Fireblade – is not just the coolest name that any bike has ever got, but also it’s history is as rich as the fuel mixture fed into its 999.9cc engine, monster of an engine. It all started in 1992.
So it was a time honda had the hugely popular “Hurricane” CBR1000F, and the not so popular CBR750F. So, Tadao Baba was asked to look into transforming the Hurricane 750 in to what were baby steps for today’s Fireblade.
The First FireBlade – CBR900RR
Honda had years of racing experience with the Honda Racing Corporation. Infact Tadao Baba was a former racer. Hence, FireBlade was the first bike suited to a rider’s input rather than marketing man’s idea.
Honda’s goal was to make it as light as possible, so as to make it nimble around corners. They took the 750cc engine and increased it to 893cc while maintaining the proportions. At its time, it had the lowest wet weight in class and annihilating acceleration and handling. It could do 165 mph. Although not intended as a racer, it won a few Isle of Man TT races.
The first FireBlade started, which now turns its 28th chapter. Since than, Honda has, almost as a tradition, upgraded its model every 2 years and build the bike from scratch every 4 years almost religiously. But the major change happened in 2004.
The Fifth FireBlade “The 929” – Most Impressive Upgrade?
Honda released its fourth edition in 1998, which was at that time, completely overshadowed by another legendary bike, “The Yamaha R1”. Yamaha had set new standards with the R1, with a 150hp engine, which at that time was the best.
So, Tadao Baba and team, had a task up their sleeve. They had to show the world who was still the boss of superbike makers. In 2004, comes the Fifth generation FireBlade. With an all-new 929cc engine and newly added Fuel Injection, sharp new styling and the weight was down significantly. The 148hp engine came close to R1, but narrowly missed it.
Tadao’s Swansong – The Sixth Gen “The 954”
The sharp styling was there, the attractive color scheme was there with a new 954cc engine. But this time the Suzuki GSXR 1000 took the crown as the most powerful bike at that time. But, to this day, the 2004 version has been the most sought after FireBlade.
This was also the last FireBlade that Tadao Baba oversaw.
Getting a 1000 cc Engine
After Tadao Baba’s retirement, the team behind Honda’s MotoGP bike oversaw the making of the next Fireblade. While the previous edition boasted of 150bhp, the new one added a whooping 20bhp more. It still had the agility to go with it. This is also the first time a FIreblade had underseat silencer.
CBR1000RR-R – 2020
It is said, the number of R in a Honda bike stands for performance. This time CBR has one more R added to its name. There is a SP version which is basically same engine with racing specs, borrowed from Honda’s RC213V MotoGP bike. The new fireblade also features the HRC logo on it. HRC stands for Honda Racing Corporation.
The new Fireblade or “CBR1000RR-R Fireblade SP” boasts of a whooping 214bhp with its 999.9cc engine.
Bookings for the new superbike are now open, and deliveries are expected to begin towards the end of August. Interestingly, the actual price of the new bike has yet to be revealed. FYI, the previous CBR1000RR was priced at around Rs 16.43 lakh.
28 years later, Honda still carries the philosophy of Tadao Baba. They are still obsessed about weight and all-round ability. Making a bike to the likes of a racer, not a marketing man. Head over to check it out!