Honda has recently launched the new 2017 Fireblade and Fireblade SP – about time. Proper new Fireblade since 2008 and its a whole new bike. Engine, frame, electronics, weight saving, quickshifters and dash have all been looked at. Three versions of the bikes will be rolling out of production and hopefully onto a road or track near you soon. The Fireblade RR which is the entry-level, Fireblade SP which sports an electronic suspension package, lighter wheels, Brembo breaks, Titanium fuel tank and an up down quickshifter. Lastly the Fireblade SP in which only 500 will be produced in the next 2 years.
It seems Honda have now entered into the new era of bikes. Lighter curb weights, streamlined fairings, quickshifters, electronic suspensions and more HP seem to becoming the norm. Ever since BMW broke the market with the HP4 electronics package and then made it standard in the S1000RR from 2015 it seems other manufactures have been desperately playing catch up – a bad thing? Not at all, competition is what drives advances in technology and benefits all us riders with better, faster, lighter bikes.
Honda have stepped up to this norm, the new engine has 11 HP more than its predecessor and they have shaved weight on the bike like you can’t believe. A massive 15kg off the previous Fireblade puts this RR and SP as the second lightest bike to the Ducait 1299 (190kg). Curb weight 195kg in perspective the Yamaha R1: 199kg, Suzuki GSXR 1000: 202kg. This weight reduction and new engine performance is meant to give the bike a feeling of a 600cc while keeping the power benefits of a liter bike.
If this marriage of light weight, electronics and power work Honda might be onto something – downfall so far? Must be the HP, with only 189 HP it’s about 10 HP less than the average 1000cc – can this be compensated by the weight reduction I guess we will have to find out.
I cannot wait to see one of these new blades on the road, when I do I will be sure to have my questions ready for the owner – until then we wait