Ad closing in seconds....

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"

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.

Insurance, running costs & value 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.

Facts & Figures

Model info
Year introduced 2009
Year discontinued 2012
Original price £11,300
Used price £4,900 to £9,000
Warranty term (when new) Two year unlimited mileage
Running costs
Insurance group 17 of 17
Annual road tax £88
Annual service cost £180
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.

Owners' Reviews

22 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.

Review your HONDA CBR1000RR FIREBLADE (2009-2012)
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 4.3 out of 5
5 out of 5

Will have you yearning for more time in the saddle!

13 October 2015 by thatrick

Honda quality and reliability in a confidence-inspiring bike that will have you yearning for more time in the saddle. Would recommend this bike to a friend or a complete stranger; hell I'd even recommend it to my arch enemy!

Ride Quality & Brakes
5 out of 5
Bike is as happy chugging around town as it is squirting through the twisties or munching up motorway miles. This is a decent all-round bike but the tank range (and comfort range) are about 150 miles each. Not had extended pillion journeys but my daughter rates the pillion as comfy enough!
Engine
5 out of 5
Bulletproof and super smooth; power is delivered in a linear fashion and won't punish you for shutting off in silly locations such as mid-bend. This is definitely a good first big bike to hone your litre-class skills with.
Build Quality & Reliability
5 out of 5
Legendary build quality and reliability from Honda.
Value & Running Costs
4 out of 5
Servicing is not too bad considering what's being kept in tip-top condition. Running costs are surprisingly close to that of my previous 600cc to the extent that I've fallen foul of the minimum delivery at the fuel pump on more than one occasion.
Equipment
4 out of 5
This bike doesn't benefit from the latest electronic rider aids; but nor does it have to. My favourite feature is the C-ABS which is worth more than its weight in gold, closely followed by the slipper clutch.
Buying experience

Bought from a dealer when the bike was just over two years old. Paid just under £2k less than new price, which goes to show how much they hold their value, and how sought after they are!

4 out of 5

17 May 2015 by ozzer76

Best Feature: Rideability Worst Feature: Lack of electronics compared to rivals

Ride Quality & Brakes
4 out of 5
Great allrounder.
Engine
4 out of 5
-
Build Quality & Reliability
4 out of 5
Had some corrosion around brakes and rear shock after a winter of riding.
Value & Running Costs
4 out of 5
-
Equipment
3 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 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!

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 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.

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 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....

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

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 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.

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 ........

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 cry, even the dealers say are you sitting down!!

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.

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 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.

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 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.

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
-
5 out of 5

Grunt Machine

05 May 2011 by jocasaja

I finally bought one - had a test ride 3 years ago and was blown away by the fantastic torque and searing acceleration. I have always been a yamaha man and loved my R6 which I traded in for the blade. It has used about 1/2 litre of oil in 1500miles, and the tank marks up pretty easily. However, I am gradually beginning to appreciate the bike. Had a fantastic ride up through the fast roads in the Fens to watch some club racing at Cadwell. When you get the chance to really open her up you really do need to hang on. Plush ride and solid build quality, but what an engine look, see the gap and whoosshhh!! - I have had zx10s, and r1s but this engine beats them all - smooth power right off the bottom with really smooth but very rapid acceleration. I have not had the bottle to redline it yet, and it hardly ever needs more than 8k to overtake or cruse along at to plus speeds. I reckon this bike could be one that I keep for a few years, and it is an absolute bargain at the current prices on 0%. Anyone got any advice on tyres??

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
-
5 out of 5

Liked it - bought one

17 May 2010 by Retiredbiker

I have just taken delivery of a Fireblade C-ABS in orange and silver. I rode it 120 miles today up Wensleydale, to Sedbergh, Brough and home. Bear in mind I have spent the last 4 years on an XR125L! The handling on the A6108 Richmond to Leyburn was brilliant. I haven't had so much fun for years and without speeding. After 4 years of very little overtaking all I need now is enough visibility and it's done. In fact some drivers seem to be falling over themselves to let me past. OK I've not been doing silly speeds on moorland roads with sheep and potholes but the trip computer said I was getting 55 mpg and it's very accurate. All they say about the engine and gearbox is right - they are both very good. The ride comfort is really good too on the standard settings. I did find long stretches of 30-40 mph on single-track lanes put too much weight on my wrists and because I am tall I got a good splattering of flies on my head but that's no bad thing as it reminds you what speed you are doing. More reports later.

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
-
5 out of 5

Half-hour test-ride

19 April 2010 by Retiredbiker

Had a half-hour test-ride on Saturday when the Honda demo truck came to my local dealer. The problem for me with any bike, particularly sporty bikes, is my height (6'2"). But the Fireblade left me with no aches and pains after the ride, unlike a CBR600RR where everything hurt. I could leave the Blade in 6th gear thanks to the phenomenal torque at any rpm. The ride comfort was really good on our rutted roads, far better than a CBF1000 which is supposed to be "sublime" with excellent control. Hitting a pothole at 50 mph whilst leant over, the bike didn't move off line and I didn't notice any movement. Despite my height there was virtually no wind blast up to 70 mph and it was really quiet. No vibration whatsoever as you'd expect. It's really easy to ride slow which is very important to me with a nice big digital speedometer and perfect fuelling for riding at a steady speed. No problem with stalling pulling away from stationary on a bike I am not used to, unlike the CBR600RR which had a powerful spring on the clutch and a tall first gear. Another important point for me is with its low centre of gravity it's relatively easy to push around with the engine off. I can't wait to go go for an extended test-ride in a week's time to see if it remains comfortable for a couple of hours. I hope it does.

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
-
5 out of 5

Awesom

09 March 2010 by adeyrob

Not stopped smiling since I picked up my 2010 c-ABS Fireblade (HRC colours) on Saturday. Had the seat cowel, rear hugger and R&G tail tidy fitted by the dealer priot to picking it up. What a stunning bike, does everything you want and more. Having previously been Suzuki through and through, I swapped my last Gixer 1000 (K6) in 2008 for a new R1. Never really got on with it, so thought I'd test ride the new Fireblade and fell in love with it within minutes. Soon as I got back to the dealers I wanted to know where I signed! Just ordered a Taylormade can for it and will be sticking a Power Commander on when the funds allow. Bikes have come a long way since my first bike, a Yamaha RD250E many years ago, but I dont see how they could improve much on the new blade, other than very minor, not very important additions such as a gear indicator you get on some of the other bikes. Love it!

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

The Fantastic Fireblade

17 September 2009 by Bulla1

What a Machine!! Hair raising, breath taking, the best bike i have ever owned, HRC colours, FMF apex exhaust system, double bubble screen, solo seat cowel, power commander to come, Excellence pasonified.

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
-
5 out of 5

Amazing Bike!

14 August 2009 by stevex11sdw

Over excited and couldnt sleep the day before I picked it up, after riding for first time I couldnt sleep again as even more excited!!!! Repsol colours and all the extras bar ABS, this is a stunning bike in every way and gives me confidence that a 749s never came close to giving.

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
-
5 out of 5

Fergymilo

06 August 2009 by fergymilo

09 Fireblade c-abs It have taken an eternity to get one but boy oh boy it is worth the wait. I have smile on my face before during and after being on it. Maybe not as sexy as the Italian offerings but £5k cheaper and just as good if not better. Only missing a gear indicator but that is being very picky, you want regret having one

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
-
5 out of 5

09 Fireblade c-abs

21 June 2009 by niceguywales

It took a while but i finally got one, and wow what a bike, it looks the bollocks, it sounds the bollocks and as for speed let's just say every time i get on it i cant get the smile off my face for days. it's very easy to ride, and i'm quite new to riding. the breaks do exactly what it says on the tin... amazing. it feels heavy when your standing still (c-abs adds 10kg to standard bike)but when your on the road it's nible like a 600rr only more power. i will say the only thing that lets it down is the fuel gage, or lack of one.

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

OMG

21 June 2009 by jockrider

i saw top speed at 182mph so no lies there. this bike it so fun wot ever ur riding style, going slow in traffic i was comfy, no cramp or pains. n if u want to go fast its so easy, it makes u feel safe n corners with ur knee down at high speed are effortless. really loved this bike, only thing i wud say is if u want to go really fast n u know how already it mite b too soft and u want to think about an R1.

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
3 out of 5
-
5 out of 5

2008 CBR 1000rr

06 January 2009 by andy.r1

I have always owned R1's since 1999 the last been a 2007 model, and clocking up about 12K miles a year on them between road track and also touring. Having had some problems this year with my R1 I took the plunge to try out a blade, the difference between the two bikes is unreal the blade is so confident and power delivery is so crisp and clean,handling is great straight from the crate and I must admit I have not even adjusted it at all from when I picked up the bike, the build quality is a bench mark for others to follow, the brakes are spot on and a lot better than my R1 had got 6 pot or not, the exhaust note is perfect and sounds realy nice after 4000rpm. I am off to Almeria in Feb with the bike for a week on track and I can't wait to see what it performs like on track.

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
-

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
All related reviews