2021 Honda CBR1000RR-R Fireblade SP | First Look Preview

2021 Honda CBR1000RR-R Fireblade SP
2021 Honda CBR1000RR-R Fireblade SP. Photos courtesy Honda.

The subtle HRC logo and the SP appended to the end of its name are clues to this all-new Fireblade’s mission: to bring a true MotoGP influence to the masses and dominate the track. Will it make you as fast as Mark Marquez? Maybe not, but it sure looks like fun.

Introduced as a 2021 model year bike (examples of this limited-production machine will start to hit dealerships in June 2020), the CBR1000RR-R Fireblade SP is Honda’s way of throwing down the gauntlet at the feet of those who have complained in recent years that its CBR1000RR has gotten too “soft.” Too…dare we say?…comfortable.

2021 Honda CBR1000RR-R Fireblade SP
The Fireblade SP is a purpose-built track machine.

The CBR1000RR-R Fireblade SP is completely new, not just a revised CBR1000RR (which will return in Honda’s U.S. street lineup for 2020). It features an all-new 1000cc inline-four with the same bore and stroke as the RCV213V MotoGP race bike.

Honda says the engine is more compact and more powerful than the standard RR’s, with improved cooling and reduced friction. Its new valve train features finger-follower rocker arms, DLC coating on the camshafts and a semi-cam gear train for durability under high revs, and the intake efficiency has been improved with an all-new 52mm throttle body. The addition of a keyless ignition also allowed Honda to create a more direct path to the airbox from the gaping intake in the nose of the fairing, further improving airflow.

2021 Honda CBR1000RR-R Fireblade SP
Gaping air intake has a straight shot to the airbox, thanks to a keyless system that does away with the ignition column. Side winglets add downforce for reduced lift and added braking stability.

The SP has different geometry than the standard RR as well, with a longer wheelbase (57.3 inches vs. 55.3), a longer rake and trail (24 degrees and 4.01 inches vs. 23 degrees and 3.77 inches), an engine placed 33mm farther forward and 16mm higher, and a longer, MotoGP-style swingarm. Its aluminum chassis with tube-type aluminum rear subframe is also all-new.

Suspension is by Ohlins, with an NPX fork up front with 2nd-generation Ohlins Smart EC with OBTi (Object Based Tuning interface) and the ability to set and store multiple modes. Brakes are Brembo (including the master cylinder), with Stylema front calipers, 330mm front discs that are 5mm thicker than before and the same rear caliper as the RCV213V-S.

2021 Honda CBR1000RR-R Fireblade SP
Those two tiny LED strips are the SP’s taillights. Turn signals and license plate holder are easily removable for track use.

A comprehensive electronics package powered by a Bosch 6-axis IMU includes five power modes, three engine braking modes, 9-level Honda Selectable Torque Control with a new slip rate control, 3-level wheelie control, switchable ABS with Sport and Track modes and a quickshifter.

Everything about the Fireblade SP was built for the track, and Honda claims it has the lowest coefficient of drag in its class, with MotoGP-inspired winglets for reduced lift and increased braking stability. Its riding position is very aggressive — this ain’t the CBR1000RR you see on weekend canyon runs.

A “base model” CBR1000RR-R Fireblade (without the SP) will be available in Europe but not the U.S. Pricing is TBD, but we’re certain to get more information in the coming months.

2021 Honda CBR1000RR-R Fireblade SP
2021 Honda CBR1000RR-R Fireblade SP.
2021 Honda CBR1000RR-R Fireblade SP
New TFT display is switchable. Clip-ons are very low and footpegs are very high.

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