HONDA CBR1000RR FIREBLADE (2008 - 2009) Review
At a glance
|Owners' reliability rating:|
|Annual servicing cost:||£260|
Overall ratingNext up: Ride & brakes
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. Power delivery is flawlessly smooth, and the ride quality from the fully adjustable suspension is ideal for road riding.
Watch the Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade take on the Kawasaki, ZX-10R, Suzuki's GSX-R1000 and the Yamaha YZF-R1
Ride quality & brakesNext up: Engine
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.
EngineNext up: Reliability
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. This model 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.
Reliability & build qualityNext up: Value
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 vs rivalsNext up: Equipment
Used Honda Fireblades are sought after but they're also common, so prices are pretty good. A 2008 model can be yours from about £4500 upwards. Find a Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade for sale.
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. This generation was the last of the analogue superbikes before electronic rider aids became the norm.
|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|
|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|
Mpg, costs & insurance
|Average fuel consumption||36 mpg|
|Annual road tax||£93|
|Annual service cost||£260|
|Used price||£4,300 - £6,300|
17 of 17
How much to insure?
|Warranty term||Two year unlimited mileage|
Top speed & performance
|Max power||175 bhp|
|Max torque||84 ft-lb|
|Top speed||179 mph|
|1/4 mile acceleration||10.2 secs|
|Tank range||169 miles|
Model history & versions
2008: New model introduced.
Owners' reviews for the HONDA CBR1000RR FIREBLADE (2008 - 2009)
14 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.
Summary of owners' reviews
|Ride quality & brakes:|
|Reliability & build quality:|
|Value vs rivals:|
|Annual servicing cost:||£260|
Annual servicing cost: £350
Confidence inspiring, great looking, sure footed and easy to ride at opposing ends of the spectrum. You can pootle around town with ease whilst being able to scare yourself silly when the moment arises. I think it's an excellent bike overall.
Front brake lever has a lot of travel. I have bled the master cylinder many times with limited improvement. Otherwise a great bike.
Loads of linear power.
Valve clearance check every 16k miles is a pricey one (£450 if no adjustment required).
Not much to list! Basic bike but that's part of it's greatness.
Buying experience: Private.
Everybody is aware of the oil consumption issue of these models. I was aware of that, and after a personal research, I found it can become acceptable using the correct type of oil. I was not aware though of the crankshaft gradually breaking. Why owners do not mention it at all? How can a company like Honda produce such a low quality, key element of its flagship bike's engine? But, alas, it never stayed there...Honda did recall those units and changed ONLY the (much cheaper) gear behind the clutch, which in turn was breaking down and was in direct connection with the faulty crank. This recall (named by Honda as "product improvement"), extended the life of the engine, to a period after the extended warranty had expired, thus relieving Honda from their legal responsibility. Imagine owing a "superbike" with 50000 on the clock and the crankshaft beginning breaking into pieces. To me, it is absolutely outrageous. As I kept on digging in how Honda treats their customers and found many awful stories. One of them is the faulty ABS of the following years models, which overheats and stops working. A great handling bike, with minimal reliability from a company which deals its own mistakes in such a dishonorable way, is no use.The famous reliability of Honda motorcycles of the past...is long forgotten. Honda's way of dealing their customers and faulty products must be spread worldwide for every poor guy like me (who took a loan for that bike) to be aware of what he is getting into. Honda, "the power of nightmares". (report from Greece)
Honda's innovation for 2008,09,10 : the "crapshaft"
See description above
Annual servicing cost: £170
Bought new in 2009 and kept for 6 1/2 years. Best feature is in my opinion the overall package of engine, handling, comfort (i'm 5'10"), brakes and build quality. I used it all year round and covered 27k miles and will say that this bike had an uncanny way of helping me enjoy the ride regardless of the conditions - feedback from the tyres and chassis a particular aspect deserving 5 stars. Worst feature... the OE exhaust system - although it sounds good...my 2000 RRY put it to shame in quality terms. Highly recommended but a quality full service history essential and always test-ride to check for clutch action, minimal vibes and accurate fuelling.
Decent all-rounder, 10 st pillion didn't affect it. On a good thrash comfort was more than adequate - 130 miles before a 10 minute fuel stop and rest - easy. Feedback at all speeds excellent, renewed suspension after 20k miles and it handled like new again. Upgrade the brake system for more power but original feel fine until inevitable ageing causes a little sponginess, was still on original discs and lines with EBC-HH pads. Back brake was always weak.
Power everywhere in any gear and generally very smooth with only minor vibes through the hands between 70-85mph. Beware replacement non OE rear sprockets that omit a shim from the OE cush drive system and leave the drive train feeling loose and give excessive vibes through bars and footrests. Gearbox brilliant for clutch-less changes and never gave any problems.
Exhaust down pipes and grey painted side part corroded earlier than expected. Should have put paint protection on the front of the bike to stop stone chips, and protected tank from knees rubbing. Rest of bike i'd say 5/5. Read about high oil consumption well i can say mine burnt a little bit more than the RRY but i red lined this bike most of its life and it felt strong. Clutch very good - change cable every 15k miles.
Excellent value for money. Can't believe how good it was on fuel. Serviced every 4k miles and nothing ever broke.
Love the fuel light (very accurate) and gear change light but wish it had had a gear indicator. Slipper clutch, headlights, switch gear and steering damper all brilliant. Michelin PR 3s awesome in the winter. Steering solid so can use faster steering tyres in the summer no problem. Recommend K&N air filters - worked well with OE exhaust.
Buying experience: Bought from a dealer, paid £9300 inc alarm (My employer had corporate discounts with various companies including Honda so i got £1000 off the list price).
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.
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.
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.
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!!
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.
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!
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 ;-)
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/
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.
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
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