HONDA ALL-NEW FIRE STARTER
NON-SP version of the Fireblade is still faster and smarter than ever before
Last month Honda unveiled two stunning new Fireblades, the SP and SP2, which left us asking: where’s the standard version? Well, here’s the answer.
This is the bike MCN grabbed spy shots of two months ago, boasting non-semi-active suspension and a black frame and swingarm. It looked like a decent evolution, but in fact even in this more standard form 90% of the 2017 Fireblade is brand new.
Power-to-weight ratio is improved by 14%, reaching the Fireblade’s best level ever, thanks to a 15kg diet and an 11bhp boost. It’s also equipped with a plethora of electronics missing from previous Blades. Central to the system is the five-axis Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU), which measures exactly what the machine is doing, in every plane. It works the nine-level trac- tion control which precisely manages rear-wheel traction via the new rideby-wire throttle. Along with the new Bosch ABS system (also managed by the IMU) and wheelie control this all drags the Blade into this decade.
There are a dazzling number of settings to choose from: three rider modes, five levels of power delivery, three levels of wheelie control, and three levels of engine braking control. Thankfully you can make simple selections that let you to ride away in under 15 minutes, too.
Like the RC213V-S, the Fireblade uses a full-colour TFT dash. It has three modes: Street, Circuit and Mechanic.
Chassis-wise, thinned frame walls save 300g. Honda say reduced inertia makes the Blade more flickable, while an electronic steering damper makes sure it never gets too lively at the bars.
This base model may be devoid of the SP/SP2’S top-end suspenders, but there’s nothing wrong with the Showa 43mm Big Piston Fork or Balance Free Rear Cushion shock. Both ends are fully adjustable, and we know from experience that both are highly capable units.
Front brakes are Tokico (rather than Brembo) four-piston calipers, and the aluminium wheels use a new fivespoke Y-shape design. Peak power is 189bhp at 13,000rpm, with peak torque of 86ftlb. All lighting is LED, with the twin front headlights offering high/ low beam on both sides.
Despite all the options available, this Victory Red paintscheme appears to be the only one on offer. Thankfully it’s rather nice, and slightly redolent of the Honda Britain design of the late 1970s.
Showa and Tokico chassis parts replace Öhlins and Brembo ALL-LED lights, from front to backWWW.MOTORCYCLENEWS.COM FULL MILAN COVERAGE AT
2016 MILAN SHOW SPECIAL THE FACTS O 189bhp O 196kg O Seat height 832mm