Honda’s 2017 CBR1000RR SP1 “Fireblade”: The Details

This Is The 2017 CBR1000RR SP1: Pictures & Specs

Updated August 14, 2018

When we predicted that Honda would be unveiling an all new CBR1000RR, we had a feeling that they’d be revealing two models instead of one. Instead, they’ve unveiled two, but there’s still a third to come. At the moment, we can only feast our eyes on the 2017 CBR1000RR SP1, and the incredibly sophisticated CBR1000RR SP2 homologation special. What’s the third model? Why, it’ll be the base model, of course. And where is it? Noticeably…absent. However, there’s plenty to talk about with the SP1 and SP2 models, so let’s begin…

Honda CBR1000RR SP1 &SP2 1

The Fireblade’s project leader Mr. Sato-san explained: “All 1000cc sportsbikes are extraordinary examples of high performance engineering. But for us, for our new Fireblade, we want extraordinary to be the pleasure of handling and controlling such a machine. Its true purpose – wherever it’s ridden – is to enjoy something that is not normally experienced in everyday life, something that cannot be surpassed.” And as a starting point, that’s a nice direction to move in, right?

Honda CBR1000RR SP1 &SP2 2

It’s been 25 years since the first Fireblade model, and to celebrate this illustrious birthday, Honda have decided to take the core values of the CBR – cornering prowess, acceleration and braking, and keeping a tight power to weight ratio – and crank them up to eleven. This is still Honda – but not as you’ve seen them before. This isn’t about “just enough” or “playing it safe” – this is something rather incredible, and with this effort, the 2017 Honda CBR1000RR SP1 may not just be on par with its industry rivals…it may even surpass them.

Honda CBR1000RR SP1 &SP2 3

The CBR1000RR SP1 comes with a revolutionary array of on board gadgetry geared towards improving the bike’s handling. To keep them all working, Honda have employed a sophisticated 5-axis Inertial Measurement Unit to oversee the operation. It works by monitoring almost everything the CBR is up to, and provides electronic assistance whenever necessary.

The suspension duties are handled by brand new Ohlins S-EC units, with a NIX30 front fork arrangement and TTX36 unit at the rear. The suspension is controlled by Honda’s Suspension Control Unit, which uses the Bosch 5-Axis IMU to monitor the bike’s lean angle, yaw rate, and roll rate; on top of that, the IMU also takes readings of the wheeled speed, engine rpm, braking inputs and the throttle positions, all from the ECU. Using this combined knowledge, and depending on the riders suspension settings, the bike will provide optimal damping and compression for an optimized ride. The available suspension modes include three “Active” modes and three “Manual” modes.

If that wasn’t enough handling tech to impress you, Honda have also added a rear lift control unit (RLC) into the mix to ensure that the rear end remains stable under heavy braking. Next up, they’ve given the CBR1000RR SP Cornering ABS. The Cornering ABS is no longer the old Honda unit, and the transition to Bosch has saved the CBR1000RR 10 kilos of weight.

Honda CBR1000RR SP1 &SP2 4

To keep an eye on all of this high tech gadgetry, Honda have upgraded the SP’s dash to a full color TRT crystal display, similar to that employed on the mighty RC213V-S. The new display adjusts itself according to the ambient light, to make it easier to read under any circumstance, and it comes with three distinct display options: Street, Circuit, and Mechanic. The rider can choose what info they need to see.

Honda CBR1000RR SP1 &SP2 5

The Street setting shows off the different riding modes, and the degrees of power, torque control, engine braking options and suspension settings. The display also shows the onboard computers calculations for fuel economy, fuel consumption, a reserve fuel light, your average speeds, and all the usual stuff we’re already familiar with.

Circuit mode, however, comes with all of the relevant track day tech: lap timers, best times, and circuit information. Mechanic mode, on the other hand, is more for tinkering with the finer points of the bike, such as the gear positions, the grip angles, the voltage of the battery, and coolant temperatures.

Honda CBR1000RR SP1 &SP2 6

But that’s enough about the display – let’s talk about the important stuff. Firstly, the chassis weighs in a massive 14 kilos lighter than the last iteration of the machine. The usual rake and trail remain the same as last time, but the rest of the twin-spar frame has be slightly revised for improved handling, overall feel, and for maximum stability. Minor weight shavings have been made by adjusting the aluminum thickness in certain places, especially in the Unit Pro-Link swingarm, and in the subframe section.

Honda CBR1000RR SP1 &SP2 7

Other weight saving opportunities presented themselves in the wheels, which now weigh 100g less. These come shod in Bridgestone RS10s.

In terms of looks, it’s a stunning looking motorcycle. But that’s a matter of taste, so we won’t go into it. There’s engine stuff to cover – and only a limited amount of words to play with!

Honda CBR1000RR SP1 &SP2 8

Interestingly, the all new SP will be Honda’s first inline four engine to employ a throttle by wire system. The system comes with three modes that offer very different ride experiences and varying levels of “babysitting” depending on where you want to make the most gains. All of these modes can be adjusted and tinkered with in “USER” mode. Thankfully, the SP also comes with a quickshifter for both “up” and “down” clutchless exchanges, and an autoblipper too.

Honda CBR1000RR SP1 &SP2 9

The engine hasn’t received as much improvement as many people expected, however, Honda have done a great job with it. They’ve managed to add an extra 11 hp into the mix, shave 2 kilos of weight off of the lump, and raised their rev roof to the tune of 13,000 rpm. The SP boasts a peak power figure of 189 hp at 12,500 rpm, 81.79 lb-ft of torque at 10,500 rpm. It might not be as powerful as its industry rivals, but what it lacks in power, it makes up for in handling prowess.

Honda CBR1000RR SP1 &SP2 10

As far as Honda’s go, this is the most sophisticated, technologically advanced, and beautifully designed that we’ve seen. However, we’ve still got the SP2 to discuss…

More importantly though, where is the base model?!


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Joe Appleton
About Joe Appleton

I’ve done a bit of work here and there in the industry – I’ve even ridden a few bikes for actual money but what it comes down to is this: I ride bikes, build bikes and occasionally crash ‘em too. I like what I like but that certainly doesn’t make my opinion any more valid than yours…

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