Launched to critical acclaim earlier this year, the Fireblade SP is one of three all-new variants of Honda’s flagship super sport bike, sitting atop the Honda range, alongside the standard CBR1000RR Fireblade and limited edition, road legal homologation special, Fireblade SP2 – of which only 39 will come to the UK this year.
Landing in showrooms on the 25th anniversary of the launch of Honda’s original Fireblade, the latest incarnation stays true to the iconic bike’s original ‘Total Control’ concept – a design principle based on power to weight ratio and the importance of acceleration, braking and cornering agility, championed by the Fireblade’s original designer, Tadao Baba.
New for 2017, the Fireblade comes with a comprehensive electronic control package and a 14% power to weight ratio improvement, making it the lightest in class. The changes have taken the Fireblade to the next level, as far as MCN’s test riders are concerned, with all three new Fireblade models receiving five-star MCN ratings.
Michael Neeves, MCN’s chief road tester, certainly sees the blade as a cut above:
“Ride the Fireblade SP back-to-back against its rivals and it makes them feel heavy, unrefined and slightly clumsy by comparison. That’s why it’s unashamedly our Sportsbike of the Year. Other sportsbikes might have more power and more track-focused electronics but none comes close to being such a rounded performer.”
For Neil Fletcher, head of bikes at Honda, the MCN award underlines the success of the new Fireblade in showrooms:
“As soon as the order book opened, there was a real buzz around the new Fireblade SP. The on-paper stats, with a 15kg weight reduction and the addition of a whole host of MotoGP-derived technology, suggested that it’d be as much of a game changer as that 1992 original.
“MCN’s testers found this to be exactly the case and the initial UK supply of Fireblades was snapped up by summer. We’ve had to ship more in to cater for demand.
“For the award to come the week after the recent BSB finale, where the Fireblade SP added some more silverware to the cabinet, is the icing on the cake.”
With the Fireblade celebrating its 25th anniversary, a number of special Fireblades will be on show at Motorcycle Live next month, alongside a whole host of UK first sightings of Honda’s 2018 range.
For information on the full Honda range and to see the finance packages on offer, visithonda.co.uk.