Honda’s iconic litre-class superbike, the Fireblade, completes 30 years of being in production this year. To commemorate the occasion, the motorcycle manufacturer has unveiled the 2022 CBR1000RR-R Fireblade at EICMA. The latest iteration of the Fireblade features a lot of subtle updates and revisions to the mechanicals to improve the power delivery and to better the superbike’s riding experience.
The 2022 Fireblade has come a long way from a bug-eyed superbike of the 90s. Compared to the original, the Fireblade has gotten much more aggressive in its look. Design elements from Honda’s RC213V MotoGP machine have trickled down to the Fireblade, with winglets in the fairing present to increase downforce and improve braking stability. The Fireblade also gets three wings arranged in a vertical line inside both the left and right fairing ducts to improve the aero. The bike will be available in a Grand Prix Red colour scheme which was first featured in 2020, now with a white number board at the front. The Fireblade also gets a higher-spec SP variant, and apart from some additional kit, the SP will also be offered in a limited-edition 30th Anniversary edition model. The Anniversary edition can be visually differentiated by its Tricolour HRC colour scheme that harks back to the original, 30th anniversary edition logos on the fuel tank cover, a blue rear seat, a smart key fob and a unique serial number laser-engraved on the top yoke.
Powering the road-rocket that is the Honda Fireblade is a 1000cc inline four which features plenty of inputs from the HRC MotoGP program. The engine produces a peak power of 215bhp at 14,500rpm and the peak torque is 112Nm, coming in at 12,500rpm. To ensure the engine now breathes better, the slash-cut air intake between the headlamps has been reworked with shorter funnels for the #2 and #3 cylinders. This engine is mated to a six-speed transmission with a quickshifter being optional. One of the criticisms of the older Fireblade, the overly-tall gearing, have been addressed in the 2022 edition, with the rear sprocket growing in size by three more teeth to 43 teeth. This has shortened the gearing and will likely improve the real-world performance and acceleration. The engine and gearbox continue to be packaged in an aluminium diamond-style main frame as before, with the wheelbase of the Fireblade going up by 5mm to 1460mm. The superbike is equipped with Showa’s 43mm Big Piston Fork (BPF) at the front, along with a Showa Balance Free Rear Cushion Lite (BFRC-L). You also have a 330mm disc up front with a 4-piston Nissin caliper for braking duties, while a 220mm disc with a 2-piston Brembo caliper is present at the rear.This is for the standard Fireblade however, with the higher-spec SP variant getting semi-active Ohlins suspension along with Brembo Stylema brakes.
The Honda CBR1000RR-R features a 5-inch full-colour TFT screen, which can be operated through a four-way switch on the left handlebar. The Fireblade is also equipped with Showa’s Honda Electronic Steering Damper (HESD) and a six-axis IMU from Bosch, which offers three levels of control. You also get a Smart Key system, which allows you to use the ignition without having to insert a key, as well as operating the handlebar lock. The nine-level Honda Selectable Torque Control has been upgraded for 2022, with the gap between the intervention timing and slip rate being changed for a smoother riding experience. You also have three default riding modes, which also allow you to change the level of wheelie control, engine output and engine braking. In addition to all this kit, the SP version gets a slightly reduced spring load in its ride-by-wire throttle system, which improves linearity of the power delivery when you open the taps.
Given that the earlier Fireblades made their way to India as CBUs, it is likely that the CBR1000RR-R could be India-bound sometime next year, though Honda hasn’t given any official confirmation of the fact. As for the 30 year legacy of the Fireblade, it promises to roar on for quite some time to come.