Nicky Hayden rides new Fireblade: “It felt like a race bike”

Nicky Hayden talks to Bike Social

Finally, the world was introduced to a brand new Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade on Tuesday at the Cologne Motorcycle Show and we spoke to one man who has already ridden the SP version.

Performing the unveiling honours where Honda World Superbike rider, Nicky Hayden, alongside Honda Endurance Race Team’s, Freddy Foray but it wasn’t the first time the that Hayden had seen the bike having tested the road version at Valencia’s Circuito Ricardo Tormo last month.

The 2006 MotoGP World Champion told Bike Social, “You know I really enjoyed it. It was good fun because the bike felt light, really nimble, it felt like a race bike.”

A 15kg weight reduction and 8kW (10.7bhp) top end power boost combine to give a 14% improvement in power to weight, making the 2017 Fireblade the sharpest in its 25-year history. A new electronics package includes semi-active Öhlins Electronic Control suspension, Honda Selectable Torque Control, Selectable Engine Brake and Power settings, Quickshifter, and Downshift Assist.

A close-up look at what's new on the 2017 Honda Fireblade

The 2017 World Superbike Championship begins in February and Hayden is already impressed with the amount of technology available on the new Fireblade although has yet to test the bike in race trim. He said, “I’ve never ridden a street bike with that much advanced electronics like the fly-by-wire and allowing fast corner entry not using the clutch or blip the throttle.”

 Already a race winner in his first full season in the World Superbike Championship, having stood on the top step in Malaysia, the 35-year old from Kentucky is keen to get on the new bike, telling us, “It’s not exactly clear (when we can try it in race trim). Even though we have a good bike now, this will take us to the next step to really try to fight for victories consistently.”

“You need good tools when you’re racing bikes. You need a good team and I’m happy with the job we’ve done this year because we’ve got some good life and good improvements out of the current Fireblade. It’s true, it’s time for a ‘re-up’ and hopefully with this new lighter, faster, stronger bike we can make a better job for my team.”

Nicky Hayden with the new Fireblade

Check out the Honda promotional video showing Hayden at Valencia:

Nicky Hayden rides the new Fireblade SP at Valencia