good surface and you'll love it - that engine, gearbox, handling. Overtaking - no problem. It's smooth and a really safe... Read more bike to ride. Going a bit too fast into a corner? You can brake with no drama whatsoever. What's bad? Too much weight on your wrists and if you're a tall bloke over 6 foot you will be uncomfortable after an hour or so. Try riding 250 miles, I did, and apart from your wrists it does your back in and gives you cramp in your legs. And you won't enjoy 30 mph limits one bit, you are waiting and waiting for the open road again. Don't get me wrong, it's a doddle to ride at 30 mph but it's the discomfort. I wouldn't mind trying it at really high speed but it's way too far to ride to Cadwell for a track day and back from the North East on one of these if you're my height. So it's goodbye Fireblade to discover that last year's best-selling bike has lost 30% of its value as there are so many on the market now.

Overall Rating 4 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 20 owners' reviews in full

Facts & Figures

Model info
Year introduced 2009
Year discontinued 2012
Original price £11,300
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 178 bhp
Max torque 78 ft-lb
Top speed 180 mph
1/4-mile acceleration 10.32 secs
Average fuel consumption 32 mpg
Tank range 125 miles
Specification
Engine size 999cc
Engine type 16-valve, in-line-four
Frame type Aluminium twin-spar
Fuel capacity 17 litres
Seat height 820mm
Bike weight 199kg
Front suspension Fully-adjustable
Rear suspension Fully-adjustable
Front brake 2 x 320mm discs
Rear brake 220mm disc
Front tyre size 120/70 17 in
Rear tyre size 190/50 17 in

History & Versions

Model history

2004 – CBR1000RR Fireblade launched
2006 – CBR1000RR Fireblade, minor updates including increased compression ratio, tweaked bodywork and larger front brake discs.
2008 – Second generation CBR1000RR Fireblade launched, a new model from ground-up. MCN’s superbike of the year.
2009 – CBR1000RR Fireblade gets new oval-shaped rear indicators and Combined ABS option.

Other versions

Standard and Combined ABS versions available.

Photo Gallery

  • Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade - in action
  • Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade - repsol paint job
  • Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade - testing out the combined ABS
  • Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade - side view
  • Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade - big lean
  • Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade - close up
  • Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade - in action
  • Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade - exhaust
  • Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade - side view
  • Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade - stripped down
  • Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade - on track
  • Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade - tail unit
  • Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade - handles a lot like the RC212V MotoGP machine
  • Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade -  back brake
  • Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade - knee down
  • Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade - brake system
  • Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade - suspension is plush
  • Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade - clocks
  • Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade - the C-ABS model takes the braking to a whole new level
  • Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade - swingarm
  • Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade - view of the cockpit
  • Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade - arty brake shot
  • Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade - under the seat
  • Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade - in action
  • Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade - repsol paint job
  • Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade - testing out the combined ABS
  • Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade - side view
  • Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade - big lean
  • Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade - close up
  • Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade - in action
  • Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade - exhaust
  • Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade - side view
  • Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade - stripped down
  • Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade - on track
  • Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade - tail unit
  • Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade - handles a lot like the RC212V MotoGP machine
  • Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade - back brake
  • Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade - knee down
  • Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade - brake system
  • Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade - suspension is plush
  • Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade - clocks
  • Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade - the C-ABS model takes the braking to a whole new level
  • Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade - swingarm
  • Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade - view of the cockpit
  • Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade - arty brake shot
  • Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade - under the seat