Honda CBR1000RR

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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Road racing – Honda signs TT deal

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(Dave Kneen/Pacemaker Press) 14/4/2016: Isle of Man TT Travelling marshals will be provided with Honda bikes for the 2016 Isle of Man TT.

Honda is the new motorcycle partner for the 2016 Isle of Man TT Races, ammove which will see the manufacturer provide a fleet of CBR1000RR Fireblades to be used by the travelling marshals throughout qualifying and racing at the 2016 meeting.

Honda’s association with the Isle of Man TT Races can be traced back to 1954 when founder Soichiro Honda made his famous TT Races declaration ‘to participate in the TT races’ and to ‘pour in all of my energy and creative powers to win.’  The company made its first appearance in the 1959 TT Races, winning its first race in 1962.

Honda has the most race wins by a manufacturer with over 250 victories, the most recent of which was the closing race of the 2016 Isle of Man TT Races, the Senior TT, when John McGuinness clinched his 23rd TT race win, breaking the outright lap record in the process.

Travelling Marshals were first used in the 1935 TT Races. The marshals are positioned around the 37¾ mile course and are able to provide a rapid response to any incidents. All of the bikes carry medical equipment that can assist in managing a casualty. They also carry out duties such as course inspection, observe machines on the course for visible faults and review and report any course incidents.

The Travelling Marshals have previous race experience of the Mountain Course, having competed in either the TT or the Manx Grand Prix. The current team has eight Manx Grand Prix wins and a TT podium between them and all of them are first aid trained to a high level and play a vital role in the Isle of Man TT races safety programme, which relies on fast responses.