New metal – Honda Fireblade

17YM CBR1000RR Fireblade SP

One of the most eagerly-awaited sportsbikes of recent years has finally broken cover – the 2017 Honda CBR1000RR.

Honda has released two versions, the Fireblade, and the SP.

The new Blade isn’t the revolution we were expecting, think of it more as an evolution designed to bring the bike back on an equal footing with its rivals, which means there’s no new engine configuration (V4), ground-breaking technology or mindblowing performance figures.

However, the bike has been radically overhauled – power is up by 11bhp to 190bhp and a massive 15kg has been lopped off the bike’s weight, and this has led to a 14% increase in the Honda CBR1000RR’s power-to-weight ratio. The engine itself is a relatively unworked version of the existing unit, and the power hike is as a result of a higher compression ratio and revised cam timings, with the weight savings coming from the liberal use of magnesium, which is now used on the engine covers, and a titanium muffler and fuel tank.

Other changes include a stiffer swingarm and a new radiator design, which has allowed the bodywork to be much narrower.

The bike now features a plethora of electronic riding aids including traction control and engine braking management, and there’s also Öhlins semi-active suspension.

The SP is joined in the line-up by a track version – the SP2. Designed to appeal to racers and trackday enthusiasts, the limited edition Honda CBR1000RR SP2 features larger valves and lighter Marchesini wheels that are made from forged aluminum.

The SP and SP2 will be joined by a base model Honda CBR1000RR.

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