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Honda Introduces Radical CBR1000RR-R Fireblade SP Superbike

Having signed Alvaro Bautista away from Ducati, Honda will attack the 2020 WSB championship series with a top-drawer rider and an all-new superbike. Earlier today, Honda took the wraps off the CBR1000RR-R Fireblade SP. This new superbike will make a claimed 215 horsepower based on European specs we have seen, together 83 pounds/feet of torque.

The Fireblade SP features a new engine and chassis, including Ohlins Smart Electronic Control suspension, Brembo Stylema brake calipers, and nearly countless additional high-end features. Honda has all of the information up on its web site, so take a look here.

Below you will find a press release from Honda describing the new Fireblade SP and additional, returning sport models, which, in turn, is followed by two videos featuring the new superbike.

November 4, 2019 — TORRANCE, Calif.:  Honda Motor Co. founder Soichiro Honda dreamed of competing in races around the world—and winning—with a vehicle of his own making. Driven by the same competitive spirit, and having since amassed the most premier-class Grand Prix victories of any manufacturer, Honda announced today the 2021 CBR1000RR-R Fireblade SP. An evolution of Honda’s legendary 1,000cc sportbike, the all-new model draws heavily on MotoGP technology and will carry Honda’s sport motorcycle lineup into the future while also bolstering its racing efforts in series including the FIM Superbike World Championship.

Designed from the ground up with involvement from Honda Racing Corporation (HRC) and an extreme focus on outright track performance, the CBR1000RR-R Fireblade SP pairs a more compact, yet more powerful inline four-cylinder engine with an all-new frame with optimized rigidity for improved grip and feel. An advanced suite of electronic rider aids works to enable fast lap times, while aerodynamic technologies from the RC213V MotoGP race bike are used to both increase downforce and improve braking stability. For the first time, the “Fireblade” name is being used in the U.S. market.

“From our earliest days, Honda has been committed to developing class-leading motorcycles capable of winning races,” said Chris Cox, American Honda’s Manager of Experiential Marketing/Public Relations. “Developed around technologies and information gleaned from Honda’s Grand Prix racing efforts, the 2021 CBR1000RR-R Fireblade SP highlights the brand’s competitive spirit, and we’re excited for riders to experience the latest in our storied line of sport motorcycles.”

Focusing on outright track performance, engineers have developed the CBR1000RR-R Fireblade SP with engine and chassis technology from MotoGP, the all-new model drawing heavily on the RCV combustion efficiency and low-friction solutions. The engine is more compact than the inline four-cylinder powerplant it replaces and benefits from the use of high-end technologies like titanium connecting rods, forged aluminum pistons and finger-follower rocker arms.

The CBR1000RR-R Fireblade SP uses an all-new aluminum diamond frame with increased vertical and torsional rigidity, but decreased horizontal rigidity, for maximum levels of grip and feel. A longer swingarm—stamped from aluminum of 18 individual thicknesses—is developed with lessons learned through Honda’s Grand Prix efforts, further highlighting the connection between the all-new model and Honda’s championship-winning race bikes.

Honda Selectable Torque Control (HSTC) has been optimized and an adjustable Start Mode joins Power, Engine Brake and Wheelie Control; a quick shifter is standard. The CBR1000RR-R Fireblade SP is outfitted with a six-axis Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU), three-level Honda Electronic Steering Damper (HESD) and second-generation Öhlins Smart Electronic Control (S-EC) suspension and user interface. New Brembo Stylema brake calipers bite 330mm rotors through two-level ABS. The bodywork and riding position have an uncompromising focus on aerodynamic performance, and the fairing features MotoGP-derived winglets to generate downforce. A full-color TFT screen and Honda Smart Key are the finishing touches.

  • Pricing: TBD
  • Availability: June 2020
  • Color: HRC Tricolor

In addition to announcing the 2021 CBR1000RR-R Fireblade SP, Honda confirmed the return of a number of sport and naked models for the 2020 model year:

High-level sport-bike performance needn’t always come in large packages, as proven by the popular CBR600RR, which is equally at home on twisty back roads and dedicated race circuits. The model that has earned eight World Supersport titles (nine if you count its CBR600F predecessor) touts a strong engine and front suspension featuring Honda’s 41mm Big Piston Fork for exceptional handling and supple action.

  • Price
    • CBR600RR ABS: $12,799
    • CBR600RR: $11,799
  • Availability: March 2020
  • Color: Matte Black Metallic

Designed to be enjoyed on the street, yet taking cues from an RR machine, the CBR650R offers light, responsive handling through its finely tuned chassis and enjoyable power through its high-revving inline four-cylinder engine. Sharp lines, LED lighting and an aggressive riding position complete the package, striking an ideal balance between performance and practicality—an enjoyable intersection of values for the modern sport bike rider.

  • Price: $9,399
  • Availability: April 2020
  • Color: Grand Prix Red/Stripe

A true middleweight standard, the CB650R pairs a light, versatile chassis to a 649cc inline four-cylinder engine with great torque and a smooth throttle delivery. Honda’s Neo Sports Café design theme showcases smooth lines and compact packaging, guaranteeing that this is a bike that’s just as exciting to look at as it is to ride.

  • Price: $8,899
  • Availability: January 2020
  • Color: Chromosphere Red

Honda’s CBR500R is all about balance. Long heralded by both riders who are moving up from smaller machines, and those looking to downsize without giving up the performance and style that drew them to motorcycling, this model finds the balancing point between performance and sensible running costs. With its sporty styling and user-friendly performance, the fully faired CBR500R can do it all, too, from daily commuting to weekend rides.

  • Price
    • CBR500R ABS: $6,999
    • CBR500R: $6,699
  • Availability: February 2020
  • Colors: Grand Prix Red, Matte Gray Metallic

With strong power and nimble handling, Honda’s littlest full-faring sport bike makes every ride a fun one, while its affordable price and low operating cost make it easy on the wallet. Great for beginners and experienced riders alike, the CBR300R has dual headlights and stylish exhaust system, as well as available ABS.

  • Price
    • CBR300R ABS: $4,999
    • CBR300R: $4,699
  • Availability: March 2020

Colors: Grand Prix Red, Matte Black Metallic

See more of MD’s great photography: Instagram


  1. J Wilson says:

    It will be a success IF the race version campaigned at the IOM TT doesn’t try to kill McGuiness or scare Guy martin out of racing it, as the last one did . . . .

  2. bmbktmracer says:

    Honda should consider including a RR-Riding school in the deal.

  3. Ralph W. says:

    Stating the obvious here, but it will be a great bike on the track. Not much sense in buying one for the road. If it ‘ups’ the competition in WSBK it will be a good thing. It gets boring if one brand wins all the time.

  4. Rhinestone Kawboy says:

    Guess Honda got tired of always being viewed as the boring sewing machine company. Had to do something as Kawasaki seems to be getting all the kudos lately with supercharged this, and 4 cylinder 250’s, and…

    • Superlight says:

      But from what we see visually and on its spec sheets, this new Honda is nothing more than product catch-up – nothing really new here.

      • Dave says:

        They want a platform that they can market with racing success (ie. win sanctioned races) so they’re building within that framework.

        If we like racing, we should applaud any additional investment by any motorcycle brand because it’s been hard to justify for the Big-4 for the past decade.

  5. Mark says:

    So the “Blade” name is coming to the US. It certainly looks the business. Maybe knock the BMW off the top step?

  6. Jeremy says:

    Well, it certainly looks the business, in pictures and on paper.

  7. Anonymous says:

    If you read this place enough you get the idea that only HD riders do the pirate thing. RR-R…rrrrrrrrrgh, matey.

    Cool bike albeit not my style but that doesn’t mean it’s not going to be someone else’s dream ride. Looks tits and not the saggy type either. 😉

    Maybe someone here can tell me why ABS isn’t just the norm instead of “extra”? Cars have had it for years. I don’t think you can buy a car without it but yu can buy a sporting Honda motorcycle without it. Dumb. Just dumb. Oh wait…these are the same people the still put tubes in the wheels. In HD’s case they call ’em “laced” wheels and charge idiots more for them.

    Nice motorcycles Honda. I’ll check them out a the Long Beach show coming up later this month. I’ll be the 5′ 8″ 375 lb. bearded gnome in pirate attire if anyone wants to say “Arrrrrrrrrgh!”

    They call me the Highwayman…

  8. Ralph W. says:

    Dirck, does the R key on your keyboard keep getting stuck?

    • TimC says:

      “Brought to you by the letter Rrrrr.”

      – liner notes to a Rush album (T4E maybe? I’m not going downstairs to check)

      • Gary Corde says:

        Move over tank seems, something new to complain about…

        “Not enough R’s” or “too many R’s”

        Let the R wars begin

  9. hh says:

    New CBR RR-R SP aaaarh, does it come with a jolly roger helmet? Will wait for the ride reviews to see if it will be the standard as the highest level of performance or just sail its colours around with the rest of the fleet…

    • Superlight says:

      There’s nothing on its spec sheet to suggest anything other than it just matching its superbike competitors. Where’s the product innovation we used to see from Honda?

      • Curt says:

        I think Honda are still innovating (automatic transmissions, cool front end on the new Gold Wing, etc). But looking back, it’s hard to see any real commitment to superbike racing from Honda in a long, long, long time. MotoGP, no question. But they’ve clearly left the superbike scene to their competitors for a decade or more.

        As you say, aerodynamics aside, I don’t see anything groundbreaking here. If you’re a Honda fan, then it’ll be great. I haven’t ridden a recent Honda superbike but I’ll be interested to know if they’ve addressed things the press have noted, such as over-exuberant ABS intervention, traction- and wheelie-control without killing drive, etc.

      • Jeremy says:

        Well, to be fair, nobody is doing anything truly new and innovative right now. Now that the electronics wave has crested and the bikes are already at such a high level, it is a game of refinement and incremental improvements.

        Honda just decided it would get serious with WSBK and the spec sheet wars and offer a true racing platform that could be sold as a street bike as opposed to a good street platform that couldn’t really compete as a race bike. In fact, due to the aero R&D put into this bike, I think it is probably fair to say that it is – for the moment anyway – the most innovative in the class.

        • Curt says:

          I find I often agree with your viewpoint. On this being the most innovative in class, I’m struggling to see it.

          Objectively, several other bikes have had all of these things already, even cutting-edge aero. Subjectively, several bikes in class have sexy V-4s, like the most racy Hondas USED to have (wait, one of them still does!). But I digress. 😉

          Looking forward to the tests, though. If this thing handles as sweetly as the previous CBR reportedly does, and IF it has a step up on power (US models are often neutered, see current CBR1K and lastest/greatest BMW) plus better electronics (less intrusive, from what I hear, ABS and traction/wheelie control), Honda MIGHT be back in the game.

          • Dave says:

            There are other articles about this bike out there that go into more detail about what is new about it. It is one of the more innovative hyper-sport bikes if only because of the commitment to track performance that these details signal.

            If it really makes 215hp then it pretty much obsoletes every other Japanese open bike in the eyes of spec sheet shoppers.

            As a V4 owner myself, I’d happily take an I4 with a cross plane crank on a sport-touring bike, 7 days/week.

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