Honda sources confirm new 2017 Honda Fireblade:
The replacement CBR1000RR Fireblade is quickly becoming the worst kept secret in motorcycling, but two separate Honda insiders have now confirmed to Bike Social a brand new version of Honda’s sports bike will be launched later this year and on sale in 2017.
An official launch is not expected until later this year at one of the two main trade shows; either in Cologne in October or Milan in November.
We can also reveal the sports bike will continue to have an inline four-cylinder engine, despite rumours of the new bike being a V4.
This puts to bed the rumours of an imminent V4 which have also been circulating for some time. In fact, we understand 2020 will be the earliest we see a Honda V4 sports bike as further development as well as research into market demand continues throughout Asia, Europe and America.
As you might expect, with a bike that’s some 20+bhp or so down on the current crop of big 1000cc and 200bhp sports bikes like Yamaha’s R1 and Kawasaki’s ZX-10R, Honda's new Fireblade will make "a lot more power", according to our sources.
They also also confirmed a prototype model has been testing at a Spanish circuit within the last fortnight. Significant enhancements to its electronics are expected, with the headline-grabbing 'MotoGP bike for the road', RC213V-S, as the source of much of the development for future sports bikes from the Japanese manufacturer, including the 2017 CBR1000RR. The RC213V-S has a sophisticated electronics package, a first for Honda on a sports bike.
The long overdue new Fireblade will be unveiled three years after the latest tweak which arrived in the shape of the Fireblade SP (Sports Production) in 2014. The same basic Fireblade that’s on sale today was originally launched give or take a few tweaks in 2008.
It received cosmetic updates, a more rigid crank and bigger flywheel in 2010, and then in 2012 more of an angular design plus Showa Big Piston Forks, 12-spoke wheels and a cool new LCD dash, but remains fundamentally the same as the 2008 bike in terms of chassis and engine.
Both Honda sources also revealed the 2017 bike will be completely new including electronics, suspension and engine, but will still appear very similar to the outgoing model in keeping with its iconic, angular profile.
These details have come to light hot on the heels of the recently announced limited edition John McGuinness TT-replica at last week’s Isle of Man TT press launch, a tactical and cynical tell-tale sign of clearing remaining stock.
The current, standard Fireblade is priced at £12,199 while the SP comes in at £14,499 and the McGuinness TT-special edition is an extra £2,500 for its host of aftermarket parts including a beautiful Akrapovic silencer.
Despite its relative age, In terms of its racing pedigree, 2006 MotoGP World Champion, Nicky Hayden, and his Dutch team-mate, Michael van der Mark, will also welcome the news of a brand new bike ready for the 2017 World Superbike Championship. That said, the existing race bike did them proud last weekend with podium finishes in both races at Assen.
It remains to be seen if 23-times TT winner John McGuinness will continue his TT career beyond this season to make the most of the new Honda, but the official British Superbike team is sure to embrace the upgrade as they remain keen not to lose any ground on the more up-to-date Kawasaki, BMW, Ducati and Yamaha machines.
The 2017 'blade is expected to make significant strides towards closing the chasm between Honda and its many more electronically advanced and outright powerful rivals. Yamaha bought us its magnificent R1 in 2015 while Kawasaki shook the earth with the Ninja H2 and H2R before releasing a new ZX-10R at the beginning of this year. Suzuki have even teased us by treating its prehistoric (by today's standards) GSX-R1000 to a complete overhaul in time for a full release later this year. Include the face-lifted missile of the aforementioned S1000RR for 2015, Ducati's exquisite 1299 Panigale and Aprilia's monstrously good RSV4-RF and the Honda has a big challenge on its hands. That said, the ‘Big H’ has never been one to compromise its road ability with sheer power and track-focus.
Are you saving the pennies for the new Fireblade? or