In Detail: Honda CB1000RR-R Fireblade SP

POSTED: 27/08/2021

Now in its 6th iteration, the Honda Fireblade has never been as sharp, as light and as powerful as it is right now. The Total Control principle that was born with the original model almost thirty years ago remains, but with a fresh focus on-track performance, next-generation software and enhanced use of aerodynamics courtesy of the road going Honda RC213 V-S. Repurposing that race-winning DNA, direct from HRC’s MotoGP programme meant a no-compromise approach the this new Fireblade. Those that have ridden one already will understand, those that have yet to try one don’t know what they’re missing, so we’ve put together a cheat sheet containing the useful things that you need to know about the Honda CBR RR-R Fireblade SP.  

The concept
Was lead by Yuzuru Ishikawa, who was responsible for the 2002 Honda RC211V that Valentino Rossi rode to a championship win and a constructors championship in the first year of racing. Ishikawa san was also the large project lead on the RC213 V-S, so his experience of taking the best race bred technology and making it useable on the road is vast. This generation of Fireblade utilises weight saving and downforce measures, as well as identical parts to the 213V-S. The brief was to build a race winning bike and the benchmarks used to achieve this were the outgoing model and the RC213V-S. 

Fairing design and aerodynamics 
This bike was a clean sheet design and in terms of parts carried over from the previous generation Fireblade, only the front wheel remains. The frontal area has had a dramatic redesign in order to minimise the coefficient drag. This was achieved in a number of ways, dropping the fuel tank height by 45mm allows the rider to get lower behind the screen when in a racing tuck, reducing the rake of the screen enhances airflow from the front of the bike up and over the rider. Wings have been incorporated into the fairing design, providing stability under hard acceleration and when under heavy braking. The design team were able to make mechanical changes in order to maximise the aerodynamic efficiencies of the Fireblade, making the ignition system keyless and moving it to the left-hand side of the TFT dash allows clean air to flow from the tip of the nosecone into the airbox with no restrictions.   

Honda Electronic Steering Damper 
It’s a third-generation steering damper that comes as standard on the Fireblade. There are three modes that the rider can select from, each one providing different levels of feedback at low and high speed. In essence, at slow speed there is reduced amount of steering resistance. As speed increases so too does the amount of resistance through the bars. This damping force minimises the risk of head shake under acceleration, increases rider feel and provides consistent cornering performance. A lightweight through rod design, attached to the bottom yoke, this steering damper is sure to have a setting that suits your riding style. 

Ohlins Smart suspension  
The semi active suspension is in its second generation on the Fireblade. Ohlins NPX forks use a pressurised damping system in order to minimise cavitation, improve grip and feel. In conjunction with the Ohlins shock at the rear, the rider is able to tailor suspension feel exactly as required using the OBTI (Objective Based Tuning Interface). Aside from the default settings available, it’s possible to make use of three individual modes. It’s possible that you might want a wet set up for your commute, a dry set up for your favourite weekend commute and a track set up exactly how you want it. This system allows that at the touch of a button, with all of the relevant information displayed through a full colour five in TFT dash.  

Frame and swingarm 
Rider feel has been increased thanks to a number of design changes and manufacturing processes. The top mount for the shock is now directly off the engine. The aluminium diamond frame is connected to a slightly longer swingarm which has been manufactured using the same thickness of aluminium and construction process as the RC213V-S. Horizontal rigidity has been reduced while vertical rigidity remains the same. These increases feel for the rider as well as increasing grip across a wider range of performance parameters.  

The Engine 
Is full of HRC knowhow. So full in fact, that the kit parts catalogue from the racing division is wafer thin. The 999.9cc inline four cylinder motor is brimming with race focused parts. Everything from the DLC (Diamond Like Coating) on the revised camshafts, to the forged Titanium con rods works together with the primary role of delivering maximum power available. Theres a semi-cam gear train system, allowing the motor to be as compact as possible. Finger follower rocker arms, those Titanium con rods and forged pistons (using the exact same grade of aluminium as the RC213V-S) all combine to reduce weight and frictional losses, allowing the short stroke motor to do what it does best. Rev it to 14,500RPM and you’ll see 214bhp at the crank 

The exhaust   
Has been designed in a collaboration between Honda and Akrapovic. That increased airflow into the airbox and the enhanced design of both inlet and exhaust valves meant that a bespoke exhaust system was required. An oval cross section in the downpipes improves gas flow in the Titanium system. Although the catalytic converter has increased in size by 10mm, clever engineering of the wall thickness in certain areas of the system means that weight increase has been minimised. The exhaust valve operates at 6250rpm, at which point the system takes on a completely different tone and sounds amazing. Chasing revs up and down the quickshift assisted gearbox has never sounded so good on a standard system. 

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