Honda CBR1000RR-R Fireblade SP (2024) - Technical Review

 

Price: £TBA | Power: 214.6bhp | Weight: 201kg | Overall BikeSocial Rating: TBA

 

Honda’s racing exploits haven’t lived up to the company’s high standards in recent years and the latest revamp for the CBR1000RR-R Fireblade SP is squarely aimed at addressing the on-track problems of its racing equivalent and bringing it back to the front of the grid.

While new winglets give away the 2024 model, the changes are much deeper, including a revamped engine, revised frame, new suspension and brakes to create a bike that’s a substantial step forward compared to the model it replaces.

 

Pros & Cons

  • Huge engine revamp packed with exotic parts
  • Latest Öhlins electronic suspension
  • Aero tweaks promise better cornering
  • Race-oriented updates might not be felt much on the road

SP and Carbon versions make up the 2024 Fireblade line-up

 

Review – In Detail

Price & PCP
For and against
Engine & Performance
Handling & Suspension (inc. weight & brakes)
Comfort & Economy
Equipment
Rivals
Verdict
Specification

 

2024 Honda CBR1000RR-R Fireblade SP Price

Honda’s is keeping a lid on pricing information until nearer the on-sale date. For the latest Fireblade that’s expected to be Spring 2024.

It’s not going to be cheap. The only Fireblade variant to get these updates is the CBR1000RR-R SP, and the old model went for £23,499, so don’t expect the new one to cost any less than that. There’s also a limited-run ‘Carbon’ variant, restricted to 300 examples, that gets a carbon front mudguard, belly pan, mid fairing, winglets, fuel tank front section and rear mudguard, reducing overall weight by 1kg and no doubt adding a significant premium on the price.

We understand that the standard CBR1000RR-R Fireblade, which costs £19,999, will be dropped from the 2024 lineup, leaving the SP and Carbon as the only versions available.

 

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2024 Honda CBR1000RR-R Fireblade SP Engine & Performance

The Blade’s 1000cc inline four is based on last year’s model and makes the same peak power and torque – 214.6bhp (160kW) and 83.3 lb-ft (113Nm) – but the numbers arrive at different revs, hinting at some of the changes within.

The max power now comes at 14,000rpm rather than 14,500rpm, and peak torque arrives at 12,000rpm rather than 12,500rpm, showing that the engine delivers more performance without needing quite as many revs. In race form, that’s likely to translate to more rideability and higher peak power.

Those internal changes are extensive. The bore and stroke are unaltered at 81mm and 48.5mm, but the compression ratio is upped from 13.4:1 to 13.6:1. The inlet valves are lighter than last year’s, and both intake and exhaust camshafts are reprofiled to alter duration and lift. There are new valve springs, too, and deeper in the engine Honda has changed the crankshaft pin and journal diameters to save 450g of internal mass.

There are also titanium conrods, 20g lighter for 2024 than the 2023 versions, and even the engine block itself is tweaked, with 250g shaved from the mass of the crankcase for the 2024 model.

Those mechanical updates are more than matched by improvements to the electronics. Most notably, the throttle-by-wire system is new, with two motors controlling the butterflies rather than one. One motor acts on cylinders one and two, the other on cylinders three and four, and the pairs are individually controlled to maximise response and give finer throttle adjustment. In small throttle openings, cylinders one and two’s throttles are opened first, before those of the other two cylinders, to give more refined control.

Under deceleration the same system allows the level of engine braking to be modulated, leaving the throttles for cylinders three and four open while those for cylinders one and two close.

As before, there’s a vast array of rider assists on offer, including nine traction control settings, five power modes, three engine braking levels, and three wheelie control settings. All of them have been refined for the 2024 model. There’s also a launch control, with a variety of settings, and a three-level quickshifter.

 

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2024 Honda CBR1000RR-R Fireblade SP Handling & Suspension (inc. Weight & Brakes)

Those engine changes alone would be enough to justify calling the 2024 CBR1000RR-R Fireblade SP ‘new’ but Honda’s engineers haven’t stopped there – the chassis has also been heavily improved in an effort to boost the bike’s racing prospects.

You can’t see the changes, but the wall thicknesses of the aluminium beam frame have been tweaked, increasing the ‘thin walled’ area to cut nearly a kilo from the chassis’ weight and tune its rigidity. Another 140g is saved simply by using shorter bolts in the engine hangers, and Honda says the changes reduce lateral stiffness by 17% and torsional rigidity by 15%, changes that will hopefully translate to a chassis that improves rider feedback at the limit.

The CBR1000RR-R SP has long used Öhlins NPX Smart-EC forks, but the latest version has new ‘third generation’ versions, matched to an Öhlins TTX36 S-EC3.0 rear shock. They offer finer adjustment than before, with three individual modes that be stored so you can account for weather, fuel load or tyre wear and switch between them on the fly.

The brakes are new, too, with Brembo Stylema R four-pot calipers at the front, a Brembo radial master cylinder and the same rear Brembo that’s used by the RC213V-S, all controlled via a Bosch six-axis IMU that gives cornering ABS, traction control and even modulates the settings of the Showa electronic steering damper depending on the bike’s attitude and behaviour.

In corners the new front winglets also promise an improvement over the multi-layer design used on the previous model. Honda says the more conventional-looking winglets on the new bike offer the same amount of downforce at speed, but don’t weight the steering as much. They sit on reshaped fairing side panels, and the winglets are further forwards than before to increase their leverage over the bike’s front wheel.

Underneath, there’s a new lower fairing that improves airflow around the rear tyre, and even the fuel tank is new – it’s 0.4 litres bigger than before at 16.5 litres but has a lower top surface to let you tuck in further.

 

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2024 Honda CBR1000RR-R Fireblade SP Comfort & Economy

That new fuel tank also helps boost comfort and control, with sides that are reshaped to improve knee grip in that area, and the rest of the riding position is tweaked with subtle but significant changes to the bars and pegs. The bars are now 19mm higher than before and 23mm closer to the rider, altering the posture triangle, and the footpegs are 16mm lower than they were – a change that should improve comfort a little. The seat remains at 830mm.

Although fuel consumption isn’t likely to be a major concern for anyone buying a 214hp superbike, the Fireblade’s comes in at 42.1mpg, and that slightly larger 2024 fuel tank means the theoretical range rises to around 150 miles (245km).

 

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2024 Honda CBR1000RR-R Fireblade SP Equipment

The full colour TFT instruments are carried over from the previous generation, with a 5-inch screen and customisable display, while bar controls give rapid access to the major settings and modes.

One slight tweak for 2024 is the introduction of a smart redline for the tach readout. When cold, it puts the redline at just 8,000rpm, and as the coolant temperature rises the maximum revs increase, eventually putting the maximum just past 14,000rpm when the engine is fully up to temperature.

Optional kit for the CBR1000RR-R Fireblade SP includes a track-only HRC race kit, with a dedicated ECU, new wiring harness, cylinder head gasket, race exhaust, race clutch and quick-release rear axle. For a more street biased race look, there’s also a ‘Racing Pack’ that adds frame guards, tank pad, Alcantara seat and pillion seat cowl in either red or black to match your bike. It also has a sprocket protector, wheel stripes, a new oil filler cap and high, smoked screen.

Finally, there’s a ‘Comfort Pack’ that includes a USB-C socket, tank bag and tail pack.

 

 

2024 Honda CBR1000RR-R Fireblade SP Rivals

The Blade’s showroom rivals are the same bikes it faces on track week-in, week-out during the racing season. In other words, it’s head-to-head with the likes of Ducati’s Panigale V4, Kawasaki’s ZX-10RR, BMW’s M1000RR and Yamaha’s R1.

 

Ducati Panigale V4 | Price: £22,995

Power/Torque: 212.6bhp/91.2lb-ft | Weight: 198.5kg (kerb)

 

Kawasaki ZX-10RR | Price: £24,799

Power/Torque: 201.2bhp/82.5lb-ft | Weight: 207kg (kerb)

 

BMW M 1000 RR | Price: £30,940

Power/Torque: 209.2bhp/83.3lb-ft | Weight: 193kg (kerb)

 

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2024 Honda CBR1000RR-R Fireblade SP Verdict

We’re very much looking forward to riding this one in the coming months so do check back for a full review and video.

 

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2024 Honda CBR1000RR-R Fireblade SP - Technical Specification

New price

From £TBA

Capacity

999.9cc

Bore x Stroke

81 x 48.5mm

Engine layout

Inline four

Engine details

16-valve, liquid-cooled, DOHC

Power

214.6bhp (160kW) @ 14,000rpm

Torque

83.3lb-ft (113Nm) @ 12,000rpm

Transmission

6-speed, quickshifter

Average fuel consumption

42.1mpg claimed

Tank size

16.5 litres

Max range to empty

152 miles

Rider aids

IMU-controlled cornering traction control, cornering ABS, wheelie control, launch control, rear wheel lift control, engine braking control

Frame

Aluminium twin-spar

Front suspension

Öhlins 43mm S-EC3.0 NPX USD forks

Front suspension adjustment

Fully adjustable (electronic) preload, compression, rebound

Rear suspension

Öhlins TTX36 S-EC3.0, Pro-Link

Rear suspension adjustment

Fully adjustable (electronic) preload, compression, rebound

Front brake

330mm discs with radial-mount 4-piston Brembo Stylema R calipers

Rear brake

220mm disc with 2-piston Brembo caliper

Front wheel / tyre

120/70-ZR17 M/C (58W) Pirelli Diablo Supercorsa SP V3 or Bridgestone RS11

Rear wheel / tyre

200/55-ZR17 M/C (78W) Pirelli Diablo Supercorsa SP V3 or Bridgestone RS11

Dimensions (LxWxH)

2,105mm x 750mm x 1,140mm

Wheelbase

1,455mm

Seat height

830mm

Weight

201kg (kerb) (Carbon model, 200kg)

Warranty

Two-year, unlimited mileage

Servicing

TBA

MCIA Secured Rating

Not yet rated

Website

www.honda.co.uk

 

Looking for motorcycle insurance? Get a quote for this motorbike with Bennetts bike insurance

 

2024 Honda CBR1000RRR FireBlade SP Review Details Price Spec_07

 

What is MCIA Secured?

MCIA Secured gives bike buyers the chance to see just how much work a manufacturer has put into making their new investment as resistant to theft as possible.

As we all know, the more security you use, the less chance there is of your bike being stolen. In fact, based on research by Bennetts, using a disc lock makes your machine three times less likely to be stolen, while heavy duty kit can make it less likely to be stolen than a car. For reviews of the best security products, click here.

MCIA Secured gives motorcycles a rating out of five stars (three stars for bikes of 125cc or less), based on the following being fitted to a new bike as standard:

  • A steering lock that meets the UNECE 62 standard
  • An ignition immobiliser system
  • A vehicle marking system
  • An alarm system
  • A vehicle tracking system with subscription

The higher the star rating, the better the security, so always ask your dealer what rating your bike has and compare it to other machines on your shortlist.