Honda engineers went to work to on improving the performance of the Fireblade’s powerplant while being careful to not take away the user-friendly powerband that was so famous on the outgoing model. To handle an increased compression ratio of 13.0:1, the pistons' thicknesses and crown designs have been revised, and the crankshaft and connecting rods are now made of stronger materials. New camshafts provide increased valve lift and updated timing in order to handle an increased redline of 13,000 rpm (previously 12,250 rpm) and improve top- end performance. The CBR’S exhaust also gets redone with a revised 4-into-2-into-1 design with an exhaust valve and a titanium muffler to help meet Euro 4 emission standards and boost the bike’s output to 189 ponies in the Euro-spec version.
Furthermore, the CBR’S airbox receives changes to improve airflow, while the throttle body diameters are increased by 2mm to 48mm without increasing the exterior width; fuel pressure at the injectors is also increased 14 percent for better atomization. A new high- density radiator core achieves the same cooling while reducing the radiator's overall width by 30mm, and a revised power-assist slipper clutch decreases effort at the lever by 17 percent while increasing feel.
To cut weight from the engine, a magnesium oil pan and ignition cover were used, transmission gears were hollowed out, bolt lengths were shortened, and water hose and water hose bands were made smaller in size. Thanks to Honda’s attention to detail, the complete engine sheds a whole 4.4 pounds, which contributes to the total 33-pound weight loss between the new ABS models and 13-pound weight loss between non-abs models.
Electronics-wise, the new CBR gets an all-new package that’s heavily derived from Honda’s RC213V-S replica Motogp bike to help keep the rider in total control. The system is headlined by a
nine-level HSTC system (traction control) that uses information based off a Bosch five-axis IMU to open or close the throttle plates via the system’s new ride-by-wire throttle in order to modulate power and maintain traction. Other rider aids include a threelevel wheelie control system that interestingly uses wheel speed instead of pitch measurements gathered by the IMU, a three-level Selectable Engine Brake (EB) control, and an optional quickshifter for clutchless upshifts and downshifts. ABS is also optional equipment on the standard CBR and helps modulate brake pressure while cornering and keeps the rear wheel on the ground under braking.
Honda’s chassis department also had its hands on the new Fireblade, tweaking the different areas of the frame and swingarm to help reduce weight without negatively affecting the handling. Portions of the frame walls have been thinned out to save 300 grams, with lateral rigidity remaining the same, but allowing 10 percent more torsional flex than before for quicker handling and more feel on track. Similarly, the swingarm’s thicknesses have been altered to save an additional 100 grams and increase torsional rigidity. The die- cast aluminum subframe has also been redesigned, resulting in a weight savings of 800 grams.
Aerodynamics have been adjusted as well through new bodywork that is significantly slimmer than the outgoing model; it is now shrunk in width by 24mm at the top fairing and 18mm at the lower fairing. A new fuel tank sees smaller dimensions too, including a reduction in capacity from 4.5 gallons to 4.23 gallons and 30mm narrower grip at the knee. The six-spoke wheels on the previous model have now been swapped for five-spoke wheels to save weight and optimize rigidity for agile handling, and the Tokico front brake calipers have been redesigned and paired with new high-performance pads.