New Honda Fireblade gets more power

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Sources in Japan have told MCN that Honda are due to unveil a heavily revised CBR1000RR Fireblade at the EICMA motorcycle show in November.

After coming under strong criticism from their factory racing teams, Honda have gone back to the drawing board, resulting in what should be at least a 10bhp power increase and redesigned fairing.

Big power

One of the chief complaints from the racers, as well as from power-hungry punters, was that when the Fireblade launched it was already down on power compared to its competitors.

Putting out 187bhp at the crank, the Blade starts life 10 or 15bhp down, which in the superbike world is a gaping chasm. Honda have already admitted that more power is easily available.

More power available

At the current machine’s unveiling in 2016, the Blade’s project leader Masatoshi Sato said: “We could eaily give the bike 200bhp; we could give it 300bhp if we wanted, but we think it’s the lack of weight people want to feel more.”

Such a power increase could be easily acheived without having to change the engine architecture and is likely to already be part of the Blade’s development schedule. We also expect the engine to be standardised across the range, rather than one engine for the Fireblade and SP with another for the SP2 as it is currently.

Better aerodynamics

Honda Fireblade front end

Race teams have struggled with the bike’s areodynamics since the new Blade came out in 2017. Honda’s BSB team is on their third fairing design already, while road racing squads have been struggling for top speed and front-end grip in high speed corners.

The new fairing design is believed to have been redesigned around the nose, with a central ram-air scoop closer to the fairing’s centre of pressure and measures to shield the rider from the wind and help prevent front-end lift.

A slight price increase

The SP2 model will have a full carbon-fibre fairing, among other changes, that will help to keep the weight around 185kg. The price will probably creep up, too. We would expect the standard Fireblade to go to £16,500, the SP to bump up to £20,000 and, thanks to the carbon fairing, we wouldn’t expect much change from £30,000 for the SP2.

A spokesperson for Honda said: “We refuse to comment on any possible new models.”

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