’Blade sharper than ever

NT News - Motoring - - CARS GUIDE - By MARK HINCHLIFFE

AUS­TRALIA’S top-sell­ing sports­bike has gone on a diet.

The 2012 Honda CBR1000RR Fire­blade is claimed to be even lighter than the 199kg cur­rent model, but Honda isn’t re­leas­ing tech­ni­cal de­tails such as weight just yet.

Honda Aus­tralia spokesman Glyn Grif­fiths says the bike will ar­rive late this year at a price yet to be an­nounced.

‘‘The price has re­mained steady un­til April 2010 when it ac­tu­ally came down to the cur­rent price of $17,990,’’ he says.

The Blade is still the topselling sports­bike and six­thbest-sell­ing road bike in Aus­tralia, but sales are down in the first half of the year from 296 to 282 or 4.7 per cent.

Grif­fiths says he hopes the changes to the new bike will help lift sales.

Changes in­clude re­vised looks, sus­pen­sion mod­i­fi­ca­tions, light­weight 12-spoke wheels and new in­stru­ments that now in­cor­po­rate a lap timer, gear po­si­tion in­di­ca­tor and tachome­ter with four modes of dis­play.

Most up­dates are up front with a line-beam head­light and sharp air in­take shapes.

It is avail­able in red, black and tri-colour, but Grif­fiths says the colours of­fered here have not yet been de­cided. Honda claims han­dling has been im­proved with a dou­ble­tube rear shock used for the first time on a pro­duc­tion bike.

It is claimed to en­sure smoother and more ac­cu­rate re­sponse, bet­ter damp­ing and im­proved trac­tion.

The front fea­tures in­verted 43mm tele­scopic front forks with Showa’s Big Pis­ton tech­nol­ogy for im­proved damp­ing, in­creased front-tyre grip and bet­ter sta­bil­ity un­der brak­ing.

The new 12-spoke cast alu­minium wheels are also claimed to pro­vide more con­sis­tent rigid­ity around the wheel to work with the new forks.

Honda says

that

these

sus- pen­sion and wheel changes pro­vide a bet­ter me­chan­i­cal grip with­out the need for elec­tronic trac­tion aids as used by BMW, Aprilia and Du­cati in their sports­bikes.

The Blade also fea­tures new fuel in­jec­tion set­tings for the 999cc in­line-four en­gine to make throt­tle re­sponse smoother, par­tic­u­larly off idle.

Honda hopes sales will lift with the in­tro­duc­tion of the new CBR1000RR Fire­blade

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