Honda Sharpens the Fireblade. Will It Match the Superbike Leaders?

Honda will launch the new CBR 1000 RR Fireblade on Tuesday. And it has a tough mission

The new FireBlade has a very tough job. It has to beat the high-end superbikes of the moment. Honda was always appreciated for its lightweight and easy to ride bikes, but the competition raised the stakes with over 200 HP bikes. Will the new Blade be up for the challenge?

It was about time for Honda to try a comeback in the Superbike segment. It was the last big manufacturer with no new-generation superbike. Honda will release a new CBR1000RR Fireblade on Tuesday at Intermot. There is no official information about the new Fireblade. We got just some teasers and a couple of spy-shots. Here's what we think after analyzing them. 

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Up to date electronics

The MotoGP replica, RCV-213V-S, might be used at least as inspiration for the electronics. The previous CBR is not that high-tech. Other than the C-ABS and LCD dashboard that was added since its release in 2008 the bike is pretty much the same. Unless Honda replaces the heavy and outdated C-ABS the new superbike won’t be up for the BOSCH IMU that includes traction control, anti-wheelie, combined anti-lock, braking and Motorcycle Stability Control. This system is already present amongst all the one liter, sports bikes.

A rigid frame and a revised engine

After releasing the new CBR teaser with the "Total Control" title, we expect the bike to have a more rigid framework for increase control. Judging by the photos, the swingarm seems to be strengthened, and the chassis looks more massive. The engine covers have to be the same shape so we intend to think the new Blade will have the same propulsion unit. More or less it will be evolved with reduced internal friction. It has to comply with Euro 4 regulations, therefore, it will have a bigger airbox, and this comes with more power. All of this under the 200 kg weight curb. This suspension looks untouched. Maybe the SP model will benefit from some Ohlins.

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New looks

The new Fireblade looks almost like the sharp and clean leading models. The front fairing is completely changed. The headlight is now LED, similar to the Panigale shape. The whole design evolved nicely but still has old Blade accents. 

This new model is expected to be a match for the BMW S 1000 RR or the Kawasaki ZX-10. The power output must be around 200 HP, while remaining lightweight and tackling curves with pinpoint accuracy. If the base model can't stand for this cause, the SP model will be up to it. Else, Honda will be out of the superbike league. 

Photo source: TMC Blog Spy Shots

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