Amer­i­can Nicky Hay­den (left) says the lat­est Fire­blade boasts the best power to weight ra­tio yet.

New Fire­blade boasts the best power to weight ra­tio yet in the leg­end’s line-up

The Witness - Wheels - - FRONT PAGE -

HONDA has launched the CBR1000RR Fire­blade SP, call­ing the su­per­bike “the next stage of to­tal con­trol”.

A 15 kg weight re­duc­tion and eight kilo­watt power boost gives the new Fire­blade its best yet power to weight ra­tio. It’s also equipped with semi-ac­tive Öh­lins Elec­tronic Con­trol sus­pen­sion, plus Honda Se­lectable Torque Con­trol, Se­lectable En­gine Brake, new ABS, Quick­shifter, Down­shift As­sist, Rid­ing Mode Se­lect Sys­tem and Power Se­lec­tor. RC213V-S Mo­toGP de­rived tech­nol­ogy el­e­vates the rid­ing ex­pe­ri­ence even fur­ther.

Un­der the tank, the 2017 Fire­blade boasts the first in­line four­cylin­der en­gine from Honda to use Throt­tle by Wire (TBW) con­trol. Peak power is 141 kW at 13 000 rpm, with peak torque of 116 Nm de­liv­ered at 11 000 rpm/ 10 500 rpm. Bore and stroke re­main 76x55,1. Bot­tom-end torque and power are im­proved, and three modes of en­gine out­put char­ac­ter can be cho­sen from.

The Fire­blade also em­ploys an en­hanced ver­sion of the Honda Se­lectable Torque Con­trol (HSTC) used on the RC213V-S.

The sys­tem con­trols en­gine torque via two sens­ing meth­ods. The first uses wheel speed sen­sors to mea­sure and com­pare front and rear-wheel speeds. When the FI-ECU de­tects rear­wheel ac­cel­er­a­tion (and fron­twheel de­cel­er­a­tion) it re­duces the TBW throt­tle po­si­tion and thus out­put, keep­ing the front wheel on the ground.

Max­i­mum ap­pli­ca­tion of the throt­tle is thus pos­si­ble with­out fear of wheelies, with the sup­port of Wheelie Con­trol.

A Quick­shifter is fit­ted as stan­dard, as is Down­shift As­sist (with auto blip­per) and new as­sist slip­per clutch. To slow down into a cor­ner, ABS de­liv­ers smooth, ef­fec­tive brak­ing.

With in­for­ma­tion from the IMU, plus front and rear-wheel speed sen­sors, the ABS Mo­du­la­tor con­trols brak­ing force ac­cord­ing to lean an­gle, even when panic brak­ing. But it also al­lows for hard trail brak­ing by us­ing two pa­ram­e­ters (de­cel­er­a­tion de­rived from wheel speed and front/ rear slip rates) plus lean an­gle to vary the thresh­old for ABS de­com­pres­sion. ABS de­liv­ers an ex­tra sense of se­cu­rity when brak­ing hard on the road, and of­fers a per­for­mance edge in cer­tain con­di­tions on the race­track.

All light­ing is crisp LED, with the twin front head­lights of­fer­ing high/low beam on both sides. Crowned with a sharply an­gled new logo, the Fire­blade SP will be avail­able in a tri­colour paint op­tion that uses red as its base (rather than white) and pays homage to Honda’s rac­ing tra­di­tion and his­tory.

Wing-mo­tif pat­terns un­der­pin the ma­chine’s ex­clu­siv­ity.

A one-kilo­gram lithium-ion bat­tery saves weight and pro­vides re­li­able and con­sis­tent elec­tri­cal charge.

Honda Mo­tor South­ern Africa will in­tro­duce the CBR1000RR Fire­blade SP to its line-up next year.

PHOTO: QUICKPIC

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